Lakers, and Justin Bieber, Get Their Championship Rings (Pictures)

The Lakers got to celebrate their 16th championship in franchise history with their ring and banner ceremony on Tuesday night. We already told you about the sweet warm up jackets they had on, but what about their sick rings:

Yeah, Justin Bieber somehow managed to slip on Phil Jackson’s ring after Jeannie Buss convinced him. You want details? Fine. I drive a Ferrari, 355 Cabriolet, what’s up? I have a ridiculous house in the South Fork. Wait, wrong movie. Oh yeah, you want details? How about this from the Lakers’ official site:

> Each ring is adorned with a piece of the actual ball used in Game 7 of the Finals
> 16 over-sized round brilliant white diamonds for the franchise’s 16 titles
> Each player is immortalized with a 3D sculpture of their face on their respective rings
> The final score of the Lakers 83-79 Game 7 win is on the side of the ring in scoreboard fashion

What they call rings I call SI’s NBA championship commemorative pack all on your finger. How the heck is someone every supposed to wear something so elaborate? At least Ron Artest should get serious money for his.

Lakers Debut Championship Warm Up Jackets During Ring Ceremony

The Los Angeles Lakers had their championship banner and ring ceremony as their season debut took place on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Each player had a turn with the microphone, said a word, and then passed it along to the next guy. Commissioner David Stern was on hand to present each player with his championship ring, and when they all said a word the team’s banner was unveiled.

The best part of the whole ceremony were the sick warm up jackets the Lakers were wearing. They were special championship jackets that had all 16 banners on the back (one for each LA banner, and one banner for the five earned as the Minneapolis). Check out these badboys that are available at the NBA Store:

The jackets go for $125 but those look to be a must-have if you’re a Lakers fan. Luckily I won’t have to worry about it, but that’s definitely one sweet piece of swag.

Celtics Fans Will Be Sporting Delonte West Masks at Heat Game Tonight

Rather than make a run at the big name free agents this past NBA off-season, the Celtics decided to focus on retaining their own players and bolstering their bench for one last title run with the Big Three.  One of the pieces they brought in to beef up their back court is none other than Delonte West, a former teammate of LeBron James.  Not just any teammate, however.

During last year’s playoffs, there was rampant speculation from Cleveland that West was having an affair with LeBron’s mom.  Some even believe it caused James to lose focus during the Cavs-Celtics series.  I’m sure this isn’t the first you’re hearing of the messed up situation, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Unsurprisingly, Boston fans will be playing the story up when the Heat take the court at the TD Garden tonight for one of the most highly anticipated season openers in the history of professional sports.  Listeners of 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich Show who are going to the game Tuesday night have been encouraged to log on to 985thesportshub.com and print out a Delonte West mask.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a pretty clever joke.  But wouldn’t you think this would distract West more than LeBron?  If you can distract King James even a tiny bit it’s definitely worth it, but I wouldn’t want to be coming into a game off the bench and see thousands of my own face staring at me when I’m trying to play.  Hey, that’s just me.  If Delonte enjoys looking in the mirror, he could be in for a career game.

Dwyane Wade Ditching Flash Nickname

I never thought many people referred to Dwyane Wade as “Flash” even when he was teaming up with Shaq, who gave him the nickname. Over the past few years, it felt like fewer and fewer people called him that. Regardless, Dwyane Wade has announced that he doesn’t want to be referred to by the “Flash” nickname anymore. He explained his decision leading up to the start of the season.

“It’s not me no more,” Wade said. “I’m just going in a different direction. I’ve just been thinking about it a lot, and I just want people to respect me for who I am, and not a character….. I’m moving on. I’m getting older and I’m moving into a different phase of my life.”

Well Dwyane, I never really thought people looked at you as a character anyway, so that’s not exactly something about which you should have worried. Most people respect you as a player and view you as one of the best players in the game. Plus, nicknames are given, not requested. How did that whole thing work out for They Call Me Earl Smith and Adam Jones?

Steve Nash Does Not Think Suns Are a Playoff Team Yet

The Phoenix Suns were one of the surprises of the NBA last season. They got on a role late in the year and became a force in the second half, winning enough games to grab the third spot in the Western Conference. On top of the strong second half during the regular season, the Suns swept the Spurs and made it to the conference finals before losing to the Lakers in six. Channing Frye had a career year, Goran Dragic and Robin Lopez emerged off the bench, Jason Richardson and Grant Hill were both solid, and Amare Stoudemire played like an MVP in the second half. Now that Stat left for the Big Apple in free agency, the Suns will be missing a huge weapon.

The changes have taken their toll on the team according to star point guard Steve Nash, who gave an honest assessment of the Suns on Sunday. “To be honest, if I was outside this picture and a betting man, I would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs considering all the changes and the new guy,” Nash said after the 2-6 preseason showing. The new guy has to be Hedo Turkoglu who was acquired in a trade this off-season.

Turkoglu found his home in Orlando where he became a multi-threat player and fit into Stan Van Gundy’s system, but things were a mess last year in Toronto. In addition to Turkoglu, the squad also signed Josh Childress who spent the past two seasons in Greece. There are many talented teams in the Western Conference, most of whom have more continuity than Phoenix. The Suns will probably battle for one of the final playoff spots in the conference. It’s quite possible they’re left on the outside when the season is over.

Oscar Robertson Backs LeBron James Who Is ‘In a Class by Himself’

It’s nice to finally hear LeBron James getting some support from a Hall of Famer after the beating he took this summer. From Michael Jordan to Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley, LeBron took shots from the media and his fellow legends. Most of it was out of jealousy and a fear of having their legacies outdone by King James. In Barkley’s case, it was out of stupidity considering Charles couldn’t win on his own and went to Houston to chase rings. But getting back to it, ESPN had a few clips from an interview with Oscar Robertson where he praised LeBron. Here’s what he said, courtesy of a transcription from Sporting News:

Is Barkley trying to say that he thinks LeBron is not as good as Michael Jordan? Come on. LeBron is in a class by himself.”

The Big O also offered encouragement to James, whose departure from northeast Ohio caused a lot of hard feelings.

“All this legacy stuff people talk about before he even finishes playing? It’s all TV talk. They talk about you, they burn your jersey … Just grit your teeth and go harder. Just keep going harder. Keep going as hard as you can and wear ‘em out.”

It’s nice to see someone talk about LeBron from a level-headed perspective. The Big O was right on when he says all the legacy stuff is TV talk. If people could look ahead and think about things when James has three or four rings, what criticism will there be then? And as far as talents and skill sets go, LeBron is in a class by himself. Finally, someone looked at the situation fairly.

ESPN Took LeBron ‘Get Over it’ Quote and Sensationalized it

Alright, so we recognize that LeBron James is hated by people since holding his “Decision” show. When he’s not holding ill-conceived shows, he’s doing other things to make people hate him. Still, that doesn’t mean powerful sports networks need to pile on when it’s unnecessary, which is exactly what some people at ESPN did Thursday night.

You may have seen on ESPN’s Web site or heard on their shows or like SportsCenter or read a tweet saying LeBron James told Cleveland fans to “get over it” regarding his decision to leave the Cavs for the Heat. If that’s all you heard, then you would probably think LeBron is a penis. Luckily there are other reporters around to inform us what really happened.

Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post explains the sequence of events: LeBron was asked pregame “if he felt that his Twitter experiment accomplished anything. James said it didn’t. [Skolnick] then followed up with a question asking whether it ever surprised James that people took sports so seriously. While [LeBron] does refer to fans being “betrayed,” the words “Cleveland” or “Cavaliers” were never mentioned.”

ESPN must have recognized the error because the story on their site now more accurately portrays LeBron’s thoughts, using the headline “LeBron sympathetic to fans.” That’s a huge difference from telling Cleveland fans to “get over it.” It’s fitting this sensationalism went down the same week ESPN was upset the way a story about their network telling the Monday Night Football coaches to call timeouts got out of control. Now that’s a little something we like to call Karma at work.