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Ron Artest, Hennessy, and the democratic process

I'll level with you- given how high Ron Artest's career arc has set the bar on shock value, his revelation in Hennessy an upcoming interview with The Sporting News that (among other things) early in his career as a member of the Bulls he used to drink Hennessy (right) at halftime, in part to help cope with his team's poor performance, didn't really make a dent in my consciousness when I came across it early Wednesday morning. Artest admits he was a head case as a young player, partying and doing crazy stuff. No argument here. Boozing at halftime? Sure, why not? My mind was quickly back on pressing, hyper-local questions, like whether there was enough milk left in the fridge for a heaping bowl of Boo Berry.

Judging by some of the comments left on the site, a Google search for "Ron Artest Hennessy," and chatter on talk radio, there's more buzz about Ron's, um, halftime buzz work, than I initially expected (because clearly if I moved to NaiveLand, they would hold a parade and crown me king). When combined with others in the interview about Joey Crawford's officiating in last season's Western Conference semi-final, Artest's words have piqued the league's interest. His feelings about being compared to Trevor Ariza and being a "first option" defensively have sounded alarm bells with others. (It wouldn't shock me in the slightest if Artest was fined for criticizing an official.) 

Look, we're going to be taking the temperature of Lakers fans on Artest all year. For the next five, really, parsing everything he says and does. Call him Tea Leaves, if you'd like. I'm still not concerned- I'm all about what I see on the floor (he's growing more effective every game) and signs he's not fitting in with the team culture (none I yet see, and meanwhile I appreciate Artest's self-awareness). But I'm just a guy with a blog. What say you? Click below for the poll.

 
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I wonder if he was drinking some of that halftime hen before he signed that MLE with the Lakers? Either way, I'll take it. Wa are paying him a discounted price considering his accolades. Sasha makes almost as much as Ron and same with Luke but we don't fuss about those two guys.

As crazy as it may sound about drinking during games,other NBA players have done and said dumber things...

This one time at band camp....This guy named Paul Pierce said he was the best player in the NBA.....To me thats crazier than a guy sipping the fine stuff...

Great drop..Love it..

Or this other time at band camp....That same guy faked an injury then came back after speaking to Jon Edwards from crossing over and played a great game..

AK,

Good point, reflex action on my part.

L.A. Native in PA,

Dynasty is the maintenance of the championship level. Split that hair.

Good morning,

Count me in among those who say, "I don't care if he tells stories of snorting powdered unicorn horn, if he plays well I'm sold!"

Artest has brought a component to the Lakers' on-court game that's been missing for years. By all accounts, he seems to be a good team mate.

The fact that he's a complex human being in touch with his flaws are qualities that make him much more likable than a certain superstar who's hidden behind his Madison Avenue packaging, only to be revealed as a scoundrel.

Please pass the Hennessey.

It seems to me like he has his head on as straight as it can be at this point. He looks determined to win a championship before his career is in its twilight. He has enough leadership (Phil & Kobe) around him to keep him on track. I was just talking to my dad about Ron. We both agree that he is pretty much like a pit bull; just the look in his eyes and his overall demeanor make you wonder if he'll snap at any second. As long as he can keep it under control I like our chances against any team in the league. He is going to make life very tough for Lebron James.

I agree with the Kamenetzky brothers. What he said really does not matter. The drinking was so long ago it might as well have been in another lifetime for Artest. He as matured a lot since then.

I also do not think his comments about Ariza are that far off either. Artest is a great player and one of the best defenders in the league. Ariza has not really done anything to warant a comparison with Artest. I like Ariza and helped us win a championship but Artest is a much better player right now. Ariza needs to consistant for 3 or 4 years before you can start comparing him to Artest.

I also would agree with him on Crawford. a few of the technicals he got was just because he was Artest.

phantom

I agree with the Kamenetzky brothers. What he said really does not matter. The drinking was so long ago it might as well have been in another lifetime for Artest. He as matured a lot since then.

I also do not think his comments about Ariza are that far off either. Artest is a great player and one of the best defenders in the league. Ariza has not really done anything to warant a comparison with Artest. I like Ariza and helped us win a championship but Artest is a much better player right now. Ariza needs to consistant for 3 or 4 years before you can start comparing him to Artest.

I also would agree with him on Crawford. a few of the technicals he got was just because he was Artest.

phantom

Besides, why should Tiger Woods get all the attention?

Ron Artest was and is and will be a gamble. If he pays off, the Lakers move to a level that few teams have played at. If not, well, that's why they call it a gamble.


He has progressed steadily so far this year. He looked lost early but seems to be finding his way as a Laker. He anchors and increasingly impressive defense.


So short term he has been solid. The Lakers are committed for the long term. Anyone who claims they can predict the long term behavior of Artest is crazier than Artest. I just watch the games and root for him. Because he's a Laker. And because I'd like to see the guy succees in life.


Tom D.

Look, we're going to be taking the temperature of Lakers fans on Artest all year. For the next five, really, parsing everything he says and does. Call him Tea Leaves, if you'd like. I'm still not concerned- I'm all about what I see on the floor (he's growing more effective every game) and signs he's not fitting in with the team culture (none I yet see, and meanwhile I appreciate Artest's self-awareness). But I'm just a guy with a blog. What say you? Cthlick below for the poll. KAMGODS!

Fellows these last few weeks of threads have been some of the finest writting one can find anywhere! KUDOS and...OUT FREAKIN STANDING

I like his comments about having a supporting cast on defense ... I appreciate his competitivness in saying Crawford gave us the game ... but it doesn't change the fact that the 2008-2009 LA team played stellar defense and offense on it's way to their championship ... we earned our rings, nobody gave it to us ron ron ...

and no matter how good you think you are, nobody's going to give you the '10 ring either ... You'll have the help of a supporting cast that's been there and done that but it will still be a challenge that'll have to be conquered with blood and sweat ... so put the bottle down if you're still drinking, there's work to be done

And yes this is LA, we love all the xtra press you're generating for our team ... we trust that when the lights come on, you'll put on a show to remember on the basketball court

Why do you think the Lakers moved to # 2 on defense this year its because of Ron Artest plain & simple. I have already gotten over Ariza' he is no longer with the team. Houston is now 10 & 8 the # 8 seed and that is about as far as they will go even if Tmac returns they will not be contenders. Ron is airing out all of his dirty laundry so that when the Lakers win another Ship the pundits will have to find someone else to pick on. This feels like a great year if we can stay generally healthy. Ron has helped to bring this team full circle. The things that we use to speak of in the past ( inconsistant D & blown leads ) are looking much better so far and the real test will be when we prove we are the best on the road which i believe the Lakers will have the best record again.

Later

and no matter how good you think you are, nobody's going to give you the '10 ring either ... You'll have the help of a supporting cast that's been there and done that but it will still be a challenge that'll have to be conquered with blood and sweat ... so put the bottle down if you're still drinking, there's work to be done Posted by: segeboy fka taliq | December 03, 2009 at 07:28 AM

NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!

We knew Ron was a character when he signed here. Frankly, this revelation doesn't surprise me, but it doesn't outrage me either. I wasn't the happiest camper when I found out about his signing, but watching subsequent interviews eased my worries because he was quite honest and sincere about wanting to help our team win another ring. His play on the court has definitely backed up his statements.

I'm not gonna lie, he could start wearing a tiara and call himself Princess Hennesey for all I care. As long as he keeps performing where it matters, it's all good to me. In fact, it's his loopiness that most endears him to me.

From sporting news:

Kobe or LeBron? LeBron or Kobe? Trying to settle on the best player in the NBA—Lakers guard Kobe Bryant(notes) or Cavaliers forward LeBron James(notes)—is no easy choice.

But, according to Sporting News’ panel of experts, Bryant is the clear-cut No. 1. Bryant tops SN’s list of the 50 greatest players in the NBA today, as selected by a panel of 107 Hall of Famers, major award winners, executives, current players and coaches and other basketball experts.

Bryant received almost twice as many first-place votes as James, 62 to 34.

KOBE'S NUMBER 1, KOBE'S NUMBER 1 YEAHHHHHH!!!!
http://tinyurl.com/yh75kvb

TOP 50 PLAYERS
1. Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers
2. LeBron James, SF, Cavaliers
3. Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat
4. Dwight Howard, C, Magic
5. Tim Duncan, PF, Spurs
6. Chris Paul, PG, Hornets
7. Kevin Garnett, PF, Celtics
8. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Mavericks
9. Carmelo Anthony, SF, Nuggets
10. Paul Pierce, SF, Celtics
11. Steve Nash, PG, Suns
12. Deron Williams, PG, Jazz
13. Tony Parker, PG, Spurs
14. Brandon Roy, SG, Trail Blazers
15. Yao Ming, C, Rockets
16. Shaquille O'Neal, C, Cavaliers
17. Pau Gasol, PF, Lakers
18. Chris Bosh, PF, Raptors
19. Amare Stoudemire, PF, Suns
20. Chauncey Billups, PG, Nuggets
21. Kevin Durant, SF, Thunder
22. Manu Ginobili, SG, Spurs
23. Jason Kidd, PG, Mavericks
24. Tracy McGrady, SG, Rockets
25. Joe Johnson, SG, Hawks
26. Derrick Rose, PG, Bulls
27. Ray Allen, SG, Celtics
28. Gilbert Arenas, PG, Wizards
29. Ron Artest, SF, Lakers
30. Vince Carter, SG, Magic
31. Danny Granger, SF, Pacers
32. Baron Davis, PG, Clippers
33. Devin Harris, PG, Nets
34. Ben Gordon, SG, Pistons
35. Al Horford, C, Hawks
36. Carlos Boozer, PF, Jazz
37. Nene, C, Nuggets
38. Rajon Rondo, PG, Celtics
39. Andre Iguodala, SG, 76ers
40. Josh Smith, PF, Hawks
41. Rudy Gay, SF, Grizzlies
42. Hedo Turkoglu, SF, Raptors
43. Lamar Odom, SF, Lakers
44. Shane Battier, SF, Rockets
45. Elton Brand, PF, 76ers
46. Richard Jefferson, SF, Spurs
47. O.J. Mayo, SG, Grizzlies
48. Charlie Villanueva, PF, Pistons
49. Michael Redd, SG, Bucks
50. Andrew Bynum, C, Lakers

3Two-

Do you think Tiger should buy his wife a ring?

"snorting powdered unicorn horn"

awesome

During the GS game, during a free throw break, I saw Ron and Derek Fisher bonding at midcourt. I remember at the time thinking, "thats good, someone who is helping Ron on the court and bonding with him."
Then in the 3rd period of that game, Ron and Derek had a few plays together (give and go drive to the basket, assist by Ron) Ron was leading the Lakers in scoring, and Fish was 4-4 fgs that period.
Ron will run his mouth, but as long as he keeps his nose clean (literally) he will be OK.
Kobe and Fish will lay down the law, with Phil as the backstop.

isn't cognac the perfect night cap after a terrible performance. i'm wondering what was kobe drinking during the smush/kwame era. and how many?

isn't "snorting powdered unicorn horn" more like a LO accessory?

During the GS game, during a free throw break, I saw Ron and Derek Fisher bonding at midcourt. Posted by: lewis | December 03, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Just as long as Ron wasn't telling Derek the wonders Hennessy would do for Dereks shooting.

isn't cognac the perfect night cap after a terrible performance. i'm wondering what was kobe drinking during the smush/kwame era. and how many? isn't "snorting powdered unicorn horn" more like a LO accessory? Posted by: ouchhhhhhhhh | December 03, 2009 at 10:11 AM

ROFLMFAO!!! HAHAHHAHHAHHAHAH!!!!!

I simply don't believe him. Other players would've seen the liquor, and c'mon -- have you ever tried drinking and exerting physical activity? Migraines, cramps... bad stuff happens.

139-21...

Tiger should talk to Paul Peirce about getting John Edwards number to some how fix his problem...It worked for Peirce...

I'm not concerned with what Ron Artest said, I'm concerned with how he said it and in the context of ALL the media attention he's been craving recently.

Listen, Ron Artest has NEVER shown himself to be a moderate person. He has addictive elements to his personality. I'm concerned about this interview in light of recent interviews, such as the Jimmy Kimmel.

It would be cool if he was just consistently taking responsibility for things, but he's not. He's blaming Joey Crawford. He's not stepping up regarding the Brawl at the Palace.

So, if Ron is an attention addict in Los Angeles, what's going to happen six months from now, a year from now? Is he going to be going to interviews in a dress and doing spreads in Playgirl?

I mean, come on! Sooner or later these things become a distraction. Ron needs to chill out now and play basketball and focus a little less on "having fun" that he keeps talking about.

Children worry continuously about "having fun". Men worry about getting the job done.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

How did fellow Chicago Bulls/team officials not notice a bottle of Hennessey?

Hennessey is one of the more popular liquors in the bar I work at. It would be kind of difficult to hide a fifth bottle of Hennessey in a locker.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Don't care about RonRon keepin' his real and sharing that info. Its whatever. I would bet there are other players doing FAR WORSE!


As long as he keeps doing what he does on the court and doesn't violate any drug policies on OUR team -- play ball!

I have my OWN LIFE to be concerned with!

3Two-

139-21...

Tiger should talk to Paul Peirce about getting John Edwards number to some how fix his problem...It worked for Peirce...

Posted by: Thirty2 | December 03, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Or Pierce can give him 24s number ... Im sure Tiger has enough cash to get the same results!

Well, I voted for unicorn dust as well. This is less about what Ron actually did and more about easy headlines. Maybe the media congloms should consider siphoning just a fraction of space away from Tiger and Hennessey and channeling into more worthy stories, like our troops, hunger in America, literacy.... nah! That's crazy talk!

I believe Ron about the Hennesey. He's been so straightforward for so long that it just doesn't make sense to me to disbelieve him.

People are making some odd assumptions about his teammates/team administration reporting about his Hennesey. Why would they report that? Isn't it likely to hurt the team? Do you think every time an NBA player sleeps with a woman that's not his wife that we the public find out about it? I could think of quite a few circumstances in which the team wouldn't report it and we the public never found out about it.

I also suspect Ron didn't drink a ton of Hennesey at half-time. Just doesn't seem like his style.

I just like this Ron Ron guy more and more, partly for the drama he creates and partly because he's self-reflective and honest.

I don't blame him about the Malice in the Palace comment. Do you guys seriously think after fouling a guy in a heated game against a rival, the guy pushes you in the face. You go sit down trying to chill and a mostly full cup of beer hits you in the face. You seriously think you're going to be able to keep your cool? Everyone has a breaking point. I think there's a real air of superiority to assume you could be cool under such extreme circumstances.

I'm one of the calmest people I know, but I don't know that I don't freak out and go into the stands there myself under those circumstances.

There really are predictable responses to certain events. It'd be nicer if we humans weren't so easily manipulated.

I agree with Ron about comparisons to Ariza. People often forget how hard it is to maintain a top shelf game for a few years and assume the current situation has staying power. Ariza was great for a year. Ron's been great for more than five. Anyone remember David West, the All-Star? It's like Supertramp versus David Bowie. They may have seemed similarly hot for a year. Until you get past that year and see their entire careers you might mistakenly consider them equally talented or important.

Ron should probably be penalized for criticizing Joey Crawford to be consistent with previous league rulings.

Blah, blah, blah. Enough ranting from me.

Things are great in Lakerland and I'm thankful (even after Thanksgiving) that we have someone as interesting as Artest on our team, talking openly to the media.

Doesn't anyone think that Ron-Ron made these comments just to get a rise out of everyone? That just because he made these comments doesn't make them true necessarily?


gordon

When I read this (imagine, it was EVEN on Italian national news... a snippet, but there you go...) I was like:

"Ah, Ron Ron... you're quite the showman"

I loved they start to play a well known music under the news piece. They must read over and know how this fits Artest's unpredictable and yet totally admirable antics these days (yes, I had to cheer his case-head. I had to.)

"It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark
Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes
You're paralyzed

'Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one's gonna save you from the beast about strike
You know it's thriller, thriller night
You're fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight..."

I see trouble for the Heats tonight coming from the beast that strikes...

Ronnie is entertaining both on and off the court. I have (I think) heard hints of Jackson's Zen influence in his interviews. His zany, cooky points of view are fun to listen to. He sort of appealed to the masses not to judge him quickly, so let's continue watching, try to laugh, bite our tongues, cross our eyes, and watch as Phil wields his magic on Ron's psyche. Over the next 5 seasons, he'll be transformed into a different man . . . just watch and see.

Go Lakers


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