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NZPacer
12-13-2005, 05:26 AM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051213/COLUMNISTS01/512130410/1088/SPORTS04

Bob Kravitz
Team must change; player can't


By now, it's a bit late for the Indiana Pacers to have finally grown a backbone. They are right, of course, to accommodate Ron Artest's trade request, and I hope he enjoys scoring 27 points a night and losing 55 games a year in Toronto or Oklahoma City. But this should have been done long ago, long before Artest ever had a chance to destroy Reggie Miller's final year or undermine this year's team.
Even Monday, when team CEO Donnie Walsh stepped forward and said he would trade his team's perpetual headache, the Pacers gave Artest a break, giving him the Keyshawn Johnson treatment instead of suspending him without pay.

What else are they going to do when he's dealt? Pay his moving expenses? Send him a going-away present?
"I guess a leopard never changes his spots,'' Reggie Miller told me Monday in a telephone interview. "Look, I thought for sure, after a 73-game suspension, if you love the game that much -- which he says he does -- how can he not change?"
Then Miller paraphrased Malcolm X by saying he had been "bamboozled," "hoodwinked" and "led astray."
"Just like everybody else," Miller added.
Well, almost everybody.
That's what's still so hard to figure. How did so many good basketball people get so completely bamboozled and hoodwinked? It's not like there weren't a couple dozen hints that maybe Artest wasn't a beacon of righteousness and temperance. A guy murders a TV camera, commits a record number of flagrant fouls and heads into the stands to fight a fan, there's likely to be something amiss.
Maybe Walsh stuck with Artest because Walsh is a man with a huge heart, because he wanted to believe in the power of personal reform. Don't we all want to believe we're the ones who can help a misguided soul change for the better? That's noble and admirable in the field of social work, but in the NBA, it's rarely worth the heartache.
"I don't apologize for that,'' Walsh said. " . . . If anything, I'll feel we failed with Ronnie.''
Maybe team president Larry Bird stuck with Artest -- and posed with him on the cover of Sports Illustrated -- because he saw Artest as a kindred spirit, which, clearly, he is not.
Maybe, and I hate to be cynical about this, both Walsh and Bird saw they had a top-15 player who was making a relatively minuscule salary. Talent has always forgiven sin. Does anybody think the rarely used Eddie Gill would get a second chance, or an eighth chance, after wreaking that kind of havoc?
"It's sad because Indiana really has embraced Ron,'' Miller said. "He's never going to be embraced anywhere the way he was with the Pacers. If Indiana hadn't been so forgiving through the whole ordeal, I don't think the league as a whole would have accepted what was going on. And this year, everybody did.
"And now, it's like, 'You got us, Ron. You got us.' "
Fooled again.
Incredible.
So what's Artest really thinking here? That's increasingly hard to say. He talks about money, about being the primary scorer, about being haunted by his past -- like he wouldn't be haunted by his past if he took his game to the Yukon. Then, he gets mysterious, talks about how things were happening here that made him feel like the future was elsewhere.
If you try to make sense of Artest, you enter a maze without an exit.
"It can't be about money,'' Miller said. "Because if you can't be happy being on one of the four best teams in the league, being the second-leading scorer, getting the second-most shot attempts every night, and sometimes the most shots, if you can't be happy in a system like that, you will never be happy. Never."
He continued, "There has to be some underlying theme here. Maybe'' -- Miller laughed -- "he's getting bad advice from (agent) Drew Rosenhaus. Because he's not crazy. He's a smart guy who knows what he's doing and how to go about it. But in this instance, he's gone about it all the wrong way.
"There's no way you can do that to a team, from management to, especially, the players, the way they've backed you through all of this. This is no way to show your quote-unquote 'love for the team' and appreciation."
If there's something positive about this -- and we're stretching for this one -- it's that at least it's happened relatively early in the season. The Pacers can't hope to be a better team short term, not with Artest leaving and Jonathan Bender on the verge of retirement. But we've seen how they've played the past two games without Artest, wiping out Washington and Memphis. Given a chance to acquire and assimilate new talent, a more harmonious team may give the Pacers a better shot at a title than any involving Artest.
That, though, is up to the remaining players in that locker room, who no longer have Artest around as a handy excuse for distracted play. Say what you will, but Artest was among the most consistent players for a maddeningly inconsistent team. There are still in-house issues to be confronted, even without Artest.
At least, though, the Pacers have finally, smartly confronted the issue head on.
Too late, yes.
But better late than never.


Bob Kravitz is a columnist for The Indianapolis Star. Call him at (317) 444-6643 or e-mail bob.kravitz@indystar.com.


Copyright 2005 IndyStar.com. All rights reserved

Bball
12-13-2005, 05:34 AM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051213/COLUMNISTS01/512130410/1088/SPORTS04

Bob Kravitz
Team must change; player can't


There are still in-house issues to be confronted, even without Artest.


How maddenly incomplete that statement is... Who? What inhouse issues?

OK... Somebody tell me it's Kravitz and he's full of somthing... Just like you told us Stephen A was... and....

-Bball

NPFII
12-13-2005, 05:58 AM
How maddenly incomplete that statement is... Who? What inhouse issues?

OK... Somebody tell me it's Kravitz and he's full of somthing... Just like you told us Stephen A was... and....

-Bball

Are you kidding? A TRADE IS COMING!

Nobody knows if they'll still be here next week. This team is now entering a phase of proving itself without Artest, and then it will be shaken up by a trade. Anybody playing "the wrong way", or just having a bad game will automatically be shipped in trade rumors along with Mr. Nut.
Will it be Tinsley? Jax? Freddie? AJ? Cro? Saras?

God forbid we lose a few games - the whole team will be on the virge of a team-swap like the Hornets-Heat in the mid-90s.

Who knows?! Nothing will be as it was. Only after "The Trade" will matters start to settle down.

BigDawg44
12-13-2005, 08:06 AM
it will not be saras that is traded. Larry is not going to trade him, end of story, so just remove Runi from all of your trade rumors right now.

indygeezer
12-13-2005, 08:18 AM
I wonder, will TPTB "blow up" the team and rid ourselves of out other headcases or will they make the one and wait until summer to see how things go w/o Ron.


I also wanted to say....two editorials by RK in two days seems a bit like piling on, IMO

Unclebuck
12-13-2005, 08:47 AM
I wonder, will TPTB "blow up" the team and rid ourselves of out other headcases or will they make the one and wait until summer to see how things go w/o Ron.


I also wanted to say....two editorials by RK in two days seems a bit like piling on, IMO



He loves piling on, in fact he's rather good at it.

Doug in CO
12-13-2005, 09:27 AM
Is Drew Rosenhaus Artest's agent? It is mentioned almost on accident here. The Star is such a crappy paper because...

a) either they let an untrue fact slide through OR
b) they seem to have left out a major angle to this story - how could it not be mentioned until now?

PacerMan
12-13-2005, 09:47 AM
Wonderful article. Says it all.
And with Reg to back it up.
perfect.

ABADays
12-13-2005, 09:50 AM
I was thinking exactly the same thing Doug. Drew Rosenhaus. That could be part of the explanation and why his "agent" wasn't telling him to pipe down.

Look, I don't have a problem with the front office being loyal to a player - yes even to a fault. That has been one of the hallmarks of this franchise for a long time and it seems to have worked out for the most part. To be honest, I would be the same way. The sad part of Ron is there was not even a hint of a loyalty return. So a mistake was made. Big deal. I would have rather errored on the side of taking a chance than knee jerk response.

But what's done is done, it's time to move on.

Ragnar
12-13-2005, 10:02 AM
Could we get Bender to retire already? What is he waiting on? Or did he and they just did not cover it because of Ron.

blanket
12-13-2005, 10:58 AM
Then Miller paraphrased Malcolm X by saying he had been "bamboozled," "hoodwinked" and "led astray."
"Just like everybody else," Miller added.
Well, almost everybody.

:rolleyes: How much of Kravitz's gloating and I-told-ya-so's are we going to have to put up with?

Hicks
12-13-2005, 11:49 AM
Last I knew Ron doesn't have an agent anymore.

heywoode
12-13-2005, 11:54 AM
:rolleyes: How much of Kravitz's gloating and I-told-ya-so's are we going to have to put up with?

There isn't a finite number that large.

I would estimate we will have to listen to it PI times.

Mordecaii
12-13-2005, 12:20 PM
And Brown, a staunch proponent of tough defense, gushed over the 26-year-old forward.

"I think the guy's a great player," Brown said. "You'll have to ask Isiah; it's not my point to be talking about players on other teams. [But] he's great on both ends of the court. He's tremendous. Every night he goes out and gives an unbelievable effort."



http://www.nypost.com/sports/knicks/58604.htm

To be honest, I'm hearing absolutely glowing remarks from people that I would have expected to condemn and hate Ron... Do we have a shot at a better player than we expect considering Larry Brown of all people said this about Artest?????

Harmonica
12-13-2005, 12:36 PM
He loves piling on, in fact he's rather good at it.

Yeah, but honestly, can you refute or disagree with anything he said?

ChicagoJ
12-13-2005, 01:03 PM
Kravitz doesn't see the world through blue-and-gold glasses. You are entitled to dislike him for that, no big deal.

And he's not the sharpest spoon in the drawer, but it really took a tinted view of the world to completely deny that Ron was a problem.

Even most of Ron's fans would say, "he's a problem but he's worth it."

But in reality, Kravitz's gloating about being right should serve as a wakeup call to those of you that chose to bury your heads in the sand all along. After all, Ron's destructiveness was so obvious that even Kravitz could see it, so why couldn't some of you? Did the blue-and-gold glasses obscure that much reality? I'd be embarassed and lashing out at the 'messenger' too, I suppose.

Unclebuck
12-13-2005, 05:37 PM
Yeah, but honestly, can you refute or disagree with anything he said?


I know but I fully expect a coulmn from him in a few days about how he told everyone that Ron had to be traded. He should tell us what the Pacers should do now.

it is kinda like hearing someone now say the Pacers should trade Ron. Well no duh, how about a little foresight into what the Pacers will or should do next.


Jay I can assure you I'm not the least bit embarrassed about my support of Artest. And yes I was well aware of what Artest brought to the Pacers. I have never buried my head in the sand. I knew, but I still wanted Artest. I've said this for about three years now. - it was like a love affair - you see the flaws, you see that maybe she isn't good for you, but either you don't care or you proceed ahead anyway. That is how I was with Artest. Heck, I still love his game. And when he comes back in an opposing uniform I'll give him a polite ovation when his name is announced before the game.

BillS
12-13-2005, 06:23 PM
He loves piling on, in fact he's rather good at it.

<i><b>That's</b></i> for sure!

...uh...
...oops...

I thought you wrote "He loves giving people piles".

Never mind.

Pacesetter
12-13-2005, 07:07 PM
Kravitz and Ron should leave town together.