View Full Version : Mike Wells Q&A - 12/12/2005

12-13-2005, 11:18 AM

Mike Wells: Pacers Q&A

Indianapolis Star sports reporter Mike Wells answers your questions about the Pacers.
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Answers Posted Dec. 12, 2005

Question: I wrote to you a few days ago asking about Ron Artest trade rumors, and why there were any as I thought he was playing good basketball and had been a model citizen. Ron sure fooled me. He's a selfish player, not just that a selfish person. The Pacer franchise made him a star and gave him more chances than most people get in a lifetime. As a Pacer fan, I couldn't be more disgusted with him. How can anyone in their right mind say the things Ron did after all this franchise and its fans gave to him? Despite Artest causing the biggest sports riot in North American history the fans stood behind him, and this is how he repays them? Demanding a trade so he can take more shots. Well I say good riddance, its just a shame that Ron was in a Pacer uniform long enough to ruin Reggie's last season. I hope he never plays another game as a Pacer. (David from Milwaukee)

Answer: The Pacers have no choice other than trade Artest now. The Pacers have constantly defended him throughout all his ordeals only to have him come out and say the things he did. I don't know how anybody in the organization can depend on him now. He spent the offseason saying the right stuff on how he owed the franchise a championship and how we was going to be a good team player. We see how that turned out. He went as far as saying he doesn't like playing for Rick Carlisle. I don't see how his teammates would want to play with him after this ordeal. I think trading him is in the best interest of the organization and Pacers fans.

Question: Why did you decide to publish the article about Ron Artest before he had spoken to Donnie Walsh or Larry Bird? Don't you feel just a tad bit responsible for messing up this teams chemistry even more? (Dave from Montreal)

Answer: Normally I wouldn't pay attention to comment like that, but I figure I'll address the question since you were one of about five people to ask me. I would have to disagree with you, and everybody else, 100 percent about feeling a "tad bit" responsible for messing up the team's chemistry over the article. Ron knew what he was doing Saturday. It was obvious when he's looking at me and making comments about which teams he wouldn't mind making jump shots for every time he made a 3-pointer during his workout prior to our interview and telling me, "don't worry about it, I've got plenty of time," when we were doing the actual interview. So no, I don't feel responsible. I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't report what he said.

Question: Could you please find out when the last time the Pacers' roster was completley healty? Excluding Bender. Amazing that the Colts can go out and beat each other up and somehow play consecutive games, but the Pacers cannot. Bunch of pansies. (CT from Indianapolis)

Answer: I wasn't here at the time, but coach Rick Carlisle said the last time they were completely healthy was during their playoff series against Boston in 2004. If you don't count Bender, the Pacers could have a healthy roster this week if Tinsley and Artest return to the lineup. Of course, that's only if Artest hasn't been traded yet.

Question: Do you think Kevin Garrent would solve our team chemistry problem? Trading any two to three players except Ron Artest and Danny Granger to get him would stop all the foolishness in my opinion. (Darryl from Indianapolis)

Answer: I think trading for Garnett would be a great move because I think he's the second best power forward behind Tim Duncan and he's one of the most unselfish players in the league. The Pacers could use an unselfish player like Garnett. But let's be real, the Pacers aren't going to get K.G. Unlike Ron, Garnett hasn't come out and said he thinks he should play somewhere else. The Pacers would have to give up Jermaine to get Garnett. That's not happening, though, because many people in the organization like the way O'Neal is handling things on and off the court this season.

Question: Stephen Jackson is without a doubt the biggest cancer on our team. He's not a good shooter,takes bad shots, and continues shooting even when he hasn't made a shot all night long. He cries to the ref's and argues with his teammates. I love Larry Bird & Donnie Walsh, but aquiring him was a bad move. (Tim from Indianapolis)

Answer: Getting Jackson seemed to be the perfect move for the Pacers. Al Harrington wanted out of Indy and Jackson had championship experience playing with the Spurs, where he was a solid role player with them. Jackson was use to being one of top scoring options last season while Artest was suspended and Jermaine was out with his shoulder injury. He's had to adapt to being the third scoring option behind Jermaine and Ron this season, which has taken its toll. Jackson is a player that likes to be involved in the offense early or he gets bored and starts to get frustrated, which leads to him wanting to shoot the ball - whether a good shot or not - as soon as he touches it. The Pacers talked during the preseason about making sacrifices, but it's taken time for that message to sink into Jackson's head. Jackson's getting his touches now that Artest is out with his wrist injury. Now we're going to have to wait and see how Jackson will be when/if Artest comes back. I wouldn't be surprised if Jackson resorted back to his old ways at times when things aren't going good. The good thing is, he has come out and said he knows his emotions cause problems with the team at times.

Question: I am a Pacer fan stuck in Detroit Piston land and very disappointed in the play of the Pacers. How would you evaluated the Al Harrington for S. Jackson trade. I think the Pacers got the bad end of the deal. S. Jackson shoots to many three's and does little else from the games I watch. (Chris from South Lyon, Mich.)

Answer:I addressed the Jackson's attitude in an earlier question in this series, but I will say this, I think the Pacers should trade Artest for Harrington. They make about the same amount of money, the Pacers would get rid of the headache Artest has caused and Harrington will not only start at small forward, he will also play hard because he's in a contract year.

Frank Slade
12-13-2005, 01:43 PM
Interesting that he addressed the question about the timing of his interview.

Surely, there will still be fans that will find a way not to fault Artest, but thats just life.

Right but the point could be made. Mike does not print the story .
Artest waits until after the all-star break to say he wants out, then what..

12-13-2005, 01:46 PM
Mike Wells is a godsend.

Like he said, he's doing his job. It's obvious that Ron wanted to say something... well he did his job by asking him questions.

He got responses and put together the article. That's his job.

He has no fault in the current situation the team is in with Artest.

12-13-2005, 02:21 PM
Question: Could you please find out when the last time the Pacers' roster was completley healthy? Excluding Bender. Amazing that the Colts can go out and beat each other up and somehow play consecutive games, but the Pacers cannot. Bunch of pansies. (CT from Indianapolis)

Answer: Um, CT? Basketball players and football players are built differently. A 6' 10" player's legs would be snapped in half on the gridiron after a hit below the waist, which would be the first hit he received because he's, well, 6' 10". Oh, and CT? You're an idiot. Comes from upbringing. Your parents are probably idiots, too.