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Friday, July 3rd, 2009 at 9:30 am  |  101 responses

The L.A. & Artest Experiment

Plus: Helpful tips for the newest Laker.

by Marcel Mutoni

When Ron-Ron got up in Kobe’s grill piece in last season’s NBA Playoffs, most Laker fans couldn’t possibly imagine this maniac joining their squad. What they may not have recalled was that the two players are actually quite friendly with one another (with Artest being something of a Mamba fanboy), and Bryant has wanted Artest on his team for years.

Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers front-office made a bold move yesterday, dramatically altering the team’s identity by bringing in the ultimate wildcard, in a bid to repeat as champs while saving a buck or two. It is a high-risk, potentially high-reward gamble. It can also easily blow up in everyone’s face.

As a Laker fan, I wasn’t initially pleased with the Ariza/Artest swap, but these are the cards we’ve been dealt and so must make do.

But, let’s not kid ourselves. The cons of this move are plentiful: Ron can no longer truly be considered an elite defender (especially when dealing with super-quick wing players); he has a tendency to hog the rock; he will turn 30 this fall; the triangle offense is not easy to master; um, he’s RON FREAKING ARTEST; and did we mention that Pau Gasol was already feeling neglected before his team went out and added another shot-happy player?.

It’s not all bad, news, however. Artest averaged 17 and 5 per night last year, shot 40% from the three-point line, and is one of the League’s most competitive (and intimidating) forces.

This experiment can work. But it will not be easy. Which is why I’m here, to happily provide Ron with some do’s and don’ts as he makes the transition to Lakerdom. So, without further ado…

-This is Kobe Bryant’s team: There will not be any battles for Alpha Dog status on this here squad. This means he’s the only one allowed to deviate from the offense, doing his freelance thing, and occasionally taking horrific shots that make Tex Winter want to eat his clipboard.

-Pau Gasol is the number two man on the team: That means that you will not try to hijack this role. Even though you may come in second in the scoring column some nights, overall, you will happily play the third wheel. Got it? Cool.

(Yao loved playing with you. Make Pau feel the same way.)

-Listen to Phil Jackson: He is a wise man, with a head full of knowledge. He has made a career out of dealing with, ahem, “special” characters. He may be end up becoming the best thing that ever happened to your hoops career, even if he’s only around for one more season. Oh, and if you want to be on his good side, throw Mr. Zen a bone by actually reading whatever book he gives you prior to the start of the season.

-You’re not Dennis Rodman: Dennis was one of the first names mentioned when this deal was announced. Rodman was a force of nature when he joined the Bulls in 1996, a crazy, cross-dressing, hair coloring, rebounding machine that was delivered to us straight from the caves of hell. But here’s the thing. Dennis was way, way more of a headcase than you. You’re infinitely more manageable.

(Kobe and Phil won’t have to reign you in nearly as much as Mike and Phil did with Rodman. They understand that you will say and do wild things from time to time, and may have to serve a suspension or two during the season – just to get it out of your system – but if the last few years have proven anything, is that you’ve *gulp* matured and toned down the crazy.)

-The Triangle Offense is your friend: In essence, this means you will not hoard the ball; you will not mindlessly dribble out the shot clock before hoisting up an unconscionably awful fadeaway three with a defender draped all over you; you will swing the ball, make your cuts, and look for the open man. Shave little triangles into your hair if you have to, I don’t care.

-Don’t try to “hoodalize” (a word you invented on SportsCenter last night) Sasha Vujacic or any of your streetcred-free teammates: they’re fine the way they are. Leave them alone.

-Lamar Odom is also from Queens: This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can have neighborhood friends over for barbecues during the season.

-Don’t let L.A. get in your head: We know you love the city and the limelight, its action and manic energy. Don’t allow these things to get in the way of the ultimate goal. Become a winner in that town, and you’ll own it. This is the not-so-secret formula.

-There’s no need for you to “play” the role of enforcer: Guys around the L are already shook whenever you step on the floor, so just be yourself. Sure, go ahead and take the hard foul during a blowout just to let the other team know that it is not a game, but never let it get out of hand. You weren’t brought in to intimidate the opposition; that’s gonna happen organically. Just be you.

-Again, this time with feeling, the Triangle Offense is your friend: Treat her with respect. I can’t stress this enough, Ronnie.

Follow the above, and you should be fine. Laker fans will love you for your toughness, because you are fearless, and even though you come with baggage (and the potential to add some), you’re a hell of a ballplayer.

And in the end, that’s all that should matter. Here’s a golden opportunity for you to prove just that.

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  • http://slamonline.com Tzvi Twersky

    I’ve seen, and been on record, as saying this move would occur since the end of the rox-lak series.

  • #6marjon

    first!

  • #6marjon

    ron should be ok here, you made good points as long as he doesn’t over dribble he’ll have no trouble fitting in not with the zen master still kicking it

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    I actually think his defense suffered only because he had to be a go to guy on offense now that he’s at best third on the totem pole I think the lakers could have the best perimeter defense in the leauge.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    This also means kobe doesn’t have to expend as much energy on defense which will make him fresher on offense and later in the season. I like this move I think its stronger than the cavs getting shaq really.

  • Eric

    If Phil Jackson can handle Rodman he can manage Artest.

  • melvin

    I think the lakers are powerhoused with the addition of artest in the team. He brings toughness more than Ariza can give. He’s a tuogh guy…surely the 1st five will be Bryant, odom, Gasol, Artest, and fisher.. with Bynum as a good back up Center/Forward…with Farmar as back up Point guard … its a super team….

  • http://mynameinblue.blogspot.com Hisham

    The Lakers are making it harder for me to not like them. But not impossible! So I still don’t like them. Although I do like Odom and Artest. And Ariza, but he’s gone, so hey…

  • Aaron

    Kobe, Paul, Bynum, Odom, Ron thats the order…yes Bynum will come back and be a lot better. Ron consider yourself Rick Fox. If he does not mesh well look to the bench where either fustration will make him part of the team, or just a blow up what will it be is the question!

  • John

    Excellent article

  • http://mlephil.wordpress.com Joe P

    The dynamics of the move look good. I expect Artest to have plenty of motivation to make Plaschke and Dwyer eat their words.

  • http://five27.com OdotJdot

    um, dear writer…. its reported that Ron and Lamar are best friends.

    its ALREADY a problem LOL!!!!

    all i know is… first person that fouls kobe too hard is getting “enforced” on lol

    im happy to see ron artest in LA… too bad trevor had to go though…

  • http://www.hoopsmanifesto.blogspot.com Jeff Fox

    Ron should be fine. Having him as the go-to offensive guys is when you are in trouble – his shot selection is ridiculous. Still, if I was LA I don’t think I’d trade Ariza for him straight up.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Bryan, does Ron really change anything to the Lakers’ D? Ariza was already taking care of the perimeter threats like Turk in the Finals. Objectively, Shaq’s acquisition by Cleveland has a bigger impact because nothing was taken off their proverbial table. On the other hand for LA, Ron is coming, but Ariza left.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Like Jeff said, if they were not FAs and Rockets had called LA to do an Artest-Ariza swap… Mitch would have prolly hung up on him.

  • Khalid Salaam

    an interesting, potentially blockbuster move. it could fall apart….but probably won’t. lakers are trying to repeat for real

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Aaron is a moron quite obviously.
    Marcel that was actually kind of funny, you’re trying to treat him as a child though. Ron understood his situation coming into Houston last year – why would this be any different?
    Jeff, although you can legitimately claim that Ron’s shot selection is terrible, without his presence on the court, the Rockets wouldn’t have been in the position to compete for a win in most games. (I also recognise that you meant in general play – not just the last few minutes of the 4th quarter).

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    it depends on what falling apart means. oh, they will be at the very least a 2nd seed in the west in the most disastrous scenario possible. is something else than a ‘ship a failure? i don’t think they’re more of a lock to repeat with (essentially) an artest-ariza trade.

  • Khalid Salaam

    one more thing. its always a business—so the next time any of you complain about a player wanting what you consider too much money or complain about a player not playing D or a player not hustling enough etc, please consider Ariza. Lets be honest, after kobe and pau, one could make an argument that the most essential Laker during their championship run was trevor ariza. great perimeter d, hit enough shots to keep other teams honest and clutch plays galore. Seemingly the way the lakers treated him was pretty crappy. they don’t win that ring withouth him. yes artest has more upside but he also has way more downside. at least with ariza you knew what you were gonna get. like i said a very interesting move on the lakers part.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Khalid, they said the same thing about Houston last year. And, uh, not to nitpick, but isn’t that the aim of most teams that win a championhip? Haha.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    I was referring to your first comment btw.
    And I agree with your second.
    Of course, none of this would be possible without the great BRIAN COOK. That man has single-handedly made all of last years trades possible because of him being traded from Orlando to LA 2 years ago. Then he went to Houston for Skip, who went to NJ for Vince etc etc. Cyclical nature of things blah blah blah.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    i didnt really understand your comment, hursty.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Z the difference in my opinion is that you can actually count on ron to carry the offense for a stretch if all else fails. And he can muscle people a lot better, ariza had success but he didn’t have to guard bron . Lebron eats everyone up but I bet everyone would rather him have to face artest than ariza.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    *To Orlando.
    Z – I dunno whether you saw my 11.30 comment as it came in the same time as yours did, hope that clears things up.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    TEST ** LET ME POST!
    Z I hope my 11.30 comment clears things up.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Hursty, I’m on it. Comments are still going to the spam filter (not that you’re the only one, of course!). Unfortunately, no one here has much idea how and why it’s happening.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Oh, NOW I can post…..wtf.
    Oh, building on Bryans comment, Bron had that stinker of a game in Houston against Ron (and Shane), the no assist night one. Cavaliers got smashed by 40 too.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    If you’re the lakers that is.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Hey, at least I’m not commenting as someone else Ryne! You guys will figure it out in due time. No sweat.

  • Bmore-Mike

    The Houston Rockets have answered the defection of Ron Artest to the Los Angeles Lakers by quickly reaching an agreement to sign Trevor Ariza away from L.A.

    NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com that Ariza made a verbal commitment Tuesday night to sign a five-year deal with the Rockets on Wednesday — the first day free agents are permitted to sign new contracts — not long after the Lakers and Artest reached terms on a three-year deal worth an estimated $18 million.

    ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan reports that Ariza, according to sources, will receive the Rockets’ full mid-level exception, which is being projected to come in at $5.8 million for next season. If the exception for the 2009-10 season is indeed set at $5.8 million Wednesday when the league announces next season’s salary cap and luxury tax, Ariza’s deal would be worth $33.5 million.

    The Rockets shifted their focus away from Orlando Magic restricted free agent Marcin Gortat on Thursday when it became clear that Gortat was on the verge of reaching terms with the Dallas Mavericks and when it became known leaguewide that Ariza was determined to leave his hometown Lakers — in spite of his vital contributions to L.A.’s championship run — because they were unwilling to start his new contract higher than the mid-level exception.

    Rockets general manager Daryl Morey immediately flew to Las Vegas to recruit Ariza face-to-face and convinced him to join the Rockets over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had strong interest in both Ariza and Artest and must now keep searching for a small forward on the open market such as Linas Kleiza or Anthony Parker.

    The Lakers effectively declared that they preferred to have Artest — older, physical, more versatile but also famously unpredictable — at a lower price than the 6-foot-8 Ariza, who reached new levels of reliability as a defender, shooter and glue guy in the postseason. Ariza shot 49.7 percent from the field and 47.6 percent on 3-pointers in the postseason in 31.4 minutes per game, after averaging just 24.4 minutes per game during the regular season.

    Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    Khalid:

    I understand what you’re saying about it being a business; sure, a player has the right to demand as much money as he can get. But what does playing D or not hustling have to do with it?

  • Izzo

    Ariza is infinitely replaceable,well done to the Lakers for not taking on a ill advised contract.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    Ron can no longer truly be considered an elite defender “, why not, hes still the best non center defender in the league.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    Tarzan:

    I see your Ron and raise you a Battier.

  • thewize

    Practice should be fun kobe v ron everyday!

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Co sign izzo. Ariza is a good player and is gonna get better the question is how much better?

  • Statik

    Ariza hustled, played strong D mostly against the other teams best players, rebounded, and most of all was humble enough to know his role and work within that role, and his minutes went up as well as the confidence his team had in him. Then he asks for more money and they essentially say we want you, but not that bad. Then you got other (i.e. Boozer) who think they should be paid big and really aren’t as good as they themselves think they are. Hope Trevor finds what he’s looking for, but the Lakers didn’t aggressively pursue him as they said they were, greedy or not

  • Krishan

    Ariza is a rock. I agree with Khalid 100%. It’s sentimental, but that Orl game 4 was a forgone conclusion hadn’t Tre magically grew humongous balls and decided to score 9 straight points in the 3rd. Him leaving, whatever the circumstances, is bad anyway you cut it. I’m not going to go into a stat-game-analysis thing here to justify the “upgrade”, because anyone with a single unit basketball sense knows it, and honestly it’s exhausting. Ariza was clutch; he won us ballgames in the playoffs; him leaving and being replaced by Artest, right now, in the off season, is disconcerting. It would have been tons better if he stayed. Good luck, Tre.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Marcel, you’re being really negative on acquiring Ron Freaking Artest, who, all-around is a better player than Trevor Ariza at this point. Artest is still All-Star caliber.
    Co-sign Tarzan, Ron is still the best non-center defender, but I’d say Battier too. Him and Battier are 2 equally elite defenders, but in different ways. Battier is quicker, but Ron’s got the strength.

  • JoNaBo

    For some reason I fear that Ron Ron may catch a DUI. Don’t drink and drive in LA Ron.

  • tavoris

    lol @ Tariq….good one.

  • Bmore-Mike

    Now I’m going to tell you why I think it’s brilliant: Now, basically every key Laker but Derek Fisher is big, strong and effective in the post. That might not seem like a big deal, but it’s really throwing down the gauntlet to opponents. The NBA has a lot of players who really don’t want to be isolated on defense in the post (choosing from likely playoff opponents, think about the likes of Carmelo Anthony, say, or Rudy Fernandez — also consider the Rockets played Aaron Brooks and Carl Landry together). But it will always be a threat, and the hard-cutting Lakers work well as a team to make opponents pay for doubling the post. Keeping Kobe Bryant in peak form is the most important thing for the Lakers. Artest can guard anyone Bryant can guard, meaning the Lakers will have constant opportunities to protect Bryant from wear and tear. As Hollinger points out, the Lakers have some opponents of note (Anthony and Brandon Roy come to mind) against whom Artest is a very effective defender. He can also spend some time trying to harness some of the point guards who give Derek Fisher trouble. Plenty of NBA players seem to follow a trend of being young and crazy when they’re new to the league — just the money itself is thrill enough. Some never leave that mode. But more than a few times, we have seen players age into really caring about winning. No one wants to be remembered as a loser. Ron Artest has not won a ring. Now is his time to prove he can. No, he won’t be in a contract year, but he’ll have plenty to prove. Thorpe makes a great point about Phil Jackson having to expend a lot of energy. But watching “Kobe Doin’ Work” convinced me (even if that wasn’t a typical game, with the cameras and all) that Kobe Bryant has ascended to some other level of team control. If Artest is jacking shots, isn’t he going to hear about it from Bryant first? And isn’t Bryant the kind of guy who would have credibility with Artest? Ron Artest was at his worst two years ago in Sacramento. He was not, as Larry Brown would say, playing the right way. He broke plays to go one-on-one. He appeared to be using his full complement of defensive skills on only a fraction of plays. He felt bad for missing jumpers (something he has never been amazing at) and then grew determined to get the points back for his team by … forcing more jumpers. But despite all that, even with the Kings he was one of the best and most productive players on the roster — as he has been throughout his career. The lesson, to me, is that Artest has something in common with LeBron James besides build. James is way better, of course, but both have strengths that overwhelm notable flaws. (I think of them as the “You get what you get, and you don’t get upset” players.) The conditions could not be more favorable now. A championship on the line, a team with powerful leaders and a legacy to be built. Purple and gold, I suspect, is going to look very good on Ron Artest.

  • niQ

    2 guys from Queens huh? I guess it only makes sense to add Skip to my Lou to the picture :P

  • niQ

    2 guys from Queens? you might as well add Skip to my Lou to the picture!

  • niQ

    sorry for double post.

  • Exile

    “shave little triangles into your hair if you have to… I don’t care”

    One of the four lines that made me LMAO. Nice article. For the record, I think Ron will make that Laker squad pop. I just hope Sheed signs with SA now. Wait out on that series.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Kobe said that after the Lakers lost game six of the ’08 NBA Finals in Boston by 39 points, he was alone in the shower, just fuming. He heard somebody walk in and assumed it was one of his teammates, or maybe a staff member. Instead, he looked up, and it was Ron Artest (to this day, Kobe has no idea how Artest got into the locker room).

    “I want to come help you,” Artest said. “If I can, I’m going to find a way to come to LA and give you the help you need to win a title.”

  • Mr.2012

    @RV: wow that was super gay bro.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    oh i didnt make it up lol…it was written, i think on cbs sports, it was an old article..

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    and i think some fans forget Ron actually looks up to Kobe, on the court he tries to go at him, off the court he’s looking up at him….all that stuff from the playoffs was overhyped..

  • Pingback: Some sound advice for Ron Artest… « Life of a Gaander

  • niQ

    wow rv. that was mad homo.

  • Stan

    i think this is an upgrade for the Lakers. As good as Ariza was with the 3-pointers, it was all because of bryant and Gasol commanding double teams all the time. He will not see a lot of open shots in Houston especially with Yao out for the season. Artest can create his own shots and has superior post moves. Both have superior defense but Artest is more intimidating.

  • http://www.sonicbids.com/shaemorin doyouwantmore

    Phil Jackson wishes he would have retired.

  • useralreadyon

    reading this I can remeber why I hate the Lakers as well as their fans…

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ NICK KALATHES

    ATTENTON-ATTENTION!!!!There is a small chance(11.4% according to my theory) that july 3rd of 2009 marks the turning point to the recent history of this league and the legacy of Kobe and Lebron. I will expain. First: the 3 big “IF’s”: Lakers sign Odom (95%), everybody stays healthy for the next 3 years(40%), and there is no mysterious league-directed deal (like the Gasol one) to bail out Lebron and save the interest of the fans(30). IF all of the above happen (according to the basic propabillity theory this has a 11.4% if my aasigned percentages for all the 3 IF’s are somehow correct) then: 1) Kobe takes 2 more rings at the next 3 years and becomes the guy that leads the Lakers to a historic tie with the Celtics, equals M.J and surpasses all the other greats in rings and has all the typical requirments (rings,stats) to get serious consideration for greatest of all time status (which is rediculous but ,in a number-crazed society, this is exactly how it happens) 2)Lebron gets at 28 years old having won (maximum) one ring. Having in mind that his athletic prime is propably up to 30 years old(as Kobe,Garnett,Jermaine and all the other guys that entered in the league so young have proved) and since he relies on being a freak of nature more than what Kobe ever did (he doesn’t have the complete offensive game and great outside shooting to dominate even when his “Shawn Kemp like” powers fade like Kobe does) at 30 years old he has propably no time left to get 4 more rings,especially if he makes the stupidity to move to New York or New Jersey and misses 2 more years to get accustomed to his new team(which is quite possible having in mind his greedy-money starving character). ONCE AGAIN: it has actually only a 11.4% of happening but ,if somebody ain’t crazy with maths,he can look at the 3 IF’s and think that they are all quite possible.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    Congratulations, Nick Kalathes, you have just posted the stupidest thing I have ever read on this site. And by posting something so long, you get bonus points. I thought the likelihood of something like this happening was only, what, %9 or something.

  • Krishan

    Holy sh!t nick, I sooo want to frame that gem of a post you just made. And then burn in to cinders.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ NICK KALATHES

    @Tariq….:since I was the one that gave it a try you SHOULD knew ,darling, that “the likelihood of something like this happening” was actually much-much more than 9%….by the way,you use Tariq to honor the great Olivier Michael Saint-Jean?

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Like the rules for Artest, but he will be fine, Kobe and Phil will have him working right, plus Artest will get some games, where the Lakers are winning big, Kobe’s out the game, and Artest can jack some shots up. LA-REPEAT!!!

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    Nick:
    No, I use it to honor my parents, who named me.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ NICK KALATHES

    @Tariq…:great, that makes you instantly a better kid than Olivier( he dishonored his parents by changing his to Tariq…)!!! Funny how the same word (Tariq) can be the source of honor but also dishonor….

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    Yes, that is funny. Other things that can be sources of honor but also dishonor: report cards and cucumbers.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    LMFAO^

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    co-sign Brad above me!

  • http://slamonline.com s.e.a.n

    Tariq made my day.

  • Krishan

    Will it be too much too ask if this topic veered to another tangent, i.e. discussing the honorable and dishonorable aspects of cucumbers? Please expound, Tariq. Expound and make my day.

  • shabaz

    i know LA got stronger with artest.look at the denver series la fouled carmelo too much since there was no one strong enough to guard him.samething last year against paul pierce. The strength a power he brings is inimaginable. Against houston yes ron did not put good numbers but he sure as hell commanded a double team and go la in trouble.

    Post season is all about a half court game, this is where ron will have the biggest contribution.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    All I wanna do is bang Shook Ones pt2 right now. LA LA just got a whole lot more gangster.

  • http://nba.com Reflex

    Trevor Ariza’s agent is an idiot, traded a champ team for what is looking like a lottery team for more money which you didn’t get – stupid, stupid, stupid. Biggest downgrade ever. This deal ‘could’ be amazing for LA but I can’t help feeling sorry for Ariza in all this. He should fire his agent if he has any sense. As good as he played in the playoffs (and we can all agree he was pretty good) 9pts 4rbs does not warrant $10m a year, the mid level exception was where he was at, and if could then go 16 & 8 or something similar then he could have asked for the $9m/$10m he wanted but whatever, it is what it is, booooooo! to David Lee, worst agent ever.

  • http://nba.com Reflex

    p.s LA just stopped being soft

  • engel

    why the hell does this page have a scientology ad on the right??

  • sush carter

    tariq is a beast

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    How cucumbers can be a source of honor is quite obvious: They are a source of vitamins, and vitamins give one the strength to battle. Battle give one honor.

    As for how cucumbers give one dishonor…that, my friends, is a loaded question. All I can say is this: Use your imaginations.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ NICK KALATHES

    @Tariq….:solid work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sesa-Opas/738856357 Sesa

    Tariq: Very funny.
    Do y’all know that David Lee is also Bynum’s agent?

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    The Lakers could quite possibly have 4 players in the All-Star game next year…and three of them might be starting!

  • Don

    I can’t wait for RON to destroy LA. He came to LA because he loves the rockets so much and he agreed to work as an undercover player for HOUSTON. YEah!!!

  • Pingback: Weekly link roundup (7/3/09) | Sasha Vujacic Official Site

  • http://ballislife.com Moose

    Don’t get ahead of yourself, Mr. Long.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ B. Long: You’re absolutely right. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, and Sun Yue. Sun Yue is a lock for starter. That’s freakin awesome, actually, haha I’d like to see how David Stern would react to a situation like that.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    On the real though, Sun Yue should get some more minutes next season to let him prove himself. I’m pretty sure he’s better than Adam Morrison and I’m pretty sure he can’t be worse than Sasha was in the playoffs.

  • karen

    Perfect thats all he needs to be loved here in LA LA land.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dani

    Sasha should get more minutes. Seriously he should. I’m not sure if Artest is right for the Lakers. Idk I guess we wait and see. I really hope Sasha gets more minutes 2009-10 season. He should stay in Los Angeles. I’m getting pretty worried about my boy.

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    i love basketball and i love to trap(animals) and I’m telling you if i wanted rabbits to live forever i would mass kill lynx and bobcat, but if i could just take those predators out of the equation i would try. Artest as old as everyone thinks is still a predator but to make his game more predator like and less defense orientated is a brilliant move. Now Artest can get ready for whoever. No more gonzaga shooters riding the pine on my playoff team.

  • GroverSt10

    No swingman from the opposition (apart from the King) is gunna hav a fun time playing against the lake show. Kobe & Ron are going to be a defensive force

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sesa-Opas/738856357 Sesa

    Chief: Speaking about certain Gonzaga shooters, it was Luke Walton that destroyed Morisson career by blewing by him. If you still remembered

  • Danny W UK

    Rodman is way, way less of a headcase than Ron Ron. Don’t get me wrong, I love the trade, and I’m sure Jax will get it to work. But for me, Rodman played the role of a Madman, like his whole Madonna thing. Ron Ron is a madman, he would stalk Madonna, beat her in an alley and drag her home.

  • http://Egotastic.com Michael

    The Lakers should trade Bynum for Kirk Hinrich and either Joakim noah or Tyrus Thomas.

  • MagicChicken

    Marcel, or anyone else from Laker land … FEELING YOU!

    Anyone wanna guess how long it’ll take for Vick-the-Brick to corner Artest and talk to him about the heart of a true warrior?

    My guess is that VTB is going to be mixing Odom and Artests love sessions all year long!

  • http://sportzin.com Joey E.

    it’s gonna work. Artest wasnt traded to L.A., he chose to be there on his own. he took less money for goodness sake. he wants to be there. he knows what he’s getting in to. he’s so dedicated guys. i’ve seen him work out. he’ll be fine. he wants to win

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dani

    Hopely Artest won’t take away my boy Sasha’s minutes away from him.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    “Shave little triangles into your hair if you have to, I don’t care” Great line. Oh and at this point the one we should be most worried about is the Phil – will his health hold up with these two major headcases at this point in his life. Good luck.

  • Wendy

    The comparison to Rodman is tempting but misled. Rodman was only a nutcase off the course. On the course, he was a willing roleplayer.

    Ron-ron is (as a rocketsfan I can testify) a wannabe offensive all-star that can make you head your head on the wall.

    Anyway, good luck Ron-ron, I will always remember your smile coming out off the crowd on that game 5 against Portland, and how you made Yao laugh so hard.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE |

  • Mike24

    I think this is a great move. What Ron can do that Trev couldnt is give the Lakers a go to man with the second team. He can come off the dribble, shoot the three at a higher % and he can post up. He adds strength, yes we lose youth but we have 3 years to find a future replacement. No knock to Trev because I was hoping we got got him when we did. (Sometimes I feel me and Mitch are on the same page) Wit Gasol, Ariza, Shannon Brown. I loved that pic up. Brown brings a little more size than Farmer and quickness. If he improves on his jump shot the Lakers will control the league.

  • IllWill21

    Dutch Rich… good call son… better yet… LA LA from CNN…. cause we coming from queens to get get get down!

  • DR Len

    I agree with almost everything you wrote.
    Phil, Kobe, Fish and Lamar will let Ron know
    whats expected of him and he will be able to
    play at full speed and not more then 30 minutes a
    game.

  • Jay-G

    Ron will be ok in LA, but one favor from Ron; PLEASE STOP RAPPING!!!!! I love your effort, but man you are awful.

  • eds

    La’s acquiring Artest is clearly a preparation against a finals showdown with the King. Artest brings about the intimidation of a voracious gorilla gone berserk. Pretty much like the unmistakable aura of this guy sitting next beside me: SCARY! That said the lakers, will join the Celtics in the Defensive feast of the gods. I’m thinking like allowing opposing teams just 88 to 95 pts/game with 35% shooting. Defensively the Green plattoon will lead the league in defense and breathing at thier necks are the pistons, and lakers. Offensively the lakers will stay hot with kobe and the rest of the shooting dwarfs. If Ron Freaking Artest, which i think is mature enough to accept his role, does not sway from the Zen’s script then it will be a helluva lot of fun next season.

    LA in the Finals for the third straight season. The odds are not that high.

  • http://slam nyjoe

    Artest is just not proven. How do you exchange an up and coming 24 year old who has proven himself to handle pressure in the playoffs for a guy who’s going to single handedly dismantle this team. Thanks Lakers!

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