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Artest finishes sixth for defensive players of the year, unveils latest look

April 20, 2010 |  1:22 pm

Lakers forward Ron Artest finished sixth in the voting for NBA defensive player of the year, well behind winner Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.

Artest totaled 29 voting points, receiving seven second-place votes and eight third-place votes. Howard won the award for a second consecutive season, finishing with 576 voting points, followed by Atlanta's Josh Smith (136 points) and Charlotte's Gerald Wallace (113 points).

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant finished 12th with nine voting points, receiving one second-place vote and six third-place votes.

The award was selected by 122 media members throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Artest said he could have been better than sixth.

"I probably would have been higher if I had been lighter for the whole season," he said. "Next year, I'm definitely going to come in lighter. I always wanted to play at 280 [pounds], and it just didn't work for me defensively. I lost 20 pounds during the season, which is pretty much unheard of, and I came back to almost my prime defensively."

Artest won the award once, in 2004.

"I had my chance to have two or three of them," he said. "One year, I got suspended, and I probably would have gotten it that year. Another year, I got in a lot of trouble and Ben Wallace got it. I would have had two or three, but it is what it is."

Artest arrived at Tuesday's shoot-around with a new look, the orange dye job in his hair replaced by purple and gold asymmetrical waves and accompanied by a gold-dyed soul patch. There are no letters or characters in his hair.

"Usually I always tell him what to do, but I just told him to go ahead and do it, and he did what he had to do," Artest said of his barber. "No meaning in it."

-- Mike Bresnahan


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