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drewdawg
10-12-2005, 10:38 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/12/sports/basketball/12nets.html?oref=login

Artest Returns but Says He Won't Back Down

By JOHN ELIGON
</NYT_BYLINE>Published: October 12, 2005

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Oct. 11 - Before playing his first N.B.A. game in almost 11 months Tuesday night, Pacers (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/indianapacers/index.html?inline=nyt-org) forward Ron Artest insisted he had learned from last year's brawl with Detroit Pistons (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/detroitpistons/index.html?inline=nyt-org) fans, which resulted in the longest suspension in league history.
But even if he has matured, do not expect Artest to be mild-mannered every time he plays or politically correct every time he speaks.

Talking with reporters at Continental Arena before Indiana lost to the Nets (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/newjerseynets/index.html?inline=nyt-org), 105-103, in the preseason opener for both teams, Artest showed he was still in touch with his inner Rodman.
"I'm going to be very edgy, and I'm not going to balance it," he said. "I'm ready to play some games and sell some records."
Artest's return to the court went off without incident and he had 8 points and 3 rebounds. Perhaps more telling, however, was that the Nets' Vince Carter, whom Artest guarded during most of his 12 minutes in the game, scored 18 points.
"I thought Ron struggled," Pacers Coach Rick Carlisle said. "At times, he went away from what we were doing as a team, and that disappointed me."
The Nets' three stars - Carter, Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson - each played less than 20 minutes in the team's first tuneup.
Guard Zoran Planinic hit a running layup with 5.9 seconds remaining to give the Nets the victory.
The newly acquired big man Marc Jackson displayed Alonzo Mourning-like qualities. He was boisterous in every thing he did - screaming for help on defense, leaping over two Indiana players for a rebound and bowling into the lane to attempt a layup.
"That's just me," said Jackson, who sustained a mild groin strain but said he would be O.K. "I just love this game."
Artest seemed mellow. He has not played an official N.B.A. game, nor has he sold many records, since Nov. 19, when he climbed into the stands at the Palace of Auburn Hills in search of a fan who had thrown a cup of liquid on him. That cost Artest the final 73 games of the regular season, as well as the Pacers' 13 postseason games.
Artest made it clear that he was eager to lace up his basketball shoes again.
Artest, 25, said he played a lot of pickup games and practiced with the Pacers during his suspension. But he acknowledged he needed time to settle in.
"I've got to just let it come to me in the offense," Artest said after the game. "I just kept adjusting defensively. When I left last season, it was a totally different style, so I have to get back my timing and adjust."
Artest started on Tuesday night, but Carlisle has considered bringing him off the bench, hoping he will bring more offense to the second unit.
Although some may wonder whether Artest will be worried that the officials will watch him more closely than other players and will back down his aggressive play, Carlisle has no such apprehension.
"He's here to play, he's here to win," Carlisle said. "His moods are much more affected by winning and losing than anything else. I love having guys like that."
Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal said he was happy to have Artest back for his skills and his personality.
O'Neal said he had seen a relaxed Artest during training camp. Artest, usually quiet, has been very talkative and upbeat, O'Neal said.
"He's more at peace," O'Neal said. "He's a really happy guy right now. He really likes to be around the locker room and the guys now."
Fans at the Meadowlands had little reaction to Artest. But he will probably be subject to heckling as the season progresses. He assured that there would not be a repeat of what happened last year at the Palace.
"I'm only worried about my fans," Artest said. "That's it. Indiana fans."
</NYT_TEXT>

sweabs
10-12-2005, 10:42 AM
Jesus - btown, there are a couple more good quotes for your sig in there.

Slick Pinkham
10-12-2005, 10:46 AM
"I'm ready to play some games and sell some records."

:rolleyes:

Last year he played 7 games and sold about 7 records.

RWB
10-12-2005, 10:55 AM
Not to steal your thread dawg just thought this was too similar to create an additional thread. Thanks....

http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/1129096668213310.xml&coll=1&thispage=2


He claims that he's even looking forward to being asked the same old questions about his temper with every new city he visits this season.

His rationale:

"I get a chance to promote my album (entitled True Warrior). Nothing better than that," he said. "Jay-Z pays millions for promotion, I get it for free."

As for his game, he says it's changed for the better. He claims to be 260 pounds, which sounds like a stretch, but he insists it won't diminish the one area in which he beats the world -- pressuring the ball.

"I can still play defense," Artest said. "I play with my head anyway. I was never quicker than those other guys I was guarding. I don't dunk on people. I just know how to stop my opponent.

"I think my jumper is a little bit more (pure). I'm more automatic. I think I saw something last year in my team. I have confidence that we can win. They played great without me. I'm ready to come back and fit in."

Notes: The Nets' second/third unit played well last night -- notably Zoran Planinic (14 points), who played the point and hit a driving bank shot off a side out-of-bounds play with 5.9 seconds left to lift his team to a 105-103 victory in the preseason opener. Vince Carter led the Nets with 18 points. Artest played only 12 minutes, scoring eight points (3-for-8). ... Center Marc Jackson, who actually hit a 3-pointer, suffered a mild groin strain, but doesn't expect to miss any time. ... Jeff McInnis (back sprain) was the only Net who didn't suit up, but he continues to improve, even riding the stationary bike at a nice pace yesterday. He'll travel with the team tomorrow night to Charlotte, which is his hometown, but it's unlikely he'll play this week.... Jason Collins did play for the Nets despite recurring swelling in his right knee, and he even had a dunk in the first quarter.... Most of the Pacers big men sat out, including Jermaine O'Neal (right thigh contusion), Jeff Foster, David Harrison and rookie Danny Granger.

Kegboy
10-12-2005, 10:56 AM
Okay, to set the record straight for those who didn't see the game, Ron absolutely did not guard Vince most of the game. He started out on RJeff, and only played Vince briefly in the 3rd quarter when Jack didn't play. I remember him giving up a shooting foul to Carter, that's it. Those are the only points he gave up the whole game.

Spicoli
10-12-2005, 11:03 AM
Okay, to set the record straight for those who didn't see the game, Ron absolutely did not guard Vince most of the game. He started out on RJeff, and only played Vince briefly in the 3rd quarter when Jack didn't play. I remember him giving up a shooting foul to Carter, that's it. Those are the only points he gave up the whole game.

Yep. VC got most of his points over Jackson and AJ/Fred if I remember right...

Artest was on Jefferson almost all of the 1st quarter.

MagicRat
10-12-2005, 11:04 AM
Okay, to set the record straight for those who didn't see the game, Ron absolutely did not guard Vince most of the game. He started out on RJeff, and only played Vince briefly in the 3rd quarter when Jack didn't play. I remember him giving up a shooting foul to Carter, that's it. Those are the only points he gave up the whole game.

I didn't see it, I thought I remembered Artest guarding him briefly in the first quarter and giving up a shooting foul and a dunk. Seems like Slick made a comment when Jefferson went out that Ron held him scoreless, then Carter promptly scored on him after Jackson went out.........but I could be wrong...............