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Clipper Fan Darrell Will Sleep Outside Staples Center in Protest of NBA Lockout

Clipper Darrell is one of the most notable fans in the NBA. You may recognize him from his custom made Clippers car or his custom made Clippers suit. He’s such a dedicated, enthusiastic fan that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban once met with him and tried to hire him to work for Dallas. Darrell didn’t bite.

But Darrell’s not just a goofy guy with a suit; he’s a pioneer. He led a rally hoping to convince LeBron James to sign with the Clippers as a free agent, and he protested the team last season after their poor start. Now he’s organizing a sleepover at Staples Center to protest the NBA lockout.

Clipper Darrell first mentioned the sleepover protest on his twitter account August 16th. “I WANT BASKETBALL BACK!! The LA Clippers finally get a superstar & now it’s an NBA lockout. I WILL SLEEP @STAPLES starting OCT.1 ..are u in?” Clipper Darrell wrote. He’s been running a countdown to the sleepover, mentioning it every few days. He’s even trying to recruit other people to join him “All NBA fans arena & restaurant employees camera people & anybody else this affects on Oct 1 protest lockout sleep over Staples Center.”

Darrell says he won’t leave Staples Center until the lockout ends but I don’t buy it. What he doesn’t realize is that this is going to go on through at least the end of the year. No way he goes Ghandi on everyone and remains at Staples for months — it’s just not going to happen.

Darrell talked a big game when he said he was protesting the Clippers but he only lasted one half. Also, his efforts (much like his recruitment of LeBron) are misguided. Sleeping out at Staples Center won’t change the labor situation; it’s just a waste of time. But it’s funny watching Darrell trying to rally the troops.

LeBron James to Join Carmelo Anthony vs. Kevin Durant in Baltimore Exhibition

While players like Kevin Durant, Brandon Jennings, and Kobe Bryant have been active playing in summer leagues the last several weeks, LeBron James has been quiet. He did go on tour in Asia (and got embarrassed by a Taiwanese player), but until now we haven’t heard much about him playing in rec leagues. The Washington Post says LeBron will play for Carmelo Anthony’s team in a Melo League vs. Goodman League all-star exhibition Tuesday.

LeBron, Melo, and Chris Paul will highlight the Melo League team while Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, DeMarcus Cousins and Brandon Jennings will represent the Goodman League team. Goodman League commissioner Miles Rawls says he plans to bring Ater Majok and Arinze Onuaku as well. Donte Greene, Gary Neal, Josh Selby, Eric Bledsoe have also committed to the Melo League team.

The game was initially scheduled to take place Sunday but was postponed until Tuesday because of Hurricane Irene. They still need to decide on a venue, but it should be a fun game. Oh yeah, and feel free to resume the “Chris Paul to the Knicks” talk. It seems like the two flirt with each other every summer.

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.