Around the NBA


Sacramento Kings forward Ron Artest faces four misdemeanor charges stemming from a dispute with his wife at home earlier this month.  The charges were filed late Tuesday.  Placer County Deputy District Attorney Dan Quick said Artest will be arraigned today on charges of battery and corporal injury to a spouse, false imprisonment and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime.  Each carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.


Toronto Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani had an appendectomy and is expected to be released from a hospital in the next few days.  No timetable was set for the return to the court for Bargnani, the No. 1 pick in the draft.  Bargnani is considered one of the top candidates for rookie of the year.


Kobe Bryant denied a published report that he has contacted Texas freshman Kevin Durant.  A column in Tuesday’s Dallas Morning News implied that Bryant spoke with Durant on behalf of Nike to help nudge the 18-year-old star toward the NBA and a lucrative shoe contract.  “I’ve never spoken to him,” Bryant said after practice.  “I’ve never seen him.  Obviously he’s a phenomenal talent.  I’ve watched him play on TV a couple of times.  But I don’t know him at all.”

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