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Ron Artest to Los Angeles: You vote!

At this point, it would be impossible for you to have reached this space without having heard the news: Ron Artest is a Laker. As you'd suspect, the news has folks all a' twitter.  Though there are legitimate things to wonder/worry about, being an optimistic sort by nature, I'm on board.  If he plays his role, Artest does great things for LA.  But some don't like the move.

What about you?

BK

 
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I LOVE IT!

Detoris didn't want to draft Carmelo because they already had Tayshaun Prince. Carmelo was the better player even coming out of college. I say you always go with the better player.

As much as I like and appreciate what ariza did for the team, he is totally overated at this point. He reminds me a lot of what james posey did for the celtics. As important as he was, he defintely wasnt worth the money he got from new orleans. Also, as much people want preted kobe doesnt make people better, ariza looked as good as he did because of kobe. There is a big difference in hitting threes wide open and hitting threes contested. Lakers would have been stupid to pay him more than the mid level exception. All the lakers need now is to bring lamar odom back and they will be set. I also love to see shannon brown back.
The thing I am most excited to see is a kobe/artest lock down defense. It going to be fun to watch that unfold.

CRAZY PILLS IS A LAKER!!!!

*much confetti*

i agree with shan. artest is for sure an upgrade from Ariza.

Ariza got better because of Kobe. Now that Ariza went to the Rockets, he won't find as many open shots as he did as a Laker. And I'm still not convinced that Ariza is as good shooter when he's covered.

Honestly, I can't wait till the Lakers play the Rockets. Maybe we'll see Ariza guard Kobe...

For Artest, he took a paycut compared to last year, about 2 mil or so. I hope he does that samething on court too. I mean, not too demanding of the ball. Lakers are so much effective when they run Pau/Kobe pick n' roll. I hope Artest just waits on the wing or corner for the ball like Ariza did.

Pau is palying the European Championship this summer. He made it official this morning.

Sorry folks I know you wanted him to rest. Not my case of course.

And to the liar who said that Spanish players are forced by contract or rules to play for the Spanish National Team: Shut your mouth. Plain and simple. You have no idea, not even a clue. They can refuse if they want (just as Calderon did). But they don´t because they are proud of representing his country. Maybe some may learn...

you are either getting better or worse... never the stationary... especially given that those around you are changing.
I was very uncomfortable with the idea of status quo... because other teams have a year to figure you out and prepare and load up... LAL has to grow and take steps to improve also...
this is a risky move... but, life is risky... and business is about taking risks... and being rewarded (or not) for such decisions. Look at the trade for TA... or not trading AB (still up for discussion, but he helped us in the finals), sending an established center like Vlade for a young KB... These are all risky, but they took them and they are better for it.
Will this blow up in our faces? May be... I don't think KB, LO, PJ or Magic (who I understand was involved in getting Artest here) would let that happen... they have too much riding on this... their legacies... money... the Busses wanting to have to most title (we need few more to top Celtics), etc...

We have seen with San Antonio, Celtics, etc... it is not easy winning titles... and you have to hit the iron while it is hot... Now is the time...

I like the contract, because it allow the LAL to retool and reload in 3 to 5 years... with infusion of new talents...

Artest is a volatile player... but, he will also bring what is sorely needed - toughness and defense, which last time I checked wins championships... frankly, I thought we were tougher and grittier team than Orlando this year... Celtics were tougher than us last year... There has to be swagger, attitude and intimidation when someone steps on the court... I think they will have that next year...

Plus... as a reminder, he hates the Celtics... and loves the Lakers... (not to mention, he didn't end up in Cleveland!!!)

In the end, it is definitely worth the risk...


Plaschke is against it. (But he's an idiot.)

That guarantees it will work out fantastically well.


The Lakers have Artest !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this is why if you claim to be a basketball fan you must like the Lakers if not you show you know nothing of basketball

Dr Buss will not lose he brings Kareem Magic Worthy Scott Mychal Thompson Shaq Kobe Pau and now Artest

i have been all over forums and sites for nba and other teams mocking them because in one quick easy move the Mighty Lakers have shown you do no mess with them ariza has learned and now is banished to loser land Artest sees that the Lakers = Dynasty and will play for free practically those who want to WIN are Laker fans and players its that simple and soon we wil have Nate Robsinson to

the slurs try and get old richard lesserson
the tragic pick up wince carter
the chandaleers get old man shaq
the pistons gor-done and villa-never
the fail blazers cant even get turkoglu
the mcnuggest have done nothing
the pathetics continue to lose players ha bye posey powe and marbury

this is why I love being a Laker fan

THE NEWEST LAKER DYNASTY
2009 CHAMPIONS YOUR LOS ANGELES LAKERS
2010 2011 2012 2013 ON THE WAY!!!!!!

Wow.

It's time for...

A Very Special Addition Of Jon K.'s Early Thoughts That He Has Not Put Too Much Thought Into Yet:

1. David Lee is a complete idiot.

2. Ron Artest is a MUCH better player than Trevor Ariza.

3. I was hoping we'd hold onto Trevor because he's a hometown boy, a Bruin, I liked his personality, and I felt he fit into his responsibilities as a role player perfectly... but David Lee screwed that up because he's an idiot.

4. There are reasons to be optimistic about Ron Artest. Let be count the ways:

a) He's matured.
b) He has a history with Lamar Odom (huge).
c) He respects Kobe Bryant and will defer to his leadership.
d) Phil Jackson has a deep knowledge of psychology which will be useful in communicating to Artest in a salient way.

5. As God is my witness, I hope someone will listen to me on this. I've done Ron Artest's Bio-Chrono reading and ONE THING is clearly important in terms of Ron being a Great, stable Laker (ONE THING!): His social network. In Los Angeles (this is very similar to Andrew Bynum, by the way) has to be constructive, mature, intelligent and positive-minded. If this is the case, then expect good things from Ron Artest. If Ron surrounds himself with emotionally immature, selfish, unsophisticated individuals... well, then expect bad things to happen. It is that simple. Ron SURVIVES off of consistent, positive, strong social support. The Lakers (and Laker Nation) need to make sure he gets that. Laker Nation needs to support Ron Artest. He's one of ours now.

6. My "hoping for the best" Lakerholic is speaking to me now and imaging a mature, stable Ron Artest playing beside a vastly improved Andrew Bynum and with Kobe Bryant and Pau "The Surgeon" Gasol... THAT is an unbeatable team.

7. Did I mention that Shaq is going to destroy the Cavs from the inside out? If I didn't, he will. He's still a Laker, after all, he's just a double-agent, destroying the rest of the NBA from the inside out.

8. We HAVE to resign Lamar Odom. HAVE TO now. Lamar Odom is key not only to our success, but to Ron Artest's success... which is also the Lakers success.

9. I have to admit I was incredibly impressed by Ron Artest's statement that he would play in L.A. "for free" and that he was "finally" a Laker. THAT is a spirit that one rarely sees in sports now. I was actually emotionally touched by it. Contrast that with the idiotic bluster of David Lee and his "no hometown discount" bullcrap and I feel much better about signing Ron Artest.

10. If (IF!!!!) we sign Lamar Odom, then the only thing we have left to bring this team into historic incredible incredibleness is to find an upgrade at the point guard position, someone with a Derek Fisher-level of respect, maturity and leadership capability who will be able to take over for Derek when he retires. We get that and this Dynasty is rolling. Kobe will retire with more rings than Michael Jordan.

11. Laker Nation needs to put together a better, more respectful nickname for Ron Artest than "Ron Ron". "Ron Ron" is a kid's nickname. Artest is now a Laker and he needs to be addressed with the dignity that comes with that responsibility.

12. So the adventure begins!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

never,

the Blazers did not want to draft Michael Jordan out of college because they already had Clyde Drexler.

Like you said, you always go with the better player.

I second Plaschke.

Good trade? - we all better pray it is!
Artest's volatile behavior and his erratic 3 point shooting can really blow up on a team that needs to make no mistakes and Ron as good as he is suffers from the same diease as Lamar. Late game mistakes run wild with these 2 - 2 on th efloor at the same time? I think that Lamar has no better offers and will be a Laker again. As we all know when he plays up to potential the Lakers are almost unbeatable. Maybe Phil can tell Lamar and Ron NO 3's ever at all, LO maybe Ron- his range sucks and the three is what the triangle offers a lot.
Hope to see a huge improvement from Adam Morrison, he should be our 3 point guy and if Sasha doesn't get his head to a shrink soon - say good bye I do like the Defense of Ron and him coming off the bench might be a mental glitch but his intensity could be just the push the Lakers need when it gets 6-10 points behind, Sorry to see a budding star like Ariza go, his career was just getting off the ground and his role here was only getting more solid, shame on his agent-he just took away the chance to win rings, they don't come very easy.

Ariza wanted to leave us, simple as that. (said by his agent)

I will miss him whole-heartedly but if someone wants to leave a championship team, let them. They will regret it.

Tim-4-Show's all defensive team:

Going Big:
UPS
KB24
RA72 (not because of the phone pad, but because of the 72 wins)
Pau
Socks

What a monster line-up defensively. Good luck scoring more than 16 points in a quarter against that squad.

Going Small:
UPS
KB24
RA72
LO
Pau

Seriously, if you have UPS, KB24, and RA72 that perimeter is as solid as it can get. Then, in the rare case of a problem, you have two seven footers in the front, and that's if you go small or big.

This team should be the top defensive team in the NBA if they're healthy.

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.

I was a Laker fan during the time of Magic, Jabbar and Worthy. Then with Shaq, Phil and Kobe, until they grew so full of themselves and started treating other teams with such disrespect. I got turned off and relished when they lost to Detroit. But Kobe has matured (no longer either hogging the ball or trying to prove his team will lose without him). And I like a second-chancer like Ron Artest. I just might start liking the Lakers again. If only Phil will stop whining about the refs to manipulate them.

Meh, I don't know. I liked Ariza, and he was only getting better. Ron Ron makes us a lot more physical, but also a lot slower, which I don't like. The best thing about this trade is that Plaschke is against it, which probably means it was a great trade. He's never right.

Ron via Twitter :"Bill Plaschke better make sure his Blue Cross is paid up."

wait untill he gets a load of simers. My advice to simers- get a body guard.

I thought Ariza was an excellent fit for the team. He brought
good wing defense and developed a decent 3-point shot, and
went on a hot shooting streak during the playoffs.

His only mistake was the choice of his agent. And even so,
I think if it hadn't been for the Yao Ming situation, David Lee
would have shopped Trevor around, come back to the Lakers
and either taken the MLE money or maybe Mitch would have
bumped it just a bit.

But with Yao out of the picture and Houston not pressing the
issue of re-signing Artest, David Lee should have recognized
that he didn't have the leverage he thought he had, and he should
have accepted Mitch's original offer.

Some people were saying if the Lakers lost Ariza, they wouldn't
win a championship this season. But ironically, they got the
exact right player to replace Ariza. Artest offers good wing
defense and he can hit the 3 pointer to space the floor. He's
actually better than Ariza at either of those things, but when
you mix in the crazy pills aspect, it sort of levels out. Basically,
I have no doubt that Ron Artest can fill Trevor's shoes in helping
the Lakers to a repeat.

In fact, one of the reasons you don't see a lot of repeat champions
is that most of the players get complacent after the first ring.
They think they can just cruise to another ring because they're
the best.

I guarantee you, with Kobe and a hungry Ron Artest on this
team, NONE of the Lakers players will be in cruise mode this
season.

If you're going to post Ron Artest's twitter account, at least use the account that actually belongs to him. http://twitter.com/96TruwarierQB

Jon K,

Great to see you on board! Two days ago you were threatening to unleash the Bio Chrono on a Crabalier Artest...

I also blame David Lee, but Trevor is a grown up, and he's responsible for David Lee's incompetence. If Trevor were smart, we'd see headlines today reading "Ariza fires Lee, calls Kupchak directly"

Regarding the PG... unless Nate Robinson will take the biennial, where's a PG going to land in our lap??

I really think given the triangle, and given the scoring threats we have now with Artest on board, UPS is fully capable of filling this role with some little extra effort in the off season. Do you agree??

Ariza got greedy (or his agent did) and ran himself outta town. Now we have someone even better in that slot and didn't have to break the bank for it, and Ariza is making the same money the Lakers offered him on a much worse team.

Greediness will always bite ya in the bum Ariza, hopefully next time your contract is up you'll remember this lesson.

jimjoyce,

"Plaschke is against it. (But he's an idiot.)

That guarantees it will work out fantastically well."

I laughed.

My gut tells me that you're right about that.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

David Lee would have been smart to sign a short term contract with the Lakers for the MLE.

Then when the economy improves and TA became a free agent in a few years (with presumably more invested into him from LA's perspective), TA could have gotten paid.

Now we know him as Traitor Ariza.

The kid turns into Anakin Skywalker - how tragic.

it's important to note that while Artest is undoubtedly eccentric and, to say the least, works to his own beat, he isn't necessarily a "thug," at least as people present the term. He's a smart guy, sensitive, and pretty thoughtful. I think he wants to do the right thing in most cases, but isn't always wired to make it happen.

From Richard Justice, columnist at the Houston Chronicle:
"The odd thing about Artest is that he was nothing like I thought he’d be. He’s not a thug. In fact, he’s a caring, thoughtful man with a charitable heart and a winning smile."

In some ways, he's like Kwame Brown, who I assumed would be a punk when he arrived in LA. Petulant, inarticulate, etc. He was nothing of the sort. Kwame, in fact, was one of the nicer guys I've ever covered, with a good sense of humor and was very well spoken. (He just wasn't all that good at basketball.)

Artest has done a lot to develop the stereotypes that surround him, but fans/writers need to try not to make too many assumptions before he actually arrives.

BK

still agitating for the 'gi-nasty dynasty'

nicknames for artest? beats me. obviously, i suck at nicknames.

David Lee is an idiot.

Drew: fire him, please!

Welcome [whatever your name is now :-] !!

GO LAKERS!!!

Artest's nickname over on other websites is Crazy Pills

Phred
Nasty Dynasty. I'm collecting royalties.

Jon K.
http://tinyurl.com/lngs5y

Now El Guapo's Infamous Thoughts on this matter...

For those of you who argue that Ariza was a better 3 point shooter...check the stats. Artest is was 40% last year. The reason his percentage dipped in the playoffs was because there was no one in the middle to open things up around the 3 point line.

Which is why Ariza's 3 point percentage sky
rocketed. Kobe and Pau demanded double teams leaving Trevor WIDE open at the 3 point line. With no other player on the court to do that I truly believe Trevor will feel the pressure and realize how much he screwed himself over by leaving.

I agree with Jon K, David Lee is a tool. He tried to strong arm Mitch in the press, when everyone knew no one in their right mind would offer more than the Lakers did. So Mitch said "So who do I make the check out to? Bill? Ron? Bill Ron? Ron Ron??"

Also the fact that Trevor allowed this to happen pisses me off. You want to walk for the same money to a non contending team because you felt "Disrespected" well don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

For those of you who think Ron will go into
Crazy Pills Power Ranger mode... He has been on his best behavior the since the Malice at the Palace (and seriously they were Detroit fans they had it coming) Not one incident. For some one who has been working to rebuild their image I guarantee you he will not do this in L.A.

And Plaschke thinks its a horrible idea. There for logic leads us to believe this was the best move The Lakers could have made.

A championship tends to disguise any flaws a team has. That guy on Yahoo who says the Lakers didn't have any flaws last year didn't watch them throughout the season. The front office knows it needed (still needs) to shore up its defense in order to repeat as champs. Artest may be a gamble for non-basketball reasons, but strictly in terms of defensive play he's an upgrade.

Now the next step is the point guard position. Fisher's leadership is indispensible but we need a backup who can stay with the quick point guards. Will Farmar be that guy?

Don't throw any beer around Staples. Can't wait till the 1st run in with Phil.

And where's Shannon?

Well said, RK and Jon K. You can't be content with the status quo. You stop growing, you die.

The best thing about this trade is we have the two best perimeter defenders in the game. Kobe does not have to guard the main perimeter man on the other team, which makes him more effective and less tired on offense. No Olympics+Artest on D = Fresh Kobe.

I'm not so sure that we can't do a similar upgrade on Odom, though. I'd prefer Sheed over Odom. Odom disappears too much during big games, whereas Sheed is clutch. But we better make sure that Odom doesn't go to San Antonio. The other great thing about the Artest deal is that Cleveland didn't get either of them. Ariza went to a non-contender. At least, we should hope that the Celts don't get Sheed. They'll be our most dangerous opponent with Sheed and a healthy Garnett.

What's not to like about this move?

Ariza goes for the money and Artest goes for the ring. Funny what large sums of cash will do to an individual; I think Artest got the better of the deal. Time to kiss and make up, Kobe & Ron. There's another championship to be had!

Why does the Yahoo article assume that the Lakers made a completely even handed choice between Ariza and Artest? It doesn't seem to be even handed when one person is trying to hustle you and the other says he desperately wants to be on the team and doesn't make a big deal if he makes less than the previous year. I wanted Ariza back but even I was sick of his agent his moves in that day and a half, and I wasn't actually dealing with him. My only worry about Artest is is that he will try to take over when its not his spot to. But only time will tell if that will be an issue.

Ariza'a agent needs to learn how to negotiate. Shame Ariza is leaving but Artest is a nice addition to LA's toughness and defense. Denver and Boston will get smacked this year.

Tim-4-Show,

>>>Regarding the PG... unless Nate Robinson will take the
>>>biennial, where's a PG going to land in our lap??

It ain't going to come easy.

First of all, if Nate would take the biennial, then the Knicks would
match. They wouldn't mind spending a little bit of money to keep
Nate and David Lee, they just don't want to spend a LOT of
money.

If you want Nate, it would have to be a sign and trade and
you'd have to take back some baggage from New York.
Something like Ammo+Farmar+[MBenga or Powell] for
Nate + Jared Jeffries would probably get it done. That would
give the Knicks a young PG to replace Nate, and Ammo expires
next summer while Jeffries doesn't, so it would give them more
cap space next summer.

But to be honest, I'm not sure Nate is that big of an upgrade
over Jordan. If Jordan was in a D'Antoni system where he
was given free reign to do whatever he wants and take any
kind of wildass shot he wants, I'll wager he could be just as
effective as Nate.

So what PGs might be attainable?

One popular trade idea was Kirk Hinrich, but now that the
Bulls have let Ben Gordon walk, I'm sure Hinrich is staying put.

Andre Miller is a free agent and he's getting up there in years.
Perhaps Mitch could persuade him to play for the Biennial for
a season to try for a ring and then he'd be a free agent again
next summer when all those teams have cap space open and
not all of them are going to get LeBron. More likely, Miller will
get a deal in the 5 million range from Philly. Besides, Miller is
very much like Derek Fisher in that he's a decent defender, but
gets smoked by small fast PGs.

Same could be said for Jason Kidd. Almost the exact same
argument, but substitute Dallas for Philly.

Ray Felton is a restricted FA, so Charlotte would match whatever
the Lakers could offer him. Ditto for Ramon Sessions at Milwaukee
and Jarret Jack at Indiana. Any of those guys would be good,
but the Lakers can't make a big enough offer to get their teams
not to match.

They might be able to get Allen Iverson. That would be better
at the defending the small fast pg's, but there aren't enough
basketballs in the STATE, let alone in one game to go around
to AI, Kobe, and Artest. Pau and Drew would never get close
enough to the ball to touch it.

They could double the dosage of crazy pills and make an offer
to Stephon Marbury. But I don't think even Phil has enough
thorazine to keep both Ron-Ron and Starbury in check.

They could try to make an offer of Farmar & future draft picks
to Minnesota to try to get the rights to Ricky Rubio away from
them, but even if Minne agreed to that, there's no guarantee
that Rubio will turn out to be everything they hope he'll be. Remember
that Sun Yue also tore up international competition for his national
team.

The fact is, there isn't an established, quality point guard
that the Lakers could get who can defend well against small
fast point guards.

I think their best bet is to re-sign Shannon Brown, work with
all 3 of their young point guards, and hope that one or all of
them improve a bit. They were good enough to win a championship
last season, so it will only take a little bit of improvement to solidify
that role.

And actually, the combination of Farmar and Brown works
out pretty well. Farmar is a little better against small fast PGs,
and Brown is better against bigger stronger PGs. Brown shoots
a little bit better, Farmar passes a little bit better. So having
both of them gives you flexibility.

Rick- ouch. go easy on plashke. the guy needs a lot of sleep these days.

BK- man, stop hating on ron artest. it's vicious and vindictive posts like that, in addition to relentless blocking all the criticism of you that people try to get past your vigilant censorship that makes you such an evil super villain type. or maybe i'm brown nosing too much.

Charles- Gi Nasty Dynasty has a better ring to it, in my opinion, something about the two syllables and the assonance, but you can have the lion's share of the huge bank that we're sure to make off of it.

oh, and since I haven't pointed it out for a few hours;

WHOOOOHOOOOO! WE WON! WE WON! WE WON! AND WE'RE COMING BACK MORE LOADED THAN BEFORE! HIDE YOUR WOMENFOLK AND PUPPIES! (oh wait, maybe i shouldn't say that) AH SCREW IT. WE WON! WE ()*^(&*^ING WON!

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE, AND THE FACT THAT WE WON!

GO LAKERS!

Rick Friedman,

Beautiful post.

It's posts like that which make this blog so special and more "authoritative" than the drivel the Three Stooges vomit out.

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

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

I second Plaschke.

Posted by: RoseBowlKid | July 03, 2009 at 10:41 AM

...and I'll have Plaschke for seconds. I'm gonna get TJ first.

also charles, thanks for the link to the interview. I like how he answered the question about the ring 'well, i do have a wedding ring, very happy about that' I think the more we see of him in LA, the more we're going to like him. of course, it will all come down to whether we win or lose, always does.

The unofficial poll of the day.

Which best describes Ariza's agent Lee?

A. He is an idiot
B. He is a greedy idiot
C. He only had his best interests at heart, which makes him a greedy, and immoral idiot
D. The guy is a scumbag for ruining Ariza's dreams.

The unofficial poll of the day.

Which best describes Ariza's agent Lee?

A. He is an idiot
B. He is a greedy idiot
C. He only had his best interests at heart, which makes him a greedy, and immoral idiot
D. The guy is a scumbag for ruining Ariza's dreams.

Posted by: Fatty | July 03, 2009 at 11:52 AM

E. All of them

I've finally discovered David Lee's identity!
Gríma, Wormtongue, from Tolkien's LOTR.

You poisoned King Théoden of Rohan's thoughts in the past, and now you poisoned Trevor's.
Bite your tongue Lee, and get poisoned!

Fatty,

"Which best describes Ariza's agent Lee?"

D. The guy is a scumbag for ruining Ariza's dreams.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Rick Friedman -

You obviously took great delight in penning that piece.

Well done, sir!

Now for the rebuttal from Bill P..

Dear Rick Friedman,

I am supremely offended in your satire, spoof about me.
Let me set the record straight.

First, I am paid to do what I do and your not.
I am on TV, and your not.
So my credentials are impeccable, and yours? A LA Times commenter? Don't make me and Simers laugh.

As an expert, recognized in his field as the best at what he does, let me give you some advice.

When you write and make up stories like I do for the Times, the story and the facts are not important, its the writer, Its all about me. This is what my readers or fans want to see.

When the Lakers ignored me as you said and gave the scoop to others, (that really hurt my feelings) we reporters, do the next best thing, we trash the source.

I learned this lesson from watching the movie, 'The Natural.' Robert Duvall, my mentor, because of that film, taught me many lessons.

Dig hard for that inside scoop, and when people don't co-operate, you vilify them whenever you get a chance. (see all Kobe, Lakers articles)

In closing, now that I have thoroughly humiliated you. Remember, the only thing bigger than my belly, is my ego, and my belly is pretty big, I might add. hahaha

To review, its all about me, 24/7, not the story or the facts.

Signed,

Bill P.

Charles,

I watched the interview.

Ron Artest is clearly a bit awkward as a human being, but the guy genuinely seems to have his heart in the right place.

And that's what matters.

I think we're on the verge of something really special.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

READ AND REACT…

Man, so many great posts. Artest has the blog hopping. Here we go:

- - - - -

Edwin,

>>> Dude, that is the change you have do - You gotta to be a winner.

Ron would be well served to listen to Edwin’s sage advice. I have to say that I am jazzed by Ron’s desire and reaction to joining the Lakers. You gotta love it!

- - - - -

jimjoyce,

>>> Doesn't he understand he's the fifth option at this point?

That is dissing Ron. He actually is our fourth option. And just saying it tells you off the bat just how strong and deep this Lakers team is going to be. Our fourth option. LOL!

- - - - -

LAKER TRUTH,

>>> If what they are reporting is true, the case is closed.
>>> Management wanted Artest from the get go.

You are absolutely correct. There was never an offer. The Lakers had decided to go with Artest BEFORE they ever met with Ariza and Lee. I feel bad for Trevor AND for Lee because they really had no chance. They walked into an unexpected ambush.

- - - - -

DJ,

>>> Sorry to see Trevor leave. I do think that is a major mistake on his part.

NO! The point everybody needs to understand is that neither Trevor or David Lee had anything to do with this decision. The Lakers had already made up their mind to trade up to Artest the instant that it became obvious that he would accept the MLE. That is why they did NOT even make an offer to Trevor. They did not want him to even have that chance. In a way, Trevor and Lee were correct in that the Lakers did disrespect Trevor in that they valued Artest more and chose him. It was just business.

- - - - -

LTLF,

>>> But it sounds
>>> to me as if the Lakers offered the MLE, Lee asked for more,
>>> and they told him if he wanted more he needed to go out
>>> and get more from another team.

NO! Read the reports closely. The Lakers did NOT even make an offer. They just told Ariza that they were not willing to pay more than the MLE but did not make an offer since they had already decided to sign Artest and had no budget to keep Ariza. There was nothing that Trevor or Lee could do. It was decided before they ever met with Mitch.

- - - - -

Mikefloss,

>>> Artest makes us ferocious. He can guard all the big 3's we don't want Kobe
>>> to have to deal with and he gives us toughness and scoring both inside and out.

The 3 main reasons we signed Ron were LeBron, Melo, and Paul Pierce.

- - - - -

#4,

>>> We went from a youthful, smart squad to a veteran squad in one fell swoop.

Great points in your post also about Ron adding depth at the 4. Damn, those point guard posters are smart. hehe.

- - - - -

WINSTON WALLACE,

>>> Again all you people saying that this was a bad move must be
>>> smoking the crack that david falk is putting in your pipe.
>>> Ron artest is better the trevor ariza period.

Excellent post but see how much easier it is to read when not all in caps.

- - - - -

Benjamin,

>>> Best post was the one to KL beast of course.

That WAS pretty sweet. We’ll probably never see KL around here any more. TGFMF.

- - - - -

TOM

SLOW ECONOMY FAVORS LAKERS…

What a difference a day makes. Last time Ron Artest had an opportunity to join the Lakers as a free agent, he opted instead to sign a contract with the Rockets for $7M a season rather than settle for the $5.5M the Lakers could pay with their MLE. Of course, back then the economy hadn’t crashed, the free agent market hadn’t tanked, and the NBA and its franchises were all forecasting never-ending growth and profits.

Fast forward to yesterday and the story suddenly changes. Confronted with zero teams able to pay him more than the MLE, Ron unexpectedly found himself in virgin territory. He could actually choose the team he would LIKE to play for rather than just the team that would pay him more. To no one’s surprise, that team turned was the Lakers. How ironic is it that the bad economy enabled Ron to be able to do what he wanted?

While the economy will adverse affect every team in the NBA, it will also help extend the financial advantage that the Lakers enjoy because…well, because they’re the Lakers. Not only will their revenues increase due to the championship, but the economy going south will also mean a growing pool of quality NBA players available for the MLE. The players association should watch what is happening closely because maybe just maybe the focus should be on getting players the right to play where they want to go.

Of course, the rich getting richer and the poor poorer during recessions is nothing new. It’s survival of the fittest and the bigger the pond that you rule, the richer you’ll become. For you younger fans who may not have enjoyed previous championships, here’s a hint: When you see some NBA star beaming with joy as he proclaims to the media that he’s joining the champs, he’s talking about us, about the LA Lakers. Don’t forget that.

LOL!

Tom

ERIC PINCUS TAKE ON ARTEST DEAL…

I greatly respect Eric and his version has Trevor as Option A and Artest as Option B.
Up to now, I had become convinced that the Lakers decided on Artest before even meeting with Lakers. Eric says no, that it WAS Lee’s attitude that pushed the Lakers to immediately pursue signing Ron. Good stuff. Here is the heart of it:

>>>

Ariza was Plan A: With the Los Angeles Laker boldly agreeing to terms with forward Ron Artest, General Manager Mitch Kupchak has landed a player the team has been itching to acquire since he was in Indiana.

The cost was the well-liked Trevor Ariza, who has agreed to sign an MLE deal with the Houston Rockets (~$32.3 million).

A source tells HOOPSWORLD that Kupchak was prepared to give Ariza an offer equivalent to the full MLE but at 10.5% raises, totaling at approximately $33.8 million over five years.

LA's ceiling might have been a $6 million starting salary for $36 million over five but before negotiations progressed after 9:00pm Pacific on Tuesday night, the source says that Ariza's agent, David Lee, took a confrontational approach with Kupchak.

Lee wanted a deal in the $50 million range and took offense to the team's stance that Trevor should test the market first for that level of compensation.

By the next morning, the Lakers were going after Artest in full force with Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and even Magic Johnson reaching out to the Houston forward.

LA was acknowledging privately that Ariza was going down the path of Ronny Turiaf, a player the team had great affection for and wanted to keep but couldn't because of economics.

Ariza's agent ended up settling for significantly less money with the Rockets, at least based on the expectations he presented to Kupchak.

By getting a raise greater than 20% (he earned $3.1 million last season), Ariza's contract has Base Year Compensation (BYC) status which is a technical term that indicates he's difficult to trade. Should the Lakers and Rockets want to do a dual sign and trade with Ariza and Artest, Trevor being BYC makes that extremely difficult and quite unlikely.

While letting Trevor Ariza go was a difficult decision for the team, Kupchak reacted quickly. Taking advantage of Houston's misfortune with Yao Ming's foot injury possibly taking him out for an entire year, the Laker GM quickly turned to Plan B.

Artest adds a level of intimidation to the Lakers that was sorely needed.

Winning the title helped rid the team of the "soft" label but sources close to the team have acknowledged that the Lakers got the best draw of three possible opponents in the NBA Finals.

Matchup up against the Orlando Magic, it was finesse vs. finesse. While the Cleveland Cavaliers may have had their flaws, they would have been a more difficult out than Orlando.

Against a healthy Boston Celtics squad . . . some confidence but mild trepidation. Of course Kevin Garnett was out for the postseason and Boston was never the threat they were a year ago.

The bottom line is that the Lakers felt getting tougher was a good thing.

Artest has his flaws but he's a physically dominating player on both ends who can free up Kobe Bryant from tougher defensive assignments. The belief is that Coach Phil Jackson along with Bryant will be able to keep the volatile Artest in check and focused on his first title.

Ariza was blossoming into that role but in Artest LA gets a ready-made product. There were some fears that Trevor's production, especially as a three-point shooter, could taper off after signing a long-term contract.

The Lakers intend to re-sign both Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown to round out the roster. Odom hasn't drawn much interest beyond the MLE.

While it's not clear what price he'll agree to, LA had established Lamar as a priority over Ariza before the offseason began simply because there were more readily available options to replace Trevor (Artest).

Once Artest is signed, the team will have almost $82 million in guaranteed salaries which could total $93.5 million with luxury taxes. Whatever Odom and Brown are paid, assuming they both return, will cost the Lakers double in tax.

Negotiations with Odom are ongoing. Expect his representatives to protest as well at what the Lakers are offering but Lamar may not find much more than Ariza got in Houston on the open market.

If Odom is penciled in at $6.5 million (only a guesstimate) and Brown at $1 million, the team's total payroll would be $108 million for the upcoming season.

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

Certainly Kupchak will look to trim off players like Adam Morrison, Sasha Vujacic and possibly even Jordan Farmar to get that number under $100 million if he can.

While negotiations with Odom could drag, it would appear that team owner Dr. Jerry Buss is willing to pay for team's opportunity to win now.

>>>

Tom

AK/BK,

That was a cool conversation. Loved it. Smart and funny. Let’s see more of that format in the future. Lots of fun. What’s scary is that I think Ron is going to be a model player and make the Lakers a monster of a team. If Drew gets back to level he was playing in either of the last two Januarys, the Lakers could win 70 games or more.

The Lakers and the blog are the best reality show out there. Still haven’t caught up and I have basically dedicated the paid time off to feeding my Lakers jones and running a few errands. Getting ready for the 4th and the picnics but fireworks came early this year.

My name is Tom and I’m a Lakerholic who has been on a 2-day bender and is loving it.

Tom

Well, we can't even get to Independence Day without some Laker drama.

I'll follow Jon K.'s lead on this thread (and my own on prior threads) and go with a number system.

1. Overall, having slept on it a day, I don't hate the move as much as I did yesterday, but I still do not like it overall. Ariza was arguably the best in-season acquisition the Lakers had made since Mychal Thompson. He gave them an athletic, long, versatile, full-court 3 that they'd been lacking since the Showtime/Lake Show days (Caron doesn't count because he was only in LA for 12 minutes). He still hadn't hit his ceiling, he was improving his jumpshot, he was coachable, and most importantly, he showed up big in big games. He was as perfect a complement for Kobe's game as it gets, and could have been a D-Fishesque fixture for the team for a decade. To lose TA is a long-term issue.

2. Ariza will regret his decision. No way he gets the room to operate and grow offensively that he would have had in LA. I think he listened to the bluster of his agent. Plaschke is right, he is headed for anonymity and likely a lot of frustration.

3. I think Pincus is right. My hunch was (and still is) that the move caught LA a little off-guard. Houston wasn't one of the teams I recall even being on the radar for TA's services. I know that at least I presumed HOU would try to re-sign Artest. When HOU went after TA, the Lakers had to mitigate the damage.

4. I would have loved this move in 2008. I don't like it as much now. Chemistry is so important, especially considering that it took LA 5 years to build the right team around Kobe. Now LA is adding the most volatile element in the Association to the mix. A guy who can and will explode at any time. Will it be in Toronto in December? Phoenix in February? Or San Antonio in May? Or Boston in June? Tell me with a straight face you think "Our Test" isn't liable to explode.

5. I like the move for the same reasons I liked it last year. LA gets a fundamentally sound, strong, versatile defender who can stop or slow any team's no. 1 option. A Lakers squad with Artest 13 months ago beats the C's (then again, a Lakers squad with a healthy Ariza may have, too, but I digress).

6. With the East contenders loading up, Melo in Denver, The Big 3 becoming the Big 4 in San Antone, and the Celtics healing and working on Sheed, LA needed to improve what they had, or make a bold countemove. They did the latter.

7. So, what happens now? Does LA re-sign LO? Does LA do as Pincus suggests, and say goodbye to some talented but less productive players like Vujacic and Farmar? They need LO to retain their offensive versatility. I can't believe I'm saying this, but their title hopes may now hinge on 7.

Summer '10 may be a blockbuster, but so far, Summer '09 has been a thriller. Can't wait to see what happens next.

As a Laker fan, I'm really dissapointed that they would sign this nut case who shouldn't even be in the league anymore. What's next? Michael Vick as the PR Director? A horrible guy and a horrible decision.

awesome trade. i'm so happy for the lakers. we have upgraded and became a better team already. wowo... I don't know if Ariza or Lee is an idiot??!!! wow.. certainly both. But I like Artest way better than Ariza. With Artest, we can win now, and in the next few years.


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