Three-Peat? L.A. Lakers complete their championship puzzle

By: 08.06.10  •  17 Comments

Kobe Bryant, Dime #55

All due respect to T-Mac and A.I., but the 2010 free agency rush is over. After Shaq signed with Boston for the monetary equivalent of his yearly Fuddruckers budget, at this point we’re beating down sources and constantly refreshing NBA rumor sites just for items like, “Cartier Martin is getting interest from the Bobcats, Heat and Blazers.” In other words, not exactly “The Decision” … Kobe Bryant‘s squad inked the player who is probably the last significant piece to fall into place for next year’s championship picture — since Orlando, Miami, Boston and San Antonio have filled their rosters — re-upping with Shannon Brown on a 2-year, $4.6 million deal. Shannon didn’t get the big raise he was looking for by opting out of his original contract, and he won’t contend for a starting job like he would have by signing with the Knicks, but he’s got a real good shot at a third championship ring. And maybe he’ll get that starting nod when Kobe retires in 2030 … And since it’s never too early to look ahead to next summer, Carmelo Anthony is looking like the crown jewel of that free-agent class. The Nuggets still have a 3-year, $65 million extension offer on the table for ‘Melo, but it appears increasingly likely that he won’t take it. If LeBron was once upon a time considered a lock for New York, the odds of ‘Melo ending up on the Knicks have to be even greater. If he lets the extension deadline pass and becomes a free-agent-in-waiting, it’ll be interesting to see how the NY fans treat ‘Melo the next time he’s in town. Remember, he once brawled with their team and another time gave them 50 … And apparently Roger Mason is putting in his bid to be the Eddie House for a potential “Big Apple Three” for the Knicks. Mason referred to himself in a YouTube video as “quite possibly very soon (with) the New York Knicks,” and a little while later officially signed for $1.4 million for one year. Is there a better NBA job than being the guy who only has to stand around the arc and hit open threes? … Speaking of guys in cruise-mode, Larry Hughes is reportedly on the Celtics’ radar. Why? When Hughes’ name came up in the office yesterday, somebody said, “Well, if he can get with the right team, he’ll be good.” Maybe, except we’ve been saying that about dude for like 10 years … Three things to check out (if you can) this weekend: The Red Bull 2-on-2 Revolution tour will be at Baltimore’s Cloverdale Park on Saturday starting at 10 a.m.; the Nike 3-on-3 Tournament hits L.A. on Saturday, and House of Hoops is opening a new store in Long Island, N.Y. from 1-3 p.m., with special guest Kenny Anderson. If you’re in B-More, L.A. or L.I., you should definitely roll through … We’re out like Fuddruckers …

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