Ron Artest guarantees Lakers will win 2012 NBA title
The picture you see on the left of Kobe Bryant pouring the champagne over Ron Artest's head perfectly captures the excitement following the Lakers' Game 7 win over the Boston Celtics to secure the 2010 NBA title.
That champagne celebration happened just as Artest began to pour out his emotions. When reporters arrived moments later, Artest recapped the circuitous route he took to finally arrive at this point, a destination that proved as lengthy as his recollection. Then, in one of the most memorable postgame press conferences, Artest thanks his psychologist.
It may all feel like a distant memory considering how the Lakers ended the 2011 postseason with a four-game sweep to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals. But Artest guaranteed to ESPN Los Angeles' Stephen A. Smith in a 40-minute interview Wednesday that the Lakers will again pop the champagne bottles after winning the 2012 NBA title. Assuming there's a season of course.
"Win it all," Artest said when asked what will the Lakers do in the 2011-2012 season. "Win the whole thing. That's a guarantee."
Artest didn't sound as confident about guaranteeing that he and his dance partner, Peta Murgatroyd, would win in "Dancing with the Stars," admitting "that's going to be a problem. There may be a lot of uncertainty heading into next season, particularly with how Coach Mike Brown will lead a team whose years are dwindling in securing more titles. But consider Artest made a similar guarantee prior to the 2009-2010 season when he they should point it right at me, throwing tomatoes and everything." We all know how that turned out.
Smith then asked what can the general public do to Artest should his guarantee go sour.
"We're going to win," he answered. "You can do anything you want to do. Whatever you want to do, you do it."
My hunch: Like Ron Artest's new name, Metta World Peace, the Lakers winning the 2012 NBA title is just a pipe dream
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Photo: Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest soak in the Lakers' 2010 NBA Finals victory in the locker room. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times