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Ron Artest to the Lakers, says Ron Artest

UPDATE (5:00 pm)- ESPN.com's Chris Broussard reports the deal would be worth "an estimated $18 million" over three years, which is a perfect length from LA's standpoint. Artest will be 30 in November.  BK

UPDATE (4:37 pm)- The LAT's Mike Bresnahan is also reporting the Lakers are close to a deal to bring in Artest.  He writes that Artest would likely want a full midlevel deal (in the neighborhood of $32 mil over five years), but it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the contract, once signed, was actually shorter than that. We'll have to wait and see. As Bres notes, Artest's arrival would almost certainly mean the end of Trevor Ariza's tenure in LA. BK

Ron Artest rubs Kobe's head CBS Sports.com's Ken Berger reports Ron Artest is ready to sign with the Lakers.  (Note: Berger's original post has been updated with fresh information.  The Lakers are not commenting, but Berger writes he has additional corroboration.) No contract terms have been ironed out, Berger writes, but Artest told him he'll be playing in purple and next season:

"I'm definitely going to L.A. -- to sign, yeah," Artest said in a phone interview. "Lakers, Lakers, Lakers. I'm in L.A. right now."

Artest said he met with Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss Thursday and previously had spoken with Lakers coach Phil Jackson. He was en route to his financial manager's office, where he planned to huddle on the phone with his agent, David Bauman, to finalize details...

..."I don't really care about the money," Artest said. "I'll play there for nothing. ... L.A. was very interested in me, and they got me."

Until there's more concrete news, it's hard to say with certainty what's going on.  (If there's such a thing as a player being a bad source regarding his own negotiations, it would likely apply to Artest.)  If nothing else, Bauman can't like that whole "play there for nothing" part.  The man works on commission. As we talked about in this week's 710 ESPN Lakers PodKast (which also includes a nice interview with Shannon Brown- listen and you'll know that if Brown leaves for another city, it's not because Andy and I didn't try to keep him here), I have some concerns about how Artest fits with the Lakers. 

Still, he's an undeniable talent, no question, and in terms of raw ability would add a lot to the squad.  Plus, it's always more fun to rub a star player's head as a teammate rather than foe.    

More on this to come, I'm sure.  

BK

(Photo: Stephen Dunn, Getty Images)

 
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Fatty

Art-Test, in a few games, will give us more memories than TA for the rest of his career.

and finally ariza will learn how great is to play with Brian Cook. they will create 3 points opportunities for each other

I guess playing on a 500 team next year instead of playing for a second ring will bring Treavor the rescept he looking for! What in the world was he thinking? And yes it was about the money and another example of a spoil brat who didn't get his way. He didn't even get much more then LA offered.

Good luck and thanks for a great run!

Rodman had a personal body guard to help him from getting into real trouble while in Chicago - Jack Haley

Haley probably has some real stories to tell.

Its a differnet kind of crazy with Ron, he just blows up from time to time. At least he doesn't shoot guns in the air, or does he?

As much as I liked Ariza, Artest is a major upgrade for the next three years.

Ron will learn the system on both sides of the court and excell. Just as Kobe helped Ariza, Gasol, and others improve. I am confident we will see an even better side of Artest.

Other teams respected Ariza's game, but they fear Artests'. Not having to score, he will concentrate on disruprting the other teams leading player, leaving Kobe to roam, and Bynum to do his thing.

This team will be something special, can't wait. Wish we cold start the season next week.

am i correct on this?!

1. each team can sign only ONE player for the MLE

2. the E stands for exception and that means that the amount, aprox 6 MIL. it is not counted toward the luxury tax.

in this case the lakers saved 6 mil.

if ariza is signed, the 6 Mil will be 12 MIL

another saving for the bank and definitely a huge upgrade at 3. finally we have a REAL 3

Laila - I also read the timeline on espn, maybe it's a typo? Anyway, great post about Trevor, thanks for the personal insight. I think he'll be well remembered here - he played with a lot of heart and dedication. I hope he does well in Houston.

Laker Tom,

>>> You have to feel for Trevor in any event although he did take the bait and get disrespected...

No, Trevor was not disrespected. The Lakers offered what he was worth. As I posted earlier, two years ago Trevor was languishing in obscurity on his best day. Trevor was and is a role player.

And for all the talk about Ron Ron's attitude, it would seem that Trevor had an attitude we just didn't know about. Disrespected, hell! The Lakers made him what he was last season. All this crap about "I had to do what was best for me and my family" is just that. Crap. With Yao out next season, the Rockets are going nowhere. Enjoy watching the post-season on TV, Trevor. That's as close as it's going to come. Trevor obviously didn't value the privilege of being a Laker. He's scratched from my book. Gone!

Lets make one thing very clear there is 100% no doubt that Artest is a better basketball player in every category imaginable than Ariza. What a genius move by the Lakers management! Its now time to focus our attention on our boy Lamar and if we keep him in the mix its pretty much over next year. Ariza should fire David Lee for giving him no financial gain and moving him away from his home town to a team that is depleting in talent and will not contend for a ring anytime soon. David Lee is a joke and Lakers management made him look like a fool on this 1.

Oh, one more thing. Have you noticed over 700 posts here in the past 24 hours? Some off-season!

straydan2,

You think Trevor is happy to be with a team "where he can get some opportunities"? Um... like the opportunity to lose more often? How about this opportunity: more rings.

That's the opportunity he won't have for a long, long time.

Plus, Houston is a terrible place to live. It sucks there. Trust me.

Go Lake Show!

James,

>>> Number 3 is where I want to focus the remaining portion of my comment.
>>> Ron is a very good ball handler, post up player, perimeter shooter, rebounder
>>> and overall facilitator. All of those things are very useful in the triangle offense.
>>> I see him being able to fit in nicely playing with Kobe, Gasol and Odom. This
>>> will make it possible for the Lakers to sit two of those guys and still have 2
>>> superstars on the floor at all time. That will be huge

Great points, James. He will be our Bruce Bowen against LeBron, Melo, and Pierce and fit in better in the Triangle. Although he is only 6-7, he can also play the 4 against most teams giving us even more depth and versatility in the front court.

It’s becoming obvious that the Lakers were going to trade in Trevor for Ron probably from the moment they learned that Ron would sign for the MLE. I feel sorry for Trevor and David Lee. They really got ambushed by Mitch I think. If you read the stories, the Lakers never really made an offer. They just told Trevor where it would be if they did. He was gone before he even talked to them. Just another victim of the economy.

Tom

Shaq - omg - what a freaking loser already! I don't think the curretn cavs team (w/ shaq) - can beat Orlando or the celts (with healty kg and if they get sheed)

lbj will go to the knicks or some other team - clev won't be able to keep him there.

It will be the Lakers, Spurs, Orlando, and celts. Dang - will be a fun season!!!

Well my first reaction (which the K-bros didn't print because I apparently didn't disguise my F-bomb well enough) was that I hated this and it was awful.

But the more I think about it.......

Actually I'm cool with it IF we re-sign Lamar. He and Artest are long time amigos and he can help Kobe and Fish keep Ron-Ron under control. Which we'll need to do cause its unlikely he'll get as many touches as he's used to, and a virtual certainty he won't get near as many in crunch time, where he might even be the FIFTH option if D-Fish is in his groove and Lamar is in a zone. If he's willing to live with that to get his ring, I'm happy to have his defensive tenacity.

So except for PG where we're both older and younger, our entire core (counting LO in over Bynum) is around 30 tears old - perfect for a three or four-peat.

Man I sure hope this works!

here is trevor before contract talk. this sounds like someone is grateful for what the lakers gave him. david lee did something to trevor.

http://sports.espn.go.com/stations/player?id=4301246
k bros tiny url isn't working sorry.

as a fan who has met him, i'm telling i have never seen anyone as happy to be back in la. he also really admired kobe (not like sasha) but truly admired him and is grateful to him and phil

Thanks TA and good luck to you!

Welcome Ron Artest "The Rottweiller!"

Can you imagine the Black Mamba, the Rottweiller, Boom-boom Pau, the Beast(I hope) and D Fish clamping down on the opponents?

Kobe had a lot to do with this...he needed help with the Lebrons, Carmelo, Pierce, Jefferson, etc. Trevor is not as strong as Ron. His shooting percentage is also much better and no hesitation at all.

This team will be all defense with explosive offense. We'll see point spreads galore - maybe a lot of tacos at Staples.

Go Lakers! Repeat! Back-to-back here we come...all we need is to sign LO and maybe a surprise trade for a feisty point guard (or develop Shannon UPS Brown).

What a day, no?

Lots of comments and many from old friends, too many to mention.

Still have to wonder, what would Mike T. be saying about this one?

Off to bed, wake me if some other news happens.

Sweet Lakers dreams everybody

Another reason David Lee hurt Ariza is the length of the mid level. If Ariza has a year like these playoffs he's going to be worth more than 5.8 mil. He could have signed a 3 year deal, proven himself and then got that big payday when he was 27, not 29.

Wes

Sorry to see you go Trevor. It's almost like letting go of Horry.

Via POV of the agent, it's like Shaq taking less money to play for Miami. Except you won't be getting a ring. (And you getting long term guaranteed money on your sliding scale pay check.)

That 4.5 million we saved, better be in good use for Lamar and possibly Shannon Brown. Please do not resign Sun.

ANYBODY THINK SOMETHING IS BREWING WITH ALL THE QUIET TIME WITH LAMAR?

Sorry for typing loud. Like Samuel Jackson loud.

let's clarify that

yes, ariza made 2 big steals in the denver series. those plays were blown out of proportions BECAUSE le bron was still in the play and the media did not want to give Kobe all the chips for the series.

but in both games, when the steal happened, the lakers were UP by 2.

yes he made some 3 pointers. but in the finals he shot like 3-11, game one. 5-13, game 2 and in game 3 was like 0-7

unfortunately he bought in the media hype and he feels DISRESPECTED?

rick is right. he was a nobody before a laker. looking forward for Battier to make plays for him. or scola.

so, if Coby Karl gave tips to his father about the triangle, will ariza give Battier tips about little kobe secrets. or we already know how Battier and NY times strategies panned out.


It doesn't really matter per se whether Artest is a "better basketball player" Its about which player fits better in our system. ...

From ESPN’s Chris Broussard “News and Notes” on ESPN.com front page:

The divide between Trevor Ariza and the Los Angeles Lakers stemmed not merely from the notion that the Lakers were unwilling to pay him more than midlevel exception (which will be approximately $5.8 million for the first season), but also from the fact that the Lakers did not make him an offer of any kind. When Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak spoke with Ariza’s agent, David Lee, on Wednesday, Kupchak essentially told Lee to go get the best offer he could and then bring it back to him, and perhaps the Lakers would match it.


Um what? So his agent thought by Mitch telling him to come back with an offer, Lee found that was disrespectful? riiight.....

and about the whole "it was never about the money, it was about getting respect" statement by Lee.

Well he also said

I can tell you definitively Trevor had an offer that was nine million more than what the Rockets offered and he decided to go with Houston,"


This guy just never stops talking does he, and I call bull on the notion that Ariza got offered just about 14 million a year.


This might have been brought up, but you have to feel that Shaq and Lebron might have triggered the need to bulk up and no one fits that mold better than Ron Ron.

Trev and Kobe were dobermen, Kobe and Ron are DOBERMEN.

LO and Ron's history also makes for a perfect fit. I've wanted Ron since he came on the market for 7 mil. Best bargain in the association.

cinz,

>>>Reportedly, Ariza will sign with the Rockets for 5 years
>>>33 million. Just a little above the MLE

No, that's what you're missing.

It's not a little above anything. Both teams offered exactly
MLE level money. It starts at 5.5 million and goes up a certain
percentage each year.

Houston did not offer any more than the Lakers did. And since
the Lakers only offered him 3 years, they offered even LESS
to Artest.

But Artest and Ariza will make exactly the same salary for
the next three seasons. Ariza's agent was unwilling to accept
that amount from the Lakers. Ron Artest was. It's as simple
as that.

Oh, and by the way, the exact dollar amount is as yet unknown.
The MLE level is dependent on the salary cap, which will be
set next week. That's when we'll know the exact dollar figure
of Trevor/Ron's salary.

Wow, we have a 6 banger going and working on 7. Must be a K-Bro record.

Like everyone else I feel much love for Trevor and wish him the best.

On the other hand, when do we tip-off? I'm ready for the new season to begin. I have to admit, when others were wishing for Ron-Ron I kept thinking, "there is no possible way the Lakers can sign him." I never thought RA would play for the MLE, anywhere! But "low and behold" Ron Artest is going to be a Laker. Personally, I am so excited about this, think about it, if the Lakers had the opportunity to trade with the Rockets, TA straight up for Ron, would you make the deal? HELL YES! In a heart beat. Artest is a much stronger defender, better scorer, and another player teams must account for at all times, offensively and defensively. As much as I like TA, RA is by far an upgrade.

Sign LO and Shannon Brown, let's lace'm up! We're good to go.

Have to wonder what TA was thinking. Does he think he's going to Houston and start ahead of Battier. Doubtful!

Mitch K has to already have strong consideration for 09-10 GM of the year.

Welcome to LA Ron, We want you and we need you. I strongly believe Ron will bring us that toughness we so desperately need.

No one is happier about this deal than the NY Knicks. It pretty well assures them that the Cav's have been "out trumped", as the Lakers just went "All IN" for the 09-10 championship, which pretty well assures them Lebron will be looking for a new home next year.

When do we tip-off? What day is the parade next year? Let's plan ahead to beat the crowd.

Ron Artest just "Hoodalized" ESPN on the interview. He seems really excited to be here.

What's up with the quiet time with LO? Blockbuster signing in the making?

The Lakers CAN afford 10 per year, that's the beauty of it! Mitch has ben hoarding money like a madman and it's about to pay off.

Time to EXHALE. I have no more worries for the rest of the off-season. After today, any stress or anxiety I had over Shaq/Lebron, Wallace/KG/Perkins, Vince/Dwight, Hedo/Roy, and Duncan/RJeff are gone forever.

Lamar will be a Laker, no doubt.

and why is everyone worried about the PG situation?

Relax folks. Shannon Brown will be a stud next year. I don't think I am going out on a limb in guessing that Brown will not be hiring David Lee as his agent.

ouchhhhhhhhh,

the E in MLE stands for the exception to the salary cap and not the luxury tax, so it will cost the Lakers the same as if they had signed Ariza. If the Lakers didn't have to worry about money,(like Knicks - owned by a huge corporation, Portland owned by Paul Allen, Dallas, etc.), then they could offer Ariza 7 million and sign him, and offer Odom $10 million and sign him too. I don't believe that they used their low exception of 2 million, so that could even use that to sign someone else. But then they would have to pay a luxury tax of $30 million.

I think they're going to sign Odom since Odom and Artest are friends and probably not sign Brown unless Brown gets no offers and they can sign him for a low ball offer like $1.5 million/year for 1-2 years.

Imagine Richard Jeffersons Text:

Pop, Timmy; what now?

Who is LOs agent? At least we aren't hearing a ton of bs from his agent like DLee....that led to TA's downfall. Lakers like to do things quietly - like Gasol, Vlad, Mihm....making it all public just screws it up. LO - learn the lesson that TA just got. Take a fair offer to be a part of the dynasty!!

Now it has me a bit worried because after seeing TAs exit interview and what he said at the parade an all - I figured he would be so ready to sign whatever the Lakers offered. Now he's gone. LO must think he is worth sooooo much more - so if he wants to play hardball he may be gone too!!! Oh well - maybe we gotta throw in a bunch of candy!!!! If not - don't let the door hit you in your azz!!! Mitch is on his A-game and will package you with some other chumps and we'll end up with CP3!!!! Well - I know that ain't happening - but Mitch is going to do more magic!!!! Don't F around!!! Sign the contract they offer you!!!!

Wow did I get this one wrong. The Lakers have long coveted Artest and I'm confident that Ariza's offer was because Kupchak new he could get Artest. I think while Rick Adelman is a fine coach and is probably a good fit for Trevor, I can't help but think this was what the Lakers were hoping for. Ariza could continue to improve but he's no Ron Artest. This guy is nails! His quirky personality will fit in perfectly with L.A. I think this will really spark Artest into having his best season. Great move Mitch! That deal for Artest should leave the Lakers with enough cash to resign Odom.

Wow this is like getting a a sexier hotter new girlfriend who is a bit unpredictable but finding out at the same time your old more stable girlfriend that had long term potential is seeing some loser that you never thought she would go for...

The words ' Ariza agrees to deal with Houston' cant help but hurt and feel wrong.

No the lakers lowballed Ariza...
They would never have offered him so little if their wasn't something in the works....making the minimum offer was sending a message.
This isn't the agents fault...Ariza never stood a chance...the other thing is if Ariza takes the same money he probably believes he can be a bigger contributor and is quite happy to be with a bad team where he can get some opportunities.
Artest, as has been clear for several years now, wants to win.If he's playing for 6 mil a year you have to hand it to him Posted by: [email protected]

What are you smoking, we offer 5.8 million a year and we lowball, Houston offers 5.8 million and they show they want, love and respect Ariza ???? We offer over 2X what he made last year, This was a mis-calculation by his agent, pure and simple, If ANYONE on this blog wants to BLAME someone it should be David Lee, Trevor's agent

I was hoping to see the Lakers retain Ariza, but the comments the last couple of days from his agent speak much about Ariza's professionalism. I can't believe his agent actually thinks people believe his "respect" line. His agent used the media to try and negotiate and messed it up for his client. Ariza could have potentially had another ring. Now that he has his contract (which is the same the Lakers were offering) watch his production go down. Always happens after a contract year. Thanks Ariza for helping the Lakers win a title and good luck to you. Now we have Manny and Artest. What a combo.

Laker Tom,

You said "In a way, it’s like telling the girl you want to break up with that you don’t love her anymore, hoping she’ll get angry and just walk away"

To me its like saying to a girl, "I love you, I really do. But this is all I can give you right now." It depends on the girl if she stays or walk away.

THE LAKE SHOW,

>>>Remember Dennis still kicked a cameraman...

Yeah, but so what. Rick Fox chased down in the hallway and punched him out after they both got ejected from a game.

Sometimes it helps to have a slightly crazy guy on your team.
It keeps the other team off balance.

Artest's interview on ESPN is great. He's saying all the right things and more. He says Phil is coming back, he gives Phil Jackson props for talking to his (Artest's) wife on the phone and making her feel welcome.

He's a big man, BTW. Thick. He say's he's had a relationship with Kobe for years and he wants to have a good relationship with all the players. He expects to win a ring this year and he doesn't know what number to wear and wants fans to twitter him with number suggestions at: 96truwarierqb

Sounds great. Now, can we get Heinrich from the Bulls? They have Rose, we have a 5 million dollar expiring contract. He would rock on this squad.

Wes

The Ariza deal shows the poker player side of Buss and how savvy he is(although I heard that Buss is a terrible poker player).

Basically, when the Pistons signed Gordon and Villaneuva, Ariza had nowhere else to go since teams only have the MLE to offer. So why offer him any more than that?

I like Ariza and am sad to see him go, but especially in this market, I don't think Ariza is worth more than the MLE.

Let's face it, on any other team than maybe the Lakers and Cavs, his numbers would be a lot lower. He can't create his own shots, and other than the playoffs, he's not a great 3 point shooter.

He's probably going to spend a mediocre 5 years with Houston and probably with a few other teams after he's traded after a year or two and will probably end up back on the Lakers after that where the Lakers will sign him for significantly less than 6.6 mil a year.

I'm glad that the Lakers didn't commit to a long contract with him. Look at all the bad contracts the Lakers signed in the last few years.

Walton, Sasha, Deavon George, Vlade, Bynum.

It's always best to go with a proven vet like Artest than someone who's had one good year, like Ariza.

I like Ariza and home I'm wrong and he becomes a superstar. He has his chance now that Yao will probably not play next year and McGrady will be traded.

David Lee or whatever the agent's name is, just made himself half a million bucks by this deal which goes to show you can't trust your agent to have your best interest at heart

lakers offer: 5 years X 5.6 mil = 28 X .08 commisson = 2.24 million for agent

rockets offer: 5 years x 6.6 milion = 33 X .08 commisson = 2.64 million for agent

granted ariza gets and extra mil per year but he also has to buy a new home in Houston and still pay taxes on his other home in LA where his family lives, not to mention live away from his friends and lifelong home.

greed, stupidity, immaturity- whatever you want to call it he sure will rue this day

LO is asking 10mil, am i right? Lakers can not afford that much.. sorry to say bye to LO...grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Posted by: L Jones

He wants 10 million BUT no other team can PAY 10 million, 27 teams are over the salary cap now, that means the most they can offer him is the MLE amount of 5.8 million a year, the other three teams have room but are going after other free agents, the Lakers are waiting to see if another offer comes in from one of these three teams, if it doesn't they will offer around 8 million.

ANYBODY WHO SAYS THIS IS A BAD MOVE DOSN'T KNOW BASKETBALL PERIOD. RON ARTEST IS ONE OF THE FEW PLAYERS IN THE LEAGUE WHO GIVES IT HIS ALL EVERYTIME HE STEPS ON THE COURT. THE LIST OF PLAYERS THAT DO THIS IS VERY SHORT AND INCLUDES THE AFOREMENTIONED PLUS KG,MANU,LEBRON(FOR THE MOST PART), AND A FEW OTHERS I CANT THINK OF RIGHT NOW. THE MAN IS A TRUE WARRIOR AND FITS LIKE A GLOBE WITH THE LAKERS, IF WE CAN RETAINS ODOMS SERVICES THIS TEAM HAS A CHANCE TO WIN 70 PLUS GAMES IF WE STAY SOMEWHAT HEALTHY.

Since when do agents negotiate for respect? DL told Mitch it was all about respect. Isn't being a starter on a championship team getting respect? Kobe gave Trevor his shooting bible, isn't that respect? DL will not get anymore clients with this big flop. Serves him right, he's a loser and doesn't deserve to be in the buisness.

GOOD LUCK TREVOR!
.

Ouch,

You're wrong on the MLE! The MLE means you can offer a player the exception amount even if you are over the salary cap. Otherwise, if you're over the cap, you couldn't offer anything to anybody. This is exactly what happened to TA and Mitch knew it. Very few teams were under the cap and could offer more than the MLE. Those that were under, had other holes to fill first. LO is sort of in the same position. Hardly anyone can offer him more than the MLE because of the CBA. I think the Lakers will resign him for less than he is expecting, but more than anyone else can offer.

This is exactly why Kobe didn't opt out this year. No one had any money to offer him. If he had opted out, the Lakers were the only team who could have offered him a contract, but it would have been for much less than he's making now. Ron Artest was in the same boat. He was a free agent, but once the few teams with salary cap room had committed to other players, he knew the best offer he'd get would be the MLE. Given the choices, which team would you go to? It was a no brainer for him.

Another Quote from the interview:

Q: How do you fit in with what the Lakers do on the court?

Artest: You fit in. You do EXACTLY what's asked of you from coach.

Sounds good.

Wes

http://bit.ly/4AdI9J

Ron and Kobe are tight. It will work out just fine.

What I find interesting here is Mitch's clever gamble concerning Phil. This should ensure that Phil comes back for another year, for at least three reasons:

1) The Lakers need him to integrate the explosive RonRon into a tightly knit group of Phil's making,

2) He brings the Lakers closer to the profile of his last Bulls team with its 72 wins (RonRon being the same type of hyper-talented head case as Rodman... but also being able to put the ball in the hole and from any distance)

3) Jerry Buss wouldn't have committed if Jeanie hadn't done her job getting Phil to commit.

Taliq,

What we hear from the quotes from Ariza and his agent, they
met with Mitch on July 1 and Mitch basically offered them a
full MLE deal (which Ariza's agent said was an insult) and told
them that if they wanted a bigger offer than the MLE, that they
should shop around and see if any other team was offering that
much.

I'm guessing that if Artest hadn't jumped on the Purple and
Gold bandwagon, that Ariza would have gone to all the other
teams, realized that nobody else was offering him more than
the MLE, and he would have come back and accepted the Lakers'
offer.

But most of the high quality free agents tend to dry up after
a week or two, and the Lakers didn't want to be left with nobody
to replace Trevor if some other team did pony up for more than
the MLE. So when the Yao situation made Houston reulctant
to sign Artest, the Lakers made him the same offer they made
Trevor and Artest was willing to take it.

And unfortunately for Trevor, nobody offered more than MLE,
as his agent had convinced him would be the case, so he decided
living in Houston wouldn't suck half as bad as living in Cleveland.

We'll never know the true story, of course, but that's how the
situation appears to me from the quotes I've seen from Trevor
and David Lee.

kiwi

Sounds like you are speaking from your own experience with girlfriends??

Artest on ESPN says he needs help from the fans on picking a new Lakers number.

Sounds like a job us commenters are well qualified to do.

My suggesstion Ron. Start with 15 and then add 1 for each time the Lakers win a Title.

3 years, 3 Titles, 3 different numbers

I not feeling sad for Ariza. He's probably gonna get paid millions while I sit here with my thousands.... :(

I am so stoked we are getting Artest! we're gonna have a beast of a lineup with with a real stopper on the team. That leaves Kobe open to just toy with teams.

Even though getting Crazy Pills is an exciting move I wish I could have spent more time relishing the feel good California dream that was TA's career. I just wish his idiot agent hadn't tried to play hardball for a net total of practically zero. To go from a championship team to one that's in injury-purgatory for the same price to save face is just a weird/sad twist to what should have been a great continued run with the home team.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this trade... I mean deal. Trevor saved our butts in the playoffs with a couple of clutch steals and treys, but overall, he was just so-so. The guy brought energy, but to be a true threat in the NBA requires more than one guy guarding you. Most of his points come from slashes or open looks, when defenders were sagging off him or doubling others. And to be a superstar means bringing it consistently every night. Trevor at this point does not deserve superstar cash. Artest will demand coverage, which will lead to better shots for Kobe, et al. And most importantly, the dude can play D. No longer will Kobe have to expend his energy covering stronger guys like Melo.

I always thought LO was more valuable and now it's time to bring him back.

Losing Trevor is like celebrating 4th of July on Good Friday, it really doesn't fit b/c these two days do not meet. It's melancholy feeling, a sad day but after today, we welcome the new Judas on Easter Sunday in Lalala land. Trevor is a bruin, a Los Angelinos he given an offer of first refusal a measly MLE due to economy, yet his arrogant agent made the decision for him, yup 33M for 5 years, it will not be an easy 5 years. He carry the load of disabled Superstars like Yao, T-Mac. From a Championship bound back to developing team. Thank you Trevor, Thank you Ariza for those wonderful three years with the Lakers. The train is leaving, we have to part in good terms and have a great journey in Houston.

Welcome to LA Ron, then turned into RonRon, we have to give you another new name entering the Hollyweird zone... you are now Rooney sounds like our favorite ex-con movie actor Mickey Rooney. Looney tunes becomes Rooney hehehe! First order during preseason, you should pass the interview from another cuckoo, the man who jumped from cuckoo's nest. Then, we have to find you a home near Rodman in Newport Beach, party time.....Seriously, Ron this is not a Championship place but a rehab. it is a place where you get both extremes, extreme wealth like Jerry West in Bel Air but if you are failure, we can dump you at the skid row. LA is the place for you RonRon now you carve a name for your future legacy. This is a compassionate city we don't dwell on the past but on the present and future. Fans here are fair weather people, see how they treated Trevor just b/c of his bum agent, they trashed him like hell. Same with fans, only in this blog mixed with Laker fans elsewhere loyal and true lakerholics. Majority of the fans are good, forgiving, smart and know their basketball eventhough they don't go to Staples. They could decipher immediately a loser and a winner. One trait of LA fans, they do not have time for ineptness in baby sitting a poor loser. Dude, that is the change you have do - You gotta to be a winner.

Why does Bill think anyone in LA cares what number he wears? Doesn't he understand he's the fifth option at this point? We'll show the love once you've earned it.

I am not liking this. I really like Trevor Ariza and his game. I believe if he was healthy last year we would of beat the stinking Celtics. I do like Ron Artest's game. He will be a great enforcer for Kobe and bring a real toughness to the Lakers.

My biggest worry is that when you have a Superstar like Kobe you need role players who are happy to be role players. I think at some point Ron is going to forget it's Kobe team and want to try to be the man. Trevor was understanding his role and was not ever going to try to do too much. Ron at some will try to do too much and that could hurt team chemistry. That's why Shaq left, he knew Kobe was the best player on the team and wanted a maxed contract, so he put it out there about how bad Kobe was at being a team player. Sorry for the long winded response. I just wanted Trevor to stay in LA, and Lamar too.

Please reread Cinz's post. ESPN states that David Lee felt disrespected because of "the fact that the Lakers did not make him an offer of any kind."

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

Kiwi,

LOL good one.

OK, first off let me just say I am majorly bummed we lost Ariza. Houston is not my second favorite team. BUT I'M AT THE SAME TIME ECSTATIC BECAUSE ITS TIME TO GO TO COSTCO AND BUY THE EXTRA LARGE BOTTLE OF PROZAC, BECAUSE WE JUST SIGNED ONE VERY VERY GOOD BASKETBALL PLAYER. But that being said, all that liking one another, getting along, and gelling is WAY OVER RATED. I guess we figured we needed some of the old drama back!

I just hope that the Rockets do implode and that we do end up getting Ariza back someday because he will not be as good on any other team without Kobe, he was perfect for this team. Trevor, you were made to play in LA, come back as soon as you can.

BUT THE LAKERS JUST GOT EVEN BETTER assuming Lamar's now in the bag (nothing is a given, but I just can't see him not coming back now). Come on Lamar, I want you instead of that crazy Turk. WOW, THIS IS CRAZY, BUT WE ARE NOW CRAZY GOOD.

a good line from a different blog

Shaq's new motto: No ring for the king with Artest out West!

Okay, a few corrections:

1) Artest signs for 6M per year; the Lakers offered Ariza 5.6M. How is this signing Artest for less money?

2) To the person who brilliantly corrected me by saying that Artest is not a point guard, please go to the dictionary (if you know what that is) and look up the word "irony." My point was that the Lakers did nothing to alleviate (another word you might want to look up, as it is not monosyllabic) their biggest weakness, which is getting shredded by every quick PG in the league.

3) For those who believe that Artest will behave well because he wants a ring, or that PJ will use him like he used Rodman, or that Artest has all kinds of crazy offensive skills, I pray that you will be correct. However, we saw in the Houston series that as soon as Ron Ron got the ball ball the offense went dead dead.

4) It takes players a long time to learn the triangle - Trevor was still awkward with the offense during the regular season. But he blossomed in the playoffs, making threes, but also knowing when to penetrate. While I agree that he will not be the same offensive force without Kobe attracting double teams, he was becoming extremely valuable within the Lakers system and that's what counts.

5) Team chemistry (regardless of all the whining about Bynum, Luke, Sasha, Farmar and Fish at various times throughout the season) was really good. With fans hoping that PJ and Fish stay two more years, we needed to keep the team together, because there is no margin for error. Even if Artest has an outstanding season, I don't see the rewards of possibly upgrading the SF position (and I'm not even conceding it is an upgrade over the long haul) outweighing the risks of blowing a title because the team chemistry gets thrown off.

6) The Lakers are Kobe's team, with Fish as the wise calming influence. I don't see how the Rockets' two headed captain (Artest-Battier) was all that effective. They were a jekyll and hyde team all year. I hope this fate does not befall the Lakers when Artest tries to exert his personality on the team. And don't think he will just sit in the background and keep quiet until after they win the championship.

7) For all those who contend that Ariza was not good enough defensively, please remember basketball is about matchups and systems. The Lakers were happy to let Melo and Turkoglu try to win the games single handedly. Ariza did a reasonable job trying to contain these guys, but the big picture is that by leaving Trevor one on one with these great scorers, there were fewer assists and fewer open threes. In addition, Trevor had decent games this season against Lebron.

8) I'm really disappointed in Ariza and hate his agent. There was no reason to play the "not appreciated" game. The extra million per year won't be worth it when he plays for a mediocre Houston team next year.

9) Now that its a fait accompli (another term to look up for those fans who either don't understand sarcasm, or have such a short attention span that they can't even finish reading a sentence before they have to vomit online), I wish Ron Artest all the best this season, and respect his desire to win a title by taking a pay cut. That says a lot in these days of spoiled athletes making more money in one year than most of us will see in a lifetime.

However, Ron Artest does bring some serious baggage with him. He got thrown out of two playoff games against the Lakers. What if he gets a crucial T or a suspension in a close series or even the Finals? It may not happen, but every Laker fan will be on edge every minute Artest is on the court next season. Don't lie to yourselves - if we lose one game during the regular season because Artest loses control, all the fair weather fans who dissed Ariza and cheered Artest's arrival will be screaming for his head, and scared to death when the playoffs start.

Let's hope this works out for the Lakers. We all want to see them three-peat.

Please Mitch, resign Odom and Brown and then find us a point guard who can defend the pick and roll.

L Jones,

>>>LO is asking 10mil, am i right? Lakers can not afford that
>>> much.. sorry to say bye to LO...grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

HOOOOOLD on there. Don't say goodbye so fast.

Detroit blew their wad on Gordon and Villanueva, so they only
have 4 million left to spend.

Portland is going to spend all their spare change on Turkoglu

Memphis absorbed Zach Randolph's contract, so they only have
about 6 million worth of cap space left.

So who does that leave?

Atlanta would have enough, but they would have to waive
their rights on both Bibby, Marvin Williams, and Josh Childress
to have enough cap space to offer a contract in the 10 million range.

Oklahoma City has the dough, but they reportedly have their
sights set on David Lee or Brandon Bass, since the Knicks
and Jazz are less likely to match offers.

I'm not sure, but maybe the Kings could get enough cap
space by waiving most or all of their free agents as well.

Toronto could clear enough space to make an offer. By
waving their rights to Shawn Marion, Carlos Delfino and
Anthony Parker.

And ALL of those teams are borderline non-profitable as it is,
so they're looking for ways to scrimp on salary, not trying to
pile it on.

Barring some team being able to trade off a player for a
trade exception or something like that, that's it.

So assuming Portland gets Turk, there probably is no team
willing and able to offer 10 million a year to Lamar. So if it
comes down to playing for the Lakers for 8 million or playing
for Oklahoma City for 8 million, let's hope Lamar's decision
making is better than Trevor's.

I am not sure what to think. Hope this is as great a move as we think. Sorry to see Trevor leave. I do think that is a major mistake on his part. If he was going to make, say, 8 Mil a year, sure. But he's pretty much getting the same amount of money. Wonder how many open looks he will get (without Kobe setting him up) as a more focal point in Houston (not many I suspect)? Get LO signed and let's lace em up!

ouch,

>>>am i correct on this?!
>>>
>>>1. each team can sign only ONE player for the MLE

Nope. They can sign as many players as they can get for it,
but the total combined salary must be less than the MLE.
So if the number is 6 million, you could hire 1 player for
6 milion, 2 players for 3 million each, 3 players for 2 million
each, one player for 4 million and 2 players for 1 million each,
etc. etc.


>>>2. the E stands for exception and that means that the
>>> amount, aprox 6 MIL. it is not counted toward the
>>>luxury tax.

Incorrect. It is an exception (one of three) to the rule that
says you can only offer salaries up to the amount of the
salary cap.

If you are below the salary cap, you don't get an MLE.
So for example, Detroit just spent 17 million on 2 players,
but they can't go out and pick up a third guy for the MLE,
because they don't have the MLE.

Whatever your total salaries are, they all count toward the
luxury tax.

>>>in this case the lakers saved 6 mil.

Nope. They'll have exactly the same expenses for Ron as
they would have for Trevor at the MLE value.

>>>if ariza is signed, the 6 Mil will be 12 MIL

As it is for Artest.

BTW, the exact amount of the MLE is a percentage of the
salary cap, which will be computed next week.

another saving for the bank and definitely a huge upgrade at 3. finally we have a REAL 3

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

I'm claimin' Artest should wear 99. Has this number ever been worn in the NBA?

LAKERS FOREVER

"Artest on ESPN says he needs help from the fans on picking a new Lakers number.Sounds like a job us commenters are well qualified to do."


Fatty,

Can they fit # 5150 on a jersey?..

Just kidding.

But we cant be calling him crazy pills or testes anymore. He also needs a new name.

>>>ease reread Cinz's post. ESPN states that David Lee felt
>>>disrespected because of "the fact that the Lakers did not
>>>make him an offer of any kind."

But David Lee's quotes are inconsistent. He also said that the
Lakers weren't wiling to pay Ariza more than the MLE.

None of us were in the room when the conversation between
Lee and Kupchak took place, and Lee is trying to spin it to
make it look as good as possible for his client. 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.

My suggesstion Ron. Start with 15 and then add 1 for each time the Lakers win a Title.

3 years, 3 Titles, 3 different numbers

Posted by: Fatty | July 02, 2009 at 10:24 PM

Fatty

great suggestion, bad omen?

15+1=16 gasol
17 Bynum
18 Sasha

r u suggesting only one more championship?!

The ESPN trade machine gives a thumbs up to this trade:

Kirk Hinrich for Luke Walton and Adam Morrison.

Morrison's 5 million expires this year, but Walton's is a bit long. I'd even throw in a #1 in 2011 to make the deal. I'd liove to have Hinrich and his good D.

We would be so damn good if we did this move. Oh my.

Wes

IanFountains, Thanks for the top 10 - funny and made me feel better already.

PurpleHeart, you know, you make a good point. We're assuming Ariza is gone but we don't really know.

I'm not a regular but I'm no stranger either... I just want to put it in writing that I say "Boo" to this move.

I get why they did it... but Artest is borderline insane and overrated.

it's too bad the lakers aren't in a position to invest in Ariza. Those contracts to Luuuuke and the machine are really buggin.

yeah, i know, the Lakes would be insane not to unload some salary. next year's free agent list includes a LOT of players, not just LeBron and Bosh and Wade. look at this (right hand column is the year i'm talkin bout) http://tinyurl.com/pv2lgp

talent wise it's a wash -- artest doesn't have the speed or youth of ariza. ariza can't handle the ball or weigh a guy down.

he worships kobe; i'm telling you, the worst part of all of this will be watching artest boost kobe's ego and doing buddy session interviews.. DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU!

the best case scenario would be if artest went the way of J.R. Rider and kind of faded off of the end of the bench.

Still stoked! :)

Can we start the season already?

repost from last night. (don't wanna say i saw this coming, but.)

BUSS VS LEE EQUALS.............MISMATCH

Buss is not gonna be bluffed by Lee. The kid has a tell, Buss has seen this a million times. Buss will call Lee's bluff soon, but not right away. He's gonna slow play him until the end. Then he'll win the hand by paying Ariza what he wants or fold his hand if someone comes over the top with a huge offer that Ariza will be forced to take, even if it's an inferior situation. He'll be a little richer, but he won't be playing for the Lakers. In the long run, that will be a bad move for Ariza.

Bad agents can really screw up a good thing. Let's hope Buss, Mitch and Co can talk some sense into Trevor and his agent.

If not, HERE COMES RON RON!!!!!

I hate losing Trevor, and I hate that Ron Artest is even allowed to play in the NBA, let alone for the Lakers. But it's Dr. Buss's money, not mine. And if Artest goes into the stands and clobbers some celebrity attending a game, it's Dr. Buss who'll get sued, not me. So good luck, Dr. Buss, I hope the Lakers win another championship, and putting up with Artest is worth not having to put up with David Lee.

This move is awesome for the Lakers. Why is Plaschke being such a hater?? He was COMPLAINING AND WHINING when the Lakers were headed to a game 7 with the Rockets in the playoffs.. talkin about how Kobe has to win now to prove himself, the Lakers do not have much of window left with him, etc. But now, obviously with a move that will keep Kobe and the Lakers elite in the end of his prime, hes talkin about keeping Ariza for the "long term"?? This dude is crazy!!!

Bynum, Gasol, Artest, Kobe, D Fish -- starting 5
Odom -- of the bench..

REPEAT!!!!!

man, our line up looks like 96 bulls crossovers LOL

kobe = 1/2 jordan(leadership,scoring) + 1/2 pippen(playmaking)

lamar odom = 1/3 rodman(rebounding) + 1/3 pippen + 1/3 kukoc(6th man)

artest = 1/2 rodman(craziness?? LOL) + 1/2 pippen (defense)

gasol = 1/2 pippen(2nd option) + 1/2 kukoc(well, he reminds me of...)

fisher = 1/2 kerr(hits bigtime shots) + 1/2 harper

Lakers could have paid Ariza is they could dump their useless players in the 2nd tier earning 5 M each and have small role during the playoffs. Most of the time, they give back points hardly earned by the starter. I just don't know the art of dumping and laws in CBA but we could have cleared some space for Ariza's 6.5M salary for next season and also going for Artest on MLE. That's the only way it is possible. JB will not pay $ 100M (including luxury taxes) in this bad economy. What California working on I.O.U's, stores are closing, burgers are offered buy one, take one and you earn millions for doing nothing. Hell, this is unfair to Ariza and Odom who contributed a lot during the Championship run.

Well, it is not too late. Blazers are finding a suitable place for Outlaw and an unhappy cookie, Rudy. OMG, this is another great move of getting these two while we sacrifice two subs. Outlaw and Rudy are great in perimeter, Lakers control all the angles of the court. Work it out Mitch. this is the time to clean up the past mess and save money too in form of 2nd draft picks in the future.

Will the Lakers sign Sun Yue? Why not? Keep on training the China man who traveled a thousand miles just to larn the first steps in NBA. We are baby sitting a Golden Child who could provide the Lakers a Golden Roof in the future.

wow, what an off-season in the Kambros lair. it took me almost two hours (or four family guy eps playing in the background) to read through this thread.

david lee is a no good brain washing scumbag. party foul move of the summer. apparently, treytor ariza isn't in it for the rings, he's in it for the business.

smart move by crazy pills, siezing the opportunity for practically a steal to both parties. can't wait to see the reception he gets when the lakeshow visits motown. and maybe nike will pick him up and model an "M-V-Puppet after him - ya know, most violent. a year from now, puppets kobe and ron will be flashing their puppet bling to puppet Lebron making lil dez puzzled as to why king puppet gets up and just crab walks out of the room without saying a word.

one and done...silly move by all involved...Artest over Ariza....someone tell me this is an April Fools joke....

RON RON......WOW!!!

I wanted Artest last year. After the finals, I was adamant that it was time to bring the ultimate wingman to Kobe's side. It meant trading LO, but I was at my wits end with LO. Never did I think we could have both. Now we do, (Odom will sign shortly.) Losing TA is tougher on TA than for us Laker faithful, believe me. The kid got some bad advice, it really sucks for him. But, the Laker brass did what they had to do to upgrade our team and not get caught losing TA and a possible replacement. Basically, it was a very quick game of chicken.

Now we've upgraded for less money. I hope that extra million a year was really worth it to Trevor. He just went to being rich and playing in his hometown for the best organization on the planet to being rich and playing for an also ran in Houston. Unbelievable.

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.

We gonna be partying people. Get used to it!!!!!!

From the OC Register:

"No one from the Lakers has made any kind of offer to Trevor,” Ariza’s agent, David Lee, said before the news came out of his agreement with Houston. “In fact, we were told to go out and find out what others will pay you and then come back to us.”

“Trevor wants the fans to know that this is not a matter of greed,” said Lee, adding that Ariza sensed the Lakers didn’t want him even after his postseason success."

Ariza is not greedy, he wanted to stay in LA, he loves LA, but management wanted Artest. Just an unfortunate situation. End of story.

Good luck Ariza. I will be rooting for you.

WTF ??? Artest is a great player but Ariza is only 24 and could be with LA for years. Why they let him go and brought Artest instead ?? For the same money ???

Can't go wrong with either Lakers vs. Celts or Lakers vs. Cavs in the championship next year. Both are greatly anticipated.

trevor- you need a new agent, not a new team! i'll miss you. it was great to witness your skills soar as high as your jumping ability and i'll forever be grateful for you as we wouldn't have enjoyed another championship in laker-land w/o you this year. I hope you're not stuck in houston too long. does lee have to move there too? if not, you might want to think about an agent who has more of a "win-win" approach than "us-them." best wishes.

ron- welcome. please behave, be humble, be focused, be learning the triangle and... be enjoying next years victory parade-celebration w/ your new teammates!! best wishes.

BAD ...BAD... MOVE ARIZA FITS PERFECTLY WITH THE LAKERS I DO'NT LIKE IT AT ALL.

I just woke up in Milan and like an automatic gesture I opened the blog to catch Lakers news. I am happy a strong player (although hard to control, I admit) as Artest is joining us, I see PJ and Kobe satisfied grins about the move like I could face them now in front of me, but I am still very sad we had to lose Trevor in all this, and in this way. I have always hearted Ariza, loved his improving, his dedication... I loved and still love everything about him. I hope he can come back someday, LA is his home after all. I can't stand his manager, and I am gonna miss his cute face (but mostly his dedication to the Lakers cause, I repeat) next season, and hope he won't ever steal against us the way he did steal FOR us.
Still, what Lakers do, is what I am cheering up for. Faith is faith, cannot change my heart.
Cheers to the Lakers bloggers! :)

Ariza- 24 and coming into his prime....but not there yet.

Ron-Ron- in his prime and not likely to decline soon.

match this to the other Laker core guys, and you'll see why Ron is a better fit at this point.

Kobe- trying to prolong his prime (remember how winded he was trying to play Melo?).

Gasol and Lamar- same as Ron, pretty much. Still in their primes.

We went from a youthful, smart squad to a veteran squad in one fell swoop. The younger players are on the bench, where they are supposed to be. I cannot tell you how great this move is. As good a finals Trevor had, he wasn't consistently great throughout. Ron-Ron IS a lock down defender.

You realize that our 4 spot is now 3 good or great players deep? Gasol, Odom, and Artest can play that position. Likewise, that 3 spot can be covered by Artest, Kobe, and Lamar. And not to mention, the 5 has Gasol, and a Bynum there. He may not have lived up to his contract, but if you ignore that, Bynum did what he was supposed to do. And he'll be back with it next year.

This was a great move by the Lakers. Kept it under wraps, essentially, until Trevor's agent made the move. It wasn't the choice between LO and trevor, it was the choice between Trevor and Artest. Artest and the Lakers win.

Dude,

Ron Ron is nuts, but the boy can play. As long as he realizes that it's Kobe's team, he'll be fine.

Props to Trevor for a great year and sticking to Turkaglue like a fly on a piece of $$$@@@####.

I think it will be another great season for Da Lakers. Phil shouldn't pass this up. He gets Rodman #2 on steroids. But Ron can score too.

La got a bargain for 3 years. Ron wants a title badly as any superstar that's played on bad teams. I'm sure that if he plays under control and listens to his coach, he will be rewarded with a Nice Champ Ring.

Starting Lineup: Fisher, Bryant, Gasol, Bynum and Artest
Second Unit: Farmar, Brown, Odom, Walton, Powell

Go Lakers! 2009-2010! World Champs!

dam Trevor

I feel so betrayed.

Artest took us to 7 games (only team to do that) - he even frustrated the Mamba at times.... this was the definitely the smartest move in my opinion because we absolutely cannot lose Lamar, & Artest more than compensates for Ariza's defensive presence & hardiness although lacking in speed & experience w/ this system - I'm sure Ariza will be lobbying to get back home when he's playing for a team with no fire

jesus, guys, you make it sound like LA is literally heaven and every other place is a dump. it's cool to have pride in your city and your team, but just because ariza is open to leaving it doesn't automatically make him either an idiot or brainwashed.

Don't like this trade at all. TA is younger, more energetic, with more potentials, much better a role player for Kobe. Don't think it would be like that for Ron. He may want his own show, which most likely will not be the kind of show Kobe would like to see.

Trading away a proven TA for an uncertain Ron is not a good idea.

what the Ten master or zen master thinks about it?!!!!!!!!!!

Artest vs. Ariza

"This is not a game for boys. This is a game for men." - Phil Jackson ( an old quote of his)

PJ is already drooling knowing that he has the Mob on the court

BREAKING NEWS
---

Trevor Ariza's agent David Lee released a brief statement:

"The Lakers will regret not offering us the deal we wanted."

To which Ariza responded:

"Dave, I'm honestly going to punch you in you're ****** face right now."

A Chris Broussard transcript from EPSN:
“When you look at that roster it is stacked. Artest and Kobe Bryant will form the best perimeter defense in the league, one that will be backed by two, probably three seven footers. Honestly at times it won’t even seem fair, even in the playoffs.”

artest tweeted that he sent this song to kobe, soon thereafter the verbal commitment took place.

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

I'm kind of freaked out by this move.

High risk.

High reward.

Wow.

Ummm... well, we're going to see.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

A few points...

The same amount of money in LA and Houston is not worth the same. Just consider the endorsement potential, championship teams and especially the Lakers are nationally known. Ariza will be lucky to get a few local area endorsements in Houston while Artest may be doing nationwide ads before he's even got his first ring. Then there's the bonuses that come with winning in the playoffs. I'm not sure but I assume that there is a league payout for the winners of each playoff series, at least there used to be in all pro sports leagues. Houston will not make the playoffs next year and we all know where the Lakers are headed. This extra money spends just as well as the paycheck does, so that when you add it up taking the same money to play in Houston is taking a pay cut.

The Lakers are already over the salary cap, so whatever money they spend on signing Odom and/or Brown, or whoever else, is going to cost them twice as much as the contract itself. Sign Odom for $10M/yr and they owe another $10M to the league. I just can't see that happening. There's a difference between being generous and being financially stupid, and the Lakers may be generous but they're not stupid. Odom's not going to start, in fact he would most likely play less minutes than Artest, who will. Unless he's willing to sign for what Artest signed for he'll go elsewhere, and I'm not sure he even deserves that given that Artest is a better player.

Artest should have been suspended for running up and getting right in Kobe's face in that playoff game. I don't care if Kobe got away with an elbow to his throat, his aggressive behavior after the fact may have been understandable but it has no place in the NBA. He was attempting to instigate a fight and may well have if he had attacked a less saavy player than he did. He can't be running around getting T'ed up all the time either, Kobe's already filled that role on this team. I always hated Artest when he played against us, that's why I know he's good, but I'm sure I'll grow to like him once I see him in a Lakers jersey.

I can't believe the folks that don't seem to appreciate Walton and Bynum. Walton is one of the most basketball intelligent players in the NBA, in contrast to Odom at the other extreme, not to mention Kobe and Artest who aren't exactly basketball geniuses despite their great talent. With Odom most likely gone, Walton will be a key player off the bench next year, maybe even the key player, and he's the antidote to Kobe's ball hogging streaks. He moves the ball around in the triangle offense better than anyone else I've ever seen. Bynum is the future of this team. If he can stay healthy he will dominate the league for years to come and assure us of a long string of championship trophies. If he ever fulfills the potential he has shown flashes of the last two seasons, Kobe will soon be his sidekick.

Artest should wear number 00, so that the refs will have to hold up two fists every time they call a foul on him. I also like those numbers greater than 55, so that the refs have to start flashing fingers up and down. For all his craziness, Artest could be a good influence on Bynum who tends to get lackadaisical and seems to take the blame for any pushing that goes on in the paint. I'm hoping Artest can draw some of those fouls away from him, along with the attention of the officials. Bynum needs to work with a real tough-guy under the basket just so he can see how it's done.

FOR GOD'S SAKE, LAKER ORGANIZATION!!!!

GET SOME HANDLERS ON RON RON BILL D'ARTEST!

As God is my witness, the people he surrounds himself within (social network) have a HUGE impact upon Artest (according to his Bio-Chrono reading).

Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please...

Make sure his social network in Los Angeles is constructive and mature. It will make the biggest difference. Far more than you realize.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Henry - you must be kidding me? TA - proven? Yes he played some great games and at critical moments - but he is not proven. He had one good year - remember Walton? Sasha? Sign young kids to a 3-5 year deal and then they tank? No team will touch their contract - no one wants our trash.

We know that Ron will bring it every game. Even if he has an off night of shooting - he will always play tough d. That is what the Lakers need. Granted - no one really knows how this will all play out but getting Artest for the MLE is awesome!!! (But I would feel better with 3 years instead of the 5) I love TA but if he got hurt feelings because the FO told his agent to go and shop around and then come back - well, they should have done it quicker and decided. Don't know if the FO ever made a MLE offer to TA but even if they didn't - seems like his agent didn't do his job.

Just for the record, I meant to say Houston is now my second favorite team.

"What if he gets a crucial T or a suspension in a close series or even the Finals?", ah, then we have some guy named Kobe Bryant to step up. If that doesn't work we have some guy called Paul Gasol to make things happen. If he doesn't come through, then (hopefullY) we have some guy named Odum to step up and dominate, and if that doesn't work we have some kid getting better every day called Bynum who is really learning to play some B-ball. Let's face it, Artest is a luxury. This team can win with Luke, its just a lot lot easier with Artest. Ariza was a great role player with us with a great fighter mentality and was exactly what we needed, somebody who could hit an open jumper and play defense. Artest may not be able to provide the same spark (more like a powder keg), but he can shoot and play D better (today, maybe not tomorow). Yao and Tmac come back though 100% and Houston will still be a good team we will eventually need a point guard to figure out, but next year belongs to us.

Whatever happens, next year's championship just got a whole lot more interesting.

Mitch, crazy like a fox.

LA LAKER DYNASTY! Something tells me we have not seen the last of Ariza as a Laker.

LTLF

thanks for clearing the MLE for me. i found some info on wiki but did not explain how it is related to luxury tax

BLOG CRUE!
During the playoffs someone posted a made-up scenario of what would to the Lakers players if they didn't win the championship.

I'll paraphrase... Trevor Ariza will get arrested in a drug bust.

TODAY, that seems like no big deal after what TA and DL got themselves into.

Colorado loves our World Champion Lakers!

Put me on the 5150 number for Ron Artest! Come on comish, you gotta bend the rules for this one. If not Ron this year its 51, next 50. Bring it on NBA, what have you got ha hahhahahahhahhahhahahahhahhahahha. Lebron James?, your going to have to do better than that!

 
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