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Ron Artest plans to abstain from alcohol for the 2010-11 season

54410566The celebration never seemed to end and the alcohol seemed to keep on flowing.

Moments after Lakers forward Ron Artest entered the locker room, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant poured champagne on his 2010 NBA Finals championship hat. As Artest gleefully recounted to reporters the circuitous route he's taken in his 11-year career before finally winning a title, Lakers backup center DJ Mbenga poured beer on his head. And once he finally made it to his own locker, Artest's family popped open a bottle of champagne and asked him to take a sip.

Artest showed afterward how he loved the taste of winning a championship. But the post- Game 7celebration also apparently demonstrated how Artest's acquired taste for alcohol had significantly waned.

"It was weird. I didn't even want to drink it, really," Artest said after practice Saturday at the team's facility in El Segundo. "It was fun at the time. But I didn't have the stomach for alcohol, anymore."

That's because Artest said he had abstained from drinking since January of 2010 in hopes that the decreased carbohydrates and increased mobility could ensure consistent defensive performances. Even as Artest celebrated the Lakers' title with consuming Hennessy before the Lakers' parade and made non-stop appearances at night clubs the next few weeks, he said he managed to force himself to stop drinking alcohol by the end of July. It also served as a key variable, Artest said, in ensuring the same mobility for the 2010-11 season. 

"It paid off so much," said Artest, who says he currently weighs about 250 pounds. "I've been drinking alcohol since I was 17 years old, or 15 years old."

But he says he doesn't plan to drink at all this season. I only wonder what was Artest's name on his fake ID as a teenager and how will the alcohol industry fare in the next quarter assuming he follows through on abstaining from drinking all season. And for those wondering what might happen should California legalize marjuana? "Even if they legalize marijuana," Artest said, as he left a group of reporters, "I won't be smoking marijuana."

Those are questions for another day, but here's the most pressing one: How does Artest's slimmed down figure affect the Lakers this season?

The way Artest explains it, the weight loss could largely determine how well he fulfills his duty as a lock-down defender this season. Though he entered the pre-season with a hamstring issue, Artest has looked through two games incredibly mobile and displayed the sure-fire intensity that's defined his defensive toughness. That reputation warranted Artest to garner high accolades from the league's general managers that say this in a preseason survey: Artest is tied with Bryant as the NBA's best defensive player, second as the league's top defensive player on the perimeter and third as an on-the-ball defender.

That recognition doesn't just point to Artest's physical bulk. It also points to his quick footwork and relentless conditioning, marking the reason why he hopes to weigh 245 pounds for the NBA Finals (assuming the Lakers make it, of course).

"I shed all the unnecessary weight," Artest said. "I worked hard this summer to get rid of the weight. I'm able to maintain smaller and quicker guys. I know with Kobe's knee, he's going to need the reinforcement. I'm going to have to be able to guard quicker guys."

That includes covering Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant, whom Artest held under his season average during the Lakers'first-round matchup with the Thunder. Though Artest expressed uncertainty as to whether Carmelo Anthony would remain in Denver, the Nuggets All-Star is another opponent that Artest frustrated during a February regular-season matchup. Though he managed to fulfill that role last season, he entered the 2009-10 season weighing 268 pounds and eventually dropping to 265. There, perhaps, could be one exception he'll make in determining how much weight he wants to lose or gain.

"When we get to the championship, I'll worry about the big guy later -- LeBron," Artest said. "He's not losing weight."

But for now Artest will worry about shedding the pounds so he can stay active. He'll continue to run on the treadmill. He'll continue to be strict with his diet, which last year consisted of plenty of protein, fruits and vegetables. And he plans to stay away from alcohol.

"It's kind of cool," Artest said. "It's worth it, though, because it helps keep the weight off, too. All those extra carbohydrates aren't on me."

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Kobe Bryant helps soak Ron Artest in champagne in the Lakers ' locker room. Bryant earned his fifth championship ring. Artest, who scored 20 points in Game 7, earned his first. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times

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The lakers faced OKC in the first round, not the second round, you might want to fix that.

Also, do you think Ron Ron can really lock down, or should I say bother Lebron James? I hope he can because if James can be at all contained, the Lakers have a great shot @ three peating. Gasol and Bynum will cancel bosh, Kobe will take care of wade and certainly hold his on.

Of course, all this is assuming the Lakers make it to the finals!


*hold his own

hey thanks for the catch. I made the change

"I shed all the unnecessary weight," Artest said. "I worked hard this summer to get rid of the weight. I'm able to maintain smaller and quicker guys. I know with Kobe's knee, he's going to need the reinforcement. I'm going to have to be able to guard quicker guys." – Ron Artest.
Man, how can you NOT love this guy as a player. Ron continues to amaze me with his moves. Rolling stones don’t gather any moss. His sincerity, sensitivity, and intelligence have surprised me. I always wanted him as a Laker while acknowledging that there was some risk but I never thought he would be such a constructive and positive force building a championship chemistry. This is my favorite Lakers team without a doubt. Kobe, Pau, Drew, Fish, Lamar, and Ron – what a class and likeable group.

Although there are a few other guys who do it with less talkin' (DFish & Kobe), THIS is what being a pro is all about: you do the work. Not just when you're coming up, but each year of your career, always finding the "next thing necessary" to increase or sustain your abilities.

Ron knows what a lighter frame will do for him, both in his quickness, and his ability to avoid injury (always fingers crossed). He's plenty strong, so extra pounds don't mean much more physicality, but less pounds means more quickness.

As much as I love Pau's skillful play, I've often wondered if he continued his weightlifting efforts to enough effect. It always amazed me that for so much of his career, he didn't lift. Maybe he'll join Ron in the weight room more often.

And cutting out alcohol really is an easy way to limit extra calories... less chances to "slip on that ol' front step," too.

LRob -

Great win today...and good to see the coach come back...Are you sick of all these coaches calling time outs right before game winning field goal attempts...

Ron Ron -

I love you dude...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

Kudos to Ron Ron for keeping his eyes on the prize. Here's a little help from a classic rocker to help Ron stay focused... (63 footer do you have a Phil Lynott story for me???)

Ron if you abstain you won't have to sing this one.....


Dear Lord, You are our shield and our strength. Our ever present Help in time of need. We ask You...we NEED mainfest Yourself as such to our brother Ron Artest. He has made a commitment to forsake the pleasure of libations for the joy of assisting his teammates as they seek the glorious 3-peat. We ask You to be with Ron. Lead him. Guide him. Allow his family and teammates to be a support for him. Let him lean on You, for You are the only one who can help him fulfill his commitment. Honor Ron Ron's faith and carry him onward and upward.

We thank You for answered prayer...AMEN!


@Lew - Yep it was a big win my honary Spartan. U-M has beat us down so many times I always love to see them in misery. It was easier than expected. The last second time outs really don't bug me that much as long as the refs don't stop play once the ball is snapped. That's the part that irks me.

@NewMexicoLL - Whenever I complain about the cold weather, wife will say its nothing compared to Minny winter to shut me

@LakerPeace - excellent Beatle selection. Like you & LakerTom...I found myself listening to a lot of Lennon today. Once you get started it hard to stop.

@Jefe - Loved your selection also. I believe Starting Over also went #1....

@Utzworld - Amen!

@NewMexicoLL - Oh yeah, she pulled out her old Randy Moss jersey I think its safe to say she's getting ready also.


I know you've heard it hundreds of times, but I must commend you again on the profiles. Hearing all the great stories, reliving all those magical Laker moments and learning more about fellow bloggers...very cool.

"Ron Artest plans to abstain from alcohol for the 2010-11 season"...yeah, that is until he is bathed in more champagne next June!

Wow, I have something in common with Ron Artest.....we both started drinking alcohol at 17 or 15. lol!

Oh please, the whole NBA smoked herb. I hear something like 80% of the NBA blazes

I hope we get to see more of Ron's post up game this year. The dude knows how to use the glass! He can def create space for his shot down low, and if he misses, he leaves it soft on the rim for Lamar to throw down. Ron they hate you in Boston, but we love you in LA!

Good news Farmar fans...Jordan helps Nets rally from 7pt deficit in the final 12 seconds. He finished with 15pts in 21 minutes:
Jrue Holiday missed two with 12 seconds to play to keep the Nets alive and Jordan Farmar nailed a turnaround 3-pointer from the left corner with 9.0 seconds to go to cut the lead to 88-87.

"We didn't do a lot of things well, but I like the fact we fought and didn't give up," said Farmar, who finished with 15 points. "That's just as important as anything."

Ron's commitment gets better every week!

On another note, I am in Kansas City as you all may recall. I just saw the Heat play the Thunder last night here at the Sprint Center. The Heat will be formidable that is for sure, Mike Miller is open on a lot of those switches. LeBron is like a point guard out there, and Bosh along with Haslem look good underneath. It should be an exciting year indeed!

Miami rests LeBron and Bosh as San Antonio whips the Heat.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGIC PHIL - 10/10/10 WHAT A LUCKY DAY - BANDWAGON *___________________________________________________________________*
(01) utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER – CHAPLAIN - Let Us Pray
(02) JUSTANOTHRMAMBAFAN - OWNER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil
(03) MAMBA24 - DRIVER – Happy Birthday Magic Phil with the Magic Skills, you are the best sir!
(04) #4
(05) phred - RIDING SHOTGUN1 -
(10) LROB

MM -

When you wake up this morning, and log into the blog, will you please delete the comment at 4:38 am? It's some random trying to peddle their wares on this site.

Hope you had a good day yesterday!

Gooooooooooood morning!

mamba24, thanks for the bandwagon. I'll buy a lottery ticket this morning and see what's gonna happen...


Hennessy scotch, I think not! Hennessy just makes brandy. Check it out.

Magic Phil -

Happy Birthday my brother...May you have a fantastic day with your family and a great celebration...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

Here is a question I've been wondering about...

I saw the jet that the Laker flew in to Europe...It was A British Airline jet, with NBA Europe on the side...

Do the Lakers still have their private jet with the Lakers logo on it...

I thought that was one advantage the Lakers have over the league...Dr. Buss had his own jet for the team...

MM if you could find out...that would be 'fantastic'...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up....

Mr. Blogger Person,

you (and to Don) DO realize that Hennessy doesn't make scotch OR brandy, right? Try cognac instead. One would think a writer affiliated with LA Times would possess better knowledge on this subject.




It sounds like Ron-Ron took a sanity pill. Good for him (sincerely!). But I hope that he decides to forgo alcohol because he wants to forgo alcohol. I can't imagine that he needs chemical means to get a daily high.

Good luck, Ron, I'm pulling for ya' !



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