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Category: Caption This Photo

Photo caption contest: Ron Artest kisses his biceps

60338221Any time Lakers forward Ron Artest runs a fast break one of three things usually happen.

He either over-dribbles and commits a turnover, he runs like a bull in a china shop and earns an offensive foul, or he misses a layup in ugly fashion. Rarely does Artest dunk, a point he conceded earlier in the season when he said, "I don't jump that high."

He had just enough hops in the Lakers' 139-137 triple-overtime victory Tuesday over the Phoenix Suns, however. When he stole the ball from Suns guard Steve Nash in the third overtime, Artest drove for a fast break and finished with a one-handed dunk, giving the Lakers a 135-132 lead with 1:53 remaining and leaving the 18,997 fans at Staples Center in hysterics.

Artest wasn't done entertaining the crowd. He then stopped and posed, flexing his muscles and kissing his biceps. He shrugged off the theatrics afterward, declaring he was really comfortable basking in the spotlight because he knew what the outcome would entail. "I knew it was going to happen, so half the time I was just on roller skates," he said.

It turns out the antics may earn him a wrestling nickname from Lakers forward Lamar Odom.

"He understands the stage we play on," Odom said of Artest. "He's going to make a great wrestler. He's got the antics and he knows what's going on. He'll hit a guy with a chair. Ron will be one of the best wrestlers ever. His interviews are great and that's what it takes to be one of the champions in wrestling right now. You have to have one of the best interviews."

So here's a two-part contest. What should Artest's wrestling name be and what would be your caption to this photo? On a related note, I will be talking to Artest soon and I will ask him 10 of the best fan-submitted questions. In addition, I'll also forward him the list of wrestling name ideas and photo captions and he'll pick the best one. Feel free to leave questions on the comment threads below or at The Times' Lakers Facebook page

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest puckers up after his rare dunk Tuesday night. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Photo Caption Contest: Kobe Bryant chews on his jersey

59707685Rarely does a game go by that Lakers guard Kobe Bryant isn't biting his jersey.

When he's thoroughly engaged in the game, as he usually seems to be, he's chewing on the jersey. When he's frustrated with an officials' call, Bryant lets his aggravation out on the referees by picking up technical fouls -- 11 thus far this season -- and by appearing to take a bite out of his jersey. And in the case of the Lakers' eventual 108-95 victory Friday over the Clippers, Bryant clenched his teeth into his uniform as a defense mechanism for the pain he felt after hurting the funny bone of his right elbow.

"It hurt like a mother . . . " said Bryant, who also described the elbow as "very sore."

Even so, Bryant spent halftime improving his range of motion and returned in the second half to score 18 of his 24 points in the third quarter, limiting his right hand other than when he shot the ball. Otherwise, he dribbled, passed and high-fived with his left hand. Images of Bryant's determination through injury is nothing new. The entire 2010 postseason focused on Bryant's relentlessness in coping with the sprained right knee that currently has very little cartilage, despite having off-season surgery. But to have a picture of Bryant's initial reaction after his elbow locked with Clippers guard Randy Foye is priceless.

You can take the latest photo caption contest in numerous directions. Use it as a springboard for discussion on how he fights through pain, concern over his health or add a few punchlines. If you ask me, Bryant isn't so much wincing in pain as he is hungry for free tacos after seeing Jack in the Box and son on the sideline at Staples Center.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Kobe Bryant reacts after sustaining a bruise to his right elbow while playing against the Clippers on Friday night at Staples Center. Bryant would leave the game but return for the third quarter, when he scored 18 of his 24 points in the 108-95 victory. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

Photo Caption Contest: Kobe Bryant jawing with George Hill

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One of the most visible signs of the Lakers' frustration: the team's co-captains Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher drew technical fouls in a 97-82 loss Tuesday to the San Antonio Spurs over plays that shouldn't rattle veterans.

Bryant and Spurs guard George Hill fought for position in the paint during the second quarter so they'd be in prime position for a rebound. Bryant swung his elbow and scolded Hill to "watch yourself"; Hill  then pointed the finger at Bryant and continued the fighting words.

"I don't feel like I need to back down from anyone," Hill told the San Antonio Express-News' Jeff McDonald about Bryant, who also jawed with LeBron James during the Christmas Day loss against Miami, drew four technicals in the last four games and was ejected in a double-digit loss last week to Milwaukee. "If he's going to elbow me, I know I've got him where I want him."

Meanwhile, Fisher ran to halfcourt to confront Richard Jefferson during the third quarter after he was pushed from behind. Rather than plead his case to the referees over the non-call, Fisher voiced his displeasure directly to Jefferson.

“We’re all just a little moody, that’s all,” Bryant told Fox Sports' Billy Witz. “Fish picked up a technical tonight, and he’s the basketball equivalent of Barack Obama. Everybody’s a little moody right now.”

(On a side note, what's up with Sean Elliott's outright homerism in the video above? He appeared at his most unprofessional when he constantly addressed Lakers forward Lamar Odom as "Mr. Kardashian.")

The best captions to the photo at the top will be featured in a post on Thursday.

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Readers share Jerry West statue ideas and opine on which Laker should next get a statue

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Here are some of the proposals on what the Jerry West statue should like and who should be the next Laker to get a statue.

On what Jerry West statue should be

"Jerry West...will it look like the logo, him sitting at a desk with multiple trophies (so you can sit next to him with the Larry O, like you can sit next to Chicky-baby on the mic) or pacing the halls dealing with nerves, I vote the desk with him as the logo...about to pace the halls...that's my OFFICIAL vote. -- Jamie Sweet

"They should use the image of Jerry in action as the LOGO, but have him dressed up in a suit and have his profile aged as the GM." -- dan the man

"Jerry was an awesome GM but they really need the statue to be of Jerry West the player just to capture the talent he had for the game." -- Scott

"They should make a replica of the logo because it means a lot to us Lakers fans but also to the NBA fans." -- TidalWave

"They could combine two into one...coming into Staples, Jerry's front half would be as a player. Leaving Staples, the "back" half as a GM. Then again, it may look like the sci-fi two headed alien Jerry's defenders felt they were guarding all those years! Congrats to Jerry West and his Laker AND basketball legacy." -- CA Indie

On who should be the next Laker to have a statue

"What do you think the Kobe statue should look like? I think it should be the pose where he is in the air getting ready for the reverse dunk with the ball down by his knees." -- Extensor

"The problem is that the Lakers have so many greats, it'll start looking like the Terra-cotta Warriors from Xi'an after a while... If you have Magic and West, you gotta have Kobe. But otherwise I agree with Jon K's solution of having a Lakers Hall of Fame nearby so you can honor all the others who don't have banners at Staples like Cooper, Horry, and Fisher." -- Scott

"All these names enumerated above are mere entertainers. They were fully compensated and multi millionaires at their own right. To recognize a few is enough but when you put so many statues there, it becomes a Marketing tool. It cheapens the honor bestowed on these individuals. I agree that West should be honored for his contributions made (including how he worked out Gasol for Kwame through Mr. Hershey j/k!) I just hope it will stop there. IMHO, it takes years after they're retired presumably when they already passed away when they start recognizing by putting up a statue." -- Edwin Gueco

"We need a Lakers Hall Of Fame (as opposed to NBA Hall Of Fame) Museum {or at least a park} to put statues of all the Lakers Greats. If it's a museum, we need installations for those Greats that didn't get their jerseys retired (Bob McAdoo, Jamaal Wilkes, George Mikan, Michael Cooper, Byron Scott, AC Green, Kurt Rambis, Robert Horry, Mike Penberthy (I'm just sayin'). The Lakers can make money out of a huge money out of a gift shop or admission or something. Whatever. I don't care. This needs to get done." -- Jon K.

"I've been wondering why Kareem doesn't have a statue as well...." -- Steve

"That whole area around Staples is a great place and there is plenty of room for more statues. Jerry West as the logo gets my vote, followed by the "Captain" Kareem. Kobe would be next in line, but he still has a lot to do before he is ready for a statue." -- Kobeayashimarue

"Kareem, of course. He has not received his due lately. No one even talks about him when discussing great players, even though he has the same number of NBA championships as Jordan (6) - oh and his college career wasn't bad either." -- Greywolf

"This is a truly wonderful thing for sure, but why is Kareem excluded? The man is a Laker and NBA icon as well, and statistically is one of the most dominate players of all-time. Then you factor in the UCLA years as well, and it is just odd that he doesn't have one yet. Not to take anything away from Mr. West, a great general manager who helped the Lakers even when he was not employed by the team (Thank you so much again for Pau!). But Kareem should be the next in line to be awarded this honor." -- TNTLakersfan

"When do we put up the statue for the greatest Laker of all-time. Kobe(Bean)Bryant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" -- Mr. Laker

"I hope they leave some space for Kobe's statue." -- Magic Phil

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Jerry West of the Lakers dribbles against Oscar Robertson of the Milwaukee Bucks during a game in January 1972. Credit: Malcolm Emmons / US Presswire

Readers caption photo of Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher embracing during ring ceremony

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Here are some of the best captions for the photo of Lakers guards Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher embracing Tuesday during the team's ring ceremony:

-- "It must be truly special for Derek and Kobe to share moments like that. From rookies in 1996 to 5 time champions in 2010, their journey together has been incredible. Included in that journey have been bitter defeats, including two in the Finals. Those type of experiences help form a bond and basketball brotherhood that no words can describe. The unabashed joy on their faces and the strength and warmth of their embrace says it all." -- bronxlakerfan

-- "The main sentiment and theme that this priceless photo conjures up for me (and please forgive the cliche) is "Brothers In Arms" - because that what these two, and this team, are/is all about." -- Jefe101

-- "I LOVE YOU MAN!!!" -- justanothermambafan

-- "Kobe: Hey Fish, these rings look nice, but a sixth one will look nicer! Fish: Yep, lets' plan another ceremony for this time next year!" Ramneet Singh

-- "We gonna need a box THIS BIG to hold all our rings." -- Jolly Rancher

-- " "Heart and Soul" of the Los Angeles Lakers" -- Kobeyashimarue

-- "Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven, but eight after all is said and done!" -- jaxxrelax

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com.

Photo: Kobe Bryant reaches out to hug Derek Fisher during the Lakers' ring ceremony on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Photo Caption Contest: Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher embrace during ring ceremony

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Usually, I put together these caption posts when I notice a funny Lakers picture circulating on the Internet. This one, however, proves caption-worthy simply because of the emotion and body language Lakers guard Kobe Bryant shows toward longtime teammate Derek Fisher. It's a touching photo and it's part of a great collection The Times' Wally Skalij and Gary Friedman documented during the Lakers ring ceremony before their season-opening 112-110 victory Tuesday over the Houston Rockets.

"This next guy I'm going to bring out, I'm not sure if you guys know who he is," Fisher said, tongue in cheek,  in the video below. "He doesn't do very much to help us at all, he kind of just runs up and down the court, plays defense every now and then, shoots up a couple shots every now and then, but in some kind of way he figures out how to will us to be the best year in and year out. His passion, his tenacity, the world's best basketball player, Mr. Kobe Bryant."

Bryant and Fisher then hugged. Bryant patted Fisher on the back, smiled, put a hand on his shoulder and then clasped his hand.

"It's special and you know about the bond that we share," Bryant said afterward. "For him to bring me out means a lot."

Bryant is correct in that the strong relationship between the two has been well documented. They played together as rookies in 1996 and the relationship flourished such that Bryant shared during the NBA Finals that Fisher's the only one on the team that he truly listens to, while Fisher stressed that his relationship with Bryant became the main factor in re-signing this off-season with the Lakers.

So this contest isn't so much about funny punch lines and zingers, so much as the sentiments you draw from this photo. The best caption will be featured in Thursday's links post.

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Kobe Bryant prepares to give point guard Derek Fisher a hug after Fisher introduced the Lakers' All-Star guard during the ring ceremony on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Readers share their photo captions of Ron Artest meeting former President Bill Clinton

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If fans of the L.A. Times Lakers blog had to guess, Ron Artest hit on many topics when he (along with Devin Ebanks and Sen. Harry Reid) met with former President Bill Clinton after Artest  received the key to Las Vegas on Tuesday for his work involving mental health issues. The readers talked world events, politics and hoops, wedged with a whole lot of jokes about Monica Lewinsky. Of course.

Below is a sampling of how you think their conversation went down.

"So Ron ... if you were going to suggest a psychiatrist for Sharron Angle, who would it be?" -- deezy76

"Can I be Hillary's running mate in 2016?" -- Allnet

"So, umm Mr. Clinton, do you think yo wife would like to speak on her mental illness?" -- Sean

"Bill: So Ron, are you REALLY giving away your championship ring? Devin: Can I PLEASE have it? Ron: Yes Bill, I am selling it. And Devin, you'll get one this time next season, don't worry!" -- Ramneet Singh

"Ron: '........and so Bill, that's how you should have solved that whole global warming thing when you were president.' Bill: 'I sure wish I would have thought of that Ron. Thanks. I'll let Al know right away.'" -- justanothermambafan

"OK, so the next time you and Reid are playing pickup ball against the prez at the White House, remember, just grab Obama's shorts as he's shooting a jumpshot and pull them down. It works, I've tried it..." CyberCosmiX

"'Bill, could you tell Hillary, that if they ever need a new Secretary of Defense, I'm their man.' 'Will do Mr. Artest, will do.'" -- Laker J

"Ron-Ron to Bill, as Devin and Sen. Reid remain speechless: 'No Mr. President, I never thought about doing that during the parade celebration ...*long pause* ... Now, I'm sure it tastes great when you dip a cigar in Hennessey...' -- Caliphilosopher

"Yes Ron, people have called me crazy too. There was that Monica thing and I am here supporting Harry Reid." -- GreatWesternForum

"If you put your hands behind you, like mine, you'll seem more open and trustworthy -- just sayin'." -- LuvThoseLakers

Photo credit: Shin Shin via yfrog

Photo Caption Contest: Lakers' Ron Artest and Devin Ebanks meet with former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Harry Reid

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It's hard to tell what kind of dialogue Lakers forward Ron Artest exchanged with President Bill Clinton after receiving the key to Las Vegas Tuesday for his philanthropic work involving mental health issues. But thanks to the Twitter account of Shin Shin, a Chinese musical artist Artest has promoted in the past year, we have a glimpse of how Artest interacted with a former head of state.

Usually those body-language segments Fox News' Bill O'Reilly presents on "The O'Reilly Factor" wind up becoming nothing but a self-serving story to fill up time. But if there is ever a moment to do one, this photo featuring Artest, Clinton, Sen. Harry Reid and Lakers forward Devin Ebanks would make for great analysis. I can't help but roll over laughing after seeing this photo because of the contrast between President Clinton and Artest. In a suit and tie, Clinton appears engaged and businesslike. Meanwhile, Artest, wearing a colorfully striped button shirt, seems friendly in his lovable, aloof sort of way, the kind of personality he shares with everyone, whether it's with the media, his teammates or just the average fan. Meanwhile, Sen. Reid and Ebanks are soaking it all in. Tweeted Ebanks this morning: "Wow what a night wit my teammates.... and did i really meet bill clinton last night? it doesnt seem real."

Thanks to Shin Shin's photo, we can definitively say yes. The only question remains: what did Clinton and Artest say to each other? Provide your answers and I will feature the best captions in a Thursday post.

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo credit:  Shin Shin via Twitpic

Readers share their photo captions for Ron Artest getting pulled over in a race car

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Here are some of the best captions for the photo of Lakers forward Ron Artest getting pulled over in a race car:

"What do you mean this thing can't fly?" -- Jon K.

"It's okay officer, I have a note from my doctor. This is part of my Post Championship Stress Disorder." -- Fresh

"Ron Ron: This is not what I had in mind when I said "Acknowledge me!"" -- wildone

"Officer: I had you clocked at over 200MPH on radar.........Ron : Are you a Laker Fan? Could I interest you in some front row seats?" -- tomK

""I'll have a cheeseburger, french fries, and a coke. No, make it onion rings instead of french fries. And do you still have those shamrock shakes?" -- LongTimeLakerFan

"I'm sorry Mr. Artest...A Ralphs Card is not an acceptable form of ID...And Mr. Artest...When I said insurance, I didn't mean the signing of Blake, Barnes and Ratcliff...." -- LEWSTRS

"Officer: 'Do you know why I pulled you over?' RonRon: 'No.' Officer: 'Neither do I -- hey! You're Ron Artest!!! Can you autograph my ticket book?' RonRon: "Sure. And you can follow me on Twitter!"' -- FEARless

"Officer: "See here... So when Kobe move to the post, you need to flash out to the perimeter...." -- HalosAnt

"Officer: Do you know how fast you were driving? Ron Ron: I was driving???" -- Alex V.

"Officer: "'You have to practice your defensive driving skills." Ron: "No worries, training camp is coming up'" -- LakerJ

"Sorry, Officer, I'm kind of in a hurry. McDonald's stops serving breakfast in 5 mins!" -- thechampishere

"Ron Ron: "I was just helping Kobe film another YouTube video of him jumping over a car." -- TylerO

--Mark Medina

mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Photo Caption Contest: Ron Artest pulled over in a race car

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Lakers forward Ron Artest just earned a new nickname: Speed Racer. In a post reported by TMZ, Artest was pulled over Monday in an Eagle Roadster -- an open-wheel Indy car -- because the registration on the car expired. In an interesting twist, TMZ says the car isn't even registered to Artest, but to a person in Tennessee.

There's no use trying to explain this -- just laugh. It's Ron Artest after all. The above photo reminds me of a scene in Liar Liar, a movie that features a hot-shot lawyer (Jim Carrey) who's incapable of lying for a day after his son makes it his birthday wish. After Carrey is pulled over for running various stop signs and red lights and for speeding, an officer asks him, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" Carrey responds, "It depends how long you've been following me."

As for Artest, I can't help but laugh when I see his innocent-looking grin as the officer is questioning him. Maybe he was just giving Artest props for wearing his helmet! The best caption to this photo will be featured in a morning links post.

-- Mark Medina
twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo credit: TMZ

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