Ron Artest Wants Out Of LA?…Is He Nuts?
OK. I know, that was a dumb question. But, I’ll be nice and just say Ron is a very unique and special person. Ron Artest has not come out and publicly stated he wants out of LA, however, a source close to the situation says Ron wants out and he hopes he’s traded by the approaching deadline, February 24th. So, how real is the possibility that Ron-Ron could be on the move…AGAIN?
Artest’s agent, David Bauman did not comment on the rumor.
I asked the question yesterday to Craig Ackerman, the voice of the Houston Rockets, during a brief interview before the Rockets/Lakers game. I got the feeling everyone thought I was nuts for asking such a question, on if Ron Artest could be traded out of LA after GM Mitch Kupchak said earlier this week a trade could do the Lakers some good.
I didn’t think it was such a dumb question. And I’m not saying, “I told you so”, now that a story is out about the rumor Ron wants out of LA. But, I do feel like it is a strong possibility.
1. Ron Artest’s play has been substandard to that of last season’s success, that eventually took the Lakers to a 2nd straight NBA Title. Ron’s shooting percentage is down, not that he’s ever had a good one, but form bad to worse isn’t helping the Lakers any. His rebounding numbers are down, and not only are his minutes down, he has not been on the court regular in late game situations this season.
2. Lakers head coach, Phil Jackson is making the right move by not playing him late, because quite simply, Artest hasn’t earned the right to play late ion games, he’s not helping his team. He’s shown a great weakness this season by not taking criticism from his coach well at all. Phil Jackson is not just a great coach on the sidelines, but he does a lot of his coaching through the media, its been that way for years. Jackson isn’t afraid to call guys out. He’s called Kobe out numerous times over the years, and he’s responded. He criticized Artest’s play earlier this year and Ron promptly asked Phil to keep it down, because it wasn’t helping. The tough Ron-Ron, can’t handle tough love…he never has.
3. Lastly, I think the Lakers should give serious consideration to moving Ron, not just because of financial reasons, but it could be beneficial to both parties. Ron has not been able to grow comfortable in one destination his entire career. He wears his welcome out fast! Stops in Chicago, Indiana, Sacramento, Houston prior to coming to LA for the mid-level, 5 year $35 million deal he signed a year and a half ago, all a part of a weird 11 year career thus far.
Experts don’t think the Lakers could move Artest because of his play is obviously not up to par with his contract, though who’s is?
I’m not sure they get a deal done, I’m not sure if this “rumor” isn’t just another scene in what is the ongoing drama that is life in LA.
What I do think, is that a deal could do the both parties involved a world of good. If Ron can move on to another team that is vying for a deep run in the playoffs, he could be a difference maker, a change of scenery would do him good! People thought life in LA for Ron Artest, couldn’t be better. A metropolis full of fakes and weirdo’s…seemed like the perfect match.
Wrong! Ron wants and needs more attention he’s getting. Lately, he’s getting all kinds of attention he doesn’t want, and the attention the Lakers don’t need, as they try for their 3rd straight NBA Title.
For the Lakers, if they can find a team to take on Artest, his antics and large contract, LA may just get the shot in the arm they got a year ago when they initially traded for Artest.
Time will tell as it always does. For Ron, time is precious now, after 11 years in the league and a BIG contract, his days could soon be numbered as far as him thinking he’s still an “asset” as opposed to just an “ass”.