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Ron Artest ranks Kobe Bryant first and Kevin Durant second in the league; declines to say where LeBron James ranks

One of the many reasons to love Ron Artest is that you know every interview will be quotable, funny and/or memorable. You just never know where it's going to go sometimes.

Artest touched on many topics, such as the team's current play, coming off a championship season, his charitable efforts, the Miami Heat and Kevin Durant.

In fact, Artest made a point, unprompted as well, to declare Durant the second-best player in the NBA (behind Kobe Bryant, of course). Moments later in the interview, I made sure to bring that topic up again and ask Artest the thought process behind his rankings.

"I think Kobe's got five rings, six-game winners [last season], 23 straight points in the playoffs, mostly jump shots, couple attacks, big-shot maker," Artest said. "So that said, Durant's second-best player in the NBA."

When a reporter asked, "Where does LeBron fall?" Artest ignored the question and said, "I luckily had the chance to guard the second-best player in the NBA."

So why does Durant rank second in the NBA? " Kobe has five rings," Artest answered.

"I don't mean compared to Kobe," I clarified. "I mean compared to everyone else." Artest's response: "Kevin Durant is the second-best player in the NBA."

"Where is LeBron James on your list?" another reporter asked. "You got to ask him," said Artest.

Follow-up question: What about on your list? "I only count to two," Artest replied. "I've been out of school for 10 years. I only count to two."

--Mark Medina

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BLAKE GRIFFIN IS AMAZING. The guy is a rebounding machine, he gets fouled a lot and does not miss in free throws. This kid is the most exciting player I have seen in a while. H e is definitely going to lead the leage in rebounding.

He has the rebounding and defensive intensity of Rodman, the power of Malone and the speed of Amare. Unbelievable!

I hope he never get injured ever again. But the way he jumps and plays tough every inside, I get worried everytime he makes his move.

As long as we're kickin' movie soundtrack clips around, thought I should definitely throw this into the mix - props to Burt Bacharach, BJ Thomas, Conrad Hall, George Roy Hill, Paul Newman and the dazzling Katherine Ross...
Good morning everyone! Psyched for this weekend's shootout!Posted by: Jefe101 | October 15, 2010 at 09:05 AM
Possibly one of the greatest matches of song with scene EVER!!! OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!

I just like the fact that Ron didn't directly comment on Lebron... because there's nothing to comment on. Very nice. And since Ron's the one that's going to guard the Bronster, his money is always where his mouth is.

Jefe101 - B.J. Thomas! I miss Connie Hall... one of the all-time great DP's.. very subtle.

Interested in how the rest of the preseason shapes up.

Good morning fam!

I gotta run some errands, but it's friday, so I'll be around the blog a bit more today.

Just wanted to drop in and say hello before I head! :-)

Just wanted to drop in and say hello before I head! :-) Posted by: Caliphilosopher | October 15, 2010 at 09:25 AM
And when you head out Cali, head out secure in the Knowledge that you are a member of the finest Nation on Earth...LAKERS NATION!!! Now go on out there and Represent!!!

lol ... i'm not a fan of ron's latest skit ... bron's got madd game, dissing him in public can't bode well for us ... the laker optimist in me can only hope this is ron's way of telling us he's stepping his game up this season, enough to talk trash bout a grade A talent like lebron and get away with it


@P ANG… Outstanding “random summer thoughts.” Agree with EVERY SINGLE POINT YOU MADE. LeBron and Miami’s big problem is that they may be like the Lakers IN THE 50’s who could not win a championship because of Bill Russell and those great Celtics teams. This time it may be Kobe and great Lakers teams that prevent LeBron and Miami from EVER winning a title.
@MAMBA… Great link to the bicycle scene. I cannot ever hear that song by B.J. Thomas without being reminded of Dick Enberg singing that song after the Bruins won another NCAA championship. Enberg had promised to sing it online if UCLA won the title (don’t remember which year that was). Back then, we had to wait until 11:00 pm to watch the game tape delayed on the tube. So we often went to the game at Pauley and then rushed back home to be able to watch the replay. Only basketball memories I have that rival the Lakers.

Double your pleasure, double your fun…
01 – LakerTom
02 – KobeMVP888
03 - Lewsters
04 – (D)erek (J)eter
05 - leonardbast78
06 – Nuggets Country
07 - lance from da' bronx
World Series Triumph #28 coming…
CC will pitch a no-hitter tonight…

@LakerTom sorry, that was Jefe101 Link but it is a great one.

Artest is hilarious and is right at home in LA LA land. I think he has been great while he has been here and the reporters need to cut the guy some slack. I disagree that Labron is 3rd in the league (I would rate him above Durant although it is very close). Kobe is the best "player" in the league but Labron is the best "talent". Durant is going to be the best player once he wins a title or two. By then Kobe will be gone.

I've had extended family in Cleveland my whole life, in fact my uncle used to work as an executive for the Cavs and, honestly Cavs fans weren't bad before LeBron came. Actually they were the least obnoxious of all the Cleveland teams fans.
..and then LeBron donned a Cavs jersey...
..and they mutated into these horrific nigh-Lovecraftian entities as fans. It was awful.
Now that The Creep is gone, they'll probably return to some normalcy... well, at least as normal as it gets for Cleveland.
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

Staples 24,
Last year I said that Blake Griffin was going to eclipse LeBron James as a basketball athlete and a player, in part because he has a better attitude and work ethic.
I meant it.
Go Clippers!!!

@JEFE101… Thanks for the Butch Cassidy bicycle link. I thought Mamba24 had posted it but he corrected me. As you could see from my comments to Mamba on the last thread, “Raindrops” always brings back my UCLA Bruins and John Wooden memories. Next to the Lakers, my greatest basketball memories. Thanks.

Ron-Ron has got the perfect attitude for a PJ team: Nothing is a give; just play hard and continue to improve.


You can call me out anytime. I think you guys know that I respect your opinions and you have vastly more Lakers knowledge than I do, but I still think Kobe basically threw in the towel in that Game 7 vs. the Suns, and it's not the first or last time he's moped around on the court. Sure, his team was outgunned, but his court demeanor basically said, 'It's over and I don't care.' LeBron did the same thing this past postseason.


I never believed that three-team or four-team mega-trade talk for two big reasons: Chris Paul is going to be a free agent next summer so nobody wants to tear apart the nucleus of their team for a one-year rental (unless the player agree beforehand to a sign-and-trade deal) and because nobody really wants to play in Portland unless they have to (only option for a veteran, drafted by the franchise, part of a trade package with no chance to block it, etc.). People flee the Blazers when they can since it's something like the 37th-largest metro area of the U.S., not one of the 4 or 5 biggest. Chris Paul, like Andre Miller, would be a good fit there because the PG and Brandon Roy do the penetrating and everyone else is a spot-up shooter (Batum, Fernandez, Aldridge, Bayless as well as Blake, Outlaw, Webster in the past).

But my Trail Blazers will open more like the Fail Blazers with their three 7-footers (Oden, Pryzbilla and Camby) all hobbled to open the season and Fernandez brooding on the bench since he's not good enough to start and misses being a hero in Spain. Plus Wesley Matthews will be a force off their bench, hurting Fernandez's and Bayless' playing time.

But I do think Nate McMillan is an excellent young coach (like Byron Scott) who gets a lot out of whatever talent he has, and we all know they do have some talent with young forwards Dante Cunningham and Luke Babbitt and a blur of a guard in Patty Mills to go with their proven nucleus. But without those 7-footers to anchor the defense in the lane and clean up the missed shots, they'll struggle coming out the gate this season. No way LaMarcus Aldridge is a viable option at center, even though I hear he's put on 20 more pounds of muscle. He's a true power forward. It's a tough way to start the season because the Blazers made such big strides the last couple of years, right up until Oden and Pryzbilla went down with major knee injuries a couple of weeks apart last season. But I don't need to tell you Lake Show fans about big men and injury problems.

I'll check you guys later. It's the start of busy weekend in here.

Celtics over Thunder in 2011 finals. Two healthy teams right there.

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