Tuesday Evening Link Dump: Starring LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Jerry Colangelo, Andre Iguodala and Dennis Rodman

Playground ball, lawsuits, continued talk of players going overseas during the lockout. There is some news going on, although most of it's not the funnest, happiest news for NBA fans to hear. It would be pretty cool if Kobe Bryant left the country though, wouldn't it? And, whose judgment do you trust between LeBron James and Andre Iguodala regarding the lockout? How will the lockout effect the 2012 USA Men's Basketball Team? Dennis Rodman even makes an appearance, and he swears he will be on his best behavior.

Rodman will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this Friday night in Springfield, MA, along with nine other inductees, including 1992 Dream Team member Chris Mullin, and Tex Winter, longtime NBA assistant coach and guru of the famed triangle offense. While it might not surprise hardcore basketball fans that Rodman's relentless defense and spectacular rebounding are worthy of induction, Rodman expressed surprise himself.

Via Sporting News

"The way I am, I thought I wouldn’t get in," Rodman told reporters. "Thought they’d say, ‘Dennis, you do too many things off the court that doesn’t represent us, the Hall.’ And I wouldn’t have taken offense. Whatever, OK. I had a great time, had a great career. I didn’t expect them to say, ‘OK, Dennis. We’ll actually consider you in the Hall of Fame.’ OK, cool."

Rodman's obviously an eccentric guy, and was constantly surrounded by controversy in the later years of his career, but his contributions to the game can't be denied. His presenter Friday night will be recently retired former Lakers and Bulls head coach Phil Jackson. Rodman was a player for Jackson on three of Jackson's eleven championship teams.

Jump it for more news from around the basketball world. Update: Earl Clark to play in China.

It's hard to question the passion for the game of NBA players who are taking their talents to city parks and minor leagues across the country. For example, Kevin Durant made quite an impression in New York City.

NBA Players Take Their Game to the Streets 

It seems summer is Durant's designated period for improvement, as just a year ago he was the leader behind Team USA's first gold medal at the FIBA World Championships in 16 years. Instead of squaring off with some of the best the world has to offer, this year he elected to face the best products on the pavement, expanding his game in ways few others would even dare.
 
LeBron James claims to be confident that the NBA lockout won't destroy the season, without giving much reason why he feels that way.
"I'm very passionate about the game of basketball and I've been working toward the upcoming season," he said. "I'm very optimistic about (union leader) Billy Hunter and the owners getting a deal done. I love the game that much, so that's my focus right now. My focus is having a training camp next month at the end of the month and getting ready to go."

The 76ers Andre Iguodala doesn't share LeBron's optimism.

Sixers Iguodala Pessimistic About NBA Lockout

"I didn’t think it would be this bad," Iguodala said, playing in an outing for Stars Within Reach, a foundation that encourages and helps children pursue their dreams. "I thought with the season we had and the TV ratings that we had and this being one of the largest grossing revenue season’s in the history of the game, you would think that we would be able to reach an agreement. But we are so far apart."

Whether you buy the idea of Kobe Bryant playing in Turkey or China during the lockout (I don't), he has made his intentions clear that he wants to play on the 2012 US Men's Olympic team. However, the lockout has thrown the Olympic team's plans into a bit of limbo.

Lockout Not Dimming Future for Team USA at 2012 Games

A year out from the 2012 Olympics, with the lockout in full swing, Jerry Colangelo nonetheless has no doubts that he will find 15 NBA players to put on the red, white and blue. "I haven't even really started reaching out, and I'm feeling calls," he said Friday. "They're calling me. They're calling me to say they're playing."

Truth is, no one -- not even Colangelo, the head of USA Basketball -- knows what the potential impact of the lockout will be on the Summer Games. If the lockout is still ongoing then, there would be any number of logistical and potentially legal nightmares for each.

Former Suns lottery pick Earl Clark has reached agreement to play in China this season. He doesn't have an out clause, so he's committed to playing the full season in China. Am I the only one who thinks he might face some culture shock and communications issues there?

Clark Agrees to Deal to Play in China

Orlando Magic free agent Earl Clark(notes) has reached an agreement on a one-year contract with Zhejiang of the Chinese Basketball Association, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The deal will pay Clark in the “high six figures,” one source said.

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