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Ron Artest, one assumes, is among the 63% contingent

The polls have officially closed and we thank the Lakers Blog faithful for its participation in our most recent Lakers Blog survey. Unfortunately, "I voted" stickers will not be issued, as we simply don't have the budget for postage through snail mail, nor the manpower to send out that many emailed attachments.  However, Ron Artest vs. Dallas those who made their voices heard know who they are and the difference they made. (And if you didn't vote, shame on you, because the electoral process is what makes America great.  They don't allow you to do this kinda stuff in certain countries. Or any planet under Death Star jurisdiction.)

When it comes to feeling confident about Ron Artest in purple and gold, 19% of our readership feels worse about the newest Laker two games into the season than they did when he inked the deal.  Granted, that was before last night's win over Atlanta and Artest's locking down of Joe Johnson, but given how our readership collectively experiences game to game mood swings rivaling those of a teenage girl (no offense, but you know it's true), I imagine that figure will remain relatively accurate this morning.  Particularly when compared to swapped out ex-Laker Trevor Ariza, whose most recent effort against the Portland Trail Blazers netted an impressive 33 points on an even more impressive 11-17 shooting clip. As ESPN's JA Adande has also noticed, Artest's slow start has naturally sparked some "buyer's remorse" comparison shopping for some Lakers fans, but for what it's worth, Ron Ron isn't concerned concerned about what TA is doing for his old team.

"He had 33?" asked Artest with a surprised tone. Then came a grin. "That's great. I didn't know he could score 30." Artest went on to express happiness for Ariza's big night and wished him a 20 ppg season, but reiterated his credo since arriving in Los Angeles: Points aren't his concern.

"I don't care about that. I had my days when I was taking all the shots. Drawing all the double teams and triple teams and all that stuff. This year, all I have to do is make the pass. I don't want to score 30. I don't want to even have to score 12. I don't care. I'll let Kobe (Bryant), (Pau) Gasol, (Andrew) Bynum, (who) wants to be an All-Star. I'll let those guys score those points."

To some degree, I imagine Artest doesn't care at this very moment because, whether he'll admit it or not, he still doesn't look completely at ease in his new system. Thus, a foundation needs to be prioritized before you can worry about slapping the shiniest, snazziest, most funkariffic coat of paint on a building. But assuming a comfort zone is discovered- and I assume it will be, based on the intuitiveness for playmaking I alluded to later in the video- there will come a point where Artest is more assertive looking for his shot. Some days, that will mean fifteen shots, maybe even a few more.  Others, we're looking at seven (hopefully) well chosen chucks.  And most days, I imagine it'll be somewhere in the middle.   And honestly, Artest shouldn't be sweating his points, because on a team this loaded, 20+ is not only unnecessary, trying to get it could cause more problems than it solves.

Thus, I look at Artest's theoretical point drop similar to how I've typically judged Lamar Odom's role in the offense. The games where he puts up only a handful of shots over 30+ minutes tend to be problematic to me. But if he's remaining a viable scoring threat that needs to be accounted for but is willing to set up his mates? No worries. If that's how it's going to be with Artest, I'm also good. I've never been one to equate "aggressiveness" as code for "looking to score as many points as possible." You can play a very aggressive game, one that drastically impacts the contest's complexion, without being obsessed with filling up the nets. You just need to be decisive and playing with purpose.

Also, for those comparing Ariza and Artest, it's worth noting that TA is undoubtedly at a decided advantage over Ron while learning a new system and teammates.  He's got a "greener than key lime pie in a Riddler suit" green light on the O, as opposed to Artest, who's balling with Kobe and Drew and needs to pick his spots more judiciously.  That bumps Ariza's odds for profilic outputs.  Opposing teams also have no reference point when it comes to defending Ariza as a focal point, so they're learning about Trevor as we go. In the meantime, Artest is a much more established and therefore scouted commodity. I'm not downplaying Ariza's accomplishments. Yes, I've gone on record predicting struggles upon seeing more double teams and being asked to do more, but I like TA as a person and, all things being equal and monetarily sensible, never wanted him to leave in the first place.  I'm plenty happy to see him blossom, even if it means I was wrong and underestimated him. But either way, those differences between TA and Ron Ron's situations should be acknowledged.

Oh, and a little cinematography lesson learned at the clip's start. Those with a tendency to talk with their hands are often very bad candidates to film an interview using a hand held camera. Unless, of course, you're a fan of loop the loops for no particular reason. Well played, AK. Well played.


(Photo: Ron Artest vs. the Dallas Mavericks, Credit Christine Cotter, LAT)

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Mitch made the obvious (and correct) decision not to extend Ammo or Farmar. Farmar has been a complete enigma to me. He showed so much promise two seasons ago but has regressed badly. I thought a contract year would bring out the best in him, but so far it's brought out the best in Shannon Brown.

Which reminds me, what does Shannon have to do to earn more PT? I mean, he's VASTLY outplayed Fisher, Sasha and Farmar on both ends of the floor, and yet he's the last guard summoned off the bench? Here are their PERs vs. their minutes per game so far...

Fisher - 2.75 PER/ 30.7 MPG
Farmar - 4.61 PER/16.0 MPG
Brown - 20.47 PER/ 12.7 MPG
Vujacic - 4.26 PER/ 8.3 MPG

The only player who is getting the minutes he deserves (basically, none) is Sasha.

By the way, Farmar and Fisher are 52nd and 56th in PER out of 57 point guards while Sasha is 56th out of 60 shooting guards.

Shannon? Sitting pretty at 15th ahead of Michael Redd, Ray Allen and Jason Terry.

I know it's early, but what the hell? Mamba24, we need a "Release Shannon Brown NOW" bandwagon ASAP!

The Lakers signed Ron Artest because Trevor Ariza's agent is a bag of wrenches. (Those are tools, for the metaphorically handicapped.) The signing had nothing to do with shopping around, and everything to do with an agent that's got the sense of a sea cucumber attempting to negotiate in a way that would make Gordon Gecko blush.

Artest will be fine, and what he lacks in shooting prowess now, will come to him in later months. The important part is the defensive abilities he lends the P&G on the other team's best wing.

real key lime pie is yellow, not green.


Loved your analysis about Artest vs Ariza.

The Lakers would have been just as ok with Marc Gasol??

Hmm let me see....

Marc is no way skilled as way has LED his Memphis team into the playoffs...isn't even the go to guy on his team (OJ Mayo/Rudy Gay will be the go to guys)...hasn't even banged against Dwight Howard successfully...and is no where the level of Pau in terms of being 2nd banana and you are telling everyone that we would have been just as good with Marc instead of trading for Pau??

Not to mention that Marc plays more center which would have conflicted with Bynum's time on the floor (Marc isn't as good as PF as Pau is by a mile). Not to mention LO would have been with the starting lineup instead of the bench which would have weakened the Laker bench considerably (Farmar isn't living up to his "I want to be the starter" quote).

Phil comments are inconsistent. He says that he is going to cut minutes for those who don't play well, yet no matter how poorly D. Fish plays he gets minutes. Its frustrating for Farmar not get a chance to compete for the starting job. Farmar sees Rondo get $55 million and knows he is just as good if not better.

Celtic fans didn't and don't believe in Rondo. Many Celtic fans said it would not be possible to win a championship with Rondo at PG they were wrong. As are Lakers fans wrong who say Farmar is not a PG talent.

Wasn't happy getting Artest for Ariza. It seems that Phil is committed to give Ron Ron 40 minutes even though his play doesn't warrant such. There will be times the most effective line up is Brown, Farmar, Gasol (Odom), Bynum and Bryant. Ron Ron is on the bench.

all good ron ron - I'm not worried about it either

Artest has it right. His most valuable contribution will be his ability to pass the ball.

All these years, Kobe has not had someone who could make an entry pass to him in the post. Instead, he had to be the initiator of the offense, which meant starting his own offense from the outside.

In just a few games, you can see Artest has an instinct for passing the ball to players in a position where they can do something with it. (Fisher has never been able to do this. Odom is a fine inside passer, less so from the outside.)

With Artest in the starting lineup, Kobe will be able to receive passes all over the court, especially inside. With Gasol so comfortable working away from the basket, this will open up the inside for Kobe, and when defenders collapse on him, Gasol will be open at the foul line.

Ariza didn't need to score much last year from the SF spot, and neither will Artest. Artest is a stronger defender and a much better passer. This will work out better than you imagine.

Who thinks Rondo is worth "big man money"? Not I, 55 mill? Surely you jest!!


Ariza belongs to the past and we are grateful for his services to the Lakers. Before the Trevor and Lamar negotiations, I have repeatedly clamor for getting them both and drop the two of the four reserves through cutting costs. It didn't happen so we only got one instead of two. We have not seen yet the best of Artest with the Lakers, what he did last night was just a sample of the little things he could contribute for this team.

This is just for the sake of discussions. Can we imagine this scenario if we retained Ariza, LO and Artest in exchange of Farmar, Walton, Vujacic and Morrison and added the reserves that were recently cut by offering them only 500K each Gelebale, Gaffney and Monds. Lakers will enjoy the best of both worlds. Financially, Lakers will save 10M and better bench too with LO, Shannon and Ariza as reserves.

The Lakers signed Ron Artest because Trevor Ariza's agent is a bag of wrenches. (Those are tools, for the metaphorically handicapped.) The signing had nothing to do with shopping around, and everything to do with an agent that's got the sense of a sea cucumber attempting to negotiate in a way that would make Gordon Gecko blush.Artest will be fine, and what he lacks in shooting prowess now, will come to him in later months. The important part is the defensive abilities he lends the P&G on the other team's best wing.Posted by: The Hoops Freak (a.k.a. Pig Miller) | November 02, 2009 at 12:07 PM



You're saying Farmar is as good as Rondo?? Can you provide any supportive evidence for that statement? Farmar has been given good minutes, and has not proven anything so far. Have you seen the silly TOs and decisions Farmar does? I hate C's as much as anyone can - but the truth is Rondo is better than Farmar.

However, does Rondo that good to warrant a 5-yr, 55 million deal - the answer is NO, at least as of now, with the current economies. But C's want to hold onto him for long time, and hence it seems ok.

Umm Todd Your on crack if you think Ron playin less minutes helps the team. I wonder how many of you actully played ball i know i got 4 championships and 3 mvp in high school and a championship in a coast wide tournament. So with that said do you know the impact of havi a defender like that on the loor with you. you know longer as much about him gettin beat the players don't wanna pass that man the ball cuz rons on him they want to to a mismatch not a match-Up lol. plus he rebounds passes and normally he can shoot lol. I been a fan of ron since his Indiana days. He made a decision which a lot of people might have made. Ben Wallace just toed the line with him bumpin and pushin he's mad lays down on the scorers table to calm down then gets beer thrown on him. hmmm i guess we can all take it in stride huh. So all the Ariza fans can chill he's gonna be good but lets be real the reason why is cuz of the lakers and kobe. he wouldn't have the swagger or confidence he has now after playin wit HOF players. but at the end of the season watch Ron or Kobe DPOY and most def both are ALL TEAM 1st defense bye bye Lebron lol he overrated on d anyway. good but overrated. and i bet Ron and Tevor's stats will be comparable.

It was great to see so many of the regulars offsetting the Chicken Little panic crowd.
Here are the posts of bloggers who get it:
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>> The beauty of having an Artest take the defensive load off Kobe showed tonight.
>>> Freed from having to chase Joe Johnson, KB erupted for 40+.
>>> That's going to be the Lakers' basic premise this year: Ron takes care of the other
>>> team's hotshot on the defensive end, and Kobe goes off on the offensive end.
Well said. I think Ron just showed everybody why he is going to be more valuable than Trevor.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>> Luke haters...give it a rest. The guy is solid. NOBODY, not even Kobe, understands
>>> and plays the triangle better. Nobody makes his teammates play better. Nobody.
>>> Phil obviously knows that. So shaddup already.
Luke had an outstanding game last night. The haters need to give Luke credit when due.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>> Who's going to be the odd-man-out when PJ reduces the guard rotation from five
>>> players t o four? If you only read this blog, you're likely to believe it's Jordan Farmar.
>>> You're also likely to be wrong.
Outstanding point about Jordan, Rick. He still is the only one of the four backup guards who really can play the point. The guy who is going to be left out of the rotation is going to be Sasha.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>> Bynum's rebounding and defense still works in progress, but it's really nice having that
>>> target inside for lobs and for passes when a defender has to leave his man to cover a
>>> penetrating Kobe/Lamar/Artest.
That is why he will be the second leading scorer on the team even when Pau returns. That and his ability to draw fouls and hit his free throws. I think Pau will help Drew be even more effective.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>> My point is Bynum needs to rebound better, but he's also playing on a team with good
>>> rebounders which means that he won't always get the lion's share of boards. Another
>>> example of what I mean, can you name another player on Orlando that is an excellent
>>> rebounder other than Dwight Howard?
I really had no problem with Drew only getting 3 boards because Lamar was vacuuming up everything off the glass. When you have Drew, Pau, and Lamar – all three excellent rebounders – there will be times when there are not enough boards to go around – a good problem to have.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>> Trevor's puttin' up offensive numbers as Houston's first option but there weren't many
>>> nights that he took a player like Johnson out on D. He made his steals, made huge plays,
>>> but he wasn't about just makin' a guy go away.
We saw last night what a defensive beast Artest can be – and what they opens Kobe up to do.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>> I don't think you'll see the Lakers spend big bucks on a player like Hinrich unless
>>> they take a big slide in the West, and I can't see that happening.
Like you so aptly said, it ain’t gonna happen. This team can win with the current point guard by committee and cannot afford to go out and bring in a high paid better point guard and will part with one of their top 6 players to trade for a point guard.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Oh and the reason Ron's Playing so many min's is cuz phil wants him to be comfortable in the offense and defense he did the same thing to pau last year and the year before. People have short memories i remember when people were wondering why pau was playin so many mins late in the season. if he gonna be critical part of the team and a starter he has to know the offense inside out by the playoffs. so thhink of his high mins as extra paractice time for him cuz we onna win games regardless

Asserting that Farmar is as good as Rondo is ridiculous. Obviously, I'm no fan of the Bostons, but you've got to give credit where it's due. Rondo's primary shortcoming was his jumpshot, so he worked on it, and it's improved. I agree that Farmar has talent -- at one time, I thought that he might end up being the next version of Tony Parker -- but his ego really stifles his growth and decision making.

The bottom line: If Farmar was as good as Rondo, he'd be our starting guard. He's not.

Regarding Ron Ron: I'm loving this move. Brilliant. He will be giving opposing teams fits with his defense, and he takes a LOT of pressure off Kobe. That's perfect. And it's tough to game-plan against.

Go Lake Show!

in conclusion: Ron A. is a proven vet with a deserved defensive rep and a guy that can carry a team. Team chemistry is a developing issue that won't be resolved without Pau on the floor but a sensible fan could only assume that it will improve when that happens.

Trevor isn't either of the first 2 and playing in Houston. Go Lakers!

AK - "When it comes to feeling confident about Ron Artest in purple and gold, 19% of our readership feels worse about the newest Laker two games into the season than they did when he inked the deal. "

Huh? There were 3 choices. "Feels worse" was 1. "Hate then, hate now" was another. "Still likes" was a 3rd. So according to gnu-you math, "feels worse" = 19%, while "Hate then, hate now" + "Still likes" = 81%?

You guys really ARE good -- at fiction.


AK - "Granted, that was before last night's win over Atlanta and Artest locking down Joe Johnson ..."


See what I mean?

It's ok to be a homer. Homer = fan. But there's a difference between homer-colored coverage vs. outright FABRICATION.

Can't imagine and never recalled Chick Hearn putting lipstick on a pig. Or even rouge. Hearn ALWAYS did his best to tell it LIKE IT WAS . Not how he wished... or *imagined*.

As previously conceded, Artest had his moments -- defensive and offensive -- AFTER the game was out of reach.

However, in the CRUCIAL 3rd Q stretch where ATL went from 2-down, 64-66 (9:11), to 16-down, 70-86 (3:36) -- Johnson attempted exactly ZERO shots.

If you want to claim Artest executed "successful" deny-d against Johnson during that stretch, go ahead.

What we *saw* was an Atlanta team that simply imploded under the weight of bricks (Smith, Williams, Horford, Crawford, Evans), no-d (entire team), numerous unforced errors (Pachulia, Crawford, , Horford, Smith).

And, what we *saw* was also corroborated by AJC beatwriters who covered the game with, presumably, NO personal grudge against Artest and NO payoff for (truthfully) trashing their team.

--begin excerpt--

"I thought we were past this but I was wrong," said Johnson, who torched the Lakers for 18 points in the first nine minutes of the game and finished with a team-high 27. "We still complain too much. To be honest, we just didn't have the effort needed to do this right. If shots aren't falling we stand around. We think offense more than defense. And you're not going to win in this league like that."

Eight of their 20 turnovers came in that third quarter, when the Lakers' lead stretched from two points minutes after halftime to 22 points by the end of the quarter. The Hawks turnover tally for the night produced an early Christmas present for a stacked Lakers team that doesn’t need any more gifts. Al Horford, Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford and Zaza Pachulia shared in the fun, each of them committing two turnovers during that jaw-dropping stretch of frustration.

--end excerpt--

I think the Rondo deal was fair, especially considering some team with money to squander was going to throw some ridiculous contract his way next summer, which would have made it much more difficult for the C's to hold onto him.

This contract will pay him the same money as Monta Ellis, and IMO, he's much better than Monta Ellis. He's one of the best defensive PGs in the league. The only major hole in his game is his stroke which is something that can be developed (see: Trevor Ariza). All in all, good deal for both sides.

- - - - - - - - - -
>>> In short, the Lakers might have been almost as well off if they hadn't done
>>> the magical Gasol brothers swap.
I agree with your main point that the deal was not the total steal the media and opposing teams made it out to be. You ignore one main issue, which is that Pau is a power forward who can backup at center whereas Marc is a center who cannot play power forward. We are much better off with the best power forward in the game than ANOTHER center. Of course, we still do not know how good Marc will become so that could change the tally – as could Pau turning out to be a Hall of Famer.
- - - - - - - - - -

- Artest seems overly conscious about making the right decisions and fitting in, which is great, but I want to see that unpredictable, intimidating, mean and fierce Artest. More Hyde, less Jekyll. I think it will come in time.

- Sometime towards the end of last season, Lamar seemed to have finally found his outside shot. If his jumper continues to improve, our offense will be unstoppable.

- I don't mind that Bynum wants to shoot the ball every time he touches it. With Gasol out, this is an ideal time for Bynum to work on his offense and find his rhythm, but when Gasol returns, I hope Bynum understands that he will be the third option. Gasol and Kobe are the best duo in the NBA. There isn't a duo out there with a higher basketball IQ. Bynum might score more points than Gasol on many nights, but the offense has to run through Kobe and Pau to ensure the right decisions are made on the court. On defense, a motivated Bynum has the potential to have a bigger impact than even Artest and Kobe.

- Farmar wants to be the starting PG of the future?? That is funny. I can name over a dozen backup PGs who are better than Farmar. To name a few, Kyle Lowry, Jose Barrea, Alston, Earl Watson, Eddie House, Ramon Sessions, Telfair, Jarred Jack, Blake. I think the reason Farmar is getting more minutes than Brown is because he is being showcased for a trade. He's been on the trading block for quite some time now.

- I am very concerned about Fish. What happened to Phil's plan to limit his minutes? (he is averaging over 30 minutes a game). He was a liability on both ends of the court for most of last season. When Gasol returns, our starting lineup will be SLLOOOOOWW. Shannon needs more minutes with the starting unit to help offset the starting unit's main weakness - team speed.

- Luke had a decent game, but we all know that he usually plays pretty well when the team is up by 20 or more points. He is the ultimate garbage player, but the closer the game, the worse he becomes.

- Boston and Orlando's bench is scary deep and scary good.

Ron Artest v/s Trevor Ariza.

I contend that Trevor is actually a better defender today than Ron - though the difference isn't much. This will, however, get magnified over time as Ron ages.
However, Ron can and will contribute more to this team than Trevor over the next three or so years.

And, given the onus on winning now, when we have Kobe, Pau, Odom and Bynum at or near their primes, I have no problems with that trade (essentially, that's what it was).

I do have an issue with the line of questioning, though. Given these were Laker beat writers (and I'm including Adande here), I'm surprised that the questions were more along the lines of "Look at what Ariza's doing in Houston!" instead of "While Ariza's going great guns, we are confident that you're going to prove you're a better fit".

PS: Farmar/Brown/Vujajic/Fisher over Hinrich? I don't think so. I'm just hoping we are parading Farmar in the hope we can get someone to bite.

Best line of the day:
Farmar sees Rondo get $55 million and knows he is just as good if not better. - Todd

The daily yucks on this board are priceless. Ask Kupchak if he would trade Farmar straight up for Rondo. Then ask Ainge. Bet you get two different answers. Way to crack me up, Todd, keep it going.

Second best line of the day:
Who thinks Rondo is worth "big man money"? Not I, 55 mill? Surely you jest!!

Posted by: RIZZO | November 02, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Ah, Rizzo, Chris Paul makes 13 million. They play the same position. This says he's not quite as good as Chris Paul, but he is among the elite of the league. "Big man money?"

Love it, Rizzo, got any more insights??


You are absolutely correct on one count. I lumped the remaining two results from the poll together in the title when they should have been kept separate. I appreciate you bringing it to my attention.

Having said that, I stand by my description of Artest locking down Joe Johnson. Beyond the fact that Phil and all his teammates said the same, as you noted, he denied JJ both the ball and easy shots, which was the result of Artest's D. How you would somehow use ball denial and a lack of shots as evidence of Artest NOT doing so is very odd. Johnson not being able to get a shot off is the result of good defense. It's not like ATL decided to arbitrarily run the O through everyone but JJ for the hell of it. If this is just a battle over semantics and the phrase "locking down," I'm not going to get into something that trivial. Pick whatever word you prefer, but the bottom line is that Artest's defense was extremely effective.

I also have no idea why you're reacting to the post in such seemingly hostile fashion. I don't even really understand what your point is. I never claimed Artest won the game for the Lakers single handedly, as you seem to be inferring. All I said was that he played very good D on JJ, which was both true and an obvious factor.


Hinrich is no way better than Farmar. Hinrich is slow, shooting is inconsistent and can't defend. Plus his salary is much too much.

Not clear that Hinrich is better than D. Fish.

Folks in Chicago hate Hinrich and would gladly trade him.

Which reminds me ... Why do all the so many of you think the Lakers need to make a trade? That was said last year too.

A trade is not necessary.
Lakers can repeat and excel with current roster.

Some folks just won't be satisfied until Lakers get Chucky Atkins and Mikki Moore.

Hey LakerTom!

If we're not on your list of "Bloggers who get it" - does that mean we don't get it?

Cuz I thought I got it...

I mean - it's contagious & all.... :)


"real key lime pie is yellow, not green."

True. But that neon green key lime pie is so much more entertaining.



"Hinrich is slow, shooting is inconsistent and can't defend"

Even if this were all true (and I don't think it is), Farmar is significantly worse in each of these categories than Hinrich. A comparison of their PERs should speak to this.


Mitch is good, but he's not that good. We're talking about one of the best combo guards in the league. Utah offered Boozer for him straight up, and the Bulls said no. That's Carlos Boozer, who is 20/10 guy when healthy. Combined, Farmar and Morrison can't give you 20 and 10.
Keep dreaming!!


WOW! Hinrich is not better than Farmar? WOW! WOW!

Hinrich is a better leader and a better shooter than Farmar. IMHO, he is a great fit in the triangle. A steady combo guard and would hit the open shot consistently. He may not be as quick or have the same hops as Farmar, but I'd rather have his stability and IQ over Farmar's inconsistency and turnovers. Farmar is better suited in a fast-paced and no-defense system.

If I were Mitch Kupchak and the Bulls agreed Farmar and Sasha for Hinrich + a big man, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

P.S. I'd do it faster than the speed of light if it was DRose(that's just me dreaming and stretching it. LOL)


>>> If we're not on your list of "Bloggers who get it" - does that mean we don't get it?
>>> Cuz I thought I got it...
>>> I mean - it's contagious & all.... :)

LMAO. You have always been one of those who “get it.” In fact, most of the posters on this blog “get it.” Like life itself, however, there are always some exceptions. Only problem is that most of them don’t realize they are the exceptions. They actually think they “get it” even though they don’t know what “it” is. After all, it is very hard to “get” it if you don’t know what “it” is. I think "it" is obvious. After all, what happens is if they hang around this blog long enough, they will “get it” for sure.


I actually agree with you - though I'm not sure why Utah would ask for Hinrich straight up (thought it was some sort of package around Ty Thomas?). Yes, Hinrich is better than FaMMo.
But I could the same thing about Pau being better than Kwame and a couple of picks. We all know how that worked out, didn't we?


PS: Am I the first to give a name to our expiring package - FaMMo?

LakerTom -

Whew - that's a load off.

I thought I was vaccinated without knowing it...

"what “it” is"

Is Bill Clinton blogging?

AK - "Having said that, I stand by my description of Artest locking down Joe Johnson. Beyond the fact that Phil and all his teammates said the same...."


Sorry but I didn't see it. And Kobe didn't mention it immediately after the game when asked about Pau/LO/winning the game by the Fox reporter. If, later on, Phil and the Lakers made a point of volunteering impressions (i.e., not responding to leading questions) of Artest's d on Johnson, more power to you. We'll just have to agree to disagree.


AK - "I never claimed Artest won the game for the Lakers single handedly, as you seem to be inferring. "


Oh I dunno.

When *you* devote 2 x blog posts to the meaning of Ron which include his alleged lockdown d on ATL's best player in the wake of a Laker win AND *you* link said win to said lockdown in another post as in "Granted, that was before last night's win over Atlanta and Artest locking down Joe Johnson ..." AND *you* fudge a for-fun poll result that *you* connected to the game, even a GEICO caveman might get the *mistaken* impression Artest's D was the "single handed" turning point in last night's win.

Otherwise, I sincerely apologize for going Jack Torrance.

When you decided to feature the "trivia" of the poll as the title to this post and, in so doing, misread or misposted the actual breakdown of the poll *on top of* the perceived insistence that Ron was the Lockdown Difference in last night's win, I thought I was seeing a snowball become an avalanche of dishonesty or dishonest reporting.

I don't need Phil or Laker players to interpret, re-interpret or validate what I saw. I saw the Hawks self-destruct during a crucial stretch in the 3rd. I didn't see Artest or his defense as the key to Atlanta's implosion.

I'm perfectly willing to concede you or (many) others saw something different.

However, I reserve the right to: (strenuously) dispute such perception, argue with evidence on behalf of such dispute, object and/or question the honesty of opposing arguments or attempts to persuade.

Shorter: Lies are my hot button. Idon't think you lied or were lying. But there was a moment -- based on the convergence of you/ands mentioned above -- when I "thought" something close.

Again, sorry for the thought(s).

I have to agree Hinrich is by far a better point guard than Farmar. If nothing else he is certainly a smarter guard guard which is what the team really needs. Although Farmar I beleave is the better natural athlete, his limited view of the court and his poor decission making because of it, lower his standing as a point guard. This team has plenty of scoring threats if only we had a guard that could get them the ball in the right place and at the right time. This is what Rhondo does for Boston and it is worth every dime. Otherwise there premire players would wear them selves out trying to make they're own offence. I believe that this is what Hinrich could bring here. Farmar is his own worst enemy and is the only one holding back his developement, because he refuses to accept his role. Someone somewhere must have told him he was a star and he believed it! But we all know that there are very few Kobe's in this League and that most games are won by players who are willing to accept there role and do what needs to be done for the team to Win. Please hit Back

Heinrich can shoot and defend....seems happy to change roles,play both guard spots and I've seen him carry the bulls for long stretches in big playoff games.He would be an enormous upgrade over Fisher or Farmar quite obviously as well as perfectly suited to the lakers - he does have a contract worth about ten mil a year though...

- Interesting all those rumours about Rhondo being a problem in the locker room etc - guess not then...

I'm not concerned about Artest.I don't agree with Edwin that having both would have been a good idea - I can't see Ariza being happier as a reserve role player than getting an opportunity in Houston to make his name and eventually the money he wants.Also for the money it would take to have both of them - we would have been much better off having one and a point guard.

Ariza is remembered as being perfect for that position during the title run so Artest has a hard act to follow.Come a big finals against Boston on the road and we'll be happy we have him.Is there more chance than Ariza that he stuffs it up for us in the meantime? Yes probably.
Bottom line - win a title and its a great move...lose and its not.We wont know for a while.If the guy can't eventually stick an open jumper we're doomed but I think it'll come.


In the future, instead of going ballistic while trying to read between the lines, just go off what I actually say. If I felt Artest's defense played the single biggest factor in the win or quite literally won the game for the Lakers, I'll come out and say just that. Otherwise, it would be better to treat the observations for what they are: Observations. Or simply ask me, wait a minute, are you trying to say that... This could have been cleared rather easily. I would have been happy to clarify myself.

And as I said, you're in the decided minority if you don't think Artest's D was a notable factor. Which is fine. You're perfectly entitled to whatever opinion you prefer. But judging by the consensus opinion of players, coaches (including Mike WoodsonO and many of this blog's readers, I was hardly going out on a limb saying Artest's D on JJ was a factor.

Truth be told, in your quest to jump on "lies" which were never told in the first place, you completely missed the actual point of the post. I was using a clip where Artest talks directly about being compared to Trevor Ariza, and thus I linked back the poll results, because it was a poll where people were comparing Artest and Ariza. It really goes no "deeper" than that, nor was there any "agenda" on my part.


Ron Artest is a good addition to the Lakers. He will get better and better with time. He will be clutch for us at times and he will make us better when it counts. Give the brother some space and time and all will be fine.

I loved TR. I feel that the Lakers saw something in Ron Ron that they felt they needed. I trust the Lakers to make good judgement calls. I am sending Love to Ron Ron. You all do the same and watch the Lakers rise to the top again.


its funny to hear comments about Ron Artest saying he shouldn't have been picked, etc. I think people forget about the playoffs with the Rockets last yr and Kobe was one of the reasons he is here.
The triangle is one of the hardest offenses to learn but Ron has played it before. Right now they are figuring out the fact that Ron can guard the best on a team and Kobe can freelance to make an awesome combo. Phil is playing him 40 mins to learn the system and prepare for the playoffs. With Ariza there is no way the Lakers would match up with Celtics,
now there is an excellent match.

Wow, I can't believe that some people sill aren't sold on Artest. Have any of you even seen the games??

He is posting up everyone and making fools work a lot harder that they did against Trevor. Ask Melo, he had it so easy last year when all he had to do against Trevor was get back and put a hand up. It was a cakewalk assignment. Artest is going to make LeBron, Pierce, R. Jefferson and others accountable on the defensive side of the ball. Expending energy from their respectable offensive games.

Plus Artest is a great ball handler. The way he distributes in the post is a beautiful thing to watch. And with all of the great post players we have on the Lakers, it is a match made in heaven.

And that is just his offense, defensively, he is holding down more than his share.

Ask Joe Johnson.



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