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Jimmer Fredette Gets Engaged to Girlfriend Whitney Wonnacott

Welcome to 2011, where athletes share the news of their engagements on the public forum of Twitter. Former BYU basketball star Jimmer Fredette did just that Friday night and shared this picture for proof:

Jimmer added the following commentary to the picture “I’m officially engaged everyone. She said yes and she was completely surprised! It was perfect!!” Please, like she was really going to say no. Whitney Wonnacott, a BYU cheerleader, has been loyally by his side since college. Congratulations to the couple. Now we have to wonder how Jimmer will be able to afford a honeymoon with a lockout ongoing.

Ron Artest’s Metta World Peace Name Change Delayed Due to Traffic Warrants

Ron Artest headed to court Friday morning to officially change his name to “Metta World Peace.” Because nothing is as easy as it should be for Ron Ron, the change was not approved.

Reporters were informed that Artest has some outstanding traffic warrants to clear before the change can take effect. His next court date is for September 16th, which could interfere with his busy British soap opera schedule.

So after months of build up, the plan has been postponed because of the most Ron Artest reason possible. Come on Ron, pay your parking tickets bro!

Al Harrington Knocks Out Internet Reporter Jason Sereno (Video)

If LaMarcus Aldridge is right about the NBA lockout and talks are not progressing at all, Al Harrington is all set.  That’s not to say the Nuggets forward has a career lined up or anything, but it appears that he is having fun while the NBA Players Association and owners try to hammer out a new deal.  Anthony Randolph can have his school books and his fraternity.  If I were an NBA player, I would be doing what Harrington does during his free time — knocking out reporters half my size.  Check out the video of Al Harrington knocking out Jason Sereno, courtesy of Ted Williams Head:

Sereno certainly didn’t face the danger that Daniel Tosh faced with this punch, but he took a pretty good shot.  How lucky is Harrington? Obviously Sereno agreed to take the punch and did it for exposure, so Big Al is just the lucky guy that got to attempt to take his head off.  Sign me up.

LeBron James Mocking Own Hairline Can be Good for His Image

LeBron James is one of the most image-conscious players in the NBA. He’s the same guy who panicked after getting dunked on around by Jordan Crawford two summers ago, collaborating with Nike to get the video confiscated. That was pretty absurd. But if LeBron’s tweet Wednesday is any indication, he may be loosening up a bit. James joked about his frequently ridiculed hairline:

LeBron James reportedly is egocentric enough to call himself “King James” in a text message to another player. Yet this is the same guy who’s now publicly mocking his hairline. That’s the second time this week we’ve heard something along those lines. In the same interview where Dwyane Wade said some of the criticism the Heat endured was unfair, the Miami guard said he often jokes with LeBron about the forward’s hairline.

If LeBron is now willing to publicly show his vulnerable side, that can make him a lot more likable. After all, it’s his egotistical nature that is so off-putting for many critics. Acknowledging faults and flaws humanizes LeBron, making him seem like a normal person. It’s a good public relations strategy if he continues to be real with everyone instead of hiding his problems.

LaMarcus Aldridge Willing to Skip NBA Season if it Means a Fair Deal

One common theme we witnessed throughout the NFL lockout was optimism.  For the most part, we were given the impression that the players and owners wanted to get a deal done.  Both sides wanted a “fair” deal, but the feeling of a cancelled season never actually became a reality.  That has not been the case thus far with the NBA lockout.

LaMarcus Aldridge, the Blazers’ player representative for the NBA players association, told The Oregonian on Tuesday that talks have not progressed between the union and the NBA and that a deal is by no means in the immediate forecast.

“No,” Aldridge replied when asked if there was any reason for optimism. “Both sides are pretty (far) off right now. So it’s going to be a while.”

When pressed further and asked if he would sit out the 2011-2012 season if a fair deal cannot be agreed upon, Aldridge said he would be open to that if that is what it takes.

Obviously it is in the best interest of all involved parties to play hardball at this point, but while players consider playing football, entertain themselves with beach volleyball, and join college fraternities, it is not looking like the labor negotiations are moving forward.  Aldridge’s opinion is likely the opinion of many other players across the league.  It is still early, but at this point it appears that the NBA lockout is far more likely to cancel the upcoming season than the NFL lockout was before it.

LeBron James Afraid of High Dive But Jumps Anyway (Video)

People put a lot of time and effort into publicly embarrassing LeBron James.  When you’re one of the best basketball players in the world and tend to come across as somewhat smug, that will happen.  Whether it’s LeBron getting dunked on or dunking on a little kid, people always say he is doing something wrong.  We all know he has a tendency to choke in the fourth quarter of big games, but he has to deal with dollar stores who won’t let him live it down.

Today, however, is a rare day.  Like Kobe Bryant has done before us, we’re here to defend LeBron James for being afraid of the high dive.  Check out the LeBron James high dive video, courtesy of CBSSports.com’s Eye on Basketball blog:

Honestly, I would probably have someone else do it before I did too. I know you’re only jumping into a pool and it’s relatively safe, but that can look intimidating for anyone.  Plus, you know, he kind of has something to lose if he gets injured.  Wouldn’t want to call it a career before winning a ring.

Dwyane Wade Says Some of What Heat Had to Endure Was ‘Unfair’

As expected, the Miami Heat were the most hated team in the universe this past NBA season.  To their credit, the Heat came two wins away from the ultimate form of silencing the critics.  As the season progressed it appeared as though Miami was embracing the role of the villain.  Dwyane Wade openly stated that his team would not stop celebrating big plays while LeBron James somehow believed karma was out to get the Cavs.

Despite having clearly warmed up to the concept of being the bad guy, D-Wade says a lot of what the Heat had to endure throughout the season was “unfair.”  What he means by that, I have no idea.  However he did say it when ESPN 540 host Steve “The Homer” True asked him about his comments that everyone could be happy now that the Heat lost.  Our friends over at I Am a GM shared the transcript with us via Sports Radio Interviews.

“At that point it was me,” Wade said. “It was unfair some of the stuff that we had to endure but we grew from it. That’s over with. We move on to whenever we play basketball again and we will be a different team.”

You can listen to the audio here. Unfortunately we don’t know what Wade meant because Homer missed a huge follow-up opportunity.  He should have never let D-Wade say what the Heat had to go through was “unfair” without asking him what he means by that.  Was it unfair that Dirk can still beat the Heat when he’s sick as a dog? Yeah, I guess you could argue that.