Ron Artest Will Be A Laker

Kurt —  July 2, 2009

Things are about to get even more interesting for the Lakers.

Ron Artest will be a Laker come July 8 (nothing can be finalized until then, just as a caution). And he comes at a very good price — three years of the mid-level exception. Or three for essentially $18 million. Although some suggest it will be the full five years ($32 mil). That is basically what Trevor Ariza would have cost. (Ariza apparently has an offer from Houston.)

This is the definition of a high risk, high reward move. I’ve got a lot of thoughts.

• I have led the “No on Artest” camp in these parts, but now to me the question is can a combination of Kobe and Phil Jackson keep him playing within his role. As has been said, the question is not “could” he fit in the triangle offense but “would” he. I have serious concerns here, but if he just plays balls out defense, intimidates a little, hits threes (in the rhythm of the offense) and posts guys up when mismatched, we will be fine. The question is will he just do that?

• If Phil Jackson can keep him in line, great. What about the next coach?

• He gives us another guy that can post up — Bynum, Gasol, Kobe, Artest, Odom are all big guys who can post up smaller guys, a tough matchup.

• Artest will be great as a perimeter defender on twos and threes. But the Lakers at times used Ariza on PGs, Artest is not that quick. This puts more pressure on Fisher, Farmar and (if they sign him) Brown to be stoppers.

• He can shoot the three — 40% this season, 38% last season. And he will get a lot more open looks now (if he plays within the system).

• I dare you to call the Lakers soft now.

• That is one thing that Artest brings — intimidation. Not just physically, but because you just don’t know what he is going to do at any given moment, and that is scary. And can win you games.

• Will Kobe and Artest have a “who can get the most technicals” competition next season?

• Every game we will get to ask: What has Ron-Ron carved into his hair tonight?

• Does anyone else have the feeling part of the Lakers looking at Artest was not wanting to deal with the public negotiations of Ariza agent David Lee? They put up with him in the Bynum case because there were no other options — young guys with Bynum’s potential are rare. But quality swingmen who want to be on a contender are more common. Lee tried to get the most for his client, but he negotiates in a very public way and the Lakers are a very private team (in terms of front office dealings).

• I feel bad for Ariza — although I’m not sure if he feels bad. I get that this was his first big kick at the can and he wanted to get paid. But once Portland signs Hedo, the only team that can offer him more than the MLE is Toronto, and they’d have to waive the rights to Marion to do it. The market is set for Ariza, and he may even have trouble getting the full MLE now as teams don’t think they have competition. And he has to leave LA, his hometown. I’m not sure how he feels, but a part of him has to be sad. And I feel for him, we really grew to love him as a player.

331 responses to Ron Artest Will Be A Laker

  1. 198 +1

    I actually think he might be good with the second unit with LO. Lamar can be the initiator while Artest can help being the bail out guy for the Bench Mob. It’s a semi green light to shoot and be “the man” to help his ego. And if he gets out of control, then bring the 1st unit in and go from there.


  2. To echo’s Kurt’s point, I’m thinking this from the most optimistic perspective. As I said before, when the offense goes through him, the other team comes out the winner. The Laker fan in me hopes that he plays within the system, try not to be the hero, and knows that his role is to be the primary defender. I really wished the Lakers re-signed Ariza but he gotz to do what he gotz to do.


  3. Very sad to see Ariza go – he reminded me of my former favorite Laker, Eddie Jones. I am not as sad to see him go as I was with Eddie, though, especially since we’re getting Artest.


  4. the only good news for Trevor is that there is no state tax in texas. So, he’ll be making a little more than had he accepted the lakers MLE. Congratulations David Lee. You made your client a few more bucks. Idiot. I bet Trevor is sad as hell and Lee will not be representing TA in five years when it’s time to sign his next deal. Lee’s only clients are bynum and Trevor (and hassan Adams and a few international guys). Good work Lee. These are your last two clients ever.


  5. I will add, the more I think about this, the more I think it could work. I never meant to sound like every night would be a disaster, but I have concerns he could cost us close games. But he also could earn us a few more blowouts in games that would have been close. He is another matchup nightmare.

    The concern I find myself with more — making sure Pau gets his touches. And more of them. The offense flows so very well when he gets touches and, although Artest is not a ball handler, I don’t want to have to feed him at the expense of Gasol. Because Gasol is far more efficient.


  6. Kurt, I don’t think Kaveh was antagonizing you quite as much as you think he was. His points about the media’s inflation of Ron-Ron’s bad side were salient and shouldn’t be brushed off. I’m not arguing either side here. We’re all Lakers fans. But you misrepresented Kaveh’s original post as an attack on “the regulars” — and that’s not at all what he was trying to accomplish. He was simply putting out a pro-Ron argument, shedding light on the subject from a new angle — the media angle — that I thought was quite insightful. Your response was to turn around and say “You’re new here” and ignore most of what he wrote so you could paint his post as an attack. Let’s not get at each other’s throats here. Let’s have a reasoned discussion, and try not to make things personal and start talking about motives. Then again, it’s your website. You can treat your readers however you choose.


  7. Stephen,

    Appreciate the info, but I have to say, I would take Brooks over Alston any day of the week. I’m not saying Ron won’t cause any headaches…but every player does…heck, anybody remember the summer of 08 with Kobe giving every Laker fan a migraine? I just think the idea that he will be a cancer to the locker room is invalid. No coach insights more respect than Phil Jackson. Players respect rings, always have and always will. Players respect other players with rings…not to mention multiple rings.

    No one can predict the future, maybe he’ll end up kicking Jack Nicholson in the nuts, but I do believe the atmosphere within the Laker Organization seems to be perfectly suited to player like Ron Artest…and his skill set cannot be denied. Defensively, we just took step up…and as we all know (and just witnessed), that brings the rings home.


  8. One way to think about it: what would the other contenders have preferred the Lakers to do? Keep Ariza or acquire Artest? I think they would have much preferred that the Lakers had signed Ariza. I’ve spoken to a few of my friends tonight who are fans of other teams and they’re basically despondent. They assume 2010 is a forgone conclusion. I understand the argument about the Lakers system and Artest’s role on previous teams; nevertheless, I think to compare Artest to Ariza is actually disrespectful to Artest. Ariza had a fabulous run this year, no doubt about it, but that’s one year– just one. Artest has been a first-rate NBA player for several years now and is in the prime of his career. Mark my words: only injury will stop the Lakers now.


  9. I think it’s pretty impressive that both teams from the NBA finals appear to have added guys that are not known as great on-court teammates.

    I’m not thrilled about the Lakers taking this chance, both because Artest is a wildcard and because I felt like Ariza was more of “our guy”. Artest really wants to play here, and that’s worth a lot, but it definitely increases the risk if things start to go badly.
    On the other hand, we said at the start of all this that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we lost both Ariza and Odom; this team will be fine even if we can’t trust Artest to play in crunch time.

    To put it another way, I was never a fan of the 2004 all-star club, but I’m hoping that Artest brings more of Karl Malone’s effort to the table and less of Gary Payton’s ego.


  10. Hard to imagine an agent stupid enough to think that the Lakers were gonna offer more than the MLE when they had to sign Odom as well.

    Maybe Lee thought it was a bluff, all that talk Mitch gave to the media that he won’t overpay regardless of how much money the team has.

    But I really hope it was Lee that screwed this up for Ariza, just so there isn’t any vitriol from Ariza’s side. He was like Kobe’s little brother in many ways, and I did hope (although not realistically) that he’d continue to develop and become that Pippen-esque wingman for Kobe.

    On some awkward level, however, this is weirdly funny in some way. We were responsible for a great deal of shuffling after we landed Pau that saw many teams break up their competent cores, and now after our championship, we have yet again set off league-wide change… and topped it without paying any more than necessary.


  11. I have a feeling the Lakers called his bluff in preparation for a few years down the line when Bynum is a free agent and we have to deal with his antics again.

    Sorta sad, but the Lakers can definitely make it work with Artest; his abilities are still high enough for the Lakers to start looking for an athletic 3 for the future when Ron-Ron’s contract is up.


  12. MarlonBrando

    well said. +1

    Has anyone heard or seen KB’s (or any other Laker’s) comments regarding Artest’s acquisition?


  13. This could be the best defensive team ever. If Bynum comes back healthy and is a beast in the middle, Kobe and Artest locking down the perimeter, and Pau and Odom taking care of the rest and pulling down rebs. Where is the weakness? Fisher, he won’t have to play major min. and can be the bulldog he has been in the past, and knock a few more players on their ASSSSSSS!!!


  14. I think, like Kurt, I was on the anti-Artest side. And now, with it being inevitable I am trying to find the positives.

    1. He is good friends with LO, so maybe it helps us to keep Lamar.
    2. Matchups. I think Roy, Carmelo, Manu, Pierce, Vince, LeBron, et all are wishing it was still Ariza in Purple and Gold.
    3. Better career three-point shooter (I just hopes he likes spot-up threes).
    4. By all accounts, Kobe and Artest are two of the hardest working guys in the L. Everyone else needs to fall in line.
    5. Artest has never played with offensive talents like Kobe and Pau, or a system like the Triangle. Maybe he will surprise us all with his range of offensive skill.
    6. Lots of great post-game quotes.
    7. LA has a history of embracing eccentrics. Hopefully he will feel loved and appreciated without needing 20 shots a game.

    Overall, I fear that beautiful offensive game we came to love may be gone (or just waiting to Luke to get off the pine). But there is no doubt this team is far more physically intimidating. So I think its most likely a wash, with a wide range of how this will play out.


  15. Artest already towing the company line…

    “How do you fit in with what the Lakers do on the court?”

    “Do exactly what’s asked of you from the coach and it will work…”

    I hope so.


  16. With a possible Artest signing, I am feeling the onset of doom.
    I’m sure this season will be fun to watch (in a masochistic sort of way).
    I am presently preparing by detaching myself emotionally from the team so that I can fully enjoy the ride.
    But I am losing hope for repeating as champions or even getting to the finals.

    Still, I am determined to enjoy the …

    “Pandemonium seesaw…
    Run for the door, RONmaster shouted,
    ‘All the fun of the Cirkus!'”

    (apologies to Sinfield/Fripp)


  17. Aaron,
    Maybe some of us are thinking with our hearts. In the long run I think Ariza is a better bet and bargain.

    In the short and in the playoffs against Carmelo, LeBron and Pierce, I’m willing to concede Artest seems to match up better. Plus, I actually think you can throw Artest at Garnett. (When Boston beat the Lakers last year, Artest was on am570 with, I believe Hartman and VTB among others, just about salivating at the thought of banging Garnett around. In essence, he said he didn’t respect Garnett and his pseudo-tough guy antics and overblown macho bravado. He seemed genuinely peeved that he didn’t have the chance to beat him up and make him shut the hell up. You almost felt he was rooting for the Lakers, beyond his friendship with LO and sounded almost like a big brother hoping the youngster would stand up for himself and kick the shit out of the bully. )

    At any rate, Ariza’s a keeper. If the plan was to go after Artest then a coup would’ve been to plan to keep both of them and LO. How? I don’t know.

    Everyone would prefer to have
    Ariza in place of Walton or Sasha or both. Again how could the Lakers do that this summer? Don’t know.

    But there’s no doubt that right now I would rather have a chess player looking to unload Luke or Sasha after signing LO, Ariza and Artest than a poker player going all in with one of his best chips for a 29 year-old with a questionable past.


  18. no one mention Odom and Ronron are childhood friends, that along with kobe and phil, will definitely keep him under control.

    also, does that mean the management are working on a deal with lamar? i m sure players talk – and one more reason why i feel lamar will be staying with us…


  19. jezzleffezzle July 3, 2009 at 1:11 am

    God damn, Trevor. I’ll miss you; you were so loved in LA. Hope you find your way back someday.

    David Lee: Stupid.


  20. Does anyone see a corollary of Ron-Ron being Kobe’s Oakley? I definitely noticed they had a very aggressive, respectful and friendly sort of competition between them. I think that could translate into a “go to war together” teammate dynamic.

    There was something to be said for Shaq’s presence in the day as he was like an enforcer of sorts plus Fox’s testiness lit a fire into key runs in the repeat seasons. It’ll be good to see someone besides Kobe and Fish do the dirty work. Or better yet, keep Kobe from doing any but the end of game dirty work. Kobe hasn’t had an enforcer of his own, and besides the entertainment value of a new Jordan-Oakley dynamic, it could give Kobe some longevity if it’s not him drawing all the contact and techs. Thoughts?


  21. How does Ariza signa 5-year contract? If the MLE money isn’t enough for his taste from the Lakers, I can see him taking the same offer from a different team to spite them. But if you are insulted by MLE money, you’d take the Rockets’ offer for one year or two and then try to get what you think you really deserve. Something smells fishy here.

    Now please re-sign Odom! In that case, thinking about possible line-ups – if the Lakers now sit their two best players, they could still trot out Bynum/Odom/Walton/Artest/Fisher (or Farmar or Brown). That’s not a bad unit.

    @ The Dude Abides: Couldn’t a crunch time line-up of Kobe/Artest/Odom/Gasol/Bynum also work? How do you score against them?


  22. First things first, Ariza played his butt off this season and was a major contributor to the championship. It can be argued that without him, things could not have ended with a parade down Figueroa.

    Back to reality, Ariza really was a Cobra this season. He started out slowly, insisting to play off the bench to start the season and gained confidence and minutes as the season continued. In the playoffs he peaked and because he wasn’t a huge threat during the regular season teams were content to pack the paint and cheat off Ariza. The shots went in and we won the championship.

    I understand Kobe and Pau demand the double team and that the open shots are there. With the knowledge that teams know now, I’m pretty sure strategy would dictate that teams close out and stick closer to him. Ariza is not the pure shooter that Ray Allen or Reggie Miller are. He was a shooter with confidence that hit fire at the exact right time. We will see next year if his shooting percentages continue to stay around 40% or drop. I doubt that he’ll get the same looks and be as successful but I’ll definitely be monitoring him in the box scores next year.
    Another reason Ariza might have chosen to head to Houston over Los Angeles and Cleveland could be the same reason Fisher decided to leave the Lakers the first time. Playing time and establishing himself as a great player, not just a role player. Fisher says the money was good, but it was ultimately the opportunity to become more than just a role player. That was the enticing part of leaving the Lakers after the 04′ season playing behind GP.

    Look at Cleveland, he would be playing behind the best SF in the league and could possibly thrive as their SG, but he wouldn’t be the MAN on the team. Same thing in LA, you have Kobe getting his touches and everyone else filling their stat lines, would Ariza be content being the filler guy for the rest of his career?

    Pat Riley said the hardest thing about winning back to back comes down to one word, “More.” As in more touches, more minutes, and more money. The ugly sister of jealousy is “more” and I think she peaked her brat-like face this offseason. Like others have stated it seems we have sold high on Ariza. Yet it appears that Ariza wants MORE. He wants to be the man, and with Yao out, Artest gone, and T-Mac recovering sometime close to midseason the only conceivable reason Ariza goes to Houston is to become more than just a role player. Basically, he is banking on himself and that he hasn’t peaked as a player. Most people are saying we are taking a high risk/high reward approach. I think Ariza just doubled our ante and then some.

    Finally, the part of this Artest signing that I absolutely love is two prong. You saw how exhausted Lebron was carrying his team during the playoffs. He never took off a single possession and played stellar defense. That type of effort is not sustainable and gaining Artest would have helped Lebron tremendously on defense, and would have allowed Lebron to take some possessions off. Lebron would not have to guard Kobe every possession. Ridiculously taxing.

    Now Kobe can concentrate his energy in spurts. We need to conserve Kobe’s strength and now have the means to do it.

    All we have to do is focus on getting everyone to trust each other and develop that team chemistry. Artest realizes he doesn’t need to be the sole focus on offense. Hopefully, PJ gives him some thing to think about this summer to help him adjust his game to the triangle. If I could ask for some things from Artest it would be…

    1. Tenacious D, shutting down your man that night

    2. Establishing the post, quick dives, and rapid ball movement

    3. midrange shooting, spot up shooting, and 3-point shooting.

    I am too excited for the season to start.

    Kurt let’s get together and write the book about this upcoming season. I am so game.

    sorry for the long post.


  23. I don’t think I am the only one who feels a little heartbroken because of this. It is not because I am worried about Ron Artest, it is just that I thought Laker fans showed Trevor Ariza how much we loved him.

    The whole city of LA was in awe with Trevor, and than his agent pulls in the “disrespect” card. I mean seriously Trevor, can you be that fooled by a stupid man who thought he was going to trick management again?

    It is heartbreaking because I wanted to see Trevor celebrate the title with the Lakers the next season. Who knows what kind of deals and endorsements he could have made if he decided to stay with the Lakers.

    All in all, I think it is a terrible choice by Trevor if he decides to leave. I am 100% sure he will regret his decision no matter what he says. You just can’t go from a championship team to a lottery one, especially when you were so loved and admired.

    His agent screwed him over big time, screw you David Lee.


  24. I really can’t handle the comments of Ariza feeling “disrespected”. I seriously hope his agent made that up.


  25. this is AWESOME!!! now kobe doesn’t have to guard other superstar sf’s in crunch time & will have tons of energy to kill the other team on offense.
    his defensive rep/name recognition is very important as this offsets any advantage the other contending teams might have in refereeing (melo, lebronze, pierce, vince, rj/manu); this is oft overlooked but very, very important in playoff b-ball w/ fewer posessions.
    ron ron is sensitive, wants to be respected & wants to win- so he’ll be a great teammate. he works crazy hard in practice & so long as he doesn’t break anyone’s ribs (like he did mj’s back in the day)- he’ll make the whole team even tougher. when has he ever had this caliber of teammates & coaching? he’s going to do very, very well as a capstone to his career.
    mitch is doing a great job predicting next year’s possible finals opponents as well as the tough (again) western conf. thanks for being so smart w/ this championship window mitch!!!


  26. i hope this wakes bynum up to get a new agent…like yesterday!
    so nice for kobe to finally have a very intimidating enforcer by his side- I think this reduces so much wear on his body & thus gives him a few more years at the top.


  27. Plan 9 From Outer Space, yeah, this next season is going to be a fun fun fun wild ride indeed. Fasten your seat belts and roll up the windows Laker fans… I also believe after watching the Kobe interview by Ron-Ron and other quotes that I have read, that they will both be going to war for this next Championship together and dragging along anyone and everyone that they can.

    Until you step out of your comfort zone and try it, you’ll think it’s not doable.


  28. DevastatingDave July 3, 2009 at 3:11 am

    How could Ariza feel disrespected after he got the loudest ovation from the fans at the championship parade. Honestly, Ariza’s agent is just an idiot.


  29. Kurt, Lakers’ perceived inconsistency in the last playoff was NOT without cause. Whenever Kobe was off the court, the Lakers’ lead would start to dwindle. Indeed Pau is a great player. But because of TA’s (and other players’) limited offensive capability, teams often collapsed on Pau when Kobe was out. The offense got stagnant when Kobe took a rest.

    Artest’s creative offensive skills will loosen up the middle for Pau.

    On the other hand, keeping Artest under control will be another BIG challenge for Kobe. If he is to compare to or overtake MJ’s status in NBA, he needs to overcome this potential obstacle. MJ won titles with difficult players like Rodman. Kobe has to exert his leadership quality, BIG TIME, to ensure Artest playing within the system.

    Next season will be another new and exciting championship run.


  30. Solid article by Wojnarowski at Yahoo sports, blasting David Lee:;_ylt=AhwBtZbUTnlO1cyRBBnLB5S8vLYF?slug=aw-artestkobe070309&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    He makes the following point, which I think is valuable in the whole “championship complacency” debate:

    “Change is good for a defending champion. When the rest of the NBA’s elite – Cleveland, Orlando and Boston are getting better – the champion can’t just stand pat. As an executive and a player chasing repeat titles, Detroit’s Joe Dumars says, “I like to make one significant change in that second year.”

    This gives the Lakers something to incorporate, to work through, across a long training camp and regular season. This way, they aren’t tempted to just coast until the playoffs. This changes the dynamic for everyone, and give Artest this: Around him, there’s never complacency.”

    Also, who would have thought that NY power forward David Lee would be the second-most talked about David lee of the offseason?


  31. Warren Wee Lim July 3, 2009 at 3:29 am

    We should dedicate a thread all for David Lee the agent (or his memory) LOL.

    Anyhow, I get the bittersweet feeling right now. I loved the idea of Artest, Kobe and Pow right from the start… right from where we picked it up from the Smush-Cook-Kwame-Radman days. My oh my how far we have come…

    At the same time, it breaks my heart to hear Ariza feeling “insulted” or disrespected. I sure do hope it was what David Lee did to ensure his guy gets paid (foolish move) and not what Trevor felt deep inside. Ok, I’ll call him Trevor because he grew in my heart the moment he eliminated us Brian Cook and showed that we somehow could forego “thinking” about how a Ron Artest could help our team. All the best Trev…


  32. Warren Wee Lim July 3, 2009 at 3:33 am

    Oh and I wonder if details like Player Options come with both their contracts. Artest seems like ammenable to the full MLE which is 5.6m on the 1st year. For flexibility sakes, I wish its what I imagined it to be:

    5.6m + 6.1m + 6.5m = 18.2M over 3 years.

    As for Trevor, he is underestimating his ability to get a bigger and better contract if he took a 5-yr contract from Houston. I hope that the 4th season is an ETO where he could be a Laker again.


  33. Warren Wee Lim July 3, 2009 at 3:39 am

    Kaifa, loved that article too. Maybe coz it both pleases my 2 sentiments: blast David Lee and give Artest the chance he deserves to be in LA.

    Oh and as a parting shot, maybe Phil could make the “craziest SOB in the league” his next Rodman. He can add that right next to his 10 rings and trophies.

    I say: “To be great, you always go where no man has ever gone.” Phil just shrugs me off and says: “been there, done that.” 😀


  34. Wow, I am definitely going to miss Ariza. I was all pumped knowing the fact he was switching his jersey number to his original want next yr, #1. I was going to try and be the first to grab his gold #1 once it hit the stores, but now I have to worry which crazy number Artest will get. Probably something crazy like #99 to create an LA media stir with comparisons to Manny…

    But as for Trevor, my fond memories date back to when he was still fresh on our squad, and just remember thinking that he is the perfect fit for the triangle, and more importantly, with Kobe. Doesn’t need shots, just goes about his business/role and defends, and is an awesome slasher. I will always remember his Christmas highlight dunks while with the family. But now, his shot has improved to a point where I thought we couldn’t find anyone more perfect for us. We just won it all, life is perfect if we just bring everyone back. But now, the league has begun their attempts to dethrone us, but Mitch came out and reminded the league that it is still all about the Lakers. Spurs get Jefferson, a sf that can hang with Ariza. Orlando doesn’t even offer Turkoglu a yearly salary of half of what they’re about to pay Vince Carter now… Why? Because Ariza absolutely shut Hedo down at key moments in the Finals. But with Vince in the picture now, with Nelson healthy next yr, the ball won’t be in Hedo’s hands anymore, thus acquiring a slasher/hometown dude/knockdown shooter/big body/hungry vet to work alongside their 3 accomplished all-stars, Dwight, Jameer, Rashad. And also in the process, making it harder of a matchup for the defending champs.

    Ever since we sniffed one of Chris Wallace’s patent brain farts, and gladly accepted their stinkful ‘make sure u spray when you’re done’ salary dump… The whole league has been trying to catch up to us. Building pieces in order to dethrone us. Which increased even moreso after our title run this yr. But Mitch counteracted and made I think, a brilliant move. I’ve always prefered Ariza over Artest if it came down to it, but after knowing Artest is here for 3 yrs, possibly 5, for only 6 mil a yr? Wow, has my mind changed faster than I ever thought could. Even faster than when I consumed 6 shots of Popov at a festive gathering a few yrs back thinking, hell yes I’m going to hook up with my best friend’s smokin hot sister now. My mind is going crazy with endless positive possibilities now. Kurt is completely right, we are no longer labeled soft, even though I felt winning it all sort of squashed that notion, but we are now Freddy the Enforcer of the league. Boston can’t act out their obviously forced bullish behavior anymore on us. Portland will be terrified of us even more now. At least there’s no more added hatred with the Trevor flagrant incident. What will they do when B Roy is being shut down by the duo of Kobe/Ron Ron? No way is Denver or Houston pushing us around anymore with hard fouls. The unknown possibility of Artest’s next blowup instills fear into the opposing team. Everyone knows what Artest’s capable of, especially if put into the right situation. And this is that perfect scenario. He respects noone more than he does Kobe. Phil Jackson commands the respect of any player that walks through knowing that this man is a living legend with all his 10 fingers full of shiny jewelry. Once the purple n gold is on your back, looking at the 15 banners, HOF numbers retired, knowing ur the top television-rated/merchandise selling team in the world, playing for the defending champs, playing in a city that you absolutely love and can’t get enough of… No other choice but to comply. He knows this. Which is why he’s been excited like no other to come here, and most importantly we got him for a huge discount for this high potential that could possibly be reached. Our team is now unbelievably nasty. Kobe always has been, Gasol has shown a mean streak here and there, but he’ll finally have a guy he doesn’t have to worry about wanting it, and possessing a killer mentality. I think for the most part us Laker fans wouldn’t have minded seeing Ron come to LA, but not only until it happened did I realize how scary we can be. Artest’s ability to shut down the 3 position is huge. That was my only real concern with Trevor’s D this yr. He never really has been able to add that extra muscle he always has tried to add. But then again, he’s only 24. Damnit, that’s probably what I hate most about letting Trevor go, is that I won’t get the chance to enjoy his progression as a player on an everyday basis. He’s so darn young. He was definitely one of my fav plyrs behind Odom, Gasol, and Kobe. But, the fact that Artest can also guard just about any 4 is an added bonus as well. He is just a pitbull of a plyr. And I agree with just about everyone that Ariza’s agent David Lee is trying too hard to be the Scott Boras of basketball, but really doing a good job of it. He’s pissing everyone off. It’s much harder to play hardball with GM’s when most of the teams only have to offer is the MLE, unlike where the MLB has no salary cap. He almost made me turn on Ariza after knowing he is just signing for the same exact money with a western rival, not so much contender. But I can’t be mad at Ariza, I’ve enjoyed watching him grow the last couple years. Put in the solid work after Kobe gave him tips/books on shooting, and really was a huge reason why we won it all. Ariza stepped up as our knockdown open jump shooter while we no longer had our 3pt specialist Vlad, the inconsistent shot of Odom(even though he stepped up as well), Sasha falling off the face of the earth, Luke’s inconsistent shot, and Fisher’s rare struggle throughout the playoffs. But I still can’t fathom the potential that this team has now that we have Artest. Don’t like thinking ahead too much, but it has me thinking of Phil completing a legendary 4th 3-peat. Incredible. Here’s a list of players we now don’t have to worry quite as much about:

    Lebron. Carmelo. Pierce. V Carter. Jefferson. R Lewis. R Wallace. Kleiza. Durant. Millsap. Boozer. J Howard. Posey. D West. Marion. J Smith. Beasley. B Griffin. F Garcia. Iguodala. Salmons. Granger. Butler. Jamison. D Lee. R Gay. Yi Jianlin. G Wallace. J Harden. K Love. Powe. D Blair.

    Kobe can now focus his energy/strength more on guards and not have to worry so much about big physical forwards. We can limit Kobe’s minutes in the regular season, and even Gasol’s too while we give more touches to Bynum with his 16 mil a yr contract kicking in next yr, and please Odom with more minutes off the bench while getting to play with his former teammate as a teen in New York. Even though Kobe is more than capable of handling those duties, it just gives him more energy to expend on the offensive side, as well as on the 2 guards/pt guards that he can lock down. While we do miss a lot of Trevor’s attributes towards our team, we are also gaining an enormous amount in return. I didn’t really think we could’ve upgraded our defense without adding a more defensive minded pg, but we did. The dynamic duo(as well as Jordan/Pippen like combination) of Kobe/Artest along with two 7-footers backing them defending the rim will be a pleasure to watch all season long. Is it possible to have the best offense and defense in the league? I know Ron has a history of jacking up shots and disrupting the offense, but I really can only see that happening if he’s in with a complete 2nd unit lineup. Look who he has on his team now. I thought for the majority of the yr he complied with Houston’s 2 other superstars. Not only until one or both guys were hurt did he start to takeover with nonstop clock eating, but yet impressive dribbling. He played great against Portland, Yao was still the man that series. Game 1 victory against us, Artest was playing smart and knocking down shots. But once Yao went down and Houston became a scrappy team without their 2 main stars, he went into Sacramento alpha dog mode. We have the ever-growing 21 yr-old stud in Bynum to feed, the beast of Gasol who should realistically always have the ball in his hands, and Kobe’s penetrating creation of shots for teammates. Artest won’t need to create offense, just play his role. Chill by the 3 pt line, add another tough rebounding presence to bang down low, and just execute girtty lockdown defense within the system.

    Now all we need is for Odom to stay. But I have more than enough confidence in Kupchak at this point. He understands that Kobe has a few more yrs in his prime. Signing a guy who is obviously hungry and ready in his prime to win now, with a still starving Kobe Bryant, rather than re-signing a guy who could play a key part in not only a continuing run, but a huge piece as he develops into his prime in the future. I totally agree with Mitch here. I’m done doubting this guy. Man, right when I thought we would have a boring, but yet productive summer by bringing all our guys back, this dream scenario occurs. Trevor, we all love you bro, but now is the Ron Ron era of Championship runs. I’ll wait while the rest of the league hates, or until they just come out and admit that we are in deed hands down, the team to beat.


  35. This really got me thinking about winning vs. the money, long term.

    Alot of people have brought up this topic already (a ton on the ESPN and Foxsports boards). Basically, why didn’t Trevor take a shorter, 1-2 year MLE, maybe even 3 year MLE offer, irregardless if it was the Lakers? By taking a shorter contract (as many have said), working on his game, and resigning an extension(s) later, Trevor would get paid more in the long run, assuming he continues to improve.

    I make decent dough, and am a pretty confident person (no where near NBA max level green, of course, haha). I just can’t help thinking that there’s something deeper in this than just David Lee.

    In a similar situation, I would take a 1 or 2-year contract at the MLE. Something like 2 years, 12 million, with an option for the third year. Get in the gym, work my ass off, get much better. Have teams lining up, offering 15mil+ per season when I’m 25/26. That scenario would still allow for another megabucks contract down the road when I’m 30-32, assuming I really became an All-Star caliber player.

    Instead, at 24, Trevor basically shackles himself to a team that may be blown up (Yao and TMac’s injuries very sad, would have made for an awesome rivalry this decade), for 5 years @ 33mil. So when he’s done with this contract, he would be 29. At this point, Trevor would be near the tail end of his prime (especially for a slightly injury-prone, 6’8″ guy that relies on athleticism). He would probably be up for one more long-term deal, depending on the circumstances, then jumping from team to team on MLE offers (ala the host of veterans Dr. Buss signed during the 3-peat years).

    But the way he did this (5 years at the MLE?) makes me not only question his priorities, but his self-confidence.

    Seriously, why not sign for a similar contract with Cleveland, help them get past the East, and (I almost had a nightmare last night, till I woke up and thought about it some more) stick to Kobe in the Finals in ’10 (basically his “up yours” to Mitch and Dr. Buss)?

    Artest and/or Ariza were also (rumored) big targets for the Cavs. He would be on a contender, and could thrive in the SG position next to Lebron, instead of coming off the bench. IMHO, he would definitely start at the 2/3 over Cleveland’s stable of perimeter midgets, next to Lebron.

    Neither do I buy the notion that the Rockets whispered things like “You can be the man here in the future,” to him, or that he would not start if he went to Cleveland.

    And, at this point, isn’t he a younger, lengthier, quicker version of Shawn Marion? Why didn’t (and, from his eagerness to snap at the Houston deal, very apparent) Toronto show any interest in him?

    The only positive I see for him to sign with a team like Houston or Toronto would be to sign something like a 1-2 year contract like I stated above, go TMac-in-Orlando style on people, then ask for a 6 year 130mil deal down the road. Especially when both those teams need a Kobe-style player (hey, who doesn’t).

    Why sign with a team that is definitely in a state of flux, and not only that, sign for a (in the NBA) long term contract, locking yourself into less money and possibly whining about it later (ala Pippen w/ the Bulls)?

    Maybe Trevor knows, this is it? Perhaps, somewhere deepdown, he knows this will be the best he can do, and needed the long-term contract for security. That this is his ceiling?

    I’m extremely sad to see him go, but now that I think about the situation, especially with his decision to not only immediately sign with Houston, but for 5 years…I can’t lose the feeling that we got incredibly lucky. That what we saw was the best Ariza would ever be.


  36. I loved wojnaworski’s article. These Yahoo writers make me feel better about the Lakers than ESPN writers do. I know, I know, objectivity but sometimes the bias that is in all men surfaces.

    Let’s calm down about ron-ron. A lot of what has been said pro or con has been based on his record and his potential. That hinges on the what if of things. Not really good the way I see players blossom in LA (and sadly, the TA that went out is a strong case for that). Again, Mitch played with the cards he had. I think too many loaded teams all hunting us down increased the chances of us not repeating. One of those can take it to us. It would be foolish not be concerned. The window is now, he’s willing to take a closer look at that. Again, let me say that it’s not the panic or the action-loving me that’s saying this, it’s just the way people think.

    Ron-Ron can blossom. Not a lot has been said about the context he had to live with in his past teams. Now, he can win. He must win. He can also be a bitter pill should he be a bust in our system (no longer exclusively triangle and loading D) especially if TA becomes special. But much of what has happened is because of what is here in the present. We needed a good SF replacement, we got a great catch. We lost a promising project, hopefully Mitch can pull in a new one via trade. I know we ain’t done. Teams are stacking up against us. Change isn’t always a bad response or an overreaction. Though, I didn’t quite like that it came from Dumars. Let’s wait and see. GO LAKERS!

    And Lamar, man you have every reason to make this work and stick with LA.


  37. With Yao probably done for atleast next year if not his career, Houston will struggle to make the playoffs. Losing Ariza is tough, but to lose him to a team that wont contend and replacing him with a guy like Artest without spending any additional money is simply brilliant.


  38. Phil has not confirmed his return for next year yet (at least to my knowledge). The last statement was that he would return if his physical check-up was ok.

    The Artest signing indicates that his health is fine and that he will return. Given PJ’s track record dealing with Rodman, he is the only one the Lakers could trust to capitalize on the Artest experiment. In other hands, this is a dangerous combustible experiment.

    By the way, did you notice that days after Phil ruminated about returning next year but missing the road games – essentially a jobshare with Rambis- Mitch stated publicly that Phil and he had agreed that this wouldn’t work.

    Possible conversation:

    Mitch: I heard that you might want to skip the road games

    Phil: Yeah, Kurt is ready for the job and the team is stable enough…

    Mitch: I guess we’ll have to pro-rate your salary..

    Phil: Yeah, I agree. That job share idea is a daft one.

    Mitch: Couldn’t agree more.

    On Artest:

    Even if the Lakers had lost Ariza with nothing in return (Walton/Ammo), they still would have been top 4 in the west with a chance to win. With Ariza back, they probably have the league’s best record and are favored for the title. This team rolls over most teams. But against the top 5, the advantage is not as clear-cut

    The challenge for the title comes from the Nuggets, Spurs, Celtics, Magic, and Cavs. Each has a dynamic 3. While TA is a good off-ball defender he is not big enough or skilled enough to check Melo, Bron, or Pierce.

    This problem is now gone. If Artest neutralizes Jefferson, Carter and the aforementioned bunch, he brings something TA could never bring.

    The Lakers with Ariza has a better regular season record but might have problems with the Nuggs and Cavs. The Lakers with Artest loses more regular season games while he learns the triangle and gets integrated into the defensive scheme but has a better chance controlling Denver and Cleveland.

    I’ll take that.


  39. the other Stephen July 3, 2009 at 7:00 am

    i woke up this morning and there is still no deal in place for odom and shannon, and artest is still going to be a laker. whee.


  40. 239) john t
    Longer contract is more security. What if he got injured next year while on a one-year contract? Or if it turns out that last year was his high point, and he slides back from good to mediocre? Ariza had a GOOD year last season, NOT a GREAT year. He will probably never be an all-star, so the chance of getting a “greater-than-MLE” contract is not that good.


  41. As a fan who didn’t want my Rockets to trade for Ron in the first place and came to begrudgingly accepting him,here’s a few general observations.

    He will be great in the community,esp w/kids. He and children really connect,and w/Ron it is real. Expect a lot of feel-good stories.

    Ron loves attention. But he’s not the smoothest operator at getting it.

    Ron is not a party animal. On the road he’ll be in his hotel room at night watching TV and talking.

    Ron works hard on his game. He doesn’t have the natural B-Ball gifts some have,so he often looks mechanical,esp on O,but he has developed some very effective shots.

    The idea of Lamar-Lamar!-keeping Ron in line is laughable. It will be Phil and esp Kobe who keep Ron focused on playing Laker ball,not Ron ball. After some early struggling,Ron should settle in as a pretty good complementary player who will throw up some wild shots at times.
    (Side note,the Rockets had two players who were friends of Ron-Rafer and Battier. Rafer had to be traded and Battier told Morey you can’t teach a pit-bull,you let him do his thing.)

    Ron’s hard work and seeming hustle will win over casual fans. More knowledgeable fans will come to accept him as that annoying cousin who is a total pain in rear,but is the only one who will come get you when your car breaks down in the middle of the night at 3 in the morning.(Somewhat condescending,and poorly expressed I know.)

    Ron won’t be stopped from shooting by a Kobe glare-or ten. While in short run that may be a bad thing as they are not the greatest shots,it may encourage other Lakers to not stand around and watch Kobe carry the load,but take their shots too.(Of course it’s a delicate balance,but that’s why Phil gets the big bucks.)

    Ron and Gasol are about Kobe’s age and Ron has kids. The core Lakers are now more mature and have things in common. Ron will allow Kobe to relax a bit and not feel as if he has do everything.

    One very intersting dynamic is Ron has never come to a team where the team’s fans just adore their star and there’s no question of who the best player is.


  42. everybody is talking about what Ron brings in the offense, but what I liked watching him in the playoffs against us was his tenacity in rebounds, he was really fighting Kobe for position on that now infamous play with the “elbow to the throat”. I like his aggressiveness down under the rim, it can’t hurt to have another strong rebounder!


  43. Bill Plaschke seems to think this was a bad move for the Lakers, which suddenly makes me a bit more optimistic that it will work out…


  44. Joel –



  45. #239. John T,
    The current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2010-11 season and in the next agreement the owners are rumored to be asking for major concessions from the players – especially in relation to salary and contract lengths. This is one of the major reasons that so many marquee players signed contracts that expire after next season – it allows them to sign one more big contract under the current rules. So it’s no coincidence that Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Amare, etc are all in the same boat for next season – they want that big deal before the owners ask for concessions. This relates to your question on Ariza because he is looking to make as much money now and sign a long term deal before the new CBA kicks in. Plus, since this is Trevor’s first big(ish) deal, he wants to maximize it and not wait for new rules to limit his earning potential.


  46. Third-ed. And Bill Bridges and those who point out that Artest is really about playing long, tough playoff series against big threes are absolutely right.

    Along with that, I think this move is a way of protecting Kobe, in two senses, a)literally, as Ron can do a lot more with his shoulder than Fish can and b)in terms of eliminating some wear and tear. Both of these things are important as Kobe becomes more of an elder statesman.

    Also, I forget where I read it in this morning of obsessing over Artest speculation, but someone asked a good question that helps put things in perspective: does anyone realistically think that an Ariza-led Rockets team would have taken the Lakers to 7?


  47. We’ll never know the full story of how talks with Trevor unfolded, but his agent claims that the Lakers never made Trevor an offer and told them to come back after they had spoken with other teams. That may have been the reason Trevor became “offended”.

    This could just be Lee covering his rear, but could be somewhat true too. Maybe Ron Ron was Mitch’s 1st priority with the the MLE and Mitch felt that he had a pretty good shot at getting it done, so he needs to keep Trevor in play until he knows he has the deal done with Ron Ron and tells them to speak with other teams. In the meantime, Trevor wants to get the deal done, possibly MLE money, and gets upset when an offer isn’t on the table. His agent goes off in the press, perhaps at the behest of his client.

    Bottom line, I think the Lakers were looking at Ron Ron for some time and he may have been the #1 option rather than Trevor. Mitch made a business decision based on a number of factors including Ron Ron’s eccentric and volatile personality but not based on sentiment.


  48. Nice!!!!

    imagine this starting five..


    the tallest starting five in the history of the NBA..five players that can post up…five players that can isolate…five players that can defend…five players that can score…

    DYNASTY for the purple and gold..


  49. Sorry, if this has already been touched on there are a ton of comments and really reading them through all would be a pain.

    I think that the biggest fan of this move is Phil Jackson. I think Jackson loves bringing in players like Rodman and Artest. Phil believes in his Zen methods and I think he really secretly enjoys having to deal with crazy personalities and bringing them together to make it all work.

    I think if the Lakers want Phil to stick around a few more years than they need to keep him intriqued. Phil seems like a guy who relishes challenges and making Artest fit with Kobe, Pau, LO, Bynum, Fish and the 2nd unit will be a delight for him.

    Secondly, I think the real key to this move is that it makes the Lakers by far the deepest team in the league. I think that the Lakers are going to start treating Kobe like the Spurs treat Duncan. They will closely monitor his minutes during the Regular Season and save him for the playoffs. By getting Ron Ron they have a guy who can play the 2, play lock down D, create shots for himself and others, and command another teams respect, and stick up for his team mates. Artest might be the only guy in the league capable of doing this in a way that is even close to the level at which Kobe does.

    third point, As a player Artest is better than Ariza and I don’t think that Trevor will ever close that gap entirely. As Artest continues to lost quickness he will just gain strength and can become more of a banger while continuing to become a better shooter and continue to be a match up nightmare.

    Lastly, He gives us more options and along with Kobe, LO, Pau, and Walton we have by far the most versatile team in the league. Think about it. Kobe can play both Guard positions and the 3. Artest can play 2-4 WELL. LO can play all 5 positions WELL. Pau can play both post postions at an elite level, and Walton can play inside or outside in the triangle equally. If Kobe or someone suffers an injury ( and we actually had pretty decent luck with injuries this year, nobody was lost for the entire year) Artest can come in and fill that role for him. A Kobe injury early in the year might actually be great for this team in the long run. We would have to become more intentional on running the O through Pau and ‘Drew and really develop that, with the second unit running and gunning. This move makes us hands down the deepest team in the league and the obviously front runner for next year’s championship. It also brings some added excitement too. I now really want to watch the lakers next year to see how the team gels and what happens with adding Ron Ron. Count me in the group of Very Opptimistic.


  50. 1) the silence from Lamar is deafening.

    This is not the time for futile bargaining. Because of the luxury tax and existing salary commitments, isn’t Lamar aware of how difficult it is for the Lakers to make him any offer at all? Trevor obviously wasn’t.

    2) why don’t the Rockets and Lakers do a Ariza/Artest sign and trade so that they can preserve their respective MLEs?


  51. Why do people love to imagine the Lakers playing with giant-sized lineups? It never happens, and I don’t think it work anyway.


  52. I doubt Odom would leave, considering Ron-Ron is one of his long time friend.


  53. That should be “don’t think it would work”.


  54. Great post. Great points brought by everyone here. Bill Bridges brought up PJ’s health – and that is a key point with Artest now here. I hope this means Phil will be here for another 3 years; because if you recall Rambis wasn’t so hot with Rodman. Arest and Rodman are not the same, by any means, but they are both eccentric. PJ loves defensive guys, and Ron will definitely buy into that; and it does give kobe freedom to roam on defensive (leave the heavy lifting to artest) and let him focus on the offensive end. I will sorely miss ariza, but if we get LO, I think this is a calculated risk that tips in our favor. (Do you think anyone is looking forward to playing against Artest, Gasol AND Kobe?)


  55. I’m okay with Artest at 3 years. I HATE him at 5! How can the Lakers even think of offering 5? And are they really leaving it up to Artest to decide how long?!?


  56. While I’m sad that we’re losing Trevor, it’s a little disappointing that Trevor didn’t do the right thing and drop his agent. The Lakers I’m sure offered him the MLE, I’m sure Trevor wanted to be there, the only obstacle was his stupid agent. Ariza is a great piece in the triangle and belongs in LA, but he needed to take responsibility and do the right thing.

    All that being said, Artest is an upgrade. I think Kobe will keep him in line, and he definitely brings more to the table. It will take time to integrate him into the system, but Luke has proven to be a reliable fill-in when things go bad. More importantly, looking at the main threats on the road to the 2nd title, all of them have players that Artest is better suited to handle than Ariza (Roy, Anthony, Lebron, VC). If Brown or Farmar can develop into a starting PG, Bynum can keep developing and everyone stays healthy, you have to like our core over the next 3-4 years.


  57. A lot of people are blaming Trevor’s agent, but I don’t think it was his fault (his public posturing didn’t help, though and I don’t care what people think of him anyways) in trying to understand why Trevor would take the same money with Houston. It wasn’t the same contract since Trevor got a 5-yr deal. More importantly, I think Ron Ron was the number #1 option as long as he would accept the MLE.

    In other words, even if Trevor said he would take the same 3-yr deal that we gave Ron Ron, Mitch would have still taken Ron Ron. Trevor’s agent handed Mitch a gift, by opening his piehole and making it seem like Trevor was the one playing hardball. I think it was actually the other way around.

    This was pure business on Mitch’s end. To his credit, he didn’t let sentiment get in the way of making what Phil and Kobe thought was a good decision to bring Ron Ron to LA. There’s no way this would have happened without approval from those two. They didn’t sell out Ariza. They just went with someone they felt would help them win next year. I hope they are right, but I do have to trust their judgment (or at least Phil’s judgment).


  58. Excellent article on Yahoo sports about how David Lee FAILED Ariza:


  59. Artest is an upgrade in more than one way. By adding him in, you take him away from a playoff opponent.

    That said, I wish they had offered to Battier, but what can you do.

    One thing Mitch has is big steel ones… man, he makes some gnarly scary moves. So far, it has paid off.


  60. #98,
    I think that although we were not intimidated by Artest in this year’s playoffs, we might have been the only team that wasn’t. Because we know that Artest will be guarding Kobe, and Kobe may be the only player in the league who can be more intimidating than Artest on any given day, and that’s without even trying.

    Also, we were convinced that we had a much better team than the Rockets, and that also made Artest less scary to us. He’s just one man… how scared were we of Garnett when he played for the Timberwolves?

    Now, we have Artest on our team and all of a sudden he is a highly skilled defender playing next to two of the best offensive powers in the game (Kobe and Pau), he is big, heavy, stronger than he looks–which says something!–and he has no fear at all of getting into the paint and get in a fight with Shaq, Lebron, or whoever it is that gets in his way and tries to grab his rebound. Artest like everyone else certainly has his faults, but lack of effort and heart has NEVER been among them, and he deserves to get credit for that.

    Bottom line: Artest with the Lakers is going to be far more intimidating than Artest on any other team, just like Garnett with the Celtics is a MUCH bigger problem than Garnett on the Timberwolves.

    That out of the way:

    I am trying very hard to like this move because despite all the positive things Artest has going for him, I remain convinced that the guy is a headcase. He’s a ticking bomb that can go off at any time, and I’m scared of what he will do to team chemistry and to the flow of our offense. Also, I simply don’t like him. I never have. I admit that a part of it is because of the way the media portrays him, and I also willingly admit that Kaveh makes a valid point in that the media is not always reliable in the way they portray players, especially not the ones who make the big head lines.

    But I still really don’t like Ron Artest or trust him to stay sane and well behaved.

    However, like Kurt said in one of his comments, I am a Laker fan and I will always cheer for my team. So if Ron Artest becomes a part of my team I will do my very best to like him, cheer for him, and you bet I will defend him against any fan from any other team who tries to say anything bad about him, just like I do with any other Laker player.

    I might hate on Artest here on this blog once in a while, but if he’s a Laker he’s a Laker and a part of the team I support, so I will do my best to support him from here on. End of discussion.

    One last thing: Trevor, fire your agent.


  61. 252.

    Youre right that 5 man lineup is an absolute nightmare to defend or score against, especially if Kobe can defend the point guard position.

    Speaking of that, one thing I would really like to see Kobe do, (especially in the regular season) since the really don’t need him on offense until the end of games is to really lock down on D like he did in the olympics. If he does that and everyone stays healthy they are definitely looking at 70 wins next year.


  62. Just thought about this:

    Phil Jackson = Albus Dumbledore

    Think about it: calm, eccentric, and ultimately successful.


  63. ya think for one moment that mitch didn’t get phil’s OK?
    i loved ta last year, but many of the points made are right.
    1. he was often left unguarded
    2. prone to injury
    3. not good against big #3s.
    artest? i agree with those who say switch artest for ariza in Rocket series and Lakers win easily.
    if any combination can handle artest it’s kb and phil.
    it’s a simple question. is artest willing to make sacrifices in his own game for the team’s sake? if he’s willing to take less shots etc then he’s a great fit and a major upgrade.
    as for leave well enough alone. West never did in the 80s. McAdoo, Thompson etc
    since Cle, Orl, SA and probably Bos have improved standing pat wasn’t an option.
    As for trestles #251: i do not believe that the lakers would have made even an offer of5m or so, just to keep the game afloat.
    remember if they signed ariza for mle money it wouldn’t have been a mle, and they could still have got artest.
    damnit! like an earlier writer, my favorite role-player goes again! first roni and trv!
    maybe i should really start liking adam!


  64. Nonsense, Simon. Everyone knows Phil can’t be Dumbledore since he shaved off his beard. He will need to grow the beard back.

    My long Artest comment got stuck in moderation again.. must be because I haven’t commented here in a while. 🙂


  65. Someone please explain the whole, the fact that Artest might do something insane is a factor thing. Other teams will tremble knowing he might throw a punch or rush into the stands and tackle a little shrieking gay guy in a black turtleneck. Isn’t this exactly what you’d hope for, if you’re playing the Lakers? I understand that he’s more intimidating than Ariza in a bullying sense, because he’s big and temperamental, but Ariza slashing in like an fing rapier night after night seems more intimidating in a more important sense. If Artest was a youngish Karl Malone, and this was the old NBA, the tough guy argument would definitely fly, but I just don’t see it now. But this could be sheer ignorance. Losing Yao gave Houston the psychological edge last playoffs (contra Simmons, whose subtly in these areas is a little below J.K. Rowling’s), as we played at about 50% and they bumped up to about %99 for a couple of games, but I don’t remember once being particularly impressed with Artest either as a potential madman or a player. He was without question among the least intimidating Rockets whizzing around on the hardwood (from my perspective). A hammer which may or may not be swung is intimidating, but give me Chaucer’s smiler with the knife under the cloak any day. That was Ariza for you. Those steals, those steals? I wonder who Billups was more intimidated by.


  66. news is phils staying.. both road n away games


  67. n about starting all-stars at every position.. when have we (close to) seen that before…? is tt really a good thing to have?

    sry 4 2x post.


  68. And Kelly Dwyer doesn’t like the ARtest move:;_ylt=AtK4V.xULeCNihXa6vFDnlK8vLYF?urn=nba,174475

    Apologies if the link has been posted already.


  69. 264

    Historically, the PG position is not necessarily that important in winning a championship, especially if you’re stacked elsewhere. This is even more true for the Lakers, who run the triangle and have multiple playmakers. Either a breakout year from Brown or a bounceback year from Farmar would be enough to take care of that spot.


  70. #267 I don’t think Billups was intimidated by either of them, certainly not Trevor. Nothing against Trevor, it’s more a comment about Billups.

    I actually think teams underestimated Trevor because of their concern about Kobe, Pau and LO. In Houston, teams will be more respectful of his defense and offense if only because they don’t have other threats like the Lakers do.

    Also, everyone is worried about chemistry issues. It’s not like the Cavs don’t have potential issues with Shaq or the C’s with Sheed if he goes there. Even the Magic with VC has his own ballhogging rep.

    I don’t believe Ron Ron’s signing is as risky a lot of people do. Phil has experience dealing with difficult, eccentric players. Rodman, Isaiah Rider, Shaq and Kobe. Ron is arguably more skilled than Trevor at this time and he can play up-tempo or half-court. Most importantly, we’re getting him on the cheap – 3-yrs MLE.

    I think the Cavs took the biggest risk because Shaq is past his prime, but is getting max contract money. Shaq respects LeBron but will eat up Mike Brown if they hit any kind of speedbump. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike Brown is gone at some point during the season. Also, Shaq forces teams to orient their offense to him.

    If C’s get Sheed, they get the original Artest. He could fit in because of the Big Three, but I think his unwillingness to sign after the C’s sent Ainge, Rivers, KG, Pierce and Allen to see him speaks volumes about what his priorities are.

    Ron Ron came to us and signed right away. That’s a good sign.


  71. j. d. hastings’s Agent July 3, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Um, how much more weight does this put on Phil being healthy enough to come back and coach next year. We were all less worried before because if we kept the same core they knew the system and wouldn’t need him right there. Now every analysis has PJ magically keeping Artest in line. That sounds like a full time job.

    I also think this makes it more important to re-sin odom. Previous discussions about acquiring Artest always came at the expense of Odom. That was a losing scenario to me. Artest for Ariza is a different equation, and better for the lakers, but we absolutely can’t sign him at the expense of Odom AND Ariza.

    I feel terrible about Trevor. We watched him become what he is. He made huge exciting plays all through the playoffs. But during that time he went from being the easy guy to sign to overvalued (especially in the mind of his agent). I can totally understand the organization essentially telling Lee to shove it. The man is a complete jackass who just hurt his client. I just wish it didn’t come at Ariza’s expense.

    I don’t like the Houston gig for Ariza at all. Ron Artest was their main offensive option without Yao. Ariza can’t be that guy. Who on that team is going to get him open shots? Their entire option becomes whatever Brooks can scare up now isn’t it? A year from now, even at its worst Artest won’t have destroyed the Lakers, but this will be considered a big mistake for Houston. Not because Ariza isn’t good, but because he gets better the better his teammates are.

    Sigh. I’m not going to make my life hell lamenting this once it’s finalized, but I still find it regrettable. And ultimately I lay it all at the feet of Lee. In hindsight, how mature does Bynum’s taking control to reign things in last summer look?


  72. The Lakers had to respond to the moves by the Spurs, Cleve;and and Orlando. Artest will take the other teams best permeter player which should keep Kobe fresher for the whole game. It is a risk worth taking. The champs had to improve themselves and they did.


  73. If Phil Jackson is Dumbledore, who is Voldemort? Tom Thibodeau = Tom Riddle?


  74. Red Auerbach is Voldemort, of course 😀

    You’ve been told he’s dead, but his presence still looms over everything that matters…


  75. So Kobe = Harry Potter? Ron Artest as… Ron Weasley?


  76. This one is on Trevor’s agent. He was looking for a deal in the $50 million range. Lamar won’t even get that.


  77. Sorry to see TA leave, but Artest will definitely beef up the front line! He’ll definitley be able to handle Melo, Bron, Pierce, Carter, and any other 3 they throw at him. Usually, Kobe takes the reins on D, so I welcome the fact that Kobe won’t be spending all his energy guarding the other teams best man!


  78. Fish is Ron and Sasha is Hermione. Pau is Hagrid and Artest can be Dobby.


  79. j. d. hastings’s Agent July 3, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    1 area in which this improves the lakers immensely: Interview entertainment


  80. j. d. hastings’s Agent July 3, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Why would odom want to stay in LA? Oh I don’t know…


  81. Dex,
    I don’t think the insanity factor plays for us. It is definitely an issue that we need to be concerned about, as any time Artest has behaved in the manner that begs his crazy it effected his team poorly. Best case scenario is that Phil, the master of defining roles and liberating by them, does his thing with Ron-Ron and we never see his “madness”. I don’t think it likely and, with the number of thoughtful people on the site who are qualifying their support of the move, I am far from alone. My biggest concern is that the worst thing that can happen isn’t an Artest eruption that leads to him getting kicked out of a game at a key point or that he might get suspended. The Lakers have depth. My biggest concern is that Artest takes up something north of 20% of possessions and tries to make things happen by putting the ball to the ground.

    The perfect scenario is if Ron-Ron limits himself to the Triangle precepts (which for him is catch and shoot or hard dribble left and shoot, otherwise pass) . Under those conditions our offensive efficiency and wave after wave of size will just dominate the league. The problem is he has never, ever, ever shown any disposition towards accepting any such instruction and keeping to it.

    Complacency is the biggest threat to a successful enterprise. This move is certainly one that should lessen the likelihood of it and would be positive if all on it’s own. But it ain’t because this is Ron Artest. I find another dynamic interesting. Artest and LO. Okay, they sort of grew up together. They are both capable of playing both forward positions. They are similar in talent level, even if their talents are in different areas, but their personalities are opposing in some key areas. LO is always doing the little things that don’t get noticed by anyone unfamiliar with +/- but when he gets it in his head to make things happen it’s in his hand to put the team in it’s top gear. Artest too can do the little things but when he decides to make things happen it winds up bogging his team down. I associate LO with the spiritual heart of the tribe. His is a sanctified magic that reveres unity. I associate Artest with the warrior whose bloody hands inspire fear and perhaps a hard fought wisdom if the tide of the glands wane and hubris is drawn back like entangling seaweed. There is depth, beauty and power in the sea but…

    “Give not thyself up, then, to fire, lest it invert thee, deaden thee; as for the time it did me. There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness.”
    Herman Melville


  82. Sounds like Ariza and his agent are showing symptoms of “the disease of more.” (As pointed out in an earlier post)

    Pat Riley, from his book, Showtime, explaining how the 1980 championship Lakers were eliminated in the first round of the 1981 playoffs: “Dissention tore up the Lakers in the year following that championship. Success is often the first step to disaster. I call it ‘the disease of more.’ People start thinking, ‘I’m really the key ingredient. It was my quality minutes off the bench, or ‘It was my outstanding defense.’ People who were quiet during the lean years suddenly want more money, more playing time, more recognition. And they get aggressive and jealous about pulling in their ‘more.’ ”

    Taking the same money in Houston in order to “feel appreciated” and “get the opportunity to develop his full game” leads me to believe a 2010 TA in LA could have been trouble.

    Winning a championship doesn’t make you a championship team. If swapping TA for RA inoculates the P&G from “the disease of more”, I’m for it.


  83. Kurt has made some very valid points regarding some of the question marks in letting Ariza go and replacing him with Artest. Offensively it is uncertain how he will work given how many scorers we have. That being said, we do know what he will give us on the defensive end: constant pressure on the other team’s best SF or SG. That means fewer miles on Kobe during the regular season which is always a good thing. Additionally, making opponent’s best players work hard (and perhaps struggle) on offense means they are less inclined to work on defense, so any “flow” problems Artest may bring, is repaid with opponent’s weaker defense. Finally, if Artest just does what Ariza did on offense (which we know he can do so much more), it means more 3 pointers falling (as compared to Ariza) and attracts more defenders away from Pau and Kobe. This move is definitely a positive, we just have yet to see to what degree it is.


  84. I know we got Artest, but this still doesn’t fix the bigger problem which is the point guard situation. This will probably be Fisher’s last season, who’s going to replace him?

    We’ve used the MLE so we can’t bring in any point guards through free agency unless they sign for the minimum. How are we going to find his replacement?


  85. Allan – Brazil July 3, 2009 at 12:39 pm


    Here is where Dwyer argument is wrong:

    “Seriously, at any point during last year’s Finals, was anyone telling themselves, “damn, the Lakers really need Ron Artest”?!? ”

    No, not during the NBA finals.
    But we were telling ourselves that in the West conference Finals when TA couldn’t guard Carmelo and Kobe had to do his job AND still carry the offense.

    Now Artest will guard Melo and eventually LBJ and Paul Pierce, and Kboe will be free to destroy our opponents on the other end.


  86. Does this make Popovich = Snape?

    290. PG needs to be addressed over the next 12 months. But if the Lakers can bring back Brown, have Farmar play well in a contract year and keep Fish for key moments we can be fine. Look for potential trades, then FAs or what needs to be done next summer. Basically, don’t rush into a mistake here, find a long term solution.


  87. Regarding Ariza being left open: What else were other teams going to do? You have to limit Kobe and Gasol, Odom is a concern, and basically when you look up and down the Laker starters, the smart move was to dare Ariza to beat you. To his credit, he made teams pay for that.

    I agree, Artest will get more respect that way, creating more mismatches. I also agree that this gives the Lakers a new challenge and something to work through during what can be a tedious regular season. With Artest and Kobe, I hope we can see less of that “flip the switch” mentality.


  88. 1) Why are we all assuming this was David Lee’s or Ariza’s fault? Why do people like Woj with no actual facts play the blame game and simply guess and ruminate? We don’t know what happened behind closed doors. LA could’ve, as David Lee said, told Ariza to go find an offer, which to me is reasonably offensive. Our FO could have been after Artest all along as priority #1. I wouldn’t blame Ariza’s camp if that was the case.

    2) How fun are the Lakers going to be to watch now. Man. Kobe on the court, Artest off the court. Entertainment at its best.


  89. Kurt,

    That is a brilliant point about the “flip-the-switch” mentality. I think bringing in Artest is a way to stop that. The Lakers were super motivated to win the title last year and that mentality could have haunted us this year if everyone was more concerned about getting theirs as opposed to teams wins. We know that Kobe wants rings, but I don’t know about how geared up the rest of the team will be. Bringing in a hungry Artest will hopefully go a long way to prevent that mentality from setting in.


  90. Phil Jackson has made it official, he will be back next season. I’m sure he’ll talk about the challenges and thrills, as if the $10 mil did not factor into it at all.


  91. Now that it’s settled, and I have to see the positives, I’m starting to see them.

    I always knew what a Artest could offer. (*In a perfect world.*) Now, there’s no choice but to have that perfect world. If it all works out like planned, we’ll be very, very hard to beat.

    I’m thinking that if Ariza could turn into an effective shooter and learn the offense and become an adequate enough passer for us, then a motivated (possibly changed?) Ron Artest could do the same. The difference? Artest is more talented, so the ceiling is higher.

    Here goes….


  92. 261.

    I think your exactly right. I think Mitch completely set up Ariza’s agent. I have a feeling Artest was the #1 option all along and Mitch anticipated Lee turning down the MLE and going public with his sentiments, like he did with Bynum.

    Now Mitch gets to say “we offered Ariza they same deal we gave to Artest and he turned it down, went public and signed for the same amount someplace else”. Ariza looks like he got greedy and turned his back on the franchise the made him and Kupchak gets the guy he wanted all along.

    Mitch has turned into a stone-cold assassin as general manager.


  93. Ariza got into Billups’s head somehow, or he never makes that second knifing steal. He’s a young Doberman & I think he definitely generated a sense of unease amongst opponents whenever his name was called. Artest the Rottweiler might maul you but I don’t know, there was something about the young Doberman. Maybe because Kobe’s a Doberman, there was something about the intelligence, that sleek dangerousness. Would have liked very much to see them worry a few more throats together. P. Ami, gracias for reply & especially for the Melville. My woe over Ariza is probably just the woe of the mad.

    Kobe, Harry Potter? God forbid. In children’s lit., Kobe is both the Jabberwock and the son that slays, vorpal sword in hand. Artest, God pray he may be the frumious Bandersnatch. I still prefer Ariza the Jubjub bird. It’s far more sinister.


  94. @Allan – Brazil

    I agree, and that’s exactly what I was thinking when I read that article. Trevor Ariza was just too skinny, bluntly put. He lacks the sheer mass and muscle to do a good job on Carmelo Anthony, or several other bigger players that we’ll be facing next year. Personally, I would not be the least surprised to see the Nuggets deep in the next playoffs as well… and now we can put Artest on Melo.

    I finally also realized that now we can put Artest on Lebron. Hm. I think I’ll start with that mental image in my continued efforts to warm up to him 🙂


  95. the other Stephen July 3, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    pound for pound, artest is probably the strongest player on the team, ahead of bynum and fisher.


  96. j. d. hastings’s Agent July 3, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    The more I think about this, the thing that keeps sticking out is that is there a swing man in the league that the lakers have to fear now? Outside of PGs, who can’t we defend. I don’t know what Lebron’s numbers are against Artest, but Kobe/Artest and (presumably) Odom give us 3 able looks to throw at him during any given possession let alone a game. Defensively speaking, we could get away with going small with Odom at center and Artest at the 4, where he’s played before. With various options at the 1 and 2 (Brown/Farmar, maybe Vujacic, whatever). I don’t know why we’d need to sit Pau and Bynum, but if it comes up, its just more versatility.

    Eric Pincus has Shan-Wow listed at his #2 FA shooting guard this off season, by the way. Are we underestimating what he can get paid? He’s crucial to re-sign.


  97. the regular season win record would be nice, but it’s far less important than the title, in my opinion.

    you don’t want to peak too early. i don’t think i’ll lose too much sleep if the Lakers go through some growing pains early, as long as they have things rolling by All Star break and into the postseason! ;P


  98. A great move for the Lakers. A number of top teams in both the east and west have improved, and now the Lakers have at least matched and/or toped all of them. Artest has melowed with age and appears to have exorcised his demons.

    While I realy liked what Ariza did for LA, he did not have the pysical presence that Artest has to better bettel the bigger smallfowards and intimidate the smaller ones. In addition, Artest is a much more accomplished offensive player. He can shoot the 3 as well as Ariza, and is better at getting his own shot and passing to the open man.

    Now if the Lakers can pick up or develop a player that can stav in front of, or at least slow down, quick point quards, their defense will be as good as their offense.


  99. The thing about defending quick PGs is, there’s no guarantee it will become an issue in the playoffs. Most of the top contenders rely more on elite wing players, and the Lakers are now better equipped than ever to slow those players down.


  100. Eh, sorry to loquate, but P. Ami I failed to acknowledge your insights re Odom v Artest, which were the main point. Man, just seeing those names together I don’t know. I have no doubt we’ll repeat next year, which may be a syndrome of brain disease that removes capacity for doubt; because I had no doubt we would win with Ariza, either; I’d just prefer to see Odom & Ariza, those two names together, and those two styles of play together, than Odom and Artest. Even when Odom vanishes, he does so in such a way that — it’s maddening, but it doesn’t drive the Lakers mad. It’s like you now have two players — whose styles aren’t complementary so much as Looking Glass-type reflections of each other; if Artest disappears (I know we’re deep, but) is it more than maddening, what sort of ripples does he generate as he sinks, you know. There was just a symmetry about last season’s team that was like a seemingly fragile but plainly not (we won) archetype of Jackson’s Hemingway motto of courage is grace under pressure. Ariza too skinny? I just don’t know. We had Bynum playing like a sulky puppy against all the snarling hounds of Denver, this husky united wall, we had our backs to that wall, and then snicker-snack! we’re through and it’s the skinny ones who know where to bite who prove the most dangerous. It’s all just images, but gawd damn that’s the one for me. Is it Polonius warning Laertes or Ophelia about Hamlet & he says beware of those lean ones. The hungry-looking ones, watch out, what they lack in bulk they make up for when they simply eat you when it’s time.


  101. I don’t know if this was posted, my apologies if posted earlier, but here is a little tidbit regarding Brown from Eric Pincus from HOOPSWORLD:

    “The most that the Lakers can sign Brown for without using a portion of their MLE or their Bi-Annual Exception ($1.99 million) would be $837k.”


  102. Eric Musselman’s take (former coach of Artest):

    One more thought about Ariza: since we don’t know all the details about the supposedly agreed-on deal, isn’t it most likely that he’ll try to work in a an opt-out clause to get the bigger payday in a different free agent climate, but possibly ahead of the 5 years?

    On Odom: if I’m right, the worst case now is that he’d sign outright with another team, correct? Meaning that the Lakers are over the cap and have used their MLE on Artest, so potential frontcourt fillers could only come trading one of our signed players or signing a free agent for the minimum?

    But since it’s basically just Toronto now who can offer him more than MLE money (correct?), not coming to an agreement with Odom would mean he’d have to push for a sign and trade that would hopefully give us a solid replacement.

    So worst case, Odom signs with Toronto ouright.

    Second-worst case, Odom and Laker management can’t come to an agreement, he doesn’t want to settle for someone’s MLE, so it may become a dragged-out process looking for a sign and trade that pleases both sides.

    Best case, Odom comes to terms for a new Laker contract, preferrably three years to stay on for this championship window and giving the Lakers options of who they want to extend to build around Bynum and aging Kobe and Gasol.

    Really far-fetched option I could live with: Odom comes to terms with Toronto (meaning he’d also buy a house with a Truman Show-like beach) and agrees to a sign and trade with Marion coming over. Much less desirable, but it’d be better than trying to bolster the frontcourt offering Walton/Vujacic/Morrison around or hoping to get Sheed at the minimum.


  103. Whew. Some looooong-winded posts today. It’s like War And Peace up in here.

    Two (quick) thoughts:

    1. It’s astonishing that LA could get Artest for the same money as Ariza. A heist.

    2. I wonder if Ron Ron can admit now that Kobe is way better than Brandon Roy.


  104. Yes, Yes, and YES!!


  105. Odom is going to be a Laker. Toronto could only sign Odom to more than the MLE if they renounced the rights to Marion, and instead they are going to extend him. So they can only offer the MLE. Nobody else interested can offer more than that either — Cleveland, SA, all the rumors.

    So the Lakers don’t need to go big, just fair. Say $7 mil, and they can work out the years. Odom will jump at that, he has no other good choices and he likes it here.

    Also, reports are he was texting with Artest yesterday. Does that sound like a guy planning on getting out of town?



    Essentially Ariza took less money AND went to a team that is not a title contender instead of accepting more money and going to a title contender. Lee did not negotiate well thats for sure.


  107. and now for something completly different…

    right now Sasha has an UNTRADABLE CONTRACT. I mean, who’s gonna take him at his price coming off such a poor poor season???

    so what should Sasha do now? say next year, he comes out of his slump, (yeah!) and starts shooting like he did at the end of last season.
    Now he has a MORE TRADABLE contract, and he and everyone else now knows that the Lakers are looking to dump some salary.
    so, 6 to one…half dozen to the other,
    damned if ya do…damned if ya don’t,
    I think Sahsa’s head’s gonna be swimming, he doesn’t want to be traded, but the minute he turns his game around, the Lakers just might be able to move him.
    what should he do???


  108. New post up, Bill Bridges talking about the art of the NBA deal.


  109. yajeel – totally agree. There will be growing pains but this is going to be a freaking great seaon to watch and hope this teams comes together!! I don’t care about the total amount of games we win (yet HCA would be nice)….if this team peaks at the right time – it will be very difficult to take the ring away from them.

    Agree that Artest’s all out play will force the Lakers as a team to play hard every possession – especially during the playoffs. We were all sick of the “on/off” team – think this will be corrected by a hard ass player like Artest.

    So we’re going to definitely hits bumps in the road next season – Artest chucking up shots at bad times, he might go off, whatever, but it’s going to all be part of PJs master plan…it’s always about the journey to him.


  110. The Dude Abides July 3, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve only gotten through Comment #227 today, but I think Jacqueline hit the nail on the head. The people of LA love Trevor Ariza, and we hate to see him go. David Lee is a tool. And now there’s this Hoopsworld article that clearly shows that retaining Trevor was Plan A, but La Gran Duchabaga sabotaged that route:

    However, now we have a Plan B that could conceivably result in utter dominance next season, and if the Celtics make it to the Finals against our guys, the series could result in a Laker victory in four or five games. Leave it to the Laker organization to have such a great Plan B in their back pocket. One has to respect that.


  111. I really like the idea of Artest in the post.


  112. Thanks, Kurt. I was just trying to sort through where the whole free agent process is now that Ariza is out and Artest is in, plus all the deals that have gone down elsewhere (or rather will go down). What you are stating is what I’m hoping for, just wanted to make sure I have a grasp on what could happen if no easy agreement can be achieved.


  113. Dex, there is more to be said but thank you for helping us out of Rowling and landing us on Caroll.

    To Artest, I just have this to say, “…if your Snark is a Boojum, then you will softly and suddenly vanish away, and never be met with again.”

    Those two, LO and Artest, could well be the flip sides of a looking glass. If PJ gets those two palm to palm, rather then hands on glass, I’m guessing we as spectators will be watching with Agony in 8 Parts, indeed.

    Preseason Expectation
    Saying All the Right Things
    The 4 Letter Network’s Talking Points
    The Farmaring
    Machine’s Tune-Up
    Trading Ammo
    Buss’ Wallet
    The Vanishing (of our opponents)


  114. Kurt:

    Popovich = Lucius Malfoy


  115. People, the biggest positive of this deal is what happens to the Cavs. If we signed Ariza, the Cavs would have signed Artest. Now the Lakers get Artest (who is better than Ariza) and the Cavs get NO ONE!

    We increase our talen and DECREASE by a HUGE AMOUNT the talent of our main competitor in LBJ and the Cavs. An awesome move by kupaclutch.


  116. On a team full of players with rings, a player like Artest without one is the driving force that can help a group repeat.

    A master-stroke.


  117. j. d. hastings’s Agent July 3, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    BREAKING NEWS: CBS Sports reporting Sarah Palin to sign with Lakers. Lamar Odom becomes Alaska Governor.


  118. The Lakers do not need to make any other moves. With the offense and defensive skills of Artest and any combo of Kobe and Gasol, Bynum, Odom, we need only one or two other players who will knock down wide open 3’s with consistancy.

    Who will step up? Fish, Farmar, Walton, Sasha or Ammo

    I give Sasha until xmas then its Ammo’s turn.


  119. 327 Sam, you forgot ShanWOW.

    I know he hasn’t been signed yet, but he may be more likely to be around after midseason than either Ammo or Farmar. They are expiring contracts and may help reduce luxury tax damage.


  120. In one swift decisive move the Lakers just got dangerous, caution-filled, ominously scary defensively, adding to an already chart-blasting offensive unit. The Lakers incredible and infinite winning tradition brought The Warrior, Ron Artest, as the collective experience of the Laker management and ownership skillfully attacked the free agent chess board like Bobby Fischer. Wafting smells of Championship Globe #16 are filling my lungs.



  121. # 189 —This is what i was talking to Kurt about. The media writes stories about people –they paint people into media creations. The did this with Kobe 3-4 years ago –Kobe was a HORRIBLE teammate, he was selfish, a potential rapist, etc. They also have done this with Artest –they have people like you claiming that this guy could possible be LEGALLY INSANE. Based on what? A mish mash of half-truths and conjecture.

    Here is your first paragraph:
    “We know he has never been on a team that has had a deep playoff run. We know he is unstable at best, and crazy at worst. To suggest Ron’s loose-cannon image is a media fabrication is simply not true. We know Ron instigated the one of the worst fights in NBA history. We know Ron repeatedly is among league leaders in technicals. (Admittedly, Kobe has been too.) We know Ron needed/asked to take time off because he wanted to work on a rap album. We know Ron has had domestic and other off-the-court issues that must be a distraction to his on-the-court play. We know, in sum, he is a time bomb that inevitably will blow up somehow.”

    Firstly, the ONLY two options you listed were: unstable at best and CRAZY at worst. Crazy, or legally insane and needs to be in an insane asylum. This is absolutely nuts. You do not know Artest, have never talked to the guy and have not studied his actions. All you’re doing is taking the media’s creation and even exaggerating it.

    1) The fight in the stands 5-6 years ago. I’m not sure if you have seen video of this fight. But Artest no doubt was not the AGRESSOR in this fight. He definitely “Settled” the fight, once it broke out. But note that there was no legal action taken against ARtest. Why not? He was DEFENDING himself and his teammate. If it was a case of straight up assault, why wasn’t ARtest arrested and then charged? Artest did what 50% of other NBA players would have done if put in that situation.

    2) League leaders in technicals? This year I know Rasheed Wallace was number 1 and Kendrik Perkins was #2. I’m not sure what place Artest is on that list.

    3) Wants to take time off to pursue another career? This is why he is INSANE, CRAZY? People are free to choose what they want to do with their own lives. That is the essense of being free. You use it as “evidence” that a man is crazy?

    4) Domestic violence? I’m not what the record is. Has Artest done any time in jail for anything? Has he ever been charged and found guilty in a court of law?

    You’ve got to be able to think outside of the media paradyme. Just cause they serve something on a platter for you doesn’t mean that you have to eat it. Question what the media tries to force feed you. Don’t take it and EXAGGERATE it.


  122. 330. Just so the facts are clear:

    Ron Ron was arrested and charged with a domestic violence misdemeanor, to which he pled no contest (he did not fight the charges). He was sentenced to community service.

    He also was cited on animal abuse charges, but he blamed his pet sitter for that. He now does PETA ads.

    Finally, I’m not sure how you define “aggressor” but clearly Artest was at the heart of the Palace Brawl:

    The brawl began with 45.9 seconds remaining in the game, when Indiana led the game 97–82. Piston center/forward Ben Wallace was fouled by Pacer forward Ron Artest from behind during a layup attempt. Wallace responded by shoving Artest in the face, which led to a physical confrontation between several players from both teams.[5] During the argument, Artest laid down on the scorer’s table while putting on a headset speaking with Mark Boyle on the local radio. He also taunted Wallace which led Wallace to throw an armband at him. A spectator, John Green, then threw a cup of beer at Artest while he was lying on the table, which hit Artest in the chest. Artest responded by running into the stands and shoving the man he mistakenly believed was responsible.

    We can debate the relevance and impact of those incidents, but they did occur.


  123. I find it interesting (actually highly annoying) that new posters are wandering in from who knows where and trying to lecture Kurt on his perceptions about Artest. The line seems to be, don’t pay attention to media hyperbole. Kurt then responds with objective facts.

    Kurt needs no defense, especially not form me – but may I suggest that newbies here do their research before spouting off, please?

    Try to remember – it’s better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.


  124. Could the Lakers have signed Ariza for more than the MLE? The way I read the CBA Ariza wouldn’t qualify for the Larry or Early Bird exceptions. It would also be hard to do a sign and trade because Ariza is receiving more than a 20% raise and so counts as a Base Year Compensation player now.


  125. I was happy to see the Cavs get Shaq, I felt it would give the Lakers something to focus on toward their repeat. But when I saw the Artest move (Loco Laker #00) I was convinced that we now have another powerful movement in the locker room 100% of the time. Something very similar to what drove the Lakers in 2008-2009. I really cared for Ariza, but as has been stated herein above, go Mitch, another fantastic move. As a fan, I am again very much looking forward to a fantastic season, 65+ and the championship. Hopefully, we get the Celtics in the finals for 2009-2010 and the Cavs for 2010-2011, then it will be complete. No way anybody can ever doubt the dynasty of the 2008-2011 Lakers!!! Get Odom signed so we can all relax and enjoy our summer. for me that means studying for the July bar … ciao!


  126. Kurt #204

    I think that you’ve got me completely wrong. I wasn’t talking about you in specific at all. I was talking about basketball fans in GENERAL, and anti-ron people on this board in particular, in my first post. The only link I had with your name in my original post was an attempt to try and qualify the anti-ron artest people ON THIS BOARD, as it seems as though the “traditional” posters on this board are mostly anti-ron.

    So don’t think of it as YOU in particular but rather the anti-ron artest people ON THIS BOARD. Re-read my original post and i think that you will agree that you misinterpreted my line of thinking.

    That said, the anti-ron people seem to be in a few different groups:

    1) Artest is insane.
    2) Artest will mess with chemistry
    3) Artest’s qualities do not fit in with our offense, mainly his shot taking and iso dribbling.

    The people i’m talking about are in group #1 who post on this board. They have allowed the media to color their interpretation of Ron Artest.


  127. Ron Artest is ours at this point, and I personally believe that it will work out very well, with a few adventures–but not too much drama. What’s hard for me to imagine is that I will enjoy it more than I did this championship season with Trevor.

    The selfless and dramatic role that Trevor played, peaking in the playoffs, was almost like it was out of a fantasy Disney movie: Trevor making threes against the very Orlando team that doubted and traded him–after a series in which he stole the ball from Chauncy Billups to win a game against Denver.

    I thought that Trevor would be the one player that would span the Bryant era into the Bynum era. After three years, maybe the Lakers can trade to get him back?

    On the other hand, it will be interesting to see what the fanatical determination of a second quality player can do to drive the Lakers to another NBA championship–especially against a Shaqtacular Cavalier team determined to “win one for the King”–a King who has yet to comprehend how much a team game basketball really is. Of course, our new “Artest” may still have the same problem.


  128. kurt saying that lo is staying makes a world of difference.


  129. What’s up, is there anybody else here?
    If there’s anyone else here, let me know.
    Oh, and yes I’m a real person LOL.