Ron Artest Will Be A Laker

Kurt —  July 2, 2009

LAKERS VS ROCKETS
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. this will be interesting…

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  2. This is a high risk, high reward move. The Lakers could be super-scary good with Artest. On the other hand, when you’re the defending champs and a favorite for the upcoming season, is high risk-high reward the optimal strategy?

    Whatever the case, things got very interesting very quickly.

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  3. this is either gonna be very good, or really bad…

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  4. My preference would have been to keep Ariza, but there is no denying that if Artest stays within the system, this improves the Lakers, at least for the next couple of years.

    There was also the question of whether Ariza would continue to improve, and/or if he was the beneficiary of an inflated perception of his value because he got hot during the playoffs.

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  5. They should sign Ariza and start him in the backcourt with Kobe. Ariza can guard points the way Ron Harper did for the Bulls. We would have the top defense in the league no question

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  6. Artest at 6 if Ariza really was going to hold out for 8 is a fantastic price, that’s absolutely true. I guess I just assumed Ariza would cave and play for near-equal money, like 6 to start just to pay his agent’s fee. 🙁

    Kurt, I assume this means Artest starts and Odom still plays the 6th man role… we can afford to re-up a 6th man for 9mil+ a year, right? We still need Odom to not take a step back, at least in terms of league perception.

    Hey Ron: you’re a frog on a lily pad.

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  7. For all of Artest’s shortcomings, he’s a pretty versatile player who can play many positions, which gives the Lakers tons of options. Also, while TA did a wonderful job in the playoffs, perhaps the Lakers envisioned having to beat the Celtics (SF = Pierce), Nuggets (SF = Anthony) or the Cavs (SF = LBJ), so maybe this was a move to get a physical SF who could handle this future road to the championship.

    I for one loved TA, and will be sad to see him leave. Maybe he’ll end up in Portland or in some other barren land, but at least he got his one championship.

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  8. I think everyone should calm down a bit.

    I’m reading these comments like everything is a done deal. I think there still a lot of negotiating going one.

    Let’s all hold our horses and see what happens before we start wishing Trevor well and saying good-bye.

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  9. Please Ron-Ron, for the love of God, let Kobe close out the games. I’ve witnessed you jack up miss after miss down the stretch.

    You are a great passer, defender and shooter, but let Kobe close out the games.

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  10. It’s a versatile move in that Artest could maybe play some 4, in foul trouble situations or when matchups demand it. It’s also insurance in case Odom can’t be signed.

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  11. “I dare you to call the Lakers soft now”. this is the only thing I’ve heard ’til now that made me feel a little bit better. here’s hoping that the positive side of ron-ron’s aggression rubs off on the others in practice.

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  12. david lee is an ass…enough said. poor t.a., he was influenced poorly by lee and now he’ll bear the brunt of the circumstances……artest will provide a couple of important things: he’ll be able to get his own shot when kobe is resting, a plus. he’ll also be a bit bigger body to bang against the bigger bodied threes in the league, i.e. melo, lebron.

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  13. I think it’s a done deal. I suspect they had this Artest deal in their back pocket and when Ariza’s agent basically spit on the Lakers MLE deal by going public and saying Ariza would play for the MLE on another team, the Lakers went straight to plan B.

    Ariza’s agent DEFINITELY overplayed his hand on this one now Ariza’s market value has basically collasped.

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  14. sorry kurt but I dont really feel sorry for Ariza, obviously we dont know the entire situation and I might be wrong but it appears that Ariza got ideas above his station (pushed by his agent no doubt), got greedy and somewhat disrespected the role the lakers have in resurecting his career, I cant believe that managment had artest over ariza from the start

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  15. My sentiments exactly, Kurt.

    Can Kobe cover quick PGs as adequately as TA did? If so, we haven’t lost much in terms of defense, either.

    And, we may have finally found the enforcer that we longed for, even when we believed that we weren’t soft. Hard to picture him as an enforcer, but maybe we can sell the role to Artest.

    As for coach after Phil, I don’t think there’s gonna be much of a problem there since Kobe will be around. Artest was okay with him being 3rd after T-mac and Yao, so I don’t think he’ll have a problem with placing Kobe and Pau in front of him, though I am not sure if he will try to be the 3rd or won’t mind being the 4th or 5th after Bynum and Odom.

    Just for fun, having Walton start and having Odom and Artest come off the bench may give us an interesting 2nd unit. If only to apply 48 minutes of pressure to the SG or SF of the other team.

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  16. Interesting note from the amazing Tom Ziller of Sactownroyalty — Artest’s biggest clashes came with players he didn’t think worked hard enough (Bibby). At least that will not be a big problem in LA.

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  17. “The Los Angeles Lakers never offered Trevor a contract,” Lee said. “Their response was, ‘Go out and find what someone else will pay you and then come back to us.’ I don’t think he felt appreciated.”

    Sry if already posted.

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  18. ariza’s fault…he handled these negotiations horribly…good riddance…he’ll regret this forever…that punk should have been offering to shine mitch’s shoes…

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  19. Echoing #8, wondahap, I wonder how much of this is a negotiating ploy on the Lakers part to put pressure on Ariza and Lee.

    Lee has to know the market is set now. What if Lakers have left their offer on the table and told Ariza its still there if he wants it.

    Ariza might do what Bynum did last year and tell Lee to cut the bs and get the deal done. Lakers then take Ron’s deal off the table. Heck Lakers might even tell Ariza that they’ll bump it from the opening 5.6 to 6/yr for a few years with player options. That might sweeten the pot enough.

    I cannot express how much I dislike this move if it happens. This is definitely a high risk, high reward move and I too am not sure it’s the right thing for a defending champ.

    This is one case where I’d love to be proven wrong and see a few more rings come because of this move.

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  20. Kevin Pelton gets at my concerns about Ron-Ron disrupting the offensive flow:

    Last year, Ariza used 16.7 percent of the Lakers’ possessions while on the floor. Artest used 24.7 percent of Houston’s possessions, and has been over 23 percent every year since 2002-03.

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  21. Well that was faster than I expected. I was really ready for about a week of David Lee b***s*** before Trevor signed for about what we would appear to be getting Artest for.

    I’m ambivalent.

    I really liked having Ariza – the journeyman cast-off making good with his hometown team. RonRon…I just hope that the talk from experts that if he’s the 3rd banana he won’t hurt you is true. It would be great to see him rebuild his legacy in Purple & Gold, but I preferred the idea of Ariza.

    That being said, Ariza and Lee chose their path, and what’s done is done. I wish Trevor well in his future endeavors so long as he isn’t playing against the Lakers.

    I do hold out hope that this means that we’re working steadily towards retaining LO, who I have pegged as more critical to retain than Ariza due to his rarer combination of skills/talents and his willingness to sacrifice his game to the needs of the team (even if that is sometimes to a fault).

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  22. Warren Wee Lim July 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    • I dare you to call the Lakers soft now.

    L M F A O. 😆

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  23. The Lakers are not bringing Ariza back too, nor are they making another signing outside Odom. This was in part a money decision, they are not going to compound it.

    Houston made a contract offer to Ariza today. He and Artest are basically going to be traded for each other.

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  24. Hey, VoR,
    Happy now?!

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  25. I will be curious (and scared) to see where Trevor will end up now that the MLE seems to be his max salary. If it’s a Yao-less Houston, I think I can deal. If it’s the Spurs, Nuggets, or Cavs, I hope he doesn’t come back and bite us in the butt in the playoffs.

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  26. Bynum
    Gasol
    Artest
    Bryant
    Fisher

    Regardless of how Crazy Pills fits into the offense, that lineup is downright frightening on D. Wow.

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  27. We just won a championship, doesn’t seem smart to be taking “high risk, high reward” kind of moves

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  28. This is yet another great move by Kupchak. He is getting a better player in Artest at a great price. Three years at 18 millions is fantastic. While I loved watching Ariza play this year, he simply does not have the skill level of a Ron Artest. i know he still carries the baggage from his years with Indiana, but that has been behind him for quite some time now. Although they show it in very different ways, he and Kobe have the same kind of desire and drive to win/destroy the competition.
    I see no problems with him fitting in on this team. Now just re-sign Odom and say hello to another great year.

    Also, is there any thought to LA trying to get a guy like Ramon Sessions?

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  29. I’m also hoping that Ariza was Rockets’ plan B because they couldn’t sign Artest for Ariza’s price.

    I’d be worried more about this trade if Houston let Artest go due to some secret stat stuff that only they are privvy to has convinced them that Artest was a liability while Ariza was not.

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  30. Cookie Monster July 2, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    One other thing- and I am optimistic and truly thinking Artest WILL work out, is that at the midlevel, if he DOESN’T work out for maybe personal reasons, or just plain slump reasons, his contract allows the Lakers to work with heavy loads such as Sasha’s 5 mil and Luke’s 5 mil, to move in a package to get someone good.

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  31. 81 Witness- Glad to see you around. you defintley saw a lot of Ron when he was in Sac-town. Provided he brings good Ron (strong on-ball defense and 40% 3pt spot-up shooting) do you like the move, or do you have no faith he can fit within the system?

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  32. This is amazing! Now if we could trade farmar and morrison for J Kidd hahaa

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  33. We had to make a bold move. Even though we won the ring – all other contenders got better with FA’s. I’m glad that Mitch did the proactive thing and not just sit by and watch others improve. In this league – can’t just rest on your laurels – every team is gunning for you.

    David Lee is a friggin tool!!! He could have easily convinced TA to take the money and stay with the Lakers. He gave bad advice and now TA is heading out of town.

    Even if this doesn’t work out – at least we will finally put the RonRon argument to rest. We will get the chance to see if he is worth the risk. I am 100% behind this move!!!!

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  34. We can give opposing 3s different looks now. Kobe can deny, Artest can bang.

    While our 7 footers, especially after Bynum gets his mobility back, can show up and disrupt.

    Still a hole in the PG position, but if Brown becomes more reliable…

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  35. Trevor has been a delight to watch bloom. One f my favorite players these two seasons. However his public negotiating face (even if it’s a creation of his agent) is a real turn-off…

    I have not been on the No on Ron wagon, though I certainly agree there could be a horrible downside. But I think if he can’t succeed in LA with a top banana and a coach he respects, then he will never succeed anywhere.

    Also the crazy pills show may take a bit of pressure off what otherwise would be the “Why Isnt Bynum Developing Fast Enough” storyline?

    Let’s talk scouting. Ron is clearly strong and reasonably fast on D. He can hit from 3, but I can’t tell how reliable he is as a spot up shooter since most of the threes I saw him take were contested and off the dribble. I remember him as an adequate passer and screener. He can post up, but again some bad shots billing through help. If he is given a clear role in the system and will follow it, there is huge upside. I have no sense for his IQ and how he’ll pick up the tri. I’ll look forward to others filling in the gaps.

    But as I said before, seeing how he blooms or destructs under Phil would just be great basketball drama. I’m pretty excited to see it happen.

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  36. Kurt, aside from signing Odom they have to make Shannon Brown and offer.

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  37. The best part of this deal is that a second unit of Bynum/Odom/Ron/Sasha/Jordan will really allow Kobe and Pau to rest during the season. Artest can be a featured scorer on the second unit, allowing Odom to initiate and Bynum to work the inside. I think our bench will be better because of this deal.

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  38. Stuck In Alabama July 2, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    I was never a huge ron artest fan, and i did grow quite fond of ariza this past season, but i have to say this is a great move. Im sure you all remember the clutch playoff performer of last year (Sasha), being awarded with a 5 mil a year deal, and then promptly disappearing all season long. i do suspect some of what we got from trevor was the same. There’s no way to tell for sure. With Artest, you know what you are getting, and i think thats what it comes down to; taking the known for cheaper instead of the unknown. In this sense it could even be considered a LESS risky move.

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  39. I want David Lee to slither into Mitch’s office and beg for a sign-and-trade so his client doesn’t have to settle for the mid-level.

    Well played, Mitch. Well played.

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  40. I too, kinda feel ‘bad’ for Trevor (as much as I can for any multimillionaire!) He and his agent overplayed their hand, and his worth. I was looking forward to watching Trevor grow, and will miss that (although as someone else said, there is the possibility that Trevor will regress back to the mean in his 3pt shooting as opposing teams take him more and more into account in their defensive schemes).

    From a skills standpoint Artest is an upgrade over Trevor and is certainly a better defensive matchup against the likes of Pierce and LBJ.

    The only questions are his mental state and how does he fit in intangibly with this team. I think alot of people overstate his potential problems, much like people did with Marbury and the Celts (his problem there was that he physically stunk).

    Isn’t there a saying about winning being a cure for all troubles? I think the liklihood of Artest fitting in with the Lakers are relatively good. Not only are the Lakers going to win alot, but they’re a tradition-laden team with players who, more importantly, just won titles. I think players like Artest here (or Marbury in Boston) are just not as likely to cause problems in these situations as they would be on other teams.

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  41. I’ve been sided with Kurt in the “No on Artest” camp ever since his name as a potential Laker started getting mention.

    But if this deal goes through, I’ll be optimistic about it. I think Artest will cherish this opportunity and respect the pecking order of this great team. In Houston, he took over (and muffed everything up) at the end of games not just because he’s Artest and he wants to take over, but also because Houston didn’t have anyone to step in front of him. As great an option as Yao is, he was often tired at the end of games and not demanding enough to get Ron-Ron’s attention. I don’t think it will be a problem in LA, where the hierarchy will be known from the get-go. And if it becomes a problem, well, Kobe has shown he’s not afraid to get in Ron’s ear.

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  42. You know what scares the ever loving sh** out of me? Trevor Ariza being provided the same defensive statistical information that is fed to Shane Battier.

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  43. While it would have been preferable to have Ariza, in order to guarantee his services, seems like it would have cost up to 6.5 to 7mm to keep him, and it would have the lakers committed for 5 full years.

    So to compare:
    Ariza = 7mm for 5yrs = 35mm.
    vs.
    Artest = 5.6mm for 3yrs = 18mm

    If you make the worst case assumption that Lakers pay luxury tax every year, then Lakers at least save 3mm a year for the first 3 years (9mm). And have cap flexibility 3 years from now.

    Seems like Lakers got an upgrade in talent, downgrade of character, at least with a net savings of 9mm over 3 years. I would take it.

    (note: this comment was in the last posting)

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  44. Exhelo – I simply said I was intrigued – not that I was dying for this move. 🙂

    And yes, I am intrigued (been smiling all afternoon)- provided LO comes back! If this is a move instead of LO – then I think it is dumb. Just to be clear.

    How can this not make for an interesting year, though? Could be PJ’s best coaching job ever – it could just push him over the edge.

    Most reports I have heard say that RA is considered a good teammate – justs a bit loopy. Do others have insight on this?

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  45. 24. If thats true this is a sign and trade and we didn’t use our MLE. Hell thats even better news, than the pick up of Artest.

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  46. Umm… is this really Ron’s twitter? http://twitter.com/Real_Ron_Artest?

    Yo, I’m out to celebrate. Going to Jack Nicholson’s house. Gonna bust his door down with an axe and say ‘HERE’S RONNIEEEEE!!”

    …I’m nervous.

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  47. The Dude Abides July 2, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Oww…that sound you just heard was VoR slapping me upside the head. This aggression will not stand!

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  48. *If* this works (by works, it obviously means another championship), what kind of props should Mitch get?

    I have some faith in him and his evaluation of talent, and if he decided on this, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    We all have to remember, Ariza was like a blitz from our side, something that may or may not work again this season when every team knows and can add a wrinkle for Ariza. This is not to say he will regress to the mean, it’s just important to remember that his success (at least on offense) could’ve been due to many reasons.

    So Mitch probably figured, after seeing Ariza and while pleased with his growth, that he won’t be as effective as he was this year. In a way, what we might have done is send the league another blow to their psyche: you can’t outtrade or outtalent the Lakers.

    If we can get Odom and Brown back, everyone in the league will constantly doubt whether the trades / acquisitions they made will be enough.

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  49. Hopefully, Shannon Brown and Lamar Odom return to the Lakers. That’s pretty much it for the Lakers off-season. They may opt not to bring back Sun Yue. Or they could bring in a player deemed a project to see if they can develop him. Maybe a player like Tony Gaffney fits the bill?

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  50. 33. I posted that same sentiment 2or 3 days ago about being proactive and not reactive. I think we just became the hunter and not the hunted, with this move. AMEN!

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  51. Stuck In Alabama July 2, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Ahahaha classic Shining reference. I’m stoked for next season, hurry up and start!

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  52. So what book does PJ give Artest to read?

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  53. better to have TA sign w/ a nonconteder like houston than a team where he can have a man-on-fire type vendetta like the cavs.

    best thing would be for kupchak to convince LO to take less money ($10m/yr is too much), and also sign TA.

    lakers still don’t have anyone who can guard the quick points.

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  54. The Dude Abides July 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    One thing I’ll miss is seeing how the potential lockdown lineup of Kobe, Trevor, Lamar, Pau, and Drew would have fared the last five or six minutes of the 4th quarter (and the last three minutes of the 2nd, number of fouls permitting).

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  55. I agree with Kurt that this deal was the Lakers sticking it to Lee, and probably calling his bluff while they were at it. I’m sad to see Ariza go (partially because it ruins the UCLA power on the team) but I have faith in Phil’s ability to keep Crazy Pills from living up to his name.

    In terms having a quick defender, I think this solidifies Shannon coming back. I really believe that Shannon is going to blossom in this system. Also, resigning Odom now is an absolute must.

    I’m still not fully sold on Artest, but I have faith in Mitch. He has developed into one of the best executives in the league, imo, and I trust his judgment more than my own.

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  56. I love this deal. Ron is simply the better player and with Kobe around, there will be no problems. Remember how tough it was for the Lakers to get out of the West and that was dodging Dallas, Portland, and SA. With the teams in the west looking to improve, you cant stand pat.

    If team returned in tact ie Ariza and Odom etc coming back, the talk would be about how the other western teams improved while the Lakers did well to keep what they had. Now with Artest, the talk will be even more so what the other teams need to do to catch the Lakers.

    Great job Mitch!!

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  57. 51. That is not his real twitter account. That is a fake one. This is:

    http://twitter.com/96TruwarierQB

    Again, I hope I am wrong all of you saying Artest is a better player than Ariza, but I think Ariza was a better fit. The Laker offense is predicated on ball movement and player movement, and Artest has long had sticky hands and loves iso. Like I said, I hope I am wrong.

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  58. Put me in the bummed camp. All of the logic is what it is and hard to argue against, but TA was such a nice part of the Lakers chemistry during the run to the championship, and it’s debatable if the team needs another alpha dog, as it’s conquered the toughness demons.

    Maybe too many (bad) memories of how much of a lock the Shaq-Kobe Lakers were when Malone and Payton signed on (albeit Artist has a LOT more gas in the tank), but chemistry is hard to create and harder to maintain.

    TA, we loved ya man!

    Mark

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  59. Wow. A year ago I really thought the Lakers would’ve beaten Boston with Artest and tempered my desire to see him in a Lakers uni by the cautionary and educated posts of Kurt and the gang. Now that he’s here I am completely bummed about losing Ariza. Really don’t know what to say.

    I hope Ron-Ron’s got a lot left in the tank. Maybe the fact that Lamar Odom’s his lifelong friend will help keep his chucking in check.

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  60. Thanks, Kurt. I was about ready to call my parents and tell them to flee the city. Major relief.

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  61. We still have our MLE available to sign a point, if this deal is a sign and trade. Plus we still got Ammo expiring contract to address needs in the future if need be. This deal just made us one the nasties teams in the league, not only could we average 105 points a game with this new lineup, we could hold you to 95. SHAQ HOW ARTEST A## TASTE.

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  62. I think there’s another strategic aspect to the Artest signing: we could not let any of the other Big 5 teams (CLE, BOS, ORL, SA) wind up with Artest, since that might have elevated them above us, talent-wise.

    Conversely, I’m not so worried about Ariza on those teams, because I don’t think Trevor has as much value as Ron outside the Laker system. And the beauty of poaching Artest from Houston is that the Rockets are now the team most likely to sign Ariza, so the balance of power remains unchanged with us still at the top.

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  63. With Artest you get a great perimeter defender, a tough as nails guy, so that you don’t have to rely on your point guard to be an intimidator. Ron Artest will get open 3’s and will knock them down. Artest wants to win a Ring and enjoy the fruits of being on a Championship Team.

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  64. The thing that I hope for is that Artest won’t have to feel the need to score with Pau, Kobe, and even Bynum on the floor. That way he won’t be a “black hole on offense”. Whenever he’s on the other side, I actually wished they give the ball to him just so he can screw up or at least disrupt his team’s own offensive scheme. As an optimist, I hope that he’ll play within the system, make solid basketball moves, and hound everyone on defense.

    What made Ariza work was that he was a perfect compliment. He didn’t need the ball, he took shots when open/available, and knwe that his primary role is just to play defense. I hope Artest will keep that same mentality.

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  65. laker fan in raptorland July 2, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I could just imagine if/when this deal goes through when the Lakers face the Rockets — who will Ariza guard, Kobe or Artest?

    I’d bet Trevor will be thinking “I should have stayed home in LA!!!”

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  66. from an email I wrote to Kurt and co.

    Frankly, if this report is true and we do get Artest, I won’t be bitterly disappointed. Yes, it would have been nice to retain Trevor, but Artest gives us a lot of, to quote Jay Bilas, “upside potential.” If Artest buys into the offense, (and that’s a huge if), plays his game, takes three-pointers with his feet set after zero dribbles, plays solid defense, and bulls his way to the hoop when he’s on with the 2nd unit, this will work out magically. As I said before, on paper, Artest has every skill we would ever want in a small forward; he can shoot the three (at least when he isn’t on the move or dribbling away our lifespans), he can play tough defense, and he can body up to Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and the like. However, there is a strong possibility that this could be a Texas-sized disaster. These are the times when I’m thankful we have strong leaders and strong personalities like Kobe and Fisher, because without them, there would be no chance of reigning Artest in. Yet, Artest has a way of destroying chemistry, both off the court and on it, so Artest represents a huge risk to our championship form. If Artest can play within our game, we will be unstoppable. But then again, this feels a lot like juggling fireworks: It may explode in the air, make a great big boom, with flashy colors and patterns, making everyone ooo and ahh, but it could also explode in your face.

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  67. wow… i hope TA drops his agent after this gaffe. seriously, this David Lee character is a joke.

    how did he get his tentacles on two of our key players from last year in the first place?

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  68. So maybe the idea of Trevor being insulted by the Lakers offer wasn’t so far fetched after all.

    I still think it’s crazy that he was so insulted by their offer, that he took the exact same offer elsewhere.

    Regarding the assertion that the Lakers front office didn’t make an offer to Trevor, I remember that they clearly offered a contract worth the Midlevel Exception. So obviously they did offer something, which Trevor – it seems – will end up accepting, just with a different club.

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  69. The concerns I have with Artest is will he be content with being a spot up jump shooter, and cutter to the rim? Because with Pau, and Kobe, thats all that is really needed from him on the offensive end. He will have a bigger role with the second unit. But it could work out. I garee its a high risk high reward move. But thats an odd move to make after you win a championship.

    Kurt you forgot Luke being able to post smaller players. He is actually a good post player, but at SF and sometimes PF he is playing against people his own size or bigger. But as we saw in the finals when Lee was on him. he will punish smaller players in the post.

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  70. 15. I like the idea of Artest being a go-to scorer with the 2nd unit!

    If I’m not mistaken, Cook + Mo Evans basically turned out to be 2009 Championship and Artest. And if Kurt is right and this a sign and trade, thereby preserving our MLE, not a bad trade at all.

    I don’t know how much credence there to the notion that the FO signed Artest just to spite a nasty agent (David Lee) over a player. I believe if the FO was truly enamored by TA and believed they had to sign him at all costs, that this would have been evidenced by waiting a little bit more.

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  71. Ariza 🙁

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  72. Has it been confirm that its a sign and trade?

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  73. 77. Not a sign-and-trade. The Lakers get Artest as a free agent, Houston is the likely suitor for Ariza as a free agent. For the same money. Weird, but what it is.

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  74. 62.

    That was my thought completely…I remember we thought once we signed Malone and GP we were going to destroy everyone and we know how that turned out (I know there were other factors, yet still…an embarrassment of riches doesn’t lead to the promised land).

    I agree that Ariza’s agents play was one factor. I think Sasha’s deal and subsequent drop off was another.

    I think Ron has the passion and desire to want to prove himself but I worry about him disrupting the chemistry. Again as with others if he can find his place in the system, then we will be okay.

    But I liked Trevor’s earnestness and acceptance of his role in the system, and I hope that Ron can have a seamless transition.

    I don’t know if this means that LO is definitely coming back (we said that about Trevor). Are we going to get a real back up SG or resign Brown? Because if Sasha is our only SG other than Kobe…

    I think Kobe is going to have to go back to guarding the opposing teams “quick smalls” with Ariza gone.

    Finally I doubt it will happen but regardless of LO and Brown, I wouldn’t have a problem moving Sasha, Farmar, Walton or Ammo, though I don’t know what we could get for any of them. But I think we have some backcourt depth issues we need to address.

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  75. Over the course of his career, Artest has been used to taking about 14-16 shots a night. Last season Ariza’s FGA per game was 7.3, and that was with Bynum missing half the season. Between Bynum playing a more prominent role in the offense and Artest coming in board, Phil is going to have his work cut out divvying up shots and touches. Even if you want to fit in, it’s not easy going from a ball-dominating #1 or #2 option to a role player. I have serious questions about how well TruWarier can make that transition, but we’ll see.

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  76. do you think the nba will make a “I remember” commercial for this signing?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6TnilbMphA

    I think I just busted a gut laughing thinking about that. I remember finding out about you [, Ron]…

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  77. Just read that Ariza made verbal agreement with Rockets. That’s great cause at least he’s not going to one of the major competitors where he could come back to hurt the Lakers. Maybe the Lakers can resign him 5yrs down the road when he hit his prime.

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  78. 78. I thought so. Several commentors were implying that the Lakers had a sign-and-trade with the Rockets for Artest, with the Lakers keeping their MLE.

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  79. Oh man, I really am going to miss Trev a lot

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  80. After the championship, I thought for sure there was no way Trevor would be leaving…

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  81. Is there any chance this becomes a sign-and-trade rather than signing each others’ FAs outright?

    Random thoughts:

    Artest is more of a presence in the post, while Ariza is a slasher, which makes me think Ariza is a better fit offensively. They both shoot the 3 well, and I guess they’ll have Artest spotting up for 3s when Kobe’s in. However, putting Artest in Kobe’s spots offensively while Kobe rests might be effective. Kobe getting rest will be key next year.

    I will miss Ariza’s dunks.

    It’s very hard to repeat in today’s NBA. Injuries, strategies, matchups, off-season acquisitions. I think champions need to make some smart but gutsy moves to repeat. Here’s hoping this works…

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  82. LO might take an extra discount now to stay in LA and play with his boy RonRon – I’d be surprised if that’s not part of Kupchak’s thinking. I like the move and hope Artest will relish the 3rd banana role like Rodman did with the Bulls…

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  83. We are getting the player in Artest that many wanted to trade for 3 years ago. And the best part is we also get to keep Bynum and Odom, and Kwame Brown got us Pau Gasol. Who would have thought.

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  84. Two years ago I deemed Ronny Turiaf my favorite player (not named Kobe) and last year it was Ariza… Should I make Sasha my fav this next year?

    Although I will be sad to see Ariza go, this may work out well for us in the end. Ariza has had a history of foot problems and all year that was in the back of my mind every time he made an akward drive through the lane. This could have been his one great/non-injury year. With Artest (and Kobe) we have the best answer for Lebron in the league. I think this move is directed towards winning in the Finals, and I’m all good with that.

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  85. TruWarriorLosAngeles July 2, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    For all the people that feel bad for Trevor Ariza, I do too…but if he really wanted to stay a Laker he would’ve switched agents. Now he’s going to Houston for exactly what the Lakers offered, even though that asshole Lee called the same offer from Kupchak “insulting”.

    Artest on the Lakers is a coup…this is like the Pau Gasol trade part 2. Ariza was great at playing the passing lanes, but he couldn’t shut down guys like LeDouche, Melo, Paul Pierce, etc. Artest can do that, and he’ll make those guys miserable when he guards them. He loves LA and will know his role playing under Phil Jackson, with Kobe, Gasol, Odom, Fish, et al, and with the championship so close he can taste it. Laker fans be excited…the best team in the league just got A LOT better

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  86. Im curious if you sign someone with your MLE can you package it together with another contract on the team, for a player on another team. Im still obsessed with K Hinrich. If we sign and traded with Chitown, I would think Christmas came early this year.

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  87. I’m really sad to see Ariza go. Like Kurt and others I thought he was/is a better fit. We lose some speed and athleticism to be sure. I’ve been watching video from the finals run over the past few days and it’s now going to be a little bittersweet to see TA doing his thing.

    But no doubt Artest will help defensively against Denver, Cleveland and Boston. And I expect that when Ron gets those sticky fingers while overdribbing and forcing shots PJ will be quick to insert Luke who will be sure to keep the ball moving.

    I sure hope we get news on Odom resigning pronto. LO will be another important person to keep RA from combusting.

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  88. I don’t know whether Trevor or his agent decided to roll the dice on going for the most money, but I can understand it and I hope Trevor gets it.

    Another difference between Trevor and Ron Ron is that Ron has already gotten his paydays, his big contracts, and Trevor hasn’t. Same for LO. It’s easier for those guys to take a paycut. If Trevor can get some one to overpay, he should go for it. He may not get another chance.

    Last year, Ronny left for a $17mil/4 year contract to the Warriors. As much I liked Ronny’s passion, he wasn’t worth that much and as much he seemed to love playing for the Lakers, he would have been a idiot to turn down that contract. We ended getting Josh Powell and DJ less than half of Ronny’s contract with arguably better performance.

    I’m have concerns about Artest fitting in and I think Ariza has some upside, but I’m not sure he will become the player that Artest is.

    I think Trevor’s agent could have accomplished the same result without being such an a$$, but you play with fire and sometimes you get burned.

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  89. Cuh-ray-zee. It’s almost as if Mitch and the organization sold high on Trevor. He’s the James Posey of this year’s free agent class – the right swing man in the right system and about to be (slightly) overvalued.

    So while everyone is chasing after Trevor and Hedo, Mitch snuck in through the backdoor and got someone more talented than both swingmen.

    I love Ariza. Love UCLA. Love how he got better as the season and the playoffs went along. I hope that the playoffs were his coming out party and not his ceiling. But Artest….

    come on. I’m as big an Artest fan as anybody, and even I’ll admit that he takes a good amount of ill advised shots. But for those who are worried (Kelly Dwy included), he’s about to be a LEGITIMATE THIRD option. With Phil and Kobe to help rein him in. With an offensive system and organization, in general, that will hold him accountable for his play. Granted, there will be a number of occassions where he will chuck up a shot that need not be chucked, but I’m more than optimistic that he brings nothing but positive-ness to this team. Defensive-wise, offensive-wise, toughness-wise (as Kurt mentioned), comedy-wise, GOOD THINGS.

    As has been glossed over a bit in the preceding comments, all the other contenders are getting stronger. Staying the same (bringing back Ariza and Odom) would be equivalent to taking a step back. And as Kurt mentioned (again), we shored up the biggest potential weakness of our team – weaker than the PG slot IMO – guarding physical, small forwards. Because when it comes down to it, if we make the Finals next year and in the future, we’re more than likely facing Lebron or Pierce. We lucked out in this year’s finals, but for the future we needed someone more physical than Ariza at the 3.

    Ecstatic.

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  90. What Kurt said.

    Plus, I hate seeing the Lakers swap a 23 year old for a 30 year old.

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  91. Artest will be 30 in November. He can still play if he works hard in the offseason. The more I think about it, the more I like this deal. It will be an upgrade in the short term. Even if Ariza is going to have better potential in the long term, our championship window is now. The chances that Artest hurts this team with spotty play are near the same chances that Ariza’s play diminishes. At least we know what we’re going to get with Artest.

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  92. Wow I’m torn. I’m hesitantly optimistic, but I agree with Kurt – Artest could destroy our offensive flow. Our success as a team will hinge on if Phil and Kobe can rein in his tendency to iso. That stat by Kevin Pelton is a great one, if Artest can stay around 17% (Ariza numbers), then I like this move. As a pure spot up shooter, I think Artest can convert at a higher rate than Ariza, honestly. It’ll be up to the coaching staff to get him to take the right threes.

    Remember the concern/complaint that we didn’t have a defender to handle the bigger, stronger wings in the league? Well, that’s out the window. But Kurt nailed it – we’ve lost the fleet-footed wing we can put on quick PGs (excluding Kobe). As fans there’s always something to pine for, but I guess we traded one type of defensive wing (great help defender, rangy, plays the passing lanes) for another (physical, intimidating).

    I do remember in the Houston series not being intimidated by Artest in the slightest. I remember a lot of us noted that he’s lost a lot of quickness, and Kobe took him off the drive at will.

    So I guess I’m not ecstatic, but this could work. Most of us would prefer Ariza, because we’re familiar with him. And he’s younger (although less proven – what if his shooting goes cold?)

    I have to admit, I’m having a hard time imagining Ron Artest playing in the triangle offense. And actually running it.

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  93. -Mitch has hopefully learned the lesson of his previous bad signings: don’t overestimate your own players, especially in a system as distinctive as the triangle. The Lakers made it clear they wouldn’t sign Ariza for more simply because he was their free agent. I, like so many others, loved watching Ariza. But his playoff performance inflated his value.

    -Artest is a significant upgrade. I always felt Ariza’s defense was a bit overrated (for instance, Anthony abused him). Ron will help us against the bigger perimeter players like Anthony and James, reducing the minutes Kobe plays against them, and thus saving him from the wear and tear.

    -As I speculated in a previous post, my guess is that Phil pushed for this (or at least signed off with a strong endorsement). Phil made his admiration for Artest clear during the series with the Rockets and I’m sure he’s intrigued by the versatility and volatility of Artest. He can play multiple positions and can handle the ball really well. The Lakers now have two point-forwards. Phil may have been attracted to this new challenge. He’s had success with this personality type before. And with the lure of passing Red behind him, Phil may have wished for a new motivation.

    -The one threat Artest poses is his penchant for ill-timed outbursts. I’m not really concerned about his effect on ‘chemistry’. Many have said he’s a good teammate. Ron’s biggest drawbacks as a player were his tendencies to force shots and overdribble. I think these will be mitigated for the most part because he won’t handle the ball as much on the Lakers and there’s a clear last-shot (or late in the shot clock) player already in place. The outbursts may still come but I’ll happily take the chance that Phil and Kobe can keep him in line. If they do, this team is really scary (if we bring back Odom).

    -We must bring back Odom. Make it three years and averaging eight or nine. Barring a lockout or major injury, the Lakers have to be considered the favorites for the next three years and Kobe’s opportunity to pass Michael becomes a legitimate possibility.

    -Any way the Lakers and the Rockets decide to do a sign and trade so both can keep their MLE’s? Wouldn’t the Lakers love to do this, especially considering that even though it would help the Rockets, there’s no way they’re title contenders next year?

    -Good luck to Trevor. Houston seems like a good place to develop and I wish him the best. I also hope he changes agents. What a disappointing end to his time here…

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  94. Maybe everybody will calm down about this when they read the link on 93. Both Kobe and Artest respect one another, as well as mutual respect from PJ. Thats what it is about, and RonRons image. When he was in Sactown he respected no one on the team, that can be said about the Houston roster in the playoffs. With respect comes humbleness, you can bet your last dollar that RonRon will give 110% on this squad.

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  95. I, for one, am super stoked to get Artest.

    Intimidating, imposing and just plain competitive.

    I love Ariza, but he hasn’t stayed healthy for more than two seasons. Artest is a proven commodity.

    Starting lineup of Bynum, Pau, Ariza, Kobe, Fish? Sounds like a championship team to me.

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  96. Ariza made a verbal agreement with Houston reportedly 5 years for 33 million

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  97. This also makes keeping Farmar more imperative. As bad as he’s played, he does well against speedy PGs like Brooks and Parker.

    Ron Artest had a problem with teammates not working hard enough? The guy who wanted to take time off to promote his rap album? On a side note, anyone worried by how many music opportunities there are in LA?

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  98. L.A. is going to love Artest. Nut job and a hard worker, just like the one we have in Dodger stadium.

    If Artest really came to win, he would know better than to play outside the system.

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  99. Anyone read Hollinger’s article (I don’t have Insider)? Just wondering what he thinks of the move, his numbers sometimes give him good insights into this kind of stuff.

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  100. We are focusing on Artest too much: think of what could have happened if Ariza was in LA unhappy with the money he got and the way he was ‘unappreciated’ by the front office.

    Remember Ariza was fuming when Kobe opted to shoot it himself instead of passing it to him, and as much as we like and love Ariza, there was a very good chance that he could have developed an ego to go with his increasing skill set.

    I’m not saying I didn’t want Ariza back, but if you consider the fact that we could have had an “unhappy” Ariza here, then the Artest deal makes much more sense.

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  101. I guess Mitch thought that with Spurs getting RJ and Cavs getting Shaq, and Celts/Spurs getting Sheed that we had to upgrade our talent a little bit.

    I’m nervous, though I think Artest will stay in line because he’s playing to win a title. Mostly I’m sad because I loved TA and I hate to see when agents screw things up for their clients (david lee and dan fagen just need to go away).

    That being said, kobe shouldn’t have had to nearly kill himself guarding Melo and leading the offense because Ariza wasn’t strong enough. Also, if if 2 of 3 of our big guys are in foul trouble, we can slide Artest to the 4 rather than play Walton there.

    My main (basketball) worry is what Kurt mentioned about Ariza gaurding quick pgs (namely, parker). Still, if this works out, we’re going to be unstoppable.

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  102. while sad to see ariza go, i’m in the camp that’s happy to see artest in our lineup. i kept looking at other teams like cleveland, san antonio and orlando adding players like shaq, jefferson and carter and wondering what the lakers will do to counter that. well i’d have to say that we did better than all of them by adding artest.

    i wish all the best for ariza, the laker nation needs to applause this guy like crazy when he comes back to the staples center in a rocket uniform. he didn’t want to leave but it was a business issue and laker fans hopefully will realize that and give him the love he deserves. unfortunately i think ariza’s game will suffer in houston. ariza’s points mostly came from passes and he has not shown the ability to create his own shot. with no yao ming, no kobe bryant type player and a new reputation as a good player, ariza will be guarded much more closely than he was with the lakers. nevertheless, i wish him all the best.

    people are worried about artest and his mental state, but i think if anyone can handle that its this team and this city. with this trade, i would say we’re the favorite to win the title.

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  103. Snoopy,

    read Hollinger’s article. Basically he says that Artest is a better three point shooter and his numbers will go up with more open looks whereas Ariza was shooting well above the mean in the playoffs, so he was probably just having a good month. He also mentioned that while Ariza is more efficient on offense, Artest’s numbers should go up there too with better players around. Generally, he thinks its a good deal objectively, but understands Laker fans are nervous/sad to see Ariza go.

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  104. rodman was NOT the 3rd banana on the bulls. he was more like a pineapple.. his focus was on defense.. on offense he threw up the wild jumper every now and then when he HAD to.. more importantly he KNEW he wasn’t there to score.. he KNEW his role was defending and rebounding (he lead the league in fact) because the bulls already had a big 3 of jordan pippen n kukoc.

    if artest can play a similar role thats fine.. not GREAT because his passing and bball iq (or lack of thereof) aren’t a great fit in the triangle.. with other veterans the upside is smart play, leadership and experience.. crazy pills doesn’t really fit that description.

    futher more he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.. he THINKS he has the offensive skills to be the 1st or 2nd banana in the fruit basket.. hopefully his respect for kobe odom and pau will keep his pride at bay.

    can’t say this enough.. but pau and odom’s willingness to sacrifice their individual minutes/stats/game for the greater good is key to this team’s chemistry.. odom could be a triple double machine and pau was the go to guy for a longtime.. my only hope is that it’ll rub off on the other role players.. particularly bynum and artest.

    i really wonder though.. what were the laker’s motivations for this move? it can’t be just to spite ariza or his agent. im thinking its more the arms race btw the magic/spurs/cavs.. possibly mitch’s bad experiences w/overpaying youth and potential (sasha, maybe walton)

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  105. Think of Rondo and Boston; that could’ve been Ariza for us. A feel good story that suddenly goes sour because the protagonist thinks he’s all that.

    Now, the happy ending of course would be that he learns his lessons and return humbled like the prodigal son, but that’s going a bit too far 😉

    Anyway, I think this is sort of like a psychic alarm for any of our role players who might have lost the sense of ‘urgency’ for next season. No matter how big a role you played, if there is a chance for improvement, the team will take it and not play favorites.

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  106. 102

    wow u know ure in trouble when hollinger says good things about your team.

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  107. Am I the only one who thinks Ron-Ron is not the defender he used to be? He’s never had great success against Kobe, but in the playoffs this year it was more striking – every time he was on him Kobe just drove right around him. I still think he’s a very good defender, but no longer do I think he is the guy he was from ’02 to ’08. Shouldn’t make much difference, though.

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  108. so maybe ariza might be given an offer below the mid level exception from lakers?

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  109. thanks for the ireland link and the hollinger thesis. the ireland story was especially interesting.

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  110. I am happy that we got artest. We will need him next year. He is a better player than ariza and phil will find a way to make it work.

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  111. Every move has a risk. Re-signing Trevor to a long-term contract is a risk because other contenders have gotten stronger and we give up salary cap flexibility down the road. If we re-signed Trevor it’s still possible that we wouldn’t be as good as some of those other teams.

    Some people have been screaming for Mitch to keep up and with trade he has from a talent standpoint and from a salary cap standpont. We got Ron Ron for MLE money for only 3 years. That seems like a pretty good deal to keep us contending for titles and giving us more flexibility down the road. Ammo, Jordan and Sasha’s contracts expire in 2011 so we’ll have about $15mil or so to go looking for some younger talent, re-signing Kobe and Pau.

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  112. This also is a signal to future Laker free agents: Don’t play games in the media. Don’t let your agent make a sour environement for negotiation.

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  113. There are a handful of games this season I remember where Trevor’s energy, quickness, length and defensive tenacity against the ballhandler single handled turned the game and momentum in the Lakers favor.

    The fact that he couldn’t make a three 18 months ago and now just finished shooting 48% for the ENTIRE playoffs sinking several clutch three’s along the way after using Kobe’s shooting regiment as a “Bible” seemed to prove he’s a hard worker who will realize his very evident talent.

    The fact that there seems to be a toughness to him, such as when he confronted Turkglu and the rest of the Magic bench in game 5 then sank the very next shot and the next, both threes, (while Turk bricked h and hit the straight away three on a broken play to set up Fisher’s three in game 4, seems to show he’s not the type to get intimidated on the biggest stages.

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  114. This move reminds me a lot of Eddie Jones trade for Glen Rice. While Rice might have been a better player in the deal, he never quite worked out while Jones blossomed after he left. Of course, it didn’t help that Eddie was playing the same position as Kobe, but he would have made a good PG in triangle offense.

    That said, I actually like this deal a lot more than the Eddie Jones for Rice deal. I feel as some have said that we may need Artest’s defensive presence if we play against the Cavs (Lebron) or the Celtics (Pierce). Artest is just about the best defensive 3 there is in the league. He can also play 4 if we decide to go small. I also think at this price, it’s a good gamble to take. Trevor could improve, but who knows how much. His shooting % could definitely drop next year. Ron’s a pretty good spot up 3pt shooter who can be more versatile offensive option than Ariza. We all feel that sentimental feeling for TA because he blossomed right before our eyes this past year. We will truly miss him, but if Ron balls this year….we just might say, “Trevor Who?”

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  115. Harold,

    Great points on TA.

    One thing that baffles me is how on Earth could Ariza’s agent or Trevor himself think he could command more that $6 mill with:

    1.) This current economic climate
    2.) Everyone saving for 2010

    I think his agent screwed him if he was actually *expecting* more. I love what TA did this year, but his bar should’ve been set around what Posey got last year. He’s going to regret this if this is in fact a done deal.

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  116. why is nobody talking about gordon and villanueva meshing like silk and satin while at uconn?…dumars ain’t no fool…

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  117. Artest was just interviewed on Sportscenter.

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  118. Oi,

    I guess I could see somewhat of a rationalization of adding Artest to the team, but I think it’s a better chance of scenario:

    A) Mitch getting back at Lee
    B) Relying on Artest “reputation”

    rather then

    C) Artest is more productive then Ariza

    I see a chance this move might work if

    A) Artest take less offensive possessions per/48

    B) Be more efficient both on defense and offense (which hasn’t happened since 2003)

    C) He knows his defined role and execute it proficiently.

    If I really convince myself, I would probably think that swapping Ariza and Artest is a wash.

    Ehhh…

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  119. 113

    He’s no longer quick enough to check the more fleet-footed guards, but he can still handle just about any forward you throw at him – including LeBron (to the extent that LeBron can be ‘handled’ by anyone).

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  120. Awesome, ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!!!

    If Kurt and the rest of the long time forumblueandgold posters have been leading the anti-ron ron demonstrations, then I have definitely been in the pro-ron ron camp!

    Listen, haven’t we learned that you cannot trust the media’s portrait of guys? Haven’t we learned from how they (in the past) treated Kobe? Selfish, bad team mate, hyped, etc. The media even turned one of the best performances of any player in any sport, in the history of sports, into a NEGATIVE when they turned Kobe’s 81 point game into a sign of his selfishness. Of course now most of the media is giving Kobe his due, but remember back 2-3 years ago.

    This is the same ridiculous portrait they have painted of Artest. Let’s look at what he has done in the past that is so aweful. Everyone talks about the fight he had in the stands at Detroit with fans. But if one looks at that situation closer, the fans were the AGGRESSORS and Artest was PROTECTING himself and his teammates. That’s one thing Artest is known for –he is always there when you need him to back you up. He will put himself in harms way to protect team mates and/or friends.

    Furthermore, this is one of the hardest working players in the game. Basketball is extremely IMPORTANT to Artest and winning is as well. Is he childish in this regard? Yes, i think he is. Usually this type of dedication to a sport is only there with kids. Usually this type of dedication to protecting team mates and backing up your friends is only their with kids.

    I think that Artest is a hard working basketball player. He does the DIRTY work. He goes down low and throws elbows, rebounds and plays defense. This is dedication to the sport of basketball. Anyone would love to have this individual on his/her team!

    Of course he also comes with faults. He is childish/immature so he has his stubborn streaks. But that’s why Phil is there as the zen master. That’s why Kobe and Fisher are there. They are the father and bigger brothers who will keep this guy on the right path.

    Ask yourself a few questions:

    1) Is Artest dedicated to winning? The answer is yes! He gave up a much bigger pay day to become a Laker. Why? Why did he take LESS than his worth while Ariza wanted MORE than his worth? Because more important to Artest is winning and competing.

    2) Is Artest a hard worker? The answer is definetely YES. He will work his ass off. No doubt.

    3) Is he a good teammate? If you were walking in a dark alley, who would you rather have by your side? This guy looks at his teammates and friends as brothers. He will sacrafice himself for his brothers.

    4) Will he do the dirty work? Rebound, play defense and bruise down low? Of course the answers are yes to all of the above. Remember that this is a DEFENSIVE player of the year. When was the last time the lakers had a defensive player of the year on their team?

    And then ask yourself that if you didn’t know the name of the guy described above, would you do everything to get him on your team?

    His faults are obvious: immature and a not as smart as the average bear. But his positives more than make up for these faults.

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  121. Will Ron Ron wear #73?

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  122. how does everyone think that ariza will do on a team that will have no yao, no mcgrady (kobe like player to draw double teams) and the new found respect that other teams will give him now defensively?

    on the lakers side, if they sign odom… i’m salivating at the possibility that the lakers can put a line up like this on the floor: fisher, kobe, artest, lamar, and gasol…

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  123. 126/wondahbap, on that sportscenter interview, he was asked what # he’d wear, and he said he didn’t know but that he’d take suggestions on his twitter account.

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  124. Some of the fans here seem to have lost focus in this championship celebration. If you step back and review the playoff run, you have to feel lucky that we didn’t have to play the healthy Celtics in the Finals. Let’s be honest with ourselves. The Lakers were NOT in the best forms in the last playoff. They had problems on defense. The reason they lost to Yao-ming less Houston was because their suspicious defense. When Kobe had a bad shooting night, they were extremely vulnerable. The Lakers has to address this issue this off-season. Last year’s Laker will have difficulty beating Cavs, and healthy Celtics with addition of Wallace. I think Ron Artest gives the Lakers a much improved defensive presence. He can take a lot of pressure off of Kobe defensively. Artest has far superior offensive skills than TA. Sure, TA is young and talented. But we don’t know if he will ever offensive skills to the level of Artest. Mitch has got the basketball brain. Acquiring Artest has made our run for the next few championship runs much more secure. Go Lakers!!! http://www.iHomeMD.com

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  125. Sorry for the double post… wasn’t quite finished…

    I really do think a guy with Ariza’s length, athleticism, work-ethic, experience, hustle, toughness and unselfishness (he told P. Jackson he was perfectly fine coming off the bench–in a contract year no less–when L. Walton volunteered to be benched) and youth is worth $6.6 a year. (I would’ve been ectastic if they could’ve wrapped him up for that amount for 5 years). He should’ve been the Lakers starting small forward for the next 8-10 years.

    The Lakers might just as good next year and, the rest of the Artest years, or even better than this years but I just don’t see it.

    Sorry for the negativity but I think this is a huge misstep by the Lakers. Maybe it doesn’t cost them much, if anything, but it’s never a good idea to cut off you nose to spite your face and this is what it seems like.

    I guess the plan to keep all 13 players from last year just went out the window.

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  126. Some tidbits from the LA Times:

    “Ariza agreed to a five-year deal with the Rockets for about $33 million, roughly the same that the Lakers had offered in their effort to retain him.”

    “Ariza’s agent, David Lee, said the 24-year-old forward passed up a more lucrative contract offer from another team with salary-cap space. “We decided to go with Houston anyway,” Lee said. “It was never about the money. It was about going someplace where you felt appreciated.”

    Since Ariza wanted $7 – $8M, I guess appreciate costs $2M.

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  127. Rockets projected opening day starting lineup:

    PG: Brooks
    SG: Battier
    SF: Ariza
    PF: Scola
    C: Hayes

    No disrespect, but that’s a pretty HUGE drop off from this year’s Lakers team…for the same salary that the Lakers were offering.

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  128. For some reason I ‘m remembering Isaiah Rider now.

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  129. 1. I am still pumped up about this news. It is a combination of excitement, curiosity and terror.

    2. Here’s one way to break it down. Ignore mental issues for a sec. Compared to Ariza, Artest is stronger, a better shooter, can create off the dribble, has midrange game, and has post game. Ariza is faster and has a knack for the electric play. So this is a big upgrade, IF Artest buys into the system and can handle the system. Now I believe Artest could have gotten more than the MLE. Say what you want for his oddness, but the man has left considerable money on the table (and perhaps years too) in order to play with the people and the coach he wanted. I expect his best effort to buy in. If he can’t succeed in LA, he’ll never succeed.

    3. It is very good to have someone who can handle bulky 3s like, well, Lebron, Carmelo and Pierce. Kobe had to do that work and in the playoffs it drained him.

    4. Ariza was decent on fast PGs, but in reality most of our guys are fast and long enough that we can switch onto PGs. If a PG is truly lighting it up, Kobe can be the stopper there as well as Ariza.

    5. I loved Ariza, but it leaves a kind of bitter taste in my mouth that he left the Lakers to play for the MLE. One gets the sense that if he told his agent to get it done for the MLE, it would have gotten done. Having said that, I’m also glad the guy is getting paid and I wish him the best (except against the Lakers).

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  130. 126. My issues with Artest have nothing to do with how the media portrayed him and everything to do with what I have seen with my own eyes of his play and how that fits in with what the Lakers do. You are new here, be careful presuming what and how the regulars here think.

    I’m not going into another long rant of my concerns, but it boils down to this — everywhere Ron has been his offense has been isolation outside the flow of the offensive system. And that is a bad fit here. I am rooting for him to change, but you need accept that I have serious concerns about this. It has nothing to do with, as some other person suggested, wanting to be the first at the bar to say “I told you so.” That’s another case of a newby here having no real idea how I or others think.

    I’m a Lakers fan, one who will root for the team to win. I am in Ron-Ron’s corner now, and I hope he proves me wrong.

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  131. David Lee will be hangin’ with Spreewell’s agent as soon as the ink dries on TA’s contract.

    A tragic, career-altering day for TA.

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  132. Wow, I was always a proponent of Odom for Artest. It never occurred to me the Lakers could do Ariza for Artest.

    I’ve always said the Lakers lacked an enforcer type to intimidate. They have that now and still in the running for Odom to boot!!

    Can’t wait for the season to start.

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  133. This is from the John Ireland blog that was linked. Where exactly… did this convo take place?

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

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

    This feels like a scene from Top Gun… a very awkward scene.

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  134. David Lee takes a quick jab at Lakers front office (quote from LA Times):

    “Ariza’s agent, David Lee, said the 24-year-old forward passed up a more lucrative contract offer from another team with salary-cap space. “We decided to go with Houston anyway,” Lee said. “It was never about the money. It was about going someplace where you felt appreciated.”

    David Lee is like a really poor man’s version of Scott Boras. He needs to realize that he has other clients with the Laker organization…and it would be best if he kept his trap shut as to not burn any more bridges with people he will need to work with in the future.

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  135. 130. I have no idea what Lakers team you were watching last year. The one I was watching beat Boston twice (home and road) and the same with Cleveland. And I love that the Lakers had no second option after Kobe. How quickly we forget Pau.

    The Lakers scoring pecking order is now Kobe, Pau, Artest, Odom, then we can debate it. If Artest takes shots away from Gasol, that is not a good thing. Gasol is a very efficient scorer, moreso than Artest.

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  136. David Lee is Grima Wormtongue from the Lord of the Rings.

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  137. Even if the two had equal talent, you always take the one that’s glad to be here, not the one that thinks he’s entitled to.

    I’m letting David Lee color my perception of Ariza (I couldn’t have loved him more; I recall that face and the body language when he said “I felt love, man” “A lot of love” after his exit interviews) but if it really was Ariza that was offended by the MLE, than I have no sympathy for him.

    He, as well as anyone, knows the predicament the Lakers were in, having to resign him AND Odom. I’m not saying he should’ve accepted less than what he was worth, but you don’t get insulted when the team that helped you blossom offers the best they can and also lets you know that they will try to match reasonable offers (which is the impression I got when Ariza was supposedly told to test the market).

    So at the end, it was a choice between a player who was so eager to join us that he took a pay cut, and a player who would’ve been disgruntled being offered the same amount for a longer period of time. No-brainer, even if Ariza was the superior talent, because teamwork and sacrifice trumps marginal talent upgrades.

    All in all, this was just a very shrewd business move that, if it works, will go down as yet another heist. We got Pau for scrubs, then we got Ariza for Vlad, now we get Artest for Ariza, only adding salary when we got Pau (sorta worth it), and otherwise either shedding salary or gaining more flexibility.

    Other teams who try to improve in this economy did so by eating up and venturing into luxury territory; we, although we were already deep in it, improved while not (yet) adding any more than we have already.

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  138. Who is Ron Artest?

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  139. Artest for Ariza is a great trade. I pray it goes through. Ariza was a great hustle player that could play defense and hit big threes. But Artest is a powerhouse. Hes super strong and physical, and he is a great 3 point shooter. Lakers will be scary if they get Artest, but the point guard position is the real thing that needs to be addressed.

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  140. L.A. has to bag Odom to make this work. That, and hope to God Phil can reign in Artest like he did Rodman back in the day.

    I’ll admit it – I hate the Bulls and laughed aloud when they landed Rodman because of his bad history with Jordan and Pippen stemming back to the Bad Boys era. I was convinced he’d tank that team’s chances.

    Three championships later, Rodman had proven me wrong. Let’s hope Artest can make me feel just as wrong when I look back on today’s news as I feel when I think back to the Rodman news in 1995.

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  141. 126

    I don’t need the media to tell me that Artest likes to pound the ball and forces shots. I don’t need the media to tell me that he has an overinflated sense of his offensive capabilities. I don’t need the media to tell me that a guy who has been a high-usage (and often inefficient) player throughout his career will face some difficulty in making the transition to being the third or fourth option at best in a system that emphasises ball movement and spacing.

    None of what you posted addresses those concerns.

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  142. Another positive —a huge one at that.

    Remember that Artest was going to either Cleveland or LA. He chose LA. And now Ariza is going to Houston. This is the BEST of both worlds.

    Firstly, can you imagine if Artest was in Cleveland next year? They would be favored to win it all! Shaq and Artest and Lebron. Our guys would be man handled, as that’s got to be 500 pounds of pure muscle.

    If we would have re-signed Ariza, then Artest would have gone to Cleveland. Now Cleveland gets no one, and we improve with Artest over Ariza.

    I think this was put into the calculation of the front office.

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  143. By the way, the guy who broke the Artest story (Ken Barger at CBSsports.com) is saying this is a five year deal, not a three. Some other sources report that as well. I don’t think it matters three or five — in for a penny in for a pound.

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  144. If it’s five, this loses some of its luster ad Artest at 35 is not something I’m going to enjoy watching… although I hope I will.

    Now, I seriously hope our front office handled things a bit better with Lamar so he doesn’t feel “unappreciated.”

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  145. Amazing how Houston were early contenders with Yao, T-Mac, and Artest in 07… and only two years later it’s likely that they won’t have any of them.

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  146. Kurt, Aldridge is reporting it’s up to Artest: he can opt for 3 or 5 on July 8.

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  147. Below thoughts are assuming Odom comes back – lets view this from offense and defensive perspective:

    Offense:
    With Artest: there will be no doubt in my mind that offensive efficiency will drop. Last year, Lakers were at the top mainly due to lack of turnovers, high field goal percentage, and high rate of offensive rebounds. Turnovers will increase (Artest does not exactly have J Kidd like vision), field goals will decrease (due to less touches for Gasol) but offensive rebounds will probably go up. Verdict: Offensive efficiency will go down, but should still rank in the top 5 range.

    Defense: Ariza was a great off the ball defender – and while he made some memorable plays vs. Nuggets (see out of bounds play), and against Hedo (see: second quarter, game 5) – Lakers still allowed Melo and Hedo have some pretty memorable series.

    Lets look at all contender’s leading SF

    Cavs – Lebron
    Nuggets – Melo
    Orlando – Rashard or Vince
    San Antonio – Richard Jefferson/Ginobli
    Boston – Paul Pierce
    Portland – Brandon Roy (i know…SG/PG…but we know Artest will guard them)

    Who would you want guarding the above? Artest or Ariza?

    Also, there has been mention of Ariza able to switch to guarding PG’s. True. But how often did we do that? Against Aaron Brooks? Didnt see it often. Yes, hes able to switch..but lets not kid ourselves and think that Ariza was a PG stopper either. We didnt get better stopping the quicker points…but in terms of championship contender matchups, Artest solves a lot of problems.

    I also believe the SSZ was utilized more often to emphasize Lakers’ length and quickness…I think we will see the SSZ being used less often, and more straight up man defense next year.

    Verdict: Will remain top 5 in defensive efficiency – but will have better playoff defense against likes of Carmelo and Lebron.

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  148. Does anybody remember that the “Ron-Ron” lead Rockets team took the eventual NBA Champions to seven games? All this talk about chemistry is fruitless, the guy obviously wants to win. How many problems did he create for Houston last year? Anybody?
    Yes, he has sticky hands sometimes and overreacts to elbows, but that young Rockets team had some amazing energy and grit. I’m not saying Ron Artest had everything to do with that, but he certainly didn’t disrupt it.
    We have the enforcer we’ve been craving for, and there’s no one in the league Ron respects more than Kobe, which is a good place to start.
    This is a steal.

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  149. Man, this is either the best idea ever or the worst idea ever. I think in financial terms the deal was a steal – perfect contract length and all.

    In basketball terms, for every pro of his I can think of a con. On the one hand, I worry that there won’t be enough shots to go around now that Artest and presumably a healthy Bynum are plugged into the mix (let’s not forget Bynum’s chucking in Game 5 of the Finals last year). On the other hand, I think he could play himself into a great role as a scoring leader with the second unit. On the one hand, there may be too many stars on this team and not enough role players. On the other hand, he’s saying all the right things about wanting to play for the Lakers, and you’d think that the fact that he took a pay cut proves his dedication to the team concept. Finally, we’ll miss all the turnovers that Ariza caused on defense, but we’ll also welcome Artest’s burliness and strength.

    One thing’s for sure – I can’t wait for the 2009-2010 season to begin.

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  150. the other Stephen July 2, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    how much do you think we’re going to offer odom?

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  151. Many Laker fans were talking about swapping Lamar for Artest last year after Pierce murdered us in the Finals. But swapping him for Ariza? If we resign Lamar, this could be a team for the ages… I want Artest to be our next Cooper.

    I wish Trevor all the best, and I hope he is very successful. Glad he got paid what he deserves, and I hope he feels appreciated.

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  152. Wow, I did not see this coming.

    Earlier today I was quite convinced that any talk of losing Ariza and gaining Artest was pure smoke-and-mirrors, and that Trevor would re-sign with us for the same money he’ll now be getting from Houston.

    I was all set to post in the previous thread that I am steadfastly on Kurt’s anti-Artest bandwagon … right up until the moment that he becomes a Laker, whereupon I will immediately allow myself to be talked into welcoming the Ron-Ron era in LA with open arms (which is pretty much exactly how things went down, especially if the deal is indeed for three years instead of five: if true, that’s a remarkable bargain).

    However, I can’t forget Trevor’s contributions to our glorious championship run quite as easily:
    Those game-winning steals! The momentum-changing three-pointers! Such grace, such ferocity. So many neck tattoos.

    I believe Lord Byron said it best:

    “Fare thee well! and if for ever, / Still for ever, fare thee well.”

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  153. I too would like to wish Trevor well, except I can’t figure out rationally how he thinks that going to a worse team for the same amount of money is a better outcome than re-signing with us. Maybe it’s his legendary temper getting the best of him?

    I am also very curious to see how his 3pt % is next year too.

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  154. By the time everyone gets done missing him, Ariza will be the greatest small forward to have ever lived.

    We shall see how much his performance was intrinsic and how much was a product of a special supportive Laker environment.

    But his game has holes. His game is unfinished.

    He has no mid-range jump shot, zero; you know – dribble, stop and pop. There were tons of mid-range opportunities he had where he couldn’t even attempt a shot.

    His defense was based on speed and quickness and gambling. It wasn’t good against Carmelo or Hedo or bigger, stronger 3’s.

    He is not a passer. His assist numbers were low.

    So before we drool on our shirts, remember the truth – his game was limited and his success was based on everyone else doing the other things that let him excel at what he could do.

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  155. Oh wow, this is big news. As much as I like and will have everlasting appreciation for Trevor Ariza, this is brilliant. It also defines PT for Lamar a bit more I think because Artest is not as quick as Ariza and so Lamar will get more of the minutes when we need a bigger 3/4. Anyway, I love this…and I think given Ron’s desire for a ring will override his tendency to ballhog. Ron only holds on to the ball, I think, coz there is, at some level, a distrust of his teammates. But he trusts Kobe Bean Bryant. This is like Rodman falling into line in Chicago when he goes to work with Michael, Scottie, and Phil. Everything will be great. Oh I LOVE this move.

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  156. The biggest advantage we get out of this is someone to guard the superstar threes we’re going to see on nearly every possible contender — San Antonio (Jefferson), Denver (Melo), Boston (Pierce), Cleveland (LeBron), Orlando (Carter). As good as Ariza was last year, he simply isn’t in these guys’ weight class, often forcing us to either put in Walton (foul magnet) or Kobe (out of his weight class, burned a lot of energy).

    Like I said in a previous thread, if there is a team in the league I’d trust to get Ron-Ron to keep his marbles together, it’s this one. We have Kobe’s and Fisher’s locker room gravitas, Phil’s savvy, and Odom as Artest’s best friend. Let’s hope it turns out for the best.

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  157. I know I probably should feel different because this is a good piece in his prime to add to our top 3 all in their primes but I really haven’t been less excited for a Laker free agent signing in I don’t know how long…

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  158. check out this interview. Ron Artest Interviews Kobe from Last Year

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  159. The Lakers are positioning themselves to be title contender over the next three years with the signing of Artest (and hopefully Lamar Odom). When Arterst contract ends in 2012 it could coincide with an opt out clause of Kobe Bryant’s contract.

    Perhaps the Lakers did not want to be tied up in a potentially bad contract with Ariza but are starting to make plans for the future after this three year title run is over

    Thanks to Trevor Ariza for his contributions this championship season

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  160. I feel sad for Ariza and happy for Artest. I also believe that Ariza’s agent blew it big time.

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  161. Here’s ron artest’s interview with sportscenter after meeting with the FO:

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4303977&categoryid=2459788

    (sorry if someone already put this up)

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  162. Here is where Artest can add some value. Last time he guarded Lebron, he ended a 493 game streak of no assists, and held him below 35% shooting (granted…Artest had a lot of help from Battier too)

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=290226010

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  163. What is more disappointing is the fact that Trevor is accepting a Houston offer that the Lakers offerred and the player rejected.

    If Lamar is demanding $10 million per year, I don’t believe the Lakers will give it to him.

    I hope the Lakers keep Shannon Brown. It would be devastating if all 3 free agents left because of money.

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  164. Signing Lamar should be at the zenith of the Lakers’ priority right now.

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  165. I’ll leave it for those who know more about basketball than I do to contemplate whether this is good for the Lakers in basketball terms. From my perspective, I loved rooting for Ariza last year, and I will really miss him. Artest doesn’t catch my interest in the same way. The team may in fact be better off, but I’m still sad.

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  166. Now my alarms will go off like crazy if Odom doesn’t sign with us, as that will be a big testament on Artest’s character, but from what I hear, it will only make it more attractive for him to sign now that his childhood friend is here.

    In lines of wishing Ariza his best… do you think he can get some other bible from Kobe, work like Sasha and Kobe combined during the offseason, and take full advantage of there being no go-to guy in Houston?

    Anyway, this signing has me searching for a ‘FBG@Houston’ so I can see how Ariza is accepted/compared over at Houston.

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  167. Put me in the don’t like this camp. Artest ruins the flow of every offense I have seen him in. I don’t enjoy watching him, and while I want the Lakers to win every time out, I can;t, and won’t bring myself to cheer for him individually.

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  168. Kurt #136

    You then wrote:
    “My issues with Artest have nothing to do with how the media portrayed him and everything to do with what I have seen with my own eyes of his play and how that fits in with what the Lakers do.”

    Looking at your Ron Artest “rant” this does not seem to be the case.

    In your Ron Artest rant you wrote:
    “The bottom line for me is that the slim advantages you gain from Artest in a couple areas are far outweighed in other areas. He has the chance of being a big problem, if you don’t think so look at his track record. Do you really want to take that risk?”

    That is what i’m talking about regarding how the media has written this guy up. He is a trouble maker and is insane and he is “trouble.” This is far overblown. This idea that Artest is going to be a “big problem” comes from where exactly?

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  169. Okay… espn just reported ariza will sign with rockets @ full MLE for five years…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4303862

    so I’d guess ariza’s agent ran out of options huh? one of the many reason ariza got so many open looks because other team decided that kobe or pau will not beat us tonight… others will have to step up…

    farewell Trevor… you have been great to this lakers team ever since u were acquired from orlando two years back… it will be tough to part with you since all of us have seen you matured as a player…

    onto Ron Artest…

    granted, he’s considered a better defender and can post up smaller players, but i still have doubts about him… i’m one of those who would prefer ariza over 5 years @ MLE then artest @ 5 years of 6 milllion… he’s unpredictable and many times during the houston series, artest literally shot them out of the games… i just hope we can have a focused, determined ron artest that’s commited to playing defense and hopefully adapt himself to this great offense…

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  170. 1) I’m sad that Trevor is leaving, and even more sad about the way this whole ordeal is unfolding. He was a great fit and is young, and I wish him best of luck.

    2) I’m rather giddy about the prospect of Ron-Ron playing on our team. Like a lot of the posters mentioned, it’s a high-risk/high-reward gamble. But combined with the fact that we have Kobe (top dog), LO (good friend) and Phil (the master of getting players to play to their potential) this signing seems to have more positives than negatives. And as others have mentioned, we couldn’t just bring back the same team when everyone else made moves to adjust to us. We basically made our own team more unpredictable to everyone else since we’ve got a brand new chip to play with this season. The dude is a hard worker, and as Chuck Barkley mentioned Ron is someone you want in your trenches to go into battle with.

    Overall, I’ve very excited for the upcoming season since now there’s even more reason to watch.

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  171. MarlonBrando,
    He got Rafer Alston traded.(And there are numerous fans in Houston who thought that a very good thing 🙂 Adelman was not one of them.)
    Alston started to complain in press about Ron constantly breaking the offense.
    Up until McGrady’s season was killed,the Rockets were very active in trying to trade Ron. All the deals the Rockets actually had under discussion involved Ron and Landry for fill in the blank.(Amare told friends he was being traded to Rockets.) The team set up McGrady’s 09 Doctor’s Tour to find out if they could count on him for rest of season.(The team arranged all the visits and sent their conditioning coach along to oversee process.)
    Once McGrady announced he was done for season,the Rockets decided they needed Ron’s offense more than Alston’s leadership and traded away Rafer.
    I think it pretty significant that the Rockets didn’t lock up Ron earlier,that they agreed not to even negotiate until a few days of fre agency had passed.

    Personally I think there will be some early head-butting,but Ron will settle in as a very nice player. Unless Kobe misses a few games. Then Ron will go into hero mode and the results are very mixed.

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  172. The good thing about this in my opinion is that Artest, Kobe, and Odom are friends and hopefully they can get him to buy into the system. But I also think there’s a bonus. I think Luke and Sasha are gonna have to bring it at every practice and every game. I expect a better season from those two next year. There’s just no way you don’t step up when Artest tells you to, NO WAY. Who knows, maybe the Lakers will be No. 1 or 2 in defense. I wouldn’t be surprised.
    The bad thing about the signing is if Artest takes those ill advised shots when we need to play like a team. Sometimes Kobe takes those, and it’s frustrating when he’s forcing it, but he’s Kobe and sometimes he does amazing stuff. But the same does not go for Ron-Ron.
    Having said that, I am very optimistic about Ron-Ron, and if he plays team ball I sincerely believe that the team will be better this year’s. Look out Boston!!!…….or Cleveland.

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  173. I keep hoping that tomorrow we will find out both Artest and Ariza will be Lakers.. and Odom and Brown.

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  174. Thanks Kobama. I tend to take Hollinger seriously on that type of stuff (on others, he’s just way off). He was dead on in predicting Sasha and Farmar’s years, and it’s very possible (maybe even likely) Ariza couldn’t have kept up that shooting.

    I think going to Houston is a great situation for Ariza, better than the Cavs. The way he learned shooting from Kobe, I think he can learn a lot about how to play the IQ-side of defense from Battier. With that training, he could become a monster down the line. Some of the IQ of Battier mixed with Ariza’s physical skills…wow.

    I agree with harold. If this is all Lee, then no problems with Ariza. But the final decision was in Ariza’s hands. The new report says Ariza is getting the MLE from Houston, which is exactly what Mitch offered . If Ariza’s passing up on the team that made him who he is and gave him a chance for a little bit more money, I have no sympathy for him. If it were a pure money decision, I would understand. But if the offers were basically the same and he feels “slighted” by the team that took him own and let him grow as a player…then have fun trying to guard Kobe next year, Trevor.

    Question: do we now adapt the Crazy Pills nickname? Or come up with our own?

    Zephid brought up a great point on the last thread. We all spent the entire playoffs bemoaning the lack of touches for Pau. A notoriously inefficient offensive player added to that? Makes me worry. Ziller says the same thing:
    http://nba.fanhouse.com/2009/07/02/artest-in-l-a-could-most-hurt-gasol/

    KD on board with the worries I and many others have about the effect Ron-Ron will have on our offense:
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Ron-Artest-to-the-Lakers-?urn=nba,174475

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  175. I guess we will see how Ron fits in with the offense, but I think the Lakers upgraded in terms of talent and have moved back to the definitive front of the pack with this move.

    I feel like Ariza’s agent made a big mistake and now he’s doing damage control with those comments about wanting to feel appreciated.

    If LA resigns Odom I definitely feel that they will repeat! Which would be freaking awesome. I like Ron’s compete level and his passion. I think Kobe will like it too and maybe having Ron around to battle with in practice will help keep Kobe sharp.

    Ariza sort of made me feel like he didn’t wanna be here today. And I am so sick of that attitude. Artest on the other hand couldn’t wait to sign.

    I guess I can’t help but see a lot of positive things about the deal.

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  176. Oh, and five years makes this deal so much worse. Long term commitments for old players = no. Three years, I can stomach.

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  177. mister.gelato July 2, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Poor Ariza, for the same money he gets to play in Houston. Could his agent have done a worse job negotiating?

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  178. Oh man, I feel bad. Only because I feel like Ariza grew up with this team. He was unwanted elsewhere and found a home in LA and really really improved right in front of the eyes of the fans.

    I didn’t like the idea of Ariza asking for more money than Lakers could offer without incurring financial suicide. However, just as other players, he deserves the max he can find. I’m really sad and sorry to see him go, assuming that this Artest to Lakers and Ariza to Rockets is a done deal. However, I do wish him the best of luck and he gets the most he can.

    I agree that Artest is a better player than Ariza, but it would be hard to see if Lakers fans would embrace Artest as a whole like Ariza received.

    As long as you wear the Lakers uniform, I will be supporting you. Best of luck to Ariza and Artest.

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  179. David Lee: You fail.

    Oh, and Dex farts in your general direction.

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  180. I still feel mixed and likely will remain so until we see how this plays out. The thing that gnaws at me most is: Doesn’t the rule we apply to Lamar — “he is what he is” also apply to Artest? What is Artest? 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.

    Conversely, the signing is exciting because he brings a unique skill set to the Lakers that we don’t currently have. It also speaks well to the Lakers to the extent that we aren’t simply standing pat after winning a championship. I can’t remember who, but someone wisely said that it’s difficult to repeat as NBA champion because returning players inevitably suffer from serious cases of “ME-itis,” wanting more money and wanting more shots. Unfortunately, it appears that Trevor fell victim to that syndrome.

    I can’t wait to hear Mitch talk about his strategy and thinking once he can be interviewed after July 8. I really want to know whether Artest was the first choice, or whether he became an option only after the troubles with Lee. Contrary to some opinions expressed above, I find it hard to believe that the Lakers made this move to “stick it” to Ariza’s agent. As a decision maker, Mitch seems calm and analytical. I’m sure he was alienated by Lee, but I would like to think the Lakers made a basketball decision rather than one out of vitriol and revenge. I would feel much better if the risk were minimized by a three-year deal as opposed to a five-year one.

    I can’t wait for opening night. In the interim, let’s lock up Lamar and ShanWow …

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  181. I’ll trust Mitch on this one…and this one’s a WOW move for me. Just as long as we keep LO and Sheed goes to the Cs…can’t wait for the matchups! WOW

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  182. has anyone heard from birdman? I’d sure like to hear him comment on this.

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  183. Going off of what mike was saying about Artest as a “Rodman” type player, I think this is an appropriate comparison. Rodman was disciplined when with the Pistons and surrounded by veterans. (Laimbeer, Thomas, Edwards, etc.) He was an petulant child on the Spurs because there was no Alpha Male to challenge him. David Robinson was afraid of him, you could see it in his eyes.

    When he went to the Bulls, sure he had his crazy moments, but he had so much respect for Phil and Michael that he didn’t want to disappoint them.

    I think this could be a similar scenario here. Artest will toe the line to the extent that he may be willing to start meditating with Phil.

    Plus, I don’t know how to say this…he has a severe man-crush on the Mamba.

    The question becomes can he conform, we should know he wants to.

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  184. Watching Artest I never really respected his game or how he played, specifically when he went on iso and messed up the team’s offensive rythm. Of course all that changed when I found out he’s coming to LA. In the Houston series he literally had to though and while that may have ruined their chances to win, I don’t really want to count that against him on a team that took us to seven games without McGrady or Yao. Of course he couldn’t guard Kobe when he was constantly playing with the ball in his hands on offense, Kobe gets tired too when he has to do this.

    My only concern is the shot count for all of the players. I think Kobe will have to shoot slightly less, I’m not worried about Gasol since he had to shoot far less than his Memphis days and everytime he touches it something great happens and he frequently turns down a shot to set up a teammate.

    I much perfer Odom leading the second unit because I’d be afraid he’d dissapear, like he’s prone to do at times, unless he’s a focal point with the ball in his hands at some point in the game.

    Finally Bynum really has to buy into the defense/rebounding and allow his offense to come to him from Kobe and Gasol double-teams. If he can be satisfied with about 8-10 shots per game, I think there will be enough shots to keep Artest satisfied in Lakerland

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  185. Remember how Phil was saying at the end of the year about how easy the team was to coach? Yeah, not so much any more. This is definitely a very risky move, but if I trust anyone to make it work, its the Zen Master himself.

    “Ron, you are a frog on a lily pad…”

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  186. The Rodman situation is different in terms of basketball. Rodman was the type of player who knew his role and excelled in it, and his role was of the type that made others happy (instead of taking shots from others, he helped create extra shots by offensive rebounding).

    My main concern with Artest isn’t the off-court stuff, it’s if he’ll detract from the flow of the offense, and touches for our big men. But if anyone can discipline him on the offensive end, it’s Phil.

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  187. Cheers LA!!
    Mitch Kupchak would probably go down as one of the wisest GMs who ever lived.

    I don’t think why people are not liking Ron-Ron. I mean, for years, the media has him portrayed as a “bad guy”, really now?
    It was the addition of Ron Artest that made Yao have his first 4 wins (out of the first round) of the postseason, he has been 0-for-16573 ever since.
    In fact, without Yao, the Rockets had 2 more wins in the second round versus the Lakers.
    So are we giving the props to Shane Battier or Aaron Brooks or God forbid, Brian Cook now?
    It was Ron Artest who pushed the Rockets to their limit without its two superstars, it was him who gave them back the confidence they needed when Tmac was out and everybody thought they were out of the playoff picture. It was him who made it possible to win without Tmac and Yao and push the now-NBA champions to 7 games. It was the bad teammate who made this possible.

    There are the cons of having Ron Artest in your team:
    1) Sometimes goes into a poor imitation of “Mamba Mode” and takes his team out of the game.
    2) He used 24.8% of the Houston possessions last year and in this playoffs. He averages above 23% since 2002. The Triangle O as we all know maximizes every single possession by just passing the ball until there is an open man ready to shoot, and Artest might contrast just that.
    3)He is an a-hole. And by that, he doesn’t fear everyone, officials, referees, coaches, players, and staff. He has been mayhem since Day 1 in his NBA career. That’s why he got the nickname Crazy Pills. He sometimes get into his self-destruction mode.
    4)He is sometimes uncoachable, in fact, often times unteachable. He does what “he knows” is right and should be right.
    5) He is a bad teammate.

    That 5 criterias would have been every coaches’ nightmare.
    But the good side is that it is all curable, and we’ve seen a bit of that last year with the Rockets.

    And sometimes we forget how Phil Jackson tamed the worst animal NBA has ever seen, Dennis Rodman, in fact turning him into a media darling soon after he collaborates with the Zen’s plan.

    Truth be told, although Artest couldn’t grab that many rebounds unlike Rodman, he is a better overall player than him.
    The previous 5 reasons that I gave is the previous 5 reasons why almost everyone in Lakerlandia would not have him at all.

    But let’s see:
    1) Sometimes goes into a poor imitation of “Mamba Mode” and takes his team out of the game.
    2) He used 24.8% of the Houston possessions last year and in this playoffs. He averages above 23% since 2002. The Triangle O as we all know maximizes every single possession by just passing the ball until there is an open man ready to shoot, and Artest might contrast just that.

    Both of these are correct.but you have to take the fact that there was no Tracy McGrady that would gladly take the “Pressure Shots” (i.e. crunch time, end of the quarter shots, end of the shot clock shots). And Artest was the only one to stand up in these young and pesky Rockets. Now, with Kobe being the leader, the “Pressure Shots” is taken away from him, and all he has to do now is follow the TO, and you can find more open looks from him.


    3)He is an a-hole. And by that, he doesn’t fear everyone, officials, referees, coaches, players, and staff. He has been mayhem since Day 1 in his NBA career. That’s why he got the nickname Crazy Pills. He sometimes get into his self-destruction mode.
    4)He is sometimes uncoachable, in fact, often times unteachable. He does what “he knows” is right and should be right.
    5) He is a bad teammate.

    The last 3 points are bittergourds in a loaded Rocky Road ice cream.
    But we all know, Kobe was the same person Ron was (in terms of attitude) a couple of years ago. But that’s because he has every right to do just that. His work ethic, although only next to Kobe’s, is so gritty and extreme that he is putting pressure on his teammates by being on the same page with him. So by the time Ron gets to the Lakers, he would never have a problem with guys regarding work ethics because Kobe already set the tone in this team.

    But the most important part is this:
    Ariza was great, but would he have been great this year?
    Yes I like him, but would he be like Sasha, being great last year, and after a contract extension, never to be seen again, the Machine losing some lubricants to pursue?

    This deal is perfect in a sense that they are getting a guy who sets the “tough” tone in every game. This is a guy who is far more consistent than TA, that you can expect him to play “A” every night.
    Sources said that he would ink a 5-year deal with LA, the last 2 years is a choice to opt-out.

    Ariza wanted more than the MLE, but Artest wanted the ring more.
    Tell me, who’s gonna pay $7 million to a guy who we don’t know would have another good year in the NBA?
    Artest took the offer at $18 million in 3 years, that’s $6M per year!!
    Imagine you get that kind of superstar at a very low price than take a risk at getting a “superstar-in-the-making-or-bust” at $7M!

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  188. I do believe that Artest is an upgrade over Ariza for our championship ‘window’ at the 3, defense wins Championships, right? I did not want to trade LO for him, but great, let’s see if we can have them both for the upcoming years. I could not believe it when I heard the news, did the FO really plan this?

    You get what you need when you least expect it. – unknown

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  189. I respect Kurt’s opinion about Artest.

    The only thing I can say is if the gamble doesn’t work we have the luxury of benching him. Walton can handle the fort and Morrison might show some signs of life. Also I expect Sasha to rebound a bit this year and he can play some 2 while Kobe slides to the 3. That lineup worked well two years ago.

    Since we won a championship I believe the team has the mental capacity to deal with the distractions Artest may cause with a benching.

    I just pray it is a 3-year deal and not a 5-year deal.

    If this does work out, Lakers are very very dangerous.

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  190. Let’s just say, we were realistically looking at scenarios where we could lose Ariza.

    We did.

    And we got Artest.

    Change of perspective, and now it’s not a ‘trade’ but a ‘countermove,’ which it really was as we offered Ariza the MLE first, and he turned it down.

    The sad part of course is that Ariza didn’t even make 1 mil more (not sure about state income taxes and sales taxes) but it was really not the front office’s decision but Ariza’s.

    So at any angle, this was a great move by the front office in that we didn’t suffer too much from losing Ariza.

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  191. Five years? I don’t know… I guess I’m just completely crazy but this seems like a mistake that just keeps getting worse.

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  192. does anyone have access to the laker’s practice sessions? we need to get some video or sth.. remember artest’s blowup over kobe’s elbow during g3 (or 4?)

    to be a fly on the wall in a practice w/2 physical competitive guys like kobe n CP.. that’d b fun.

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  193. 195 – I’m not too confident in saying Walton/Morrison could hold the fort down. Luke would get annihilated by some of the quicker scoring wings, and his 3-point shot isn’t great. Morrison hasn’t shown signs of for years.

    But I was thinking along similar lines as you, and I wondered (I hate to say this right after acquiring a player) – but we’re allowed to trade him, correct? As long as it’s not with other contracts?

    So technically we have some insurance. I think Artest still has value on the market, and we might be able to get a better “role” players like Matt Barnes if Artest doesn’t pan out.

    I’m sure hoping this does work, though. Artest and Kobe defending on the wings…Pau and pre-injury Bynum doing low post damage…Fish chucking up PUJITS from half court…I guess you can’t win every battle. But it could be beautiful to watch if everything goes right.

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  194. 176. Kaveh. Three thoughts:

    1) Read that quote you brought over again: ““The bottom line for me is that the slim advantages you gain from Artest in a couple areas are far outweighed in other areas. He has the chance of being a big problem, if you don’t think so look at his track record. Do you really want to take that risk?”

    Does that at any point say off-the-court issues. I list five issues I have with Artest in that article and the first four are directly on the court issues. The last is that the Lakers had a young locker room that I thought could be impressionable and thought Artest would be a bad influence. That last issue concerns me far less now, two long playoff runs have matured these guys. Please, if you are going to question my thinking at least get my thinking right.

    2) What makes me question Artest as a teammate? His track record. This is not some media perception, this guy has not been an angel. The fans and management wanted him out of Indiana and Sacramento. As Stephen said, Houston was actively trying to trade him this season before the McGrady injury. If people want to argue that the strong presence of PJ and Kobe will help keep Artest in line, then by all means do. It could be, and I hope it will be. But do not tell me the guy who got a 73 game suspension has never been a problem, that is flat out ignoring the facts. Did he look like a great teammate when he flopped on injuries with Kobe in the playoffs and ran to the refs trying to get a tech?

    3) Why do you feel some great need to prove me wrong, or to win me over as some kind of born again Artest fan? Simply put, all of us who wonder about the wisdom of this are still Lakers fans and want this to work out. I hope I am wrong about my concerns. We are all on the same page, I’m not sure I understand your motive.

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