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Ron Artest fined a day after his game-winning buzzer-beater against the Suns

Ron Artest was fined by Lakers Coach Phil Jackson on Friday, one day after Artest banked in an off-balance shot at the buzzer to give the Lakers a 103-101 victory over the Phoenix Suns and a 3-2 series lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals.

The reason?

Artest was late to practice by about a half hour.

And why would that be? 

"I think he was so excited after the game that all the processing of things that were on the board didn't register," Jackson said. 

But perhaps that excitement was warranted, considering the sequence of events that led up to Artest's game-winner. Not only was he one for eight from the floor with two points before the put-back, but he had missed two shots inside of about a minute to play, including a three-point attempt with 22 seconds left that Jackson said Artest never should have taken. 

After that shot, Jackson said he told Artest, "Those are the judgment, decision-making things that we're asking you to make good choices on."

Jackson said after the game that he wasn't sure why he left Artest in, but he said Friday that Artest "was kind of feeling bad about it, obviously. And the redemption one minute later was great for him. How else can you say it? I kept saying to my coaching staff, 'Can Ron give us a boost out there? Is he going to help us or hurt us while he's out there?' And we found out he did, he helped us."

Jackson has certainly coached a collection of eccentric characters -- Dennis Rodman comes to mind -- but even with that experience, he said he couldn't describe Artest. 

"I tell Lamar [Odom] that he's his guardian," Jackson said. "So we have not the blind leading the blind, but probably the deaf leading the blind in that situation.

"But those two grew up together and have a history. The thing that I enjoy more than anything else is the excitement and the happy faces that surrounded Ron, after he made the shot, of his teammates, who all knew he messed up and were rooting for him to have a comeback." 

Artest had told reporters that he has felt disrespected at times when opposing teams leave him open, almost baiting him to shoot. Jackson said he has talked to both Artest and Odom about that. 

"We usually tell Ron and Lamar, 'There's a reason why you're open,' " Jackson said. "I don't know if it makes enough sense, saying it that way, but there is. We told Ron, 'Last year in our game plan against Houston that we anticipated this type of behavior and were ready and willing to allow you to hit a three in those situations. We believe you can hit them, but you have to have good judgment when you do.' "

How has Artest done in that regard, in terms of not taking the bait?

"Not very well," Jackson said, laughing. "There's still room for improvement."

-- Baxter Holmes
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Artest late???

Did he show up in his underwear?

What was his excuse?

A good reporter would have that down, especially with the 'Ron Ron' side of Ron Artest.

KEEPING FINGERS CROSSED....that Ron comes back to ground zero..

Looking at his facial expressions I just see Twilight Zone written all over, he seems to be so self absorbed in accepting media attention that I am sure Phil and team mates are on red alert. I hope Ron stays humble, chalks this as a W in the win column, moves on and focuses on the main goal i.e Title.

BUT WHY, MM - WHY?????????????????

Fatty - did you feel that one? That little pinch?

Yeah.. that was me LMAO!

Dear Laker fans of Machine,

Machine predict he will have impact on game. Machine also predict he shut down fellow Slovenian Dragic. Never ever doubt Machine! Machine now factor for rest of playoffs. My best friend Kobe found new weapon yesterday. Machine say weapon here to stay. Suns have no chance against Machine, so do not worry Laker fans.


Sasha V.

Controversy ends as Az Republic says Fans are whacked to think Kobe's foot was out of bounds. "Foot was in, grow up Suns fans."

Fatty has to get ready for his one and only daughter's HS graduation. Enjoy tonight's game.

We are counting on you to scout out the opposition and give us a report.

Fatty - Who predicts, "The Suns will be one and done....... in the Valley of the Sun...tomorrow night."

Dear Machine,

Good job last night. I thought you played well. You didn't make every shot but they were all good shots. I thought your transition 3 was especially well timed. I hope you can get some more minutes in Phoenix.

Congratulations Fatty's one and only daughter!

Fatty - don't be sneaking in your handheld device of choice that has on-line capabilities on it so you end up watching the game instead of the ceremony.

"The Machine"'s nickname should be changed to "The Irritant"

Where are you guys? We're waiting!!!!

I to Decree and Declare or predict Nash, that the sun rises in the east and sets in the West....Lakersville. We will be conference champs and 2nd showdown with Boston in 3 years,to win back to back once again!! Lakers, thanks for an awesome game last night, proving just what champs are all about and the team showed up in every way!! Kobe, and the gang only 5 to go and celebration begins.

Now that the Machine has chimed in, Laker Nation is more relaxed.
Great game last night and we all know that you're saving your best for tomorrow.
To bring complete super nova on the Suns.

Machine = Dragic Stopper.

Machine is calibrated, Ron Ron is pumped and can't wait for the gates to open.
Mamba will continue his amazing run.
Gasol is also eager to reclaim the Best Big Man title.

All this leads to the Suns going fishin'

Go Lakers!

Artest needs to try some 3-pointers before he can figure out if he's on a hot night. Most players do. So I recommend him to do when we're 10+ points ahead, or in the very first minute of the game. Once you figure that out, use wisely.



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