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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.


-AK

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:

 
Comments () | Archives (152)

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Mitch Kupchak has proven that he knows what he's doing through the years as evidenced by him silencing his worst critics about the make up of this recent championship Laker team. I trust his judgement in bringing Artest versus signing Ariza.

I'm sure Artest will be on his best behavior, i.e. being the consummate professional and team player this year. However, the concern would be after this year. If the Lakers repeat, how hungry will Artest be the following year? The next year also bring more uncertainty since Phil Jackson would most likely retire. What coach would command Artest's respect? Rambis? Shaw?

This deal looks good on paper but it is cloudy for the immediate future. Ariza, hands down, was a great fit for the team. Artest's contribution remains to be seen.

Here's hoping for the best!

The equation in the last thing might have been a bit confusing,
(and in fact, it wasn't correct, since I strung together two
equations).

To make salaries match, the larger salary can be no larger
than 125% of the smaller salary (plus 100K).

Since they'd be BYC, Trevor and Ron would count as 3 million
going out, but 6 million coming in.

The difference there is 3 million.

So the object is to find the lowest value S (for salary), where

S x 1.25 = S + 3 million

There's the algebra for you.

The solution is S = 12 million

12 million x 1.25 = 15 million = 12 million + 3 million.

Shaq's belly looked HUGE in his presser yesterday.

The Muppet commercial I would like to see.

Ron Artest showing up at Kobe's place at 4 in the morning, acting like the obnoxious pesky kid.

"Cmon Kobe, let's go work out!"

"Its 4AM Ron"

"Yeah, I know, sorry I'm late, but we got a Championship to win, and you know what they say, "The early worm gets the Title! Right Kobe, right Kobe!"

"Hey Kobe, Kobe, what you say after we lift weights we go down to El Segundo and play some one on one, followed by some 3 on 3 at UCLA. Ooh! Ooh! Kobe, I got a better idea. Let's form a team and go play some in Vegas at the NBA Summer League"

"Ron, Ron...."

"Kobe, Kobe, get this, We call ourselves, the Brothers from LA. That way, everyone knows we family now."

"Ron, Ron.....I'm not even dressed.....

"That's okay Kobe, you can change in the car. We can't waste time, because every second counts when you are trying to win a Championship. Right Kobe? Right Kobe?

"And Kobe, I got a real good idea, real good one. How about I move in with you all? Then we can talk basketball all the time"

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

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

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

Edwin Gueco,

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

Excellent analysis.

I would add that Los Angeles not only accepts nut cases,
IT EMBRACES THEM WITH OPEN ARMS. Mel Gibson, Michael
Jackson, Charlie Sheen, ... there's no end to the list of celebs
that have done wild-ass stuff in LA. Heck, even JACK was
arrested for drunk driving, and he's practically the Lakers
mascot.

And lest we forget Rick Fox who once chased down Doug
Christie in the hallway and punched him out after they both
got ejected from a game.

Ron-Ron will fit right in.

It's not that the circus has come to town. In Hollywood, the
circus is ALWAYS in town. The Lakers have just added another
strong man (or another clown).

Ron is a crazy, but well-trained rottweiler.

Phil better hand him a bunch of Tex Winter's books for the offseason.

LTLF

never seen/read u so excited?! looks like ron ron is rubbing u in the right way. way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Give it to the Lakers. They always give us drama, which keeps it interesting. We will spend the year asking these questions: Will we repeat with Artest? Will he ultimately help the team or hurt it? Will he hog the ball or share it? Will he play Phil Jackson's intelligent and strategic ball that gives the Lakers the edge over other teams? Will he improve the chemistry or make it worse? These questions will keep us on the edges of our seats all year and make the Lakers the most watched team, highest rated team in the NBA. Go Lakers.

P.S. I will miss Trevor and his wonderful spirit. I blame his agent. It is better to shine in LA, than to play anywhere else in the world -- especially when the money is essentially the same. Ariza's agent buried Ariza and should be thrown into a hole himself for doing it.

Fatty,

Hilarious!

Go Lakers!

Edwin

your hand is not good. yes, 2 aces, yes, 2 Queens. unfortunately one is only a Jack from Jersey and not Queens. (only in Laker Tom's hand he-Bynum is an Ace)

regarding what Number should Artest have as a Laker

on a different blog, someone suggested 72 as in the R and A letters on the phone key pad. what do u all say?

ESPN says 1) PJ is 99.9% sure he'll be back next year and 2) Artest has 2 contract offers from LA: One for 3 years at 18 million the other at 5 years 33 million.

He'll take the 3 year deal then re-sign for more with his bird rights.

And it looks now like the Lakers never planned to bring Ariza back unless it was at a reduced rate and a bench player, because they DID NOT offer him a contract. That's the big news right there. They really didn't even offer him a contract. In negations with Ariza team officials said they wouldn't be going higher than the mid level, and in fact Ariza should shop around, find his market value and then return and see what the team would offer him.

That is not a contract offer. That's saying goodbye to Ariza. And I'm OK with it. I think it's the smart basketball move and the smart business move but it's one I wouldn't have had the heartlessness to do.

Kudos to Mitch. I think once Houston learned that Yao wouldn't be back this season, they didn't offer a contract of any substance to Artest (similar to us with Ariza), so Artest went stepping out and found the Lakers right there waiting.

I'm most excited by Artest's rump, similar to Mike T's shameless attachment to Kwame's calves. I just Imagine Artest pushing that 265 pound arse against bullies like Paul Pierce and Lebron instead of Kobe having to do it and it fills my heart with joy. This is going to seriously free up Kobe to do some scoring in games and it may even add a year or two to his career by having someone else be the perimeter hammer. If Kobe can take down Howard, what can Kobe and Artest do? What is this going to do for Bynum and Gasol? I’m also pretty pumped up about the immediate hunger and desire that this addition is going to bring to the locker room. So much for championship complacency. We got a bull dog on the team now, he's hungry, you know Kobe’s hungry, and I think we’re close to having a historic team.

But are we done dealing? I don’t think so. I think a PG upgrade is coming.

Go lakers.

Wes

I read in ESPN that the reason the Lakers took Artest was to enticed Phil to coach again next season. I hope this is not true. If it is then the Lakers truly dissed TA. I'm beginning to think there's was a conspiracy and that they really were not intent in keeping TA and that Artest was who they really were trying to get. I also read that Garnett is leading the way in convincing Sheed to sign with the Celtics. Anybody knows if Kobe did the same thing for TA or was his mind already set on Artest? I hope this plan does not blow up in the Lakers face like Planschke is saying. The Lakers traded a promising young palyer for an older volatile one.

Years ago, when Ron Artest played for Sacramento and the Lakers were losing in the playoffs, I wanted the Lakers to trade for Ron - even giving the KIngs Lamar Odom.

Ron is the type of player the Lakers need.

Artest gives the Lakers the physical enforcer they need. The Lakers, outside of Kobe, are too finesse a time. They have trouble with physical teams like the Denver Nuggets, Houston, and the Celtics. Ron gives the Lakers another stud like Kobe.

Artest improves the Lakers defense greatly. Artest can cover Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, Paul Pierce. These guys are more physical than Ariza could defend. Kobe had to expend a lot of energy helping out to defend these guys. Artest would greatly reduce the wear and tear on Kobe.

Artest may be "crazy", but he is not as crazy as Rodman. Kobe, as the Lakers' leader will be the one to control Artest and keep him on the same page as the rest of the team. Phil Jackson also has the stature to keep Artest under control as he did with Rodman. The Lakers as now a mature team who has won a championship have players who won't be intimidated by Artest and can play with him. Artest will respond to the strong environment the Lakers will bring. Note that Phil will not hesitate to bench Artest should he play out of control.

Artest brings the Lakers ferocity. I like that a lot. He brings the Lakers hunger and desire. The Lakers can be complacent for much of the time since outside of Kobe and Fisher, they lacked players than can play with fierceness throughout the tame. Pau is coming along. But Pau isn't a vocal leader to demands the ball yet. He can disappear from time to time. Lamar, of course, is inconsistent. Artest brings his A game every single night, just like Kobe does. Artest will provide the spark for the rest of the time to stand up, take notice, and play their hearts out with the intensity and fierceness we have all missed. Artest helps the Lakers become DOMINANT. With Artest, the down days for the Lakers, when they become complacent are much less likely to happen. If anything, bringing on Artest is a message the Lakers send to their players that they too have to bring their A+ game to every game, to become competitors like Kobe, to play their hearts out every single game.

Jay Jay

>>>Sasha Lose-his-swish - a Machine that now fires 80% blanks.

Well, technically he shot 61% blanks last season. But still,
not a good shooting year for a guy who is a designated shooter.

hi guys, i am a regular reader i just have never blogged before. well anyways, i am really sad to see trevor go. i knew him in his ucla days and he was an amazing person. i was so excited to see him become a laker and blossom in front of his family and all his friends.

trevor really did bleed purple and gold. i am telling you this was his manager's fault. on trevor's twitter, he said he was sorry. according to some of his friends, he is depressed he never wanted to leave the lakers and his family. he listened to the advice of his agent and baron that is what others on message boards are saying. even in interviews, he said pj will always be the best coach in his eyes because pj have him a chance.

i am telling you he loved la and his teammates. i think he will be taking this really hard. trevor doesn't seem angry at all; he seems depressed and feels he is at fault.

Kobe is 30 years old
ron 29
gasol 29 on July 6th

and

lamar 30 in november

this core was really built very well, same age and also the group rides kobe's best years remaining.

great timing. how many more rings?!

Edwin Gueco,

>>>Are you familiar with our 2nd draft recruit?

Nope. I didn't watch as much college hoops this season since
I was obsessively watching every Laker game and any game of
one of their top competitors if they weren't on.

A brief check around the net says that he's a raw 6'10"
junior PF out of Texas A&M. Averaged about 10 and 7 last
season, which is fair. He had a couple of 20 point games,
but also had a couple of 4 point games. I'm thinking maybe
he's training camp fodder and then done. I don't think he'll
beat out either Powell or MBenga, and that's who he'd have
to beat to make the roster.

I loved ariza as much as anyone and I loved his youth and upside(the only better thing than artest by the way) but statements that ariza is a better shooter than artest are overboard. look at their career percentages. Ariza had a great post season no doubt, but only one.

let's be realistic, artest is a borderline all star player. ariza is still hoping to get there. 9 pts a game. I think Linus Kleiza averaged more. the upside is definitely there but you can't compare the players today. Let see how he does in houston when people aren't double teaming other players on the court and leaving him alone. I think he is going to miss Kobe starting in the pre season already.

Our window is three years to collect championships. Who knows what will happen after that. It will be a fun ride getting there.

Lakeshow baby!

WexJoeNixon

"Kudos to Mitch. I think once Houston learned that Yao wouldn't be back this season, they didn't offer a contract of any substance to Artest (similar to us with Ariza), so Artest went stepping out and found the Lakers right there waiting."

There may be some real truth to that.

Houston is now forced to rebuild, so Artest, a player in his prime ready to go, would have less value to them.

While the Lakers are ready now. All the pieces are there, and Artest is the perfect fit at his age and ability.

The Lakers will mow throw the NBA like Godzilla goes through Tokyo for the next 3-5 years.

After that? I will worry about that later as now I will enjoy the Lakers leaving a swath of destruction everywhere they play.

Can't wait for the opposition to scream,

"Godzilla! Godzilla! Run for your lives!"

Trestles,

>>>A lot of people are blaming Trevor’s agent, but I don’t think
>>>it was his fault (his public posturing didn’t help, though
>>>and I don’t care what people think of him anyways) in
>>>trying to understand why Trevor would take the same
>>>money with Houston. It wasn’t the same contract since
>>>Trevor got a 5-yr deal.

Actually, it was never reported how many years the Lakers
offered Trevor. And in fact, the Lakers could have offered
Trevor 6 years, so they might have made a longer offer.

All that was reported wrt $ was Trevor's agent saying that
the Lakers weren't willing to pay more than the MLE. The MLE
is really just a starting dollar number for the first year. Beyond
that it could go anywhere from 1 season to 5 seasons (for
another team's player) or 6 seasons for your own player.

Because Trevor's only 24 and still improving, I'm guessing
the Lakers either offered him 5 or 6 years.

ouchhhhhhhh,

>>>never seen/read u so excited?! looks like ron ron is
>>>rubbing u in the right way. way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nah, I'm constantly this excited.

The difference is, this time I'm on the same side as you. :-)

I liked Ariza, but I think Artest is an upgrade even taking his
looneyness into account.

cbssports.com reports that Ron Ron is going to sign a 5-year deal worth $33 million with the Lakers. Basically, it's the full MLE that TA reportedly got from the Rockets. They also states that Dr. Buss wanted to sign Artest to entice PJ to stick around beyond his current contract to help the Lakers overtake the Celts in championship count, which is only 3 away. Quite interesting indeed. Man, I just can't wait for the season to start. This is the beginning of a great dynasty that can even rival that of MJ's Bulls.

Thanks for the shout-out, Ouch,

Tom Daniels, thanks for the link to Clark's article which expanded on AW's. I enjoyed how he summarized Lee's moves as a "failed powerplay...an embarrassment"

I love Ariza and will miss him. But I also love that the Lakers served notice to his slimy, bush-league jerk of an agent that we are not a team be tinkered, toyed or trifled with. We are the cream of the nba crop. Lee is a big-mouthed amateur who got himself and his client punked. We made Ariza a fair offer and now he has to leave the great weather, championships, comraderie, endorsements, and home-cookin' of LA. Way to go David Dumb-Ass Lee. Other potential clients will now avoid you like the plague.

Ron Artest = Major Upgrade

Memo
To: Bill Plaschke
From: A Real Editor
Subj: Today's Column

Well, Bill. We finally got your column up on the web site http://tinyurl.com/llh5ka Not sure anyone's going to get much out of it, though. By the time it landed, there were already hundreds of reader comments posted on the Kamenetzky brothers' blog. Hate to tell you this, but most of them were more insightful and thought provoking than the drivel you turned in.

All you did was whine about the Artest move. What's the point. The deal is done. Oops. You predicted Ariza returning to the Lakers was automatic. Now I get it. You're whining because the move made you look bad.

Where were you when the story was breaking? I paged you and Heisler without success. I did get through to Simers, but the grouchy old codger cut me short. Something about he was getting a unique angle to the story from some grocery bagger he was talking to right then and there. Said he'd get back to me. I'm still waiting.

So, where were you. The buzz around the sports desk was that the ESPN guys from "Around the Horn" wanted you to get a haircut before your next appearance. Now do you understand why I keep telling you that television is evil? Look, I know Adande was able to parlay it into a full-time gig. But look in the mirror, Bill. Even with a haircut, you'll never be as telegenic and as smooth as he is. Seriously, Buckaroo. The Times is still your main bread and butter. At least until the next round of lay-offs.

We need better than you're giving us. Poor Mike Bresnahan was busting butt while this was breaking all by himself until I could get ahold of Turner. After all these years on the Times' payroll, shouldn't you be the guy ahead of the story, with direct insider access to Mitch and Dr. Buss? Why did Ron-Ron call CBS Sports and not you? You should have been playing Texas Hold 'em with Jerry when he talked to Artest, or playing checkers with Mitch in his office when this started going down.

If the Times is going to be an afterthought, at least give us a column with some thought. Something. It's a new world here in journalism. Get with the program. I wouldn't even wrap dead fish with the column you gave us today.

IanFountains,

I think #1 would be a great number for Ron Artest. It starts with him and his responsibility to the team.

Staples24,

I think the moniker "The Fantastic Five" is beyond awesome.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Baywood,

I loved Trevor Ariza, but I hated his agent (who is a moron, I might add).

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

We again need to remember one thing... Triangle makes an average player looking pretty good. Remember Smush? He is not even playing anymore, was averaging with the Lakers more than 10 pts per game. Brian Cook? Bench warmer for Houston now, use to play 10-15 min for Lakers. so, my point is, we really don't know how good TA was, as was mentioned here, majority of his 3pts shots were uncontested indeed (thank you Kobe for attracting double) With Yao out and TMac not even close to play, I would like to see how many 3pts TA cam make when he has a hand in his face. Very unlikely we'll be talking about 40% shooting. Plus Lakers already got burned by overpaying based on the contract year performance (Luke, Sasha...) So they did a right thing, if TA agent would be a little smarter he would understand, taking 3yrs MLE for TA create more opportunities for earning, assuming he deserve it in the future, and grows as a player with Lakers or some other team.

RA struggles in Houston because he was not brought to play #1 option on team missing 2 stars, Yao and TMac. He was brought to play with them and it's never happened, so he strugle trying to carry heavy load on O and D as we seen in playoffs. Playing together with Kobe, Pau , Bynum and LO he don't need to be concern with scoring 20 pts per game at least, Lakers already pretty dangerous scoring machine, all they need to do, just continue to improve on D. At same time, being build like a tank he presents mismatch problem for opposing team, and this all bbal about - creating constant mismatches putting teams in position where they have trouble to match our lineups on both ends of the floor

keifo,

I share your concerns.

Here's the thing about Ron Artest... when I've seen interviews with him, he doesn't seem like a monster. He seems like a little kid. He seems genuine in a startling way, but also very immature. This immaturity scares me, but I am hopeful that Lamar Odom and Kobe Bryant will make a STRONG effort to mentor Ron Artest in a helpful way.

With this mentorship, I believe that we can get the best out of Ron Artest and I believe this is what Ron Artest needs on a personal level.

The guy has been waiting his entire life for a true mentor and I believe he will get that out of Lamar, Kobe, and Phil.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

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

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

Posted by: keifo | July 03, 2009 at 08:31 AM

I hear the Blazers are about to sign Mother Theresa and Richard Simmons to their bench. The chubby and disenfranchised NBA fans finally have hope.

Wes

Now that Artest is a Laker, does anyone have any real evidence of how well he guarded Paul Pierce and Lebron?

Ariza may not have been able to stop Melo, but the Lakers could trust him to go one and one, meaning the rest of the Denver offense couldn't get the open threes they live for. The same thing goes for San Antonio - Ariza wouldn't have problems dealing with Richard Jefferson. No one in the West will challenge the Lakers, except maybe Portland, but their strengths are at PG and PF.

So the only reason the Lakers went for Artest is because they were thinking about Cleveland and Boston, the only teams that will challenge the Lakers in next year's Finals. (Orlando without Turkoglu has no chance next year, as they lose their key matchup advantage against the Cavs and Celtics)

I'm trying to find hard facts that support the decision to get rid of Ariza, and so far I think the risks of the negatives outweigh the positives.

Risks:

1) Artest won't adjust offensive game to the triangle
2) Artest brings a lot of baggage that could hurt the team in a key game if he gets a T or suspension
3) Artest's personality could break the team's harmony
4) Trevor Ariza was starting to blossom in the playoffs - could he have improved even more next season, making him a better overall player straight up?

Advantages:

1) Phil and Kobe must have been on board with the decision
2) Artest is a really good player who showed the desire to come to the Lakers by taking a pay cut
3) Artest is a powerful defensive presence - if he really has a track record of handling Pierce and Lebron

That's all I've got. Does anyone have other thoughts?

Bopper,

Shaq did look huge in his Cavs interview yesterday... and it's only going to get worse.

Dude, as THE Lakers Secret Agent in Northeast Ohio, let me give you some insights into this wasteland...

1. Everyone (and by that I mean 85-90% of the people) are overweight.

2. The reasons why people are overweight in part is due to the weather. There is so little sunlight and the weather is often so cold that a person's metabolism slows down and the body creates more fat for warmth.

3. The food here is awful, unhealthy, bland, and based upon saturated fats and carbs. It makes people fat and there is an instinct to eat more of it to get that "satiated" feeling which is nice after eating food. Because it is so unsatisfying, you have to eat more to get that satiated feeling. I know that may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but that's the way it is.

4. All these elements ultimately conspire against Shaquille O'Neal. He's going to have a hard time here. I was filled with tremendous shadenfreuden for him at first, but the guy is an eternal Laker. I'm beginning to feel sorry for him.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Like most in LA, I'm sad to see Trevor go and wish him the best in his career. I think the unfortunate reality is that he was a great fit for the Lakers and the Lakers a great fit for him.

As many have pointed out though , Ariza was getting torched by Melo in the Denver series and could just get over powered by some of the bigger small forwards. Hi thief hands were clutch in the playoffs, but his lack of strength was a real liability going forward.

With Artest we get that strength. We free up Kobe from some incredibly difficult defensive assignments. In fact, I'll go farther and say, signing Artest will probably result in opening Kobe's window by another season or two just by saving his legs a bit.

I hope Artest does not get too distracted by Hollywood

I hope he does not choke out Sasha

I hope he comes in knowing he is playing for a team that has a championship formula and that if they fail, it reflects directly on what he brings to the table.

let's resign Odom and Brown and enjoy the summer...

Welcome Diya.

Wes

Liked Ariza a lot, but $33 mill was too much commitment when you got KB PG LO locked in. This deal, I think, locks in Odom, who'll give up some money for stability in LA. He could get what he's making now if he wanted to be the #1 guy everyday, but he doesn't, and I'm sure the carpetbagger bit has gotten old. Lakers get an absolute beast for a small price,albeit one that must have been hit in the head with a hammer at some point in childhood. Lakers staff will keep him in line or he'll be shipped off to NBA purgatory again. Remember Sacramento? Bet RA does.

it's a sad day to see trevor go. i really loved his energy and his great attitude. he didn't care about being the star, he just wanted to win. honestly, from everything i have read and all his interviews he would always try to deflect the attention away from himself. the night he scored his career high 26 points, a reporter asked him if it felt good, and he said "ya, but feels even better that we won". that's when i knew we definitely have to keep this guy. he believed he would always be a laker. i am hoping he pulls a D-Fish, and we see the return of the Cobra.

best of luck trevor. you are a true angelino. i will be watching you play in houston as well.

LTLF

we were many times on the same side. and as Lakers fans we r always on the same side. even if i grew up in a special math school and at the same time playing BB, as an artist, i approach BB for the pleasure of the Game and its playfulness. i prefer the intuitive side than the analytical one that can take the fun out of it. at the same time i appreciate your Stat reports and the fact that u r doing an excellent job of enlightening the blog with all the data.

but as u know on this and any blog, number arguments can shadow the space, the pause and the silence between the numbers and can create unwanted and interminable arguments that don't bode well with my morning coffee.

as a visual artist i recognize many posts and i detect the posters just looking at the format of the post. as u know, yours it is very easy to detect because the lines r not too wide. i'm sure it's a computer/window formation.

and yes, sometimes i just ignore them, especially when is an argument you have with other posters about some of the ROLE players that maybe r not my favorite ones.

as u remember maybe from the past few days, you have your own pedestal in the STATS department. :)

ron immature?! after so many seasons with Shak? or should i call him Snack?

wes. is Mother Theresa an WNBA player?!

Another thought...

Size matters...but so does versatility. We have both.

Ron makes us a lot more versatile because he can play the 4, too. when need be, we can small ball with Fish or Farmar at the point, ShanWow at 2, Kobe at 3, Ron at 4, and LO at 5.

Someone mentioned that Ariza is feeling really depressed right now. I'll bet. I can see him walking the floor in a daze, repeating over and over to himself, "How did I get mixed with this guy? How did I get mixed up with this guy?"

The icing on the cake will be when he goes to a chinese restaurant and opens up a fortune cookie that reads, "He who lies down with dogs, gets up with fleas."

Ouchhhhhhh,

There is no Jack in my Full House. Three Queens (LO, Artest & Bynum they belonged to Gambino Family) LOL, of course you know the two aces Kobe and Pau. Who plays the PG? LO. Well, PJ will always start with Fish, you have to rest the veteran and reserve him for the playoffs. Give the ball to the 3 Queens. Then, Kareem also a New Yorker during his teens give them some instructions on hook shots. I don't care if 'Sheed will join the Celtics, once we have this lineup and no ball hogging LAKERS WILL BE UNSTOPPABLE.

Where is LakerTom? This is the time to shout dynasty, you have all the pieces of the puzzle, all you need now are psychologists, psychotherapists and hypnotists in case some people get nutty from this psychotic team. Where is Mamba24? c'mon lakerholics get to the bandwagon of rough and tumble, put aside the girlie finesse of inconsistency. Attack, Attack, Attack I'm having a heart attack too. LMAO!!!!

Hey guys, I'm definitely an upgrade over Trevor Ariza. If you remember the playoffs, TA could not handle me b/c I was too big and strong for him. I bring what these Lakers lack, physicality, toughness, punishing D. Melo was manhandling TA in the playoffs. Think that will happen with me? Who do you think can get up in LeBron's grill better? I was the missing piece for the next triple dynasty. Come see playoff time. Peace.

whowwwww

the Lakers fans and the Victorian lens for the NBA?!!!!!!! you must be kidding.

keifo and johnnyP. i can't believe u r deserting the Live Jabber Box. get in with the program and the 2009 season. the CAPS r waiting for you.

i will give all the malcontents 48 hours to take a cold shower and to wake up.

after so many years of kobe bashing and scrutinizing all his "moves", i guess any Lakers fans will have to grown a thick skin. Ron Artest needs the right environment to prove who he really is. it is not Chicago, Indiana, Sacramento. this is LA with PJ and Kobe.

i thought that Americans love to forgive and give a second chance. look at it like this is Stern's karma and indirectly le bron's and shaq's for the harsh suspension he got in the detroit case.


What's there to "discuss"? We don't want that hotheaded fan-assaulting jerk in a Laker uniform.

This deal sucks. Ariza is a good up-and-coming player who did his job quite well. Artest is a egotistical t who will ruin team chemistry. It's not as bad as when the Lakers got Rodman, but it kind of reminds me of that. Maybe the Lakers will win it next year, but it's hard to root for a guy like that.

I would like to keep Ariza is a key basketball player. The remaind that he is only 24 year old and he is young man. He is helped his teammates the lakers and championship. I know he is not best but I like him how he plays in game and have high respect plus persistent until end game.

I would like to keep Ariza for the Lakers. He is the only 24 year old and young man. He haves high respect to all basketball player but sometime he haves emotional for his game.

I want to keep Ariza why....because he is helped his teammated and had consists until end game. I like him how he play well in game and have pantient the way! He knows how to relationship with his team the lakers. I know he is not the best basketball player but I like his how he is given role his team and for other people, too. Plus he plays good for the lakers and he feels his own home. He is better than Arest Ron for behavior in games.

Therefore, Ariza should be stayed with team for the Lakers...If he lost then the lakers won't championship again....

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.
Tim-4-Show

so... what you're telling me is that it's everybody else's fault that he went into the stands and beat on spectators... is that it??

What was I thinking... my bad!!!!!

Laila,
the kind words you stated about Trevor is dead-on ... i couldn't agree more with you. attitude and other-centeredness is pretty much non-existant in the nba. but Trev was one of the very select few who possessed these characteristics.

SENDING RON ARTEST TO THE LAKERS TO PLAY WITH KOBE,PAU,AND ODOM IS A GREAT THING. LAKERS COULD WIN THE TITLE 2 TIME IN A ROW.

now the lakers have what they been lacking for so long, a thug who will help the lakers shake the SOFT label, wish we could have gotten him 2yrs ago when we played boston. haven't felt this good about a signing since we got shaq....

 
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