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Bball
12-14-2005, 01:52 AM
Captain loves Artest
By Steve Bulpett
Wednesday, December 14, 2005



The Celtics have placed the obligatory call to the Pacers to inquire about Ron Artest but, according to sources, there are no bargains to be had as Indiana tries to move the talented but troubled wing man.

There are no firm reports on what the Celtics may have brought up, but logic would say that Mark Blount and his contract were in the mix.

While teams this week tried to decide whether the entire package that is Ron Artest is right for their situation, Paul Pierce cast a yea ballot.

"Without question, I definitely wouldnít mind going to war with Ron Artest," the Celtics captain said yesterday.

Asked if Artestís emotional issues are offset by his talent, Pierce said, "I think so. I mean, it depends on the coach who can bring that all together. I think the coach has a lot to do with it. People will put him in a class with Dennis Rodman, but what Phil (Jackson) and Michael Jordan were able to do with him -- just bring out his talents and leave all that other stuff on the side -- it made it work."

Pierce, however, didnít bother to walk up the stairs at the Celtics practice facility to express his feelings to Danny Ainge.

"I donít think they (the Pacers) will trade him to the Eastern Conference," he said. "Itíd be nice though."

Meanwhile, Pierceís coach at first tried to avoid the Artest question.
"Iím not touching that one at all," Doc Rivers said. "Thatís a Danny Ainge question. I think you should ask him. I want to read that answer."

On the matter of players who are equally troubled and talented, Rivers said, "I think every case is individual. I would love to give you the Artest answer, but I really have not given it a lot of thought yet. But I do think from the (Terrell Owens of the world) to the Ron Artests, sometimes they fit and it works, and sometimes itís a bad gamble.

"Dennis Rodman, in my opinion, was a good gamble for every team he played on because, at the end of the day -- even with all his distractions -- when he got on the floor, he did his job and he did it extremely well. And it wasnít a distraction personally team-wise, it was more of a circus around him. I actually thought he helped us with the Spurs because while everyone was chasing his circus we could go home after the game. I thought he was a good distraction. Thereís other guys when theyíre attacking their teammates and all that stuff, those are bad distractions.

"With Artest, I donít know. I donít know if thatís good or bad. I know heís a hell of a player. Iíll say that. And itís rare that you have a guy that every night you can say, íYou stop him,í and you donít have to worry about him. Thatís a heck of a value."

The Pacers are putting Artest on the inactive list as they try to deal him. That means Pierce wonít have him in his way when Indiana visits the Garden tonight.

"Iím a little disappointed at that, man," Pierce said. "I think weíve really had some great battles over the years. Unfortunately, I guess the next time we do battle it wonít be with him in an Indiana uniform.

"I think heís pretty much the best defensive player in the NBA. Youíre talking about a guy who can defend pretty much four positions. Heís strong. Heís got good quickness, got great hands. And then the way his offense has been coming around, itís unfortunate that itís come down to this situation with him."

http://www.milforddailynews.com/sportsNews/view.bg?articleid=82850

Hoop
12-14-2005, 01:58 AM
I more good things said about Ron the better for us......... hopefully.