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Ron Artest: A discussion

BK and I decided to talk a little "Ron Ron to L.A." using the instant message platform the kids seem to love these days.  Some point-counterpoint, but in a nutshell, we both can picture this working out well.  However, it will require some adjustment on Ron Artest's part.  This would be a copy of the transcript.

AK: "So... We're in the Ron Artest business now."

BK: Yep. Not that there's ever a dull moment in Laker Land... but Dr. Buss and Co. basically removed the word from the local vernacular completely.  So how do you feel about it?

AK: I think I like it.  Like we talked about on today's PodKast, I'm aware of the potential issues.

BK: Nice plug.

AK: Well, we've only linked it three times in one day.  We're nothing if not company men.Ron takes a jumper over Pau

BK: Whores. That's what we are. Just say it.

AK: Besides, it's getting buried because "the Lakers want to sign players and build the roster."  Selfish bastards.  But like we discussed in the... 710 ESPN PodKast (wink!), I do think if Artest buys in, you're looking at an upgrade on both sides of the ball. He's a better on ball defender than Trevor Ariza and even more versatile. Aside from being able to check the 1, 2, and 3 like Trevor, Artest can even body a four.  If an opponent goes small, he could probably hang with certain centers

For all the talk about how big LeBron is, I'm always stunned whenever I see Artest in person. No matter how many times I've been around him, it's still impressive how much he resembles a middle linebacker.

BK: Oh yeah. He's heavier than Gasol, despite being what, six inches shorter?  That's why he wears the slightly shorter, tighter shorts, I think. It's the equivalent of D. Howard not owning a shirt.

AK: Remember Charles Mann, the Redskins linebacker?  That's basically Artest.

BK: He was shaped like a triangle.

AK: Kinda like Ron Ron.  And offensively, he's got more pure skills than Trevor. He's much better equipped to create his own shot, and because of said bulk, can post dudes up.  And despite the improvement by Ariza from outside, Ron is still the more proven (and steadily improving) three point shooter.

I feel your "however" coming...

BK: Sure. While I'm warming up to the signing and love the terms- $18 mil over three years- there are some things to wonder, if not worry, about. That Artest is a better player than Ariza isn't the question. He  is. But is he a better fit? 

That was a rhetorical question.

AK: Like how many angels fit on the head of a pin?  Or how many roads must a man walk down...

BK: Or babies in a tire.

Artest is a great fit defensively, like you mention, but on the other end all the stuff I didn't like when we Ariza, Artest we/the Lakers were debating bringing him in for Lamar Odom in a trade over the last two seasons still apply, even though I assume the Lakers will now not be letting Odom get away, which obviously matters.

AK: I'd be shocked if they don't bring back Lamar.  That feels like a given now.

BK: Right. As well it should be. But Artest likes to shoot. A lot. He likes to be a big part of an offense. He hasn't averaged fewer than 14.8 shots a night since 2002. Last year, Ariza averaged just over seven.
And shot selection/ball movement aren't exactly Artest's strengths. He's a pretty good passer when he remembers to move the ball, but it often sticks in his hands.  Last I checked, the triangle suffers sticking.

AK: Does your opinion change at all knowing that, as the season carried on, Trevor averaged eight shots, as opposed to seven?

BK: I should pay closer attention to the splits.

AK: No, I hear what you're saying.  The onus is on Ron to exercise self control, a sentence a little scary to just type, much less plan around. He'll have to reshape his mentality.

BK: And his efficiency. In terms of both true shooting percentage and equivalent field goal percentage, Ariza was actually better than Artest last year. Some of that comes from playing in a better offense with better dudes around him, but some of it is reflective of Artest's shot choices.

AK: I think it's both.  Some of it may also be the result of Artest at times being their #1 option due to injury, but not really being the ideal #1 option.

BK: And given how efficient LA's bigs can be, and the effectiveness of Kobe Bryant (you know, that guy), Kobe, Artest you'd hate to see Artest suck shots away from those guys.  He's going to have to give up a lot of his offensive mentality.  Plus learn the offense.  There's always that.

AK:  Stick with the established championship formula: Only Kobe is allowed to suck away shots from the efficient bigs.  I kid you, people!!! I kid!!!

BK: All I'm saying is that Artest, over the course of his career, has tended to think he's a better offensive player than he is. He's good, but not top shelf on that end.  The good news is that, like you say, for four years his three point percentage has trended up.  As many big threes as TA made in the Finals, Artest, at least on his resume, is a better shooter, which is good because he doesn't finish at the rim nearly as often as Ariza (12% of TA's makes were dunks, vs. 1% for RA, for example... and yes, I had to look that up.)

AK: Yep.  Bottom line, you signing off on this or not?

BK: I am, if Artest is willing to play the role LA will need him to play. That's the biggest worry I have. He's a better player than Ariza, but is more a star talent than TA, too. The Lakers had a great balance last year, where everyone was familiar with his gig and willing to perform his role.  Will Artest do that?  Sometimes more talent doesn't make a team better.

He seems awfully eager to fit in and win a ring, that's for sure. It's an encouraging start.

AK: Dude's in Twitter heaven right now.  I haven't seen him this stoked since the last time he had a CD dropping.

BK: Oh yeah. And every writer in LA is popping a cork. And the good news is, even if he gums up the O for a while, putting him on the other side of the ball with Kobe, Pau, Bynum, and LO (in whatever combination) might make it impossible to score on the Lakers anyway.  They have the potential to be an outstanding defensive team next year, and they were pretty good this season already.

AK: If it's the three years reported, that in and of itself is a major feather in the cap. Not having to devote five years to a role player (which Ariza is, albeit a valuable one) is always nice.

BK: I agree.  Initially, I think Artest will be so motivated to do the right thing, he might not shoot at all.  Even dunks.

Devils_Haicut AK: He'll just trim everyone's hair.  Do the artwork.  Team barber.

BK: Like I said, know your role.

AK: One of his roles, thankfully, will be providing major quotage on a daily basis.  On this level, I don't think it's even possible to quantify the upgrade he represents over Trevor.

BK: Oh yeah. TA was a great quote, until you had to start quoting him. Then he sucked.  Drove me nuts. 

AK: Artest is nothing if not fantastic for our particular line of work.

BK: Like I said, obviously it could work, and let's say that Cleveland/LA matchup everyone seemed to want in this year's Finals happens next? It'll be handy to have Artest around to mark LBJ. Overall, just having Artest's defensive abilities will take a lot of pressure off Kobe on that side of the ball.  That's a plus.

AK: But will the league, David Stern and ABC allow Ron to check LeBron, since the most drama gets squeezed from Kobe guarding him the entire time? And vice versa?  I wouldn't be shocked if they didn't allow switches during possessions.

BK: Maybe, maybe not. But PJ always defies authority anyway.


Photo: Ron Artest shoots a jumper over Pau Gasol.  Photo: Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America

Photo: Ron Artest and Trevor Ariza: Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America
Photo: Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest jaw at each other.  Credit:

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We have officially entered the newest era of Lakers dynasty: Mambanation. Complete. Utter. Mambanation.

I don't care at this point if Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, Shaq, LeBron, Mo Williams, KG, Pierce and Ray Allen all join forces to try to prevent it, the Lakers will be winning title after title for the forseeable future.

Imagine seeing this lineup across the court from your favorite team:


How do you possible deal? You're going to get no production from your backcourt, and you're facing three 7-footers in the frontcourt. Everyone can pass with the best of them, everyone can finish around the basket.

The one unfortunate development from all this, aside from losing Ariza, is that Kobe probably won't be winning any DPOY awards with Ron on the team. Oh, well...

He's a Laker now.

I'm going to have to find those qualities in him that make me root for him.

He's a Laker.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


I think it is another upgrade to the roster, all thanks to Mitch, and we signed Artest at a good price. If Trevor signed with the Rockets for the MLE, why didn't he just sign with the Lakers in the first place if that's what they offered him? Maybe the Lakers found out they could sign Artest for the same amount and 86ed Trevor...that's business for you.

I'm sorry to see Ariza go. He hasn't reached his potential yet as a basketball player and in a year or two he may turn out to be a better player than Artest, albeit with a much different style. However, right now Artest is the better player and he will make the Lakers a better team next season.

I'm still conflicted about getting Artest.
Granted, I'm truly grateful for what Ariza did for the Lakers and I hope he has success in Houston. (my cousin didn't take it too well, he wanted Ariza to break his leg)

Time to get an Ariza jersey while I still can :)

It could be great, as long as he's matured.

He's an incredible player.

Live up to being a Laker, Ron.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


I wish the best for Ariza. He was very instrumental during our championship run. I thought he was the reason why we won game 4.

I feel that Ariza's agent is the main reason why the Lakers didn't sign Ariza. Trevor will be playing for the same amount of money, albeit longer contract, in Houston and I don't know if Houston will be a contender without Yao.

Hopefully the Lakers can trade Luke Walton for Trevor Ariza.

Wish you all the best Trevor!

I feel.... conflicted. Ariza was my favorite role player. I thought he would grow up as a Laker with Bynum. But Artest can bring so many things to the table that Ariza couldn't. With Kobe, Artest, Lamar, Pau and Bynum, we've got 5 REALLY effective post players. In fact, the tallest of them all, Bynum, is probably the least effective down low right now, which is really saying something.

Maybe I just need a few days to get over losing Ariza before I completely warm to this. I can certainly say that our starting lineup is imposing.

Good luck Trevor and thank you for all you brought as a Laker.

Who is this David Lee character who may have just played the devicive role in Trevor Ariza’s legacy? Here was this major player, perfectly fit in his role within a burgeoning dynasty, and adored by the Laker faithful. I didn’t have any doubt that negotiations were going to work themselves out after our home team confirmed themselves as the best team in the league still on the rise.
Ariza’s decision to sign for the Houstan Rockets doesn’t make sense to me, not on the surface. I think that some time today, colossal tears have been shed. I’m certain that Trevor wanted to remain a Laker. I blame this move soley on his agent, David Lee, who certainly whispered sweet nothings, making Trevor believe that he could pull the same tactics as he did for Drew to maximize his contract. While Ariza might be thinking that the Lakers slapped him in the face by offering him nothing more than the MLE, I think it really was his agent who just destroyed his client’s chances of becoming one of LA’s all-time cult heroes; I’m talking Byron Scott, Michael Cooper, Robert Horry, Derrick Fisher status, though a bit more significant because he’s homegrown.
Truly I don’t know what was said to leave a potential deal in shambles. From the outside looking in, it feels like David Lee wasn’t really looking out for Trevor’s best interests, but rather Lee’s own marketing ploy as a powerhouse agent. Mich has taken too many blows already to let some Ari Gold wannabe twist his arm, twice. Trevor, best of luck. You’ll always be part of the Laker Nation. Fire your agent. Your choice of Houstan over Cleveland, an eighth-seed at best, over a potential Lakers rival in the finals shows your heart still bleeds purple and gold.
I thought it only fitting to respectfully part ways with one of our Lakers before embracing Ron Ron.

I think Artest is great fit. Yeah, there is some doubts like if he can accept less shots, but it'll work out. I'm assuming that Phil's coming back and he know how to deal with badboys, remember Rodman?

And there's always extra option - if Artest totally doesn't work out, they can trade him and put Luke into starting five. We'll see, but remember - we're still champions and we've Kobe, Gasol, Bynum and others.

Point: Ariza must be on something to skip on a 2nd ring.

Counterpoint: The Lakers must be on something to get Ron Ron jk..., but they really want to win next year.

I love LA!

This is my thought. Lakers signed Ron Artest not because he will make them better, but to keep him away from the Cavs. Ariza is a better fit for the Lakers and Artest is a better player, at the end, the benefits may even out. But keeping Artest from going to Cleveland, his other desired destination, outweighs any potential pluses Ariza's staying (instead of signing Ron) could have brought.

I will miss Trevor for sure, but I think his agent David Lee has a huge part of the blame here. I see his quotes and he sounds pathetic. I can't imagine TA saying the things Lee conveyed from the TA cam. "He wasn't appreciated", no offer was ever made", blah blah blah.

I truly feel that if you were to talk directly to Ariza and not his blood-sucking agent, you would hear a much different side to how this deal shook down. If I am wrong, and that is the way that Ariza really felt, then I guess a little more money and five years in hot & humid H-Town is what you get. Maybe 6-7 million tops, but no way did Ariza warrant a phat contract based on one playoff streak.... Just my opinion. Good luck to Artest and Ariza.

When word came that Ariza was traded, I was thinking... oh please don't go to the Cavs. Upon reading about the free agent swap with Houston, I think this is great news for the Lakers.

Houston does gets a worse player in Ariza (albeit a decent one), and we get a better player and more contract flexibility. Artest has definitely been maturing over the past couple of years.

This is big also in the fact that we should have an easier path to resigning Odom, who I felt, after watching the game 5 Final replay, was pretty beastly with defensive switches and aggressiveness and timely, decisive shots.

Hats off to Mr. Kupchak.

Here's what whe can expect from Artest (from Houston Chronicle):
"Two different Artests

He was on his best behavior in his one season with the Rockets as he auditioned for a new contract. There were nights when he played like one of the NBA’s 10 best players. There were way too many nights when his focus and behavior were off the charts.

He screamed at the young point guards so much that he finally was told to stop. He would agree he shouldn’t do it and would promise to stop. Then a game or two later, he’d be back out there on the perimeter, demanding the ball, then dribbling away the 24-second clock or bulling his way into the lane.

Adelman’s offense — based on motion, passes, screens and unselfishness — is a thing of beauty at its best. When one player stops everything or thinks it’s about him, it doesn’t work.

Adelman was brilliant with Artest. He explained why he was doing certain things, never showed his anger when Artest didn’t do them. He was exactly the right coach for Artest, yet Artest simply wasn’t worth the trouble.

The Rockets are better off with Ariza."

If Artest can keep composure in 80% games then Lakers should win 60+ games in regular season. I'd satisified with that kind of record.

I hear that Artest wants Laker fans' help in picking his new number.

I think it should be #1.

He has one goal.
The team has one goal
He is trying to get ring #1.
He wants to be a part of a team that is 1 cohesive unit.
I could think of a dozen other reasons, but i am tired as hell right now.

Ron Artest: SF #1 - Los Angeles Lakers

sorry Trev. i hate to see you go.

i think Mr. Artest will do an excellent job with his ghetto [behind]. so nice to have you aboard, sir.

Ive prayed for us getting Ron last night. Lets now pray for Artest to fit well with us. Amen.

i'm imagining the reactions around the league...

Pops: The NBA should have a governing body on free-agent signings!!

David Stern: Mwahahahahahah!!!

LBJ: so... artest huh?...*gulp*

Trevor: *facepalm* ... *facepalm again*... CURSE YOU DAVID LEE!!!!

As you get older you mature and I think Ron is a much better person and a player at the same time a team mate at this point of his career.. Phil Jax been there than that with Dennis Rodman during his Chicago days, so why worry? this Laker team will be much better, stronger, tough team this upcoming NBA Season.. I want to hear about L.O next.

This is my starting five:

Bynum, Gasol, Odom, Artest, Bryant

I will cal them the FANTASTIC FIVE !!!

Mitch K is a genius, Jerry Buss understands entertainment like no other. No way Jerry Buss will let bring Hollywood in Cleveland.

Now let's get Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson and make this year the best Hollywood picture ever.

But TA is a nice guy and Ron Ron is a nut case. I like to root for folks I do not despise. His tantrums last year did not make him seem like a champion to me.

Furthermore, TA has become a very, very good role player. Lest we forget, his last minute steals put us up in game after game after game. I don't know who is a better defender, but how many last minute, game winning steals, did Ron Ron have last year?

If it happens I will welcome him as a person wearing a Lakers jersey. But, overall, I am not happy about this.


good move. now the lakers have a surly dude ro deal with other team's surly dudes. they needed a get-down defender, and now Artest will have something to prove (in a good way).

Plashke should start reading this blog - On Around The Horn his take on the Lakers resigining Ariza was 100% wrong, for no reason (had he read this blog). He Guaranteed Ariza would be signed. The guy lives in some Tower - he needs to look out the windows now and again. I see he also slams RonRon in his LAT piece. Has this guy always been so far OFF ?


Bill Plashke: whiner.
If the Lakers signed Ariza, we'd all read about how they overpaid him when they could get a better player in Ron Artest for less.

happy to hear the good news..
teaching class right now but had to post..
wassup everybody


AK: But will the league, David Stern and ABC allow Ron to check LeBron, since the most drama gets squeezed from Kobe guarding him the entire time? And vice versa? I wouldn't be shocked if they didn't allow switches during possessions.

BK: Maybe, maybe not. But PJ always defies authority anyway.


That's one question I have concerning RA guarding LBJ next season. Will the league indeed allow Ron to guard LBJ... I am not in anyway insinuating something in the line of NBA fixing things... but sometimes these questions pops up when a league baby is involved.

Go Lakers!!!!

2010 NBA Champions...

Ok, here are the keys for which this is "good" to "very good" deal for our Lakers:

1) Ariza - Lee were looking for a $7 to $8 m pay from the Lakers, which compromise the chances of the Lakers bringing Odom back. The way it was positioned it was Ariza or Odom;

2) ... because you HAVE to assumed the Lakers are re-signing Odom. If not, I take all my comments back. Question remains whether Odom will sign a multi-year agreement or will sign 1 year and wait for more teams with salary room next summer (I think this is likely, so unless we win it all again there are chances is he will be gone next summer);

3) Lakers big rivals are getting seeking to get bigger and tougher (Cavs,- ONeal, Celtics - Wallace? etc...). With this deal the Lakers get older but also tougher, which will be a good thing for next year.

4) we gain defense versatility; Ariza is a good defender but Artest is a good and versatile defender, who can take big, medium and small size forwards. With a front court with Gasol, Bynum (healthy and more mature, hopefully) and Odon, and Brown, Fisher, Artest and Kobe in the perimeter the Lakers are a defensive power house;

5) Offensively Artest is a better player than Ariza. While I have no doubt on him fitting defensively, the big question is how is the shooting of the ball going to be shared in a starting line with Kobe, Artest, Pau and Bynum. Will the Lakers be able to find again an offensive chemistry with so many potential top scores? It took a while this year (arguably until conference final) for the Lakers to find an offensive balance (with more shots for Gasol) and a better balance inside-perimeter. Will Gasol-Bynum-Odom continue to be fed and participate with Kobe Artest on the perimeter? That is THE QUESTION folks...

So overall a positive move assuming Odom is back. Now, the hope on the downsides is that the motivation to win a ring will make Artest to give up on his individual offensive stats. The other thing is... can a player who has shown constant signs of immaturity change and adapt on a PERMANENT BASIS for a full year? We will find out next years. Regards to all from Spain. Marcus

In David Aldridge's interview with Ron on, Ron said something like, "Kobe reached out to me". The context was how the organization was recruiting him, but Ron didn't make it clear if this was in the past, or whether Kobe was actively a part of bringing Artest to the Lakers this week.

This is a big deal, because if Kobe was involved in the recruiting, it obviously means he would rather have Artest than Ariza. If not, there's still the chance he's fuming right now that the Lakers lowballed Trevor.

Got to keep Kobe happy.

Do I have any takers on how fast
contracts will get done in the

Mitch: Sasha, we'd like to offer you ...

Sasha: Just give me the d**n contract!

Mitch: But Sasha, we don't want to offend ...

Sasha: Just give me the d**n piece of

Mitch: But your agent said ...

Sasha: Look. Do you see tattos on my
neck? I'm not goin' out like Trevor and
that's a fact! I'm signing whatever you
put in front of me, and that includes
a bill of sale for my first born. You're
not taking me off of this historic
championship team and that's GOSPEL!
Now give me the friggin' contract before
I climb over that desk and hit you with
a flagrant 2! Kobe is my captain and I
"heart" spaniards!

Phil: [ Walking thru the hallway, sees
Sasha climbing over the desk and
reaching for the paper in Mitch's hand.]
I love role players [ in a soto voice. ]

I don't think learning the offense will be that hard for Artest. He's a good player and Kobe and Lamar will be sure to keep him in line. the biggest plus is that ring though. Ron-Ron will do what it takes to win it.

sometime in the distant pass, there were
a bunch of trolls who indicated that
nobody would come and play with
Kobe. Where are said trolls now?

Mitch shows again that he is a pro's pro when it comes to basketball decisions, and the Lakers are the beneficiaries because: 1) By turning up his nose at the Lakers' 5.6 million, the Lakers had to decide whether to wait for Ariza and his slow-play agent (remember Bynum negotiations that lasted forever), offer to pay a couple of million above market rate for Ariza, or get a great player who WANTS to be a Laker. The weirdest thing about this move is that for the first time in modern laker history the Lakers will have TWO all-defensive players and thus a team truly committed to defense full time. Hey, if Ariza had wanted to be a Laker he'd be a laker making as much or more than the Rockets will pay him. He made the choice, and Kupchak made a great deal quickly. The Lakers are blessed in many ways, no more so than having the greatest and longest front office continuity of any team since the since Auerbach Celtics. Once again, thank you Jerry Buss for picking Jerry West and then Mitch Kupchak, then letting them make decisions,whether the LA times (or Kobe) likes them or not.

I was not for keeping the status quo because it seemed to me that other good teams in the league were getting better (San Antonio, Cleveland), but I don't like this move at all because I don't like Artest. I understand the arguements made here - better on ball defender, more "established" shooter, etc. than Ariza, but Artest is not a good guy, in my opinion. He is more likely to take the team out of what it's trying to do offensively, he is a hot head and is likely to get himself tossed and pick up T's in critical moments. His role in the "brawl" in Detroit a few years back is telling, in my mind. The guy may not be totally stable mentally. I think it's a recipe for a meltdown. In 2 years, we will be wondering why we sold our 1st round draft pick and why we signed Ron Artest.

I'm just not sure about this "trade", which in essence is what it is. I love Trevor, everything about how he fit our team, which is alot of times more important than pure talent. Everyone is stating how Artest is the overall better player than Ariza ... I disagree. Defensively, the one and only benefit that Artest adds over Ariza is he is capable of defending bigger/stronger oppenents. Ariza is quicker and faster than Artest, he could guard the 1, 2 or 3. Arest is better suited to guard the 3 or 4. Offensively, Ariza is the overall better player. He is the better 3 point shooter, period. also, he took it to the rim WAY more than Artest ever has. Artest is not a pure shooter, not at all. Last issue, how they fit in our system. we have a boat load of good offensive players, and Ariza was perfectly fine being 5th or even 6th fiddle. do you actually think Artest is going to be content shooting just 7-8 times per game, and being our 5th or 6th option? No Way!!!

Phil coached Dennis freakin' Rodman. How'd that work out for Chicago? Every NBA dynasty needs at least one bad boy enforcer. The team as constituted this year had a hard time getting through a MUCH weaker western conference and the East is going to be even better next year. Another great move by the best front office in the league. Always thinking ahead. So all the Chicken Littles (see Plaschke, Bill) should just chill out.

i was bummed (Ariza). But now i'm really excited (RonArt)!

One of the NBA'a truly bad boys (remember William "Bill" Laimbeer, Jr?), Artest will make a great addition to the Lakers. He holds up his end on both sides of the ball and is virtually unintimidatable.I've been a fan ever since he went after a fan. I love this game! Go Lakers!

If RonRon likes to be where the action is, he chose the right place.

Only at Staples can you have a Finals parade one month, then a Michael Jackson memorial service the next...

My two cents are that the Lakers went after the wrong guy. Artest may be more skilled player defensively (which is arguable) and he's certainly stronger physically than Mr. Ariza. But everywhere Artest has gone, there has been more controversy than success. Mr. Ariza is demonstrably the better team mate.

Even if the deal pays off for the Lakers in the short term (which I doubt), Artest's best days as a player are behind him while Mr. Ariza's best days are ahead.

Mr. Kupchek has made a mistake by not showing a proven performer more respect.

Ron is an incredible fit for the lakers and you left out his most important attribute: ferocity. Ron is a warrior who wants to win very badly and plays with the kind of intensity that Kobe does.

His shot selection will be better because he will get a lot of wide open threes.

I love Trevor's game, but his one weakness was against the bulkier threes like Carmello, Pierce and of course LBJ.

Ron also sets a mean screen and will defend his team mates in an instant and with passion against cheap shots.

Ron and Kobe will be a fearsome wing tandem for the next 3-5 years. Ron-Kobe-Lamar provide incredible flexibility:

Go large:Ron,Kobe,LO,Pau,Dru
Go Small:Farmar,Brown,Kobe,Ron,LO

Trust me; this is bad news for the rest of the league.

He's willing to take less to play for a championship team....loves LA...loves Kobe...homies with Lamar...respects hungry for a ring....this is a MAJOR upgrade to our roster....I didn't think we could improve the team but we just did in a BIG we have $$ to give Lamar.... Mitch is en fuego right now!!!

I wonder if Artest was the price of Phil sticking around for another year. Phil likes veterans, and he likes a challenge. He's now coached the uncoachable Kobe to a Shaqless ring. Does he need to add the angry Artest to his list of obstacles to conquer? I mean, the chess game might get boring if he won again with the same team.

Do we need another guy who can post up? And while Artest scores more than Ariza, there's a reason for that. The Lake show likes to get shots from Bryant and Gasol (or Bynum) as earlier options. They shoot higher percentages than Artest. If he scores as many for the Lakers, it may actually decrease the efficiency of the offense if he's taking shots away from the first options.

In fairness, Ariza only shoots open 3s, and passes up the shot if anyone is near, which sometimes leads to 24 second violations if he gets the ball late in the clock. Artest, like Kobe, can shoot in the thick of battle.

Finally, LO's agent must have watched this fiasco and realized the Lakers have discipline. This is not a strong market for free agents, and at this point in his career, LO may not want to finish in Siberia with no rings in sight.

I've been going back and forth on this one. Will really miss Ariza and his great potential. Artest could be brilliant/or a disaster. So what brings me over to being happy about this? Plaschke's against it:?,0,1013056.column

Thanks, Bill!

Same as this blog, I liked TA a lot and sorry to see him leave.

What I don't like is his 'new' attitude, wanting out of our team at all costs. We offered him pretty much what he got in Houston..

The 'Fun' factor, if not the short-term 'Upgrade', is a real plus. I am very glad on this switch.


Check out this interview with Rom on espn:

Note his emphasis on doing, "whatever the coach asks me to do."

I know a lot of my fellow Laker fans (Hi Bill Plaschke) are hating this trade; you're in good company. Here are some others who are hating the Lakers acquisition of Artest:

LeBron James, and the entire Cavs organisation...
Paul Pierce, and the entire Celtics organisation...
Melo Anthony, and the entire Nuggets organisation...
Vince Carter, and the entire Magic organisation...

By the way, if you start to feel yourself feeling glum after reading Plaschke's article, remember that he argued just as passionately and persuasively for us to dump Kobe Bryant a couple of summers ago.

Laker Kev

Has anyone mentioned the most important part of this signing? AK?BK did. We finally get a guy with crazy haircuts. Now if we can get him to marry himself we'll be heaven bound.


I forgot to mention that Richard Jefferson and the entire Spurs organisation are hating this, too.

Laker Kev


With our talent level, we will always have 2 -3 all-star caliber players on the court. This will wear down opponents 2nd units. It will also prolong all of our stars' career. We could be looking at four more championships in a row!

Also, this has got to be an acquistion Mike T loves!

Great exchange. I'm surprised neither of you mentioned the role Dennis Rodman played on the 2nd 3peat Bulls teams.
Dennis inarguably added a dimension to the Bulls that made them a very, very tough team mentally and physically. As with Rodman, there's a definite trade-off on the unpredictability, impulse control index but Artest brings that dimension to an already great team. They will be scary with him - especially on defense and in transition. I have great respect for Trevor and what he contributed and accomplished this yr - would have loved to see him stay and grow.

I'm curious (dismayed?) about how Ariza was disappointed by the Lakers MLE, but signed for the exact same amount elsewhere..Is this something where the Lakers had already made up their mind on Artest over Ariza...Or did Ariza's agent screw this up?

Also, if Artest and Ariza both effectively were signed for the MLE, wouldn't it have been better to do a sign-and-trade? That way both Houston and LA would have been able to use their MLE on other folks, should the need arise down the road. Does this mean that Houston is going into the season without a center? Did Morey have a brain-fart?

I don't understand why Trevor would want a five year deal at 6.8 million a year, with the talent he has in three years he could be worth more. I don't blame the Lakers for not paying him more than he is worth at this time. They have a roster filled with flukes who played well in thier contract years only to prove they were flukes. I hope Trevor much success. I don't know about Ron-Ron lol.

Best aricle I've read on the swap:

Who says offseason is boring!!!!

I had forgotten that Ariza is already a Hall Of Famer until I read Platschke's column this morning.


Next move today will be the talk with Shannon Brown's agent. Word of advice to Shannon -Tell your agent not to imitate liar Lee. Don't blow up this opportunity, these are the best times to be a Laker. Take 2.5M escalating for three years and be ambitious later once Farmar is gone or Fisher retires. By July 4th, LO will realize there will be no takers for 10M asking price, he will settle for 8M. Hey LO, don't miss this opportunity of playing with Ronnie, the looney together with fellow Queens, Socks Bynum. Once those two are signed, Mitch, you can rest for a job well done. Have a nice 4th of July weekend unless JB is still not comfortable in hitting the 100M including luxury taxes. (It was reported they are now 81M + 10.5M LO and SB + 0.7 SY = 92.2M. If you add the luxury taxes back @ 75M cut-off 92.2M + 17.2M = 109.4. Well, dump one 5 million contract on the 2nd tier brings Lakers below 100M mark. Besides, why should Lakers need unproductive 5M bench warmers or redundant players? They still have a 6'8 draft pick too.

Ah, one more wish list, LAT should trade these "girlish" & freaking columnists T J Simers and Bill Plaschke. Retain the flip flopper Mark Heisler. Get Kevin Ding of Register and promote Broderick Turner as a regular columnist and retain regular reporter Bresnahan. It is hard to read a column coming from people who never played basketball but a bunch of intriguers and copycats on opinions from the blog. How about our broadcasters? jeanie, don't we have a young dude from our local universities who could emulate the talent of great Chickie baby? Joel Myers is an old recycled fair weather guy like Bill Plaschke on the tube, we need a new wave of columnists and broadcasters. Also on K-710, get Vic-da-brick, the bamboo maniaco. He's creative, energetic and passionate. and also an Ivy Leaguer. Add more substance, more passion, more creativity to pale talk show hosts on K-710, most of the guys manning the microphones are boring, lazy kept on repeating discussions and gimmicks just to kill time. Well, don't ever make the mistake of hiring those egomaniacs PMS hosts Manny and El Greco, a bunch of pretenders with empty knowledge.

I vote for 'the gi-nasty dynasty'

cause, you know, we're huge, we're nasty and well, you get it.

Enjoyed the RA discussion, even the Dylan sidetrip.

The defensive help for the Lakers specifically Kobe on the wings seems huge to me. This ship could well sail.

Up until yesterday the Celts probably still thought if they met the Lakers in the finals they could physically beat them down.
Time for a reset on that logic.

I just dont get it...????

Ron Artest goes into the crowd and beats on people...

and this is a guy you want on your team???

I'm sorry, but there's more to this than winning championships!!!

I will not cheer on a team that aquires people like that.

Phil coached Dennis freakin' Rodman. How'd that work out for Chicago? Every NBA dynasty needs at least one bad boy enforcer. The team as constituted this year had a hard time getting through a MUCH weaker western conference and the East is going to be even better next year. Another great move by the best front office in the league. Always thinking ahead. So all the Chicken Littles (see Plaschke, Bill) should just chill out.

Posted by: Chancho | July 03, 2009 at 06:37 AM






Let's analyze the importance of Artest to the Lakers.

Admittedly, he is a nut case suddenly PJ becomes a zoo keeper and a circus ringmaster. However, Artest is fascinated to play in LA to be appreciated by Hollywood stars. He wants a ring to be adored by a quarter of million fans in other words to love and be loved. So that takes care of his past history. From now on, we should look at Artest with clean slate not dwell on past controversies. LA will reform a nut, a psycho and a pit bull.

Now how about the positives, it frees Gasol in handling those forwards like Melo, Duncan, Amare KG, or even those guards like Wade, Lebron, Boozer. Gie them to Artest. Gasol is now free to navigate the lane because Kobe and Artest attract two guards, same case w/ LO. Therefore, Fisher and Bynum are freebies in the perimeter and the post. Nobody could touch them. When the 2nd unit plays, do we have to depend on Walton, Farmar, Sasha? Once in a while, let's put there the 3 Queens together with Shannon Brown and Sasha. Luke and Farmar plays only as fillers. Once this 2nd unit gels, that's a perfect triangle anyway you look at it from the starter to the 2nd unit. I hope A-Mmo will have no more fear and get his three-pt threats back. Pass it to Shannon swissh; pass it to Sasha swissh, pass it to Artest swissh, pass to Bynum dunk!!! then LO will do his routine dance trying to create openings to all four, if left alone layup on left post. So to all who are negative to this idea of Artest coming to LA, you don't see the beauty of a real beast. Bynum is a girly beast only good of LakerTom delight, Artest is real deal. We lost the thief but we got a hitman.

I love the Lakers. Is this the start Artest-holic? No way Jose, you should value your intelligence as bloggers, as thinking fans not to get hooked and marinated by nutty millionaires (most of them are uneducated). It is all for the show and passion but don't give your precious souls, abandoning your first responsibilities to your families. Don't forget to achieve your own dreams like pursuit for advanced knowledge through college and/or honest long lasting employment.


>>>Do I have any takers on how fast contracts will get
>>>done in the future?

VERY nice. Well played, hobbitmage

Let me just say...Thank God Bill Platscke is NOT our general manager. He knows zero about basketball. I'm sure he would have loved for the lakers to have stayed with the status quo. But great teams, getter better even after they win.
And no disrespect to Trevor, but the fact is....he will never ever be the player Ron Artest is. He just doesn't have the tools to get to that level.

Consider this Platsche, you crazy man.......Look how much better Phil Jackson and Kobe make their players. Heck look how much better Ariza got, how much better Pau is, the player Lamar is now. Point is, Artest is already a great player. Just wait until Phil and Kobe turn him into a dominate force.
THe lakers are trying to win the next 3 years. And will then be trying to retool. Giving 5 years to Ariza doesn't fit this plan.


Trevor was such a great fit for our team. The Lakers wouldn't have won Games 1 and 3 of the WCF if it weren't for Ariza's steals. There wouldn't have been any chance for Fisher heroics in Game 4 of the Finals if Ariza had not singlehandedly brought the Lakers back from a double-digit-deficit, just as he did in Game 5 of the Finals. He was a crucial part to our championship. Why, oh why, let him go?

For Ron Artest? Artest is good, but a bit more trouble than he's worth. How could he possibly work with Kobe? Ever? Ariza is younger, a better shooter, and a better fit for our team. The Lakers made a mistake in not wanting him enough to give him a decent offer. Ariza is irreplaceable.

We've got one hope, though. Fish came back. Trevor would be only 28, 29, and we could get him back. Trevor can just remember during his Houston tenure - Once a Champion, Always a Champion.

Laker Repeat

Its still not too late to do a sign and trade.

Both teams like you said would benefit greatly.

Houston needs more help up front and even tho the Lakers seem like they can't spend more money, the question remains, 'What if we don't sign Lamar?

MLE could get you Sheed or Marian. In fact, that would cost the Lakers less in salary to sign another MLE.

I want LO badly, but you have to cover the bases just in case.

Did you know that he has also once shown up for practice in a bathrobe, asked to take a month off because he was tired, and been jailed for 10 days for domestic assault?

Everyone said he was a changed man when he was traded from the Pacers to the Sacramento Kings, but he was suspended for a playoff game in 2006 for a flagrant elbow, and the Kings lost that series to the San Antonio Spurs in six games.

Everyone said he changed again when he joined the Rockets, but in this spring's playoff series against the Lakers, he was thrown out of two games while finishing the series hitting 17 of 61 shots in the last four games.



Everyone has to remember that if PJ comes back he could control Artest. Rodman was, is crazier than Artest is. Anyway if you have to play Boston, Cleveland, or Orlando in the finals Kobe doesn't have to guard their best perimiter player. Being Pierce, LBJ, or Carter. Now you will a have a Bulldog who truly enjoys playing defense. I don' see this not working. I was so jazzed yesterday when I found out. I liked Ariza but felt LO was way more important. Happy with the move.

I believe things are rarely either or". In this instance, this can work for our Lakers because of Ron's skill set. That's not to say Ariza wasn't a great fit and wouldn't have improved over time. Short term, a focused Ron brings a some defensive and offensive maturity. ron won't average 17 points in our system -- more like 12-13. All of a sudden, believe it or not Walton becomes more valuable because when he enters the game teams will have to recalibrate.

Laker Kev.,

Thanks for the Adrian Wojnarowski piece. It comes the closest of anything I've read to explaining what really happened. The Lakers had Artest in their back pocket, and so they made a fair, but not over the top, offer for Ariza.

David Lee misunderstood his leverage, thinking the Lakers would do anything to hold the team together, especially with other teams being agressive.

He went around like an idiot, and bad mouthed the Lakers. The Lakers went the other way.

I'm glad it happened to David Lee (though he will get paid anyway). I'm sorry it happened to Trevor.

This is a good news / bad news deal. Here's hoping for the best.

Silver Screen and Roll did a good job on the +/- of this deal:

Tom D.
Missing Trevor and fascinated by how Artest will fit in

Last summer when some people were talking about trading
Lamar for Artest (or the less likely Luke and Farmar for Artest),
someone suggested that they should skip the trade and then hire
him for the MLE next summer (i.e. this summer), and then we
could have BOTH Lamar and Ron-Ron.

I seem to recall going off on one of my long windbag rants that
Ron was looking for big money and he'd NEVer accept the MLE.

I was wrong. My arguments probably were well reasoned
and made good sense, but they were completely wrong.

Okay, so who was saying we should trade Luke and Ammo
for Chris Paul? Bring it on. I'd be more than happy to be wrong

Ok I've come around - I like this "trade". Maybe even love it.

Right now we have gotta Gotta GOTTA Re-SIGN LAMAR!

Granted, Kobe-D-Fish-Ron-Ron-Pau-Drew is the best starting lineup in the NBA bar none! Maybe even ever.
But...... look what our second unit consists of:

1)Sasha Lose-his-swish - a Machine that now fires 80% blanks. And still picks up fouls like crazy
2)Jordan Farmar - Mr Inconsistency. On a good day he's the Jewish Tony Parker. On a bad day he's worse than Sasha. And you can never tell what kind of day its gonna be.
3)Luuuuke - A great glue guy, but not a go-to guy. Does a little bit of everything but not enough of anything to be a real threat or carry a team.

Now - add LAMAR to that unit and you've got a team that can hold a lead. LO is a real stud that Walton and Farmar can pass to, a guy who knows the triangle and can score AND rebound AND be a third playmaker.

Now imagine Lose-his-swish, Farmar, and Walton plus Powell and Mbenga. Bingo - instant blown lead. Our thirtysomething first unit will run up the score every game, only to have to get right back in after watching the second unit fall behind. And guys in their thirties NEED bench time - especially playing 16+ playoff games on top of an 82 game season.

The moral of the story? This team can win 65-70 games and still be strong enough to get through the playoffs to another ring IF we RE-SIGN LAMAR!

So do it!

I am very skeptical that this will work. Mitch should have just paid the extra million that probably would have satisfied Ariza and resigned him. TA was a perfect fit for this team. Oh well, what is done is done. Now get LO and UPS signed and then try and trade Ammo's expiring contract and Farmar for another PG. Farmar needs to go.

Reasons this deal makes sense:

1.You get Artest for less money and less years than Ariza which gives you more room to resign Odom this summer and more flexibility long term financially. Also realistically Kobe has a 3 year window to keep playing at this level and winning championships. He can probably play for 5 more years but at this level maybe only 2-3 years. The lakers are going for it now and keeping Ariza for 5 years in this current economy and with that window that Kobe has maybe too long anyways. Plus getting Artest takes a huge workload off of Kobe on the defensive end and Kobe has been looking for a tough guy stud to play with since Shaq left town. Ariza was an up and comer and could have been the next Michael Cooper but he is not a physically tough guy, mentally yes but not physically in terms of physique. This keeps Kobe fresher over the course of a season and helps saves his legs for his fourth quarter heriocs. Kobe can basically take 5-6 shots for first three quarters of a game and let Gasol, Bynum, Artest, and others get theirs over the first three quarters and then go off in the fourth. Has to be a scary proposition for the other teams to consider.

2.Even as good as Ariza was defensively nobody can question that this is an upgrade defensively for the Lakers. Ariza is just starting to come into his own as a defensive player and could end up being a Bruce Bowen, Michael Cooper type defensive player but Ron Artest is one of the best defensive players in the league over the last decade. The Lakers with a backcourt of Kobe, Artest, and Shannon Brown(if they resign him) will be tough to score on and if they get by the backcourt they have three seven footers to contend with down low. This is a nightmare matchup for other teams.

3.Laker versatility – One of the keys to the Lakers success last season was the versatility of their players to play multiple positions and being skilled players who can all shoot and pass. Odom can play any position from 1-4, Gasol can play 3-5, Vujacic can play a 2 or 3 now you get Artest who because of his physique can guard anyone from 1 to 4. No matchup we face will we not have a counter move to. You wanna go big we got that, you wanna go small we got that, you wanna play run and gun we got that, you want to play physical half court style we got that too. This is what separates this Lakers team from all other teams in the NBA, our versatility.

4.Hunger- Anytime a team comes off a title there is always the chance they will not come back as hungry the next season to do it again. Look at the 2007 Miami Heat. If you bring in guys who are hungry, and Artest is hungry to win, it keeps an overall edge to the team that they may need to repeat. The whole Lakers team had that edge last season because of the way we lost in 2008 but would they have had that edge this year? I know Kobe would have because he is chasing history and his own legacy but how about the other lakers? Having Artest will keep the others on edge. I could definitely see Artest getting into some fights in practice with other Lakers this season and that in the overall scheme of things could be a good thing. Bringing in guys with troubled pasts to add to the overall mix on a championship contender has worked before in LA remember Bob McAdoo anyone?

5.Keeping Artest away from Cleveland or any other contender. Anytime you can keep a prime free agent away from your top competitors at a low price that is a good thing. Basically this is an Ariza for Artest swap and who if offered that price at the beginning of last season would not have jumped at that trade. Remember the Kings wanted Odom for Artest last year. Ariza was basically a talented role player with question marks and coming off an injury to begin last year. I think this is a solid move.

Now on the flip side I do think chemistry is important and Ariza fit well in LA. Artest will take more shots and has a troubled past and this concerns me a little. It will take some time for Artest to figure out his role on the team and to learn the triangle offense. Sometimes star power doesn’t equal championships, I think we all remember the 2004 Lakers. But after the moves Orlando, SA Spurs, and Cleveland made, plus the possible signing of Sheed in Boston I think the Lakers had no choice but to make this move.

smart owner, smart GM, smart coach, smart players. not smart, Ariza's agent.

Off mic, AK and BK continue their discussion.

BK: Can you believe it?! Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, now this?
AK: I had the same thoughts. This ain't just the Lakers we are covering. We have Kobe, the Zen Master, the Buss Family....
BK: (interrupting) Oh yeah, Jim, Jeannie, Dr Buss, and the new Buss guy, what's his name? Oh, it doesn't matter.
AK: And don't forget, all the movie stars court side.
BK: True (as he sit backs and contemplates the thought)
AK: (now doing his best Borat) What a gig! What a country!
BK: (Now humming, and mouthing) We'e in the money! We're in the money!
AK: Brian, step up on the Kobe stuff. I like it when you run down the guy.
BK: But Andrew, you know I love Kobe, its getting harder and harder to make this stuff up.
AK: Do I have to remind you? We have to do it. Its in our contract with the LA Times.....
BK: (dejectedly) Yeah, I know, we must say negative stuff about Kobe in 20% of our comments.
AK: (Jumps up on the desk, and spreads his arms out like an Eagle)
BK: What's up with that Bro?
AK: I'm the King of the World!

Yesterday someone was spewing here that Artest is a
ballhog and had a terrible PER for the playoffs.

Yes that's true. BUT...

His numbers were dramatically skewed by Yao Ming going
down. Before Yao went down, Ron-Ron was averaging
44% shooting for the playoffs. In the last 4 games after Yao
was out, Artest felt compelled to do a lot more in the offense,
and in those games he shot 27%.

During the regular season, Artest's PER was about the same
as Ariza.

But with the Lakers, he's at least behind Kobe and Pau in
the pecking order, and if Bynum gets back in form, then
Ron-Ron will be behind him as well (at least when the
starters are on the floor). Kobe and Pau require double teams,
and Bynum at his best does as well.

Not only will that reduce Artest's touches, but it also means
that when he gets the ball kicked out to him, he's going to
be much more likely to be wide open. Most of Ariza's made
3's in the playoffs were because his man was guarding Kobe.
Same thing will happen with Artest.

I predict that this will be Artest's highest shooting percentage
season, and that he'll only go shot-happy in a few games. But
you know what? Kobe has some shot happy games. Fish
has had some shot happy games, and even ARIZA had some
shot happy games (3 for 13 in game 2 vs Orlando? 1 for 8 vs
Denver in April? 3 for 11 vs Atlanta in March?). And I don't
think a few games of binge shooting by Artest will actually
hurt the Lakers.

And here's the thing. On defense, Ariza was about position
and timing, while Artest is more about muscle. The former gets
you more steals, but it also sometimes gets you beat when you
go for a steal and miss and your man blows right by you. Artest's
kind of defense wears his opponent down.

I predict that the Lakers will give up somewhere between
3 and 6 less points per game next season.

I'd like to start the 70 wins bandwagon right now.


"Okay, so who was saying we should trade Luke and Ammo for Chris Paul"

I think you are right this time. No GM with a sane mind will go with that deal. If that happens, we can beat Team USA. How about Ricky Rubio going back to Euro League or Rudy Fernandez not comfortable playing with Hedo? One of those is possible in the future. But today, I think it settles down unless JB wants to dump contracts. Are you familiar with our 2nd draft recruit?

Welcome Ron Ron! Sorry to see Ariza go. He's a good player who fit perfectly into his role.

AK & BK, any word on Odom? We have got to resign him now!

One thing about adding Artest, between Kobe, Pau, Lamar (hopefully), and Ron, we should be able to have at least two quality scoring threats on the court at all times.

Welcome Ron Ron! Sorry to see Ariza go. He's a good player who fit perfectly into his role.

AK & BK, any word on Odom? We have got to resign him now!

One thing about adding Artest, between Kobe, Pau, Lamar (hopefully), and Ron, we should be able to have at least two quality scoring threats on the court at all times.


>>>sometime in the distant pass, there were
>>>a bunch of trolls who indicated that
>>>nobody would come and play with
>>>Kobe. Where are said trolls now?

And the real extreme irony of it is that their conjecture was that
players WANTED to play with Shaq and WANTED to play with
LeBron but didn't want to play with Kobe.

Here's a player who had a choice of playing with Shaq AND LeBron
or playing with Kobe, and he chose the Mamba.

Ron Artest to KL Least, Snaquille O'Meal, and LeBronze - FU

Great dialogue! You guys have such an easy back-and-forth, it's almost like you've known each other for a while...

These Ron-Ron issues may be some of the most agreed-upon on this blog in a long time. Never has the phrase "his reputation precedes him" been more applicable.

My question is:
What nickname is he going to have by the end of the season?

Wrong move!!! He was the difference for us this year. He is so young. Why Mitch, why?

I would choose him over Lamar. Bad Lakers, bad..........................................

I still cannot get over Trevor's antics. And I do hold Trevor responsible for the actions and words of his agent... basically Trevor is a Traitor. So I will not cheer for Traitor Ariza any longer - he went from my second favorite player to big enemy.

This is so much different than Fish, Ronnie, and Horry - all of those situations were for money/opportunity that the Lakers simply couldn't match. This one was the middle finger from Trevor. This is what we get?

Two weeks after the parade and he does this????!!!

Well, I'll take Artest all day, but we shouldn't have had to choose here, it could have been a winning day for everyone.

And Keifo, good points - but he was in a different situation, he did not choose those teams, those teams chose him. And the incident at the Palace was admirable in my book. I wish he would have knocked the teeth out of that fan, and justifiably so.

Ariza could have become an All-Star. I suppose there's a slight chance it could happen someday, but I highly doubt it. He's going to have to be more of a player in Houston than he was here... bottom line, I think we've seen the best of Trevor. He Munsoned this one big time.

Why would the Lakers pay Lamar more than MLE if Artest signs for MLE and no other team can pay more than MLE money?? Lamar was the bigger risk than Trevor (but that risk is mitigated with Artest on board)... so let's get it done...

Sign UPS & Lamar, cut Sun and have an open roster spot for a mid season trade if needed, or a Biennial Exception signing

Leker Kev

u rock. so is AW's article.


>>>Ariza is the overall better player. He is the better 3 point
>>>shooter, period

Why, because the way he shoots it looks prettier?

If what you care about is making your shots, then Artest made
40% of his 3 point shots last season, while Ariza made 32%.

Ariza had a hot streak on 3-pointers in the playoffs, but that's
because his man was consistently leaving him wide open
to double team Kobe or Pau. If they do the same thing next
year, then Ron Artest will have a hot streak on 3's as well.
And if they don't leave Ron-Ron to double Kobe, we all know
what Kobe will do against a single man guarding him.

There is a reason no other teams are offering more than MLE to Trevor...he's not worth it in today's market. Dr Buss didn't get rich by being a dummy when it comes to business and yes B Ball is a business. An extra 2M a year with luxury tax over 5 years is 20M friggin bucks, not chump change. I believe TA's agent thought he could squeeze the Lakers and he was wrong. You can argue who is better as a player but you can't argue that TA is 20M better. That money will go a long way to keeping us at the top and keeping LO. We still have a bad azz team and should be odds on favorites if we lock up LO. If Bynum plays to his potential like the flashes we've seen when he's been healthy, these guys are scary good and with RA nobody will be calling us soft.


Is this the sign of a true Lakerfan?

Artest does not show much class, but he is a Laker now and he'll fit in as our 3rd, maybe 4th best player. He'll now be able to focus on those little things that win games.

I was watching that video posted where Artest was interviewing Kobe. Artest told Kobe that he was his idol. Kobe is only a year older than Artest, that's crazy! Ron "Crazy" Artest!

In all seriousness though, that interview shows me that Kobe will have Artest under control. Then we have Fisher, Phil Jackson, Lamar, Gasol---Artest will be held accountable by those guys.

With Artest's talent, skill, and hunger, this Laker team could go down as the greatest of all time. It'll take health, and a determined focus during the regular season. But I believe this team, with Lamar back, can have a season where they lose less than 10 games.

That should be the goal.

Go Lakers!

TA ..a very good player but he wanted 7 mill a year..didn't get that but he did receive a longer 5 year term. I like the guy but he's a tad overrated by Lakers fans and that is understandable. He had a terrific playoffs. But you can find TA types, not easily, but you will find them. He can watch the Lake show now from his couch and rue the day he went with that agent. I swear, the first thing you should look at before drafting a guy is who is representing him. ITS a huge factor.

Artest lifts this team from "very good to great" category to "dominant, all time team." I am in awe of what they have pulled off here. This is 3peat territory...maybe 4 and I really believe that. If Bynum is half the player I think he is and starts to blossom next year? Good god..You're looking at a team that could win 70 in their sleep.

It's a very good time to be a Lakers fans..Dynasty rising!

i just sent this e-mail to BILL the Plashhhke

dear bill

or in holly-wood terms

kill bill 1, 2 or n

the lakers did this trade just for you and tj simmers

u ran out of the subjects to bash kobe so now u have all the ammunition and then some with ron artest. u already know many of the subjects: hair, bathrobe, elbows. did u forgot the dogs?! google it. or U2 can look up the traditional hard print archive.

both U and simmers r terrible sports writers and especially kobe and lakers haters.

for this new era with artest, the lakers need an entertainment critic. neither of you qualifies.

why did they sign artest? because the lakers managements reads the blogs and caught the new motto:

No ring for the KING with Artest out WEST

welcome to the new Kobe Bryant Era

it's an Art-Test for U

Long Live the Los Angeles Kobe-sters

Condolences for your favorite son, the Big Akorn (Shak)

by the way, Ariza was learning japanese



That is possible but they will not double dip in luxury taxes adding more burden to heavy load. They have to trade some players just to maintain the minimum. Well, we are in the period of uncertainities, everybody is cutting back therefore if you want to add a player, trade someone. Just looking back, my proposal was to clear some cap space to give room for Ariza, then get Artest on part MLE, 3 years only. If Ariza stayed, Luke has to go being a SF. I don't think there are takers out there on Luke's long contract or A-mo's inactivity.

Also on a different note what about getting Ricky Rubio in a year to replace Fisher. It is becoming more and more likely by the day that Rubio will not sign with the T-Wolves and will go back to Europe. Rubio said he really likes southern California the weather reminds him of Italy, he wants to play in a big market and Kobe has someone he can talk Italian to. Rubio will be on the trading block next year so maybe we can figure something out with the Wolves dependent on what happens this next season. Just a thought because we will need an upgrade at PG position and I think Rubio will be the Jason Kidd of the next generation as far as PG's go.

The coaching staff and owner WANTED Artest. Phil has coveted him for awhile now.

All this talk about how Ron may or may not fit is because the guy played for people with no cache. Why did he shoot 3s? Because he didn't respect anyone else's game. Why did yell at young point guards? Because he didn't respect them. C'mon, there is only room for 1 ballhog here.

And on defense? All this help defense? Trevor got steals, but a more reliable defense is one that flat out doesn't let anyone score. We can throw 3 physical stoppers on the perimeter and have 2 7 footers at the rim.
Ariza couldn't guard Melo or Lebron, but Ron will need no such help.

Kobe, Gasol, Fish, and most of all Phil, run this team on the court. There is no doubt. Ron's uncertainty about his teammates isn't here. Mistrust on offense isn't there.

I do think he has to be integrated into the system alot. He's got to learn the triangle. But within it, imagine those off the ball screens he sets. Imagine him and Lamar being on the weakside rebound on a Kobe or Pau shot.

I leave it to Phil Jackson to put it all together. I think he see the potential of having an unpredictable element on the team. The vikings called this concept "the Berserker", i.e. a crazy dude that scares the living daylights out of everyone. Even the F-16 Fighting Falcon has unstable flight characteristics to help it be unpredictable and more agile in the air. Unpredictability on defense at least, makes us that much harder to play. This is the team Phil wanted.

Kobe is the Alpha, Gasol and Fish are the second in command, and Artest is the mercenary. The bench has youth, energy, and roles to fill, but they fall in line. This will be great team.

Not sure about bringing crazy Ron Ron into the fold but...

Has anyone considered bringing him off the bench? Hear me out:

1. Fish
2. Kobe
3. LO
4. Pau
5. Drew

2nd Team:
1. Farmar/Brown
2. Sasha/Brown
3. Ron Ron (play either 3 or 4)
4. Luke (play either 3 or 4)
5. Drew/Pau

This lineup gives Ron Ron a lot more freedom to shoot and terrorize other 2nd teams on D without interfering with the 1st team chemistry as much. Then Phil can decide who he keeps in during the critical 4th quarters:

Crunch Time
1. Fish
2. Kobe
3. Ron Ron
4. LO
5. Pau

Gives Pau some help on the big/strong guys down low (although Pau did a good job on Howard) while maintaining a rebounding advantage and ability to make open threes.

Thoughts? Am I crazy here?


>>>Trevor was such a great fit for our team. The Lakers
>>>wouldn't have won Games 1 and 3 of the WCF if it
>>>weren't for Ariza's steals

Okay. I keep hearing this argument over and over, so let me
just interject a counter argument (at least to game 1).

In Game 1, Trevor shot 2 for 8 and had 3 turnovers. Perhaps
if he had hung on to the ball a little better or made a couple more
of his shots, the Lakers would have had a 6 point lead or
a 10 point lead at the end, and there would have been no
need for a last minute steal. Or perhaps if he had held Carmelo to less than 39 points on 70% shooting, their lead
would have been even bigger.

Trevor didn't play like an all-star in game 1 of the WCF. He
made a remarkable, athletic play in what was otherwise a
poor game for him.

It was a very clutch play, but maybe if he'd have played better
in "pre-clutch" time, there wouldn't have been any need for
a big clutch last minute steal.

I like this deal because Artest is the better player. I like it even more knowing that if it doesn't work out we can trade him for a player who is better than Ariza and will fit in better than Artest. It's a win win for the Lakeshow Ariza tried to bluff the Lakers and he didn't have the better hand. He has to remember he was a 2nd round draft pick who has been coming off the bench for 2 other teams and not getting significant minutes. Yet he still got traded. There are plenty of guys that if they play hard and listen to the coaches will get playing time with the lakers. Shannon Brown is a perfect example. Most people never heard of Ariza or Brown before they became a Laker.

Been a Laker fan for 33 years..I am so sad the Lakers did not work harder to keep Trevor..he clearly showed his talent and value during the playoffs...why would you trade someone who has proven himself to his team for an unknown situation? Ron Artest just scares me...too unstable. Too volatile. It's not enough to have bball have to have the disposition and temperament to successfully integrate with your team mates. I don't know that Ron has it. Let us not forget Payton/Malone era...all that talent, but no synergy. And it killed us. Others may be looking for something about Ron to enable them to root for him...I just can't find it. Sorry Ron, you have to prove your worth before I can be glad you're here.

Here is a given to all who are whining about losing Trevor Ariza.

1.Ron Artest grade=A

Trevor Ariza will never be more than at best a c+ player.

2.Trevor Ariza grade=C

On the notion being bandied about of a double-sign-and-trade.

It's not possible. At least not as a 1-for-1 trade.

When you sign and trade a player, he is counted as base year
compensated. To make the math easy, let's say the first year of
an MLE deal is 6 million.

For the suggested sign and trade, Trevor would count as
3 million dollars on the Houston side of the trade, and 6 million
on the Los Angeles side of the trade. Artest would be the opposite.

So basically, to make the trade work, both teams would have
to add in enough salary so that it was within the bounds of the

Give me a minute to do the calculation...

Each side would have to add in at least 9 million in salaries
to make it work.

9 million + 3 million = 12 million x 1.25 = 15 million = 9 mil + 6 mil.

If it's only base year compensated on one side of a trade, it's
easier, but when both sides have a BYC player, it makes it
really hard.

OK, I've slept on it, cried about it, and now that it's daylight, I'm beginning to believe that it really might work out after all. The team chemistry won't be as upbeat and positive. We're not going to have any Showtime fast breaks and crushing dunk finishes. And we may not even win as many regular season games. But here's the bottom line, when we get to the playoffs, it's no longer going to make any difference if we have home court advantage or not. With Artest on the team, we're going to kick major butt even on away games.

This is an ideal team for playoff runs, folks. Last year, if we had to face Cleveland on THEIR home court, there's no way we would have won. Next year, with Artest, we can win anywhere, any time, under any conditions. This is going to be one very tough team that may even set the record for holding opposing teams to lowest scores.

And best of all, if/when we meet up with the Celtics in the finals, guess which team is going to be punked this time? Yeah, Rondo and Pierce, I'm talkin' bout YOU!

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