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Roaming Gnome
07-01-2008, 07:24 PM
Artest regrets not opting out


by Sam Amick
http://www.sacbee.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/463 (Sacramento Bee)

In an e-mail to ESPN.com, Ron Artest said he regrets not opting out of his contract by the June 30 deadline.

The backstory here involves a meeting the small forward had this morning with Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie and Artest's agent, Mark Stevens. It appears that Artest was under the impression that there was a high likelihood the Kings would discuss his eventual signing to a long-term extension. But after numerous sources have said for months that such a move was highly unlikely, Artest and Stevens had continued to talk as if it was a strong possibility.

Petrie said in a phone interview minutes ago that he had a "candid" conversation with Artest but that "he wasn't too inclined to (say) much further than that."

Stevens, who was unaware of Artest's comments, said "I'm not even near a TV, so I can't even respond to something I haven't seen....Whatever his reasons for feeling that way is, well we'll just see. I'm not going to respond to it." - Sam Amick


----------------------------------------------------------

Tick...tick...tick...Boom?

I'm sure a trade demand is to follow. Honestly, it might be a decent play to get a good contract while getting out of Sacramento. I just can't see him getting as much on the open market with his past making his future such a risk.

duke dynamite
07-01-2008, 07:28 PM
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ABADays
07-01-2008, 07:40 PM
I can't figure out how this guy stays out of the asylum.

YoSoyIndy
07-01-2008, 08:16 PM
What is Artest's trade value? He's no longer than young prospect w/ upside.

Trading him for Peja was a helluva deal for us regardless of what happened down the line. We couldn't have gotten anything better then or later.

Shade
07-01-2008, 08:53 PM
I can't figure out how this guy stays out of the asylum.

He must live in Gotham City.

Justin Tyme
07-01-2008, 09:09 PM
What is Artest's trade value? He's no longer than young prospect w/ upside.

Trading him for Peja was a helluva deal for us regardless of what happened down the line. We couldn't have gotten anything better then or later.


YES, we could have, but lets not rehash the past for the 1,001 time!

Aw Heck
07-01-2008, 09:11 PM
What? You don't want to give me a long-term contract extension? Why? I can't think of any reason why you wouldn't...
I can't think of a team that would want to take on Artest. Whoever does better hope he pushes them to the championship in that first season. Because after one season of good behavior (tops), Artest will kick your franchise's support beams out and have the house come tumbling down on you.

Justin Tyme
07-01-2008, 09:58 PM
I can't think of a team that would want to take on Artest. Whoever does better hope he pushes them to the championship in that first season. Because after one season of good behavior (tops), Artest will kick your franchise's support beams out and have the house come tumbling down on you.


I'm hoping he goes to the Lakers, they deserve each other!:D

btowncolt
07-01-2008, 10:02 PM
I hope we bring him back. I was just starting to become well-adjusted.

wintermute
07-01-2008, 10:04 PM
lakers and nuggets were supposed to be interested

he's a great trade piece now for the kings. and i think they'll almost certainly trade him. ron would be a boost to a contending team, and as an expiring deal the risks are reduced.

Shade
07-01-2008, 10:12 PM
I hope we bring him back. I was just starting to become well-adjusted.

Liar.

ChicagoJ
07-01-2008, 11:00 PM
Liar.

Free Btown.

Anthem
07-01-2008, 11:05 PM
Technically, RonRon just went Dale Davis on the Kings.

pizza guy
07-02-2008, 12:20 AM
I hope he goes to the Lakers, and insists to be the primary offensive weapon.

--pizza

BoomBaby31
07-02-2008, 01:17 AM
I can't think of a team that would want to take on Artest. Whoever does better hope he pushes them to the championship in that first season. Because after one season of good behavior (tops), Artest will kick your franchise's support beams out and have the house come tumbling down on you.

Lakers would take him, Kobe could keep him in check no doubt about it.

2minutes twowa
07-02-2008, 09:19 AM
Technically, RonRon just went Dale Davis on the Kings.

Please don't compare DD with RonRon.

Mourning
07-02-2008, 09:32 AM
I hope he goes to the Lakers, and insists to be the primary offensive weapon.

--pizza

Woohaaa!!! That would be FABULOUS!!! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Justin Tyme
07-02-2008, 09:41 AM
Lakers would take him, Kobe could keep him in check no doubt about it.

No one can keep Artest in check... not even himself!

Mourning
07-02-2008, 09:44 AM
Lakers would take him, Kobe could keep him in check no doubt about it.

Yeah, keep telling that you might even convince yourself :).

ChicagoJ
07-02-2008, 11:40 AM
Lakers would take him, Kobe could keep him in check no doubt about it.

Good luck with that idea.

Kobe will force him to take his medicines?

I'd like to see Artest join the Lakers about as much as I'd like Tinsley to join the Celtics.

Arcadian
07-02-2008, 11:47 AM
But did you see Kobe yell at his teammates in finals? He is a leader.

NuffSaid
07-02-2008, 11:57 AM
I can't think of a team that would want to take on Artest. Whoever does better hope he pushes them to the championship in that first season. Because after one season of good behavior (tops), Artest will kick your franchise's support beams out and have the house come tumbling down on you.
Actually, a few teams have been interest in acquiring Artest, i.e., Nuggets, Lakers, even the Mavs at one point. Despite his obvious mental flaws, GMs still recognize that Artest is a rare commodity - a player who performs consistently on both sides of the ball.

He's a nutcase, that's for sure! But there's no arguing that when he hits the hardwood his as competitive as they come.

Los Angeles
07-02-2008, 03:52 PM
I'd like to see Artest join the Lakers about as much as I'd like Tinsley to join the Celtics.
If that happened I would throw a party. Seriously.

MyFavMartin
07-02-2008, 04:21 PM
Actually, a few teams have been interest in acquiring Artest, i.e., Nuggets, Lakers, even the Mavs at one point. Despite his obvious mental flaws, GMs still recognize that Artest is a rare commodity - a player who performs consistently on both sides of the ball.

He's a nutcase, that's for sure! But there's no arguing that when he hits the hardwood his as competitive as they come.

I could see Miami being interested and sending Marion for Artest and taking one of Sacto's bad contracts (Kenny Thomas, Shareef)...

Anthem
07-02-2008, 08:51 PM
Please don't compare DD with RonRon.
I'm just saying, this is a Dale Davis move, not a RonRon one.

This exact stunt is why Dale got dumped from the Pacers.

BoomBaby31
07-02-2008, 09:27 PM
No one can keep Artest in check... not even himself!

Well Artest is entering "psycho" and leaving "baby", much like T.O in the NFL. If Artest goes to L.A he will be around more sound players and will feel like he is competing for a championship every year. He will turn into a total different person just like T.O did when he went to the Cowboys.

YoSoyIndy
07-02-2008, 09:38 PM
YES, we could have, but lets not rehash the past for the 1,001 time!

1,001 times isn't really that much considering this site has over a half million posts.

Roaming Gnome
07-03-2008, 12:00 AM
I'm just saying, this is a Dale Davis move, not a RonRon one.

This exact stunt is why Dale got dumped from the Pacers.

Ooh, I originally thought that you were making a "Michael Smith/Dale Davis" reference. You know when Dale tried to make Smith's neck disappear by knocking his head into his chest cavity about a dozen years ago.

VF21
07-03-2008, 01:59 PM
Well Artest is entering "psycho" and leaving "baby", much like T.O in the NFL.

Erm, no. Just because the media didn't get wind of something, doesn't mean there haven't been episodes that have you envisioning Anthony Perkins in a bizarre wig and old-lady dress.


If Artest goes to L.A he will be around more sound players and will feel like he is competing for a championship every year. He will turn into a total different person just like T.O did when he went to the Cowboys.

If - and that's a really big unsubstantiated if at this point since Petrie rarely trades within the conference - Artest goes to the Lakers, they're going to be trying to keep his ego in check (remember he thinks he's every bit as good as Kobe Bryant) while they deal with the original Brave Little Soldier (Kobe, for those who aren't familiar with my favorite family-friendly nickname for 8/24).

This latest episode was the final nail in the coffin for some of the most loyal Artest fans in the King-dom. While a number of us took the advice of Pacer fans early on and didn't listen to anything out of Artest's mouth, some really bought into being loyal followers of the Tru Warier. And, as you all could have told them, they ended up with their still-beating hearts ripped out of their chests and stomped on the ground as they watched.

Ron Artest the human being has a good heart. Unfortunately, he also has a myriad of emotional and mental issues no sports fan is ever going to be able to embrace. And those issues are going to follow him no matter where he goes.

I posted a rather lengthy diatribe directed at him on our board. My main message? SHUT UP! He should forever and completely cease any kind of communication with the media.

I wish him well but just not here. Not now, not any more. I didn't want him to begin with and I'm already buying the beer for the party I'll throw when he's gone. (Of course, the way California is bursting into flames on an hourly basis, I may have to use the beer a second time, if you catch my drift.)

:p

On a somewhat related note, the Lakers and their fans should be very careful what they wish for. But what do Pacers fans and Kings fans know? The evil VF21 actually laughs :devil: when pondering the problems of a team with two Kobes.

Bwahahahahaha!

clownskull
07-03-2008, 02:27 PM
Well Artest is entering "psycho" and leaving "baby", much like T.O in the NFL. If Artest goes to L.A he will be around more sound players and will feel like he is competing for a championship every year. He will turn into a total different person just like T.O did when he went to the Cowboys.

sorry if i am sounding like i'm mocking you but,--
you almost have to be as deranged as ronny himself to believe he can ever get it together.
this isn't like a case of where the bulls took rodman and mj and phil were able to keep that guy in check. rodman's antics were almost entirely for show and the shock and awe factor. he was fake crazy. ron is the real deal. he is full-blown looney tunes. the man has fruit loops for brains. he will ruin any team he goes to. if not the lakers, i wouldn't mind him on the knicks (although that is sadly doubtful now that donnie is there) yeh, he might hold it in check for a short time like a few months but, sooner rather than later, he will be back to the same old chit.
you simply can't fix the unfixable.

CableKC
07-03-2008, 02:35 PM
Erm, no. Just because the media didn't get wind of something, doesn't mean there haven't been episodes that have you envisioning Anthony Perkins in a bizarre wig and old-lady dress.



If - and that's a really big unsubstantiated if at this point since Petrie rarely trades within the conference - Artest goes to the Lakers, they're going to be trying to keep his ego in check (remember he thinks he's every bit as good as Kobe Bryant) while they deal with the original Brave Little Soldier (Kobe, for those who aren't familiar with my favorite family-friendly nickname for 8/24).

This latest episode was the final nail in the coffin for some of the most loyal Artest fans in the King-dom. While a number of us took the advice of Pacer fans early on and didn't listen to anything out of Artest's mouth, some really bought into being loyal followers of the Tru Warier. And, as you all could have told them, they ended up with their still-beating hearts ripped out of their chests and stomped on the ground as they watched.

Ron Artest the human being has a good heart. Unfortunately, he also has a myriad of emotional and mental issues no sports fan is ever going to be able to embrace. And those issues are going to follow him no matter where he goes.

I posted a rather lengthy diatribe directed at him on our board. My main message? SHUT UP! He should forever and completely cease any kind of communication with the media.

I wish him well but just not here. Not now, not any more. I didn't want him to begin with and I'm already buying the beer for the party I'll throw when he's gone. (Of course, the way California is bursting into flames on an hourly basis, I may have to use the beer a second time, if you catch my drift.)

:p

On a somewhat related note, the Lakers and their fans should be very careful what they wish for. But what do Pacers fans and Kings fans know? The evil VF21 actually laughs :devil: when pondering the problems of a team with two Kobes.

Bwahahahahaha!
Thanks for the post. Which Kings Forum do you usually post to?

I haven't been able to listen to KHTK 1140 as of late to see what Grant Napier was thinking.....and I was curious to see what Kings Fans were thinking.

I forget....was the Agent that Artest has now...the same agent he had when he was here in Indy? If it's the same one....then I really think that he should change Agents. From the little that I have read about this situation.....how Artest could be led to believe that the Kings wanted to extend him and completely being wrong about that assumption....somewhat falls into what his Agent should know. I find it hard to believe that in all the negotiations that they have had....the they were led to think that the Kings were considering keeping him Long-term and not the opposite ( given that they tried to move him before the trade deadline ).

About Artest going to the Lakers and playing with Kobe....I disagree. I think that Artest is the type of person/player that would respect Kobe and could actually play well behind Kobe in the lineup. If anything....if there is a Coach in the league that could actually "mellow" Artest out.....it would be the ZenMaster. However, I will say that given Artest's desire to get paid....I really doubt that he would go for a Championship ring and give up any chance that he has at getting more $$$.

Since Artest did decide to not Opt out......IF Artest is traded....whose in the drivers seat? I think it's the Kings, right?

Another solution...IF the Kings wanted to save $$$ and simply wanted to get rid of the headache that is known as Artest....they can negotiate a buyout. In all honesty.....I can see Artest going "Artest" on you guys and continue to erode whatever trade value he has.

Unclebuck
07-03-2008, 02:40 PM
I still have a soft spot in my heart for Artest - not really sure why - well actually there are a few reasons, but I would rather not get into everything and dredge up any old arguments.

CableKC
07-03-2008, 03:00 PM
I still have a soft spot in my heart for Artest - not really sure why - well actually there are a few reasons, but I would rather not get into everything and dredge up any old arguments.
UB, are you sure that this soft spot in your heart isn't some pre-existing condition that is worsened everytime the subject of Artest comes up?

ChicagoJ
07-03-2008, 03:13 PM
Right. Rodman was a media/ attention whore who could be persuaded to believe that he'd get more media/ attention by playing alongside MJ, Scottie and Phil.

Artest is mentally ill.

There is a big, big difference.

Mourning
07-03-2008, 04:21 PM
On a somewhat related note, the Lakers and their fans should be very careful what they wish for. But what do Pacers fans and Kings fans know? The evil VF21 actually laughs :devil: when pondering the problems of a team with two Kobes.

Bwahahahahaha!

Prepare for an invasion of Laker fans and Laker fan wannabees on your board when these rumours start flowing in the media, just sayin...

;)

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

Peck
07-03-2008, 04:30 PM
My only statement that I have to make about this is what I have always said.

Being selfish is not a mental illness. Being disruptive because you are self centered is not a mental illness.

Ron does have a mental problem, but people let him off the hook way to easily by using the "he's nut's" statement.

Yes, he has a legitimate medical condition.

However that does not explain or excuse all of his bad behavior.

Ron is just a person just like anyone else. He has both good and bad sides to him.

To many times though people use the (he has a heart of gold and truely cares) excuse for him when at the end of the day that is all it is, an excuse.

He is self centered and is a total distraction because he chooses to be, not because he has a medical condition that makes him this way.

Shade
07-03-2008, 06:57 PM
Ron is selfish and stupid, not "mentally ill."

Roaming Gnome
07-03-2008, 07:08 PM
My only statement that I have to make about this is what I have always said.

Being selfish is not a mental illness. Being disruptive because you are self centered is not a mental illness.

Ron does have a mental problem, but people let him off the hook way to easily by using the "he's nut's" statement.

Yes, he has a legitimate medical condition.

However that does not explain or excuse all of his bad behavior.

Ron is just a person just like anyone else. He has both good and bad sides to him.

To many times though people use the (he has a heart of gold and truely cares) excuse for him when at the end of the day that is all it is, an excuse.

He is self centered and is a total distraction because he chooses to be, not because he has a medical condition that makes him this way.

I remember the first time you said this to me in person at a game, and it is something that just stuck with me. It is easy to say that he is nuts because his behavior is so out of whack, but when we do that we all are just making excuses to his real problem... "his selfish ego".

Personally, I will never again say that Ron is nuts or crazy, just a selfish jerk that is a nice guy when things are going his way... but in the end he only cares about himself.

Shade
07-03-2008, 07:18 PM
I remember the first time you said this to me in person at a game, and it is something that just stuck with me. It is easy to say that he is nuts because his behavior is so out of whack, but when we do that we all are just making excuses to his real problem... "his selfish ego".

Personally, I will never again say that Ron is nuts or crazy, just a selfish jerk that is a nice guy when things are going his way... but in the end he only cares about himself.

This is personally how I feel about Kobe as well.

YoSoyIndy
07-03-2008, 08:04 PM
I still have a soft spot in my heart for Artest - not really sure why - well actually there are a few reasons, but I would rather not get into everything and dredge up any old arguments.

It's hard not to have a soft spot. I think everyone had a friend that had similar issues as Artest. He tries hard and tries to do the right thing, but he rarely ended up on the right side of decision making.

It didn't hurt that he had the chance to become the 25-7-5 guy on a championship team. I've wished him well and appreciate the love he tries to give fans when he comes back.

You just can't forget or he'll bite you.

Mourning
07-03-2008, 08:32 PM
If that happened I would throw a party. Seriously.

Me too!!! :woohoo: That would be ALMOST as good as the Pacers winning the Finals.... ALMOST!




PS: count the Knicks in on that small group aswell...

imawhat
07-03-2008, 08:54 PM
Ooh, I originally thought that you were making a "Michael Smith/Dale Davis" reference. You know when Dale tried to make Smith's neck disappear by knocking his head into his chest cavity about a dozen years ago.

That's what I thought the reference was as well.

Btw, I think it was early '95/'96. Also, fight went on for a long time as it was during the ref. strike and there wasn't an extra body to separate the players from fighting.

Pacers got embarrassed that game. I think final score may have been around 15 pt. loss, but it was much worse.

VF21
07-04-2008, 11:46 PM
Thanks for the post. Which Kings Forum do you usually post to?

Kingsfans.com


Since Artest did decide to not Opt out......IF Artest is traded....whose in the drivers seat? I think it's the Kings, right?

Petrie is in the driver's seat and if the grapevine is anything close to accurate, he's going to move Artest for the first legitimate offer that comes along.


Another solution...IF the Kings wanted to save $$$ and simply wanted to get rid of the headache that is known as Artest....they can negotiate a buyout. In all honesty.....I can see Artest going "Artest" on you guys and continue to erode whatever trade value he has.

We have Kenny Thomas that will more than likely be receiving a buy-out. If they don't find someone to take Artest, they won't buy him out. If he tries to go "Artest" again, he'll simply become a missing man as far as the Kings lineup is concerned. The Maloofs and Geoff Petrie have had enough. They're not going to put up with anything else.

VF21
07-04-2008, 11:48 PM
Prepare for an invasion of Laker fans and Laker fan wannabees on your board when these rumours start flowing in the media, just sayin...

;)

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

Invasion of Laker fans? Not a problem.

;)

VF21
07-04-2008, 11:51 PM
My only statement that I have to make about this is what I have always said.

Being selfish is not a mental illness. Being disruptive because you are self centered is not a mental illness.

Ron does have a mental problem, but people let him off the hook way to easily by using the "he's nut's" statement.

Yes, he has a legitimate medical condition.

However that does not explain or excuse all of his bad behavior.

Ron is just a person just like anyone else. He has both good and bad sides to him.

To many times though people use the (he has a heart of gold and truely cares) excuse for him when at the end of the day that is all it is, an excuse.

He is self centered and is a total distraction because he chooses to be, not because he has a medical condition that makes him this way.

This has to be the best one-line description of Artest I've ever seen, and the most accurate.

He even made a media contact on Draft Day just so he'd be the topic of discussion and not our newest King. We've been calling it D3 - Draft Day Dramatics.

Doddage
07-05-2008, 01:12 PM
We have Kenny Thomas that will more than likely be receiving a buy-out.
Oh now, I know you don't want to do that. You know you'd like to get some value back for him instead...

:cough: :jamaaltinsley:

Udrih could use a sidekick, ya know.

Naptown_Seth
07-05-2008, 02:45 PM
I lost it for Ron when he went on TV and asked for the trade. His talk of where he ranked, wanting more shots, etc reeked of "gots ta get paid" more than "nuts".

I agree that his problem is that he is selfish. Crazy but team oriented would be something I could actually handle.

BlueNGold
07-07-2008, 09:53 PM
This has to be the best one-line description of Artest I've ever seen, and the most accurate.

He even made a media contact on Draft Day just so he'd be the topic of discussion and not our newest King. We've been calling it D3 - Draft Day Dramatics.

VF21 - I recall you had reservations about Artest early on. Good job. Many fans, including myself, were hypnotized by his talent. Thanks for adding your thoughts...

CableKC
07-08-2008, 01:14 PM
It appears that Mr.Hyde has reverted back to Dr.Jekyl:

http://www.sacbee.com/kings/story/1066596.html


From http://www.sacbee.com
Posted by Sam Amick

Written by One week after expressing regret over his decision to not opt out of his contract this summer, small forward Ron Artest issued an apology to the Kings and vowed to move on from the situation.

"I do apologize for being mistakenly frustrated with the Kings," Artest wrote in an e-mail sent to The Bee and ESPN on Monday morning. "It was a mistake that I made and I will move on from."

Artest's emotional response stemmed from a conference call he had with his agent, Mark Stevens, and Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie on July 1.

According to numerous sources close to the team, Artest – who had until June 30 to exercise his early termination option and become a free agent – came in expecting to discuss a long-term, lucrative contract but was told the Kings were not prepared to have such talks.

Artest, who will earn $7.4 million this season and be an unrestricted free agent next summer, reiterated that he was told before the meeting that the Kings were interested in a long-term deal. The message, however, made it clear he was not in their long-term plans.

"I had wrong info about extension options and it could have cost me a new deal," Artest wrote. "I was informed that the Kings had me in their long-term plans, so that's why I decided to stay in contract. I just wanted to show loyalty.

"However, when I spoke to the Kings, that was not an option and I grew frustrated with my decision immediately."

Artest and Stevens have declined to discuss specifics of what took place leading up to the deadline. Stevens, who was not Artest's agent when he signed his current contract, said he still believes the right decision was made.

"Of course Ron would like a new contract, but like everything else, it's a process and we have to wait and go through the process," Stevens said. "If I had to do it again tomorrow, I probably would (not have Artest opt out). I mean I think (the Kings) have great owners, a great general manager, and at the end of the day they're going to do what's best for Ron and for the Kings."

Asked about Stevens in a subsequent e-mail, Artest said the recent saga wouldn't change their business relationship.

"We (are) coming up together," he wrote. "Mark is a very successful businessman."
I guess it's not surprising that he would go out to clarify his position....Artest always wants to be looked on as the "nice guy" to the fans. I don't necessarily think that he is crazy...I just think that he has a very bad Agent that has no clue how to really handle a player like Artest ( both on a personal and a professional level ) and I still get the sense that Artest has a very big Ego that wants to be paid the $$$ that he thinks he deserves.

I feel that he does deserve to get paid a little bit more...maybe in the $8-9 mil range for 4 years...but I'm guessing that he wants to be paid what Brand, Arenas and Baron are getting paid ( in the $12+ mil range ) for the long term.

juadam09
07-08-2008, 06:52 PM
I thought he fired a agent and said he would never need to have one in the future. Of course taking anything he says at face value is silly in itself....................

As for his agent being bad, Im not sure I agree with that. Is there anyone in the universe who really knows how to deal with someone as stuck on himself like Artest?

As for his deserving more I think he does, but all his antics will never allow that to happen.

It is sad because he used to be one of my favorite Pacers, and I still love his intensity, but like Peck said above he is so stuck on himself he just digs himself a whole and doesn't know how to shut his mouth.

CableKC
07-08-2008, 06:57 PM
Is there anyone in the universe who really knows how to deal with someone as stuck on himself like Artest?
Yes, whoever is the agent for Kobe.

I asked this before...but I forget whether Artest's current agent is the same one he had when he was here in Indy. Anyone know?

juadam09
07-08-2008, 07:00 PM
I dont know, but his agent right know only represent him. I thought it was Arn Tellem who used to represent him, but I honestly dont know that for sure.

Arn Tellem represents Kobe, or at least he did last I heard. I beleive he also is JO's agent

VF21
07-09-2008, 02:12 AM
Yes, whoever is the agent for Kobe.

I asked this before...but I forget whether Artest's current agent is the same one he had when he was here in Indy. Anyone know?

His former agent was Marc Bartelstein. His current agent is Mark Stevens.

NuffSaid
07-13-2008, 11:33 PM
From ESPN.com

Artest hopes for trade from Kings, will act as own agent

By Marc Stein
ESPN.com
(Archive (http://x.go.com/cgi/x.pl?goto=http://search.espn.go.com/keyword/search?searchString=marc_stein&name=SEARCH_m_archive&srvc=sz))


<!-- end story header --><!-- begin left column --><!-- begin page tools -->Updated: July 13, 2008, 7:30 PM ET


<!-- end page tools --><!-- begin story body --><!-- template inline -->LAS VEGAS -- Sacramento Kings (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=sac) forward Ron Artest (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3339) joined teammates Kevin Martin (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3843), Beno Udrih (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3845) and Shareef Abdur-Rahim (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3098) as celebrity spectators for the Kings' first game in the NBA Summer League on the campus of UNLV.
But Artest isn't feeling like a King.

<!-- INLINE HEADSHOT (BEGIN) -->
http://assets.espn.go.com/i/nba/profiles/players/65x90/3339.jpg
Artest

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In a series of e-mails he sent to ESPN.com late Saturday and early Sunday, Artest continued to lament his decision to pass on an opportunity to become a free agent July 1 by announcing that he is now representing himself without an agent and expressing hope that he will soon be traded to "a team out there that can be more committed than Sacramento to me."

That team is believed to be the Los Angeles Lakers (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=lal). Almost from the minute they were routed by the Boston Celtics (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=bos) in Game 6 of the NBA Finals -- which Artest attended in Boston to root for friends Kobe Bryant (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3118) and Lamar Odom (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3327) -- it has been strongly expected throughout the league that the Lakers would revisit their longstanding trade interest in Artest and eventually acquire the enigmatic forward sometime this summer to address the defense and toughness issues that the Celtics exposed.

But NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com on Sunday that the Lakers -- fond as they are of Artest and confident as they are that they can get the best out of him through Phil Jackson's coaching and Artest's respect for Bryant -- are reluctant to part with Odom in an Artest swap. That stance, if the Lakers hold firm, would almost certainly prompt Sacramento to look elsewhere for a trade partner.

The most consistent trade chatter involving Artest suggests that the Kings would want Odom in return for Artest and Kings forward Kenny Thomas (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3345).

Artest, for his part, is now openly pushing for a move, telling ESPN.com that he's suddenly feeling a chill from Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof in the same desert where, just two summers ago in 2006, Joe Maloof proclaimed him to be the new "face of our franchise." (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&id=2513148)

Questioning his future with Sacramento in an all-over-the-map manner, as only he can, Artest needed just a few sentences to put Kings coach Reggie Theus on par with Jackson, second-guess the Kings' decision to fire Rick Adelman in May 2006, speak of a hypothetical move to his hometown New York Knicks (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=nyk) and describe the Lakers' Jackson as an ideal coach.

"It's weird because [the] Maloofs [were] high on me [after] the initial trade," Artest wrote, referring to the January 2006 deal that brought him from the Indiana Pacers (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=ind) to the Kings in exchange for Peja Stojakovic (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3119). "But during this opt-out time in my career I have not heard from them. That should have been a sign to me that my future in [Sacramento] is N/A or undetermined.

"In a way I wish this [coming 2008-09 season] would have been [Theus'] first year and [Adelman] would have left this summer, because it could have showed how much [of] a winner I am. Guys like Rick Adelman and Rick Carlisle that out of me. Isiah [Thomas] was going to bring that out of me if he didn't get fired [by the Knicks]. A coach like Phil Jackson can bring that out me."

"Reggie more than qualifies," Artest continued. "[But] as much as I have to prove I can win like a Rasheed [Wallace] (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3006) or [Kevin] Garnett (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3007) in the first year [with their] respective [new] teams, I can make an argument [that] firing Rick Adelman was not the best thing to do. It put me in a position where I had to start over. The good thing is, I should be in my prime at 32 years old, so I have time and, with faith in God, I can move ahead with progress to reach success."

On the first day of free agency, after seeing Elton Brand (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3324) and Baron Davis (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3326) unexpectedly put themselves on the free-agent market when it was widely assumed that they wouldn't opt out, Artest told ESPN.com that he immediately regretted his decision (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3469895) not to opt out of the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted agent. The 28-year-old instead elected to play out the final year of his contract with the Kings at $7.4 million, as he had vowed for weeks. But he apparently did so believing that the Kings would consider signing him to a contract extension this summer, even though there had been little indication from Sacramento management that it was preparing to make such an offer.

Artest emerged from a July 1 meeting with Kings president Geoff Petrie saying that he "made the biggest mistake by staying in my contract" after it was made clear to him that his long-term future lay elsewhere.

"I don't see myself with [the] Kings beyond 2008-09," Artest said then.

He lately apologized publicly in an e-mail to ESPN.com and The Sacramento Bee "for being mistakenly frustrated with the Kings" and called it "a mistake that I made," but the conciliatory tone didn't last long.

"After being around the Kings and letting the missed opportunity soak in, it makes me hungry to play good basketball this year," Artest wrote Sunday. "My agent at the time [Mark Stevens] did not pay attention to the last minute of the opt-out hour and David Falk and all these other agents pulled a fast one. They were so smart to opt out [at] the last minute.

"I hope I can go with a team who can commit to me on whatever the terms may be. Even in Indiana when they were worried about extending me, I still produced for them. I do believe [there is] a team out there that can be more committed than Sacramento to me. Now that I'm my own agent, I can get a better feel on how teams really view me because I can represent myself.

"When my agent at the time asked me not to opt out so the Kings can get something in return, I thought it was the right thing to do. I didn't want to leave them out there after all they did for me. But [by] doing that, I'm left out in the cold and still being experimented on like a lab rat. Wherever I'm at next year I can't wait to work.

"When Rick Adelman got fired and Bonzi [Wells] (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3254) didn't get re-signed, that messed up my legacy as a King because we were headed in the right direction. Now it's like I have to re-identify what type of team play I can bring to a team.

"I was blinded by friendship. Even Mama Maloof [Colleen Maloof, Joe and Gavin's mother] told me she wanted me to stay. I never knew that meant one more year. I thought it meant several. When Mama [Maloof] talks, you listen, and it's a must you consider and take heed to what she is saying.

"I didn't know I would be on this roller-coaster ride. Even my coaches convinced me things will be OK. I guess they didn't know, either, that would mean a couple more years. I feel like I let my family down by not being a smarter businessman."
The Kings would undoubtedly counter that it's the team, like Artest's previous employers in Chicago and Indiana, who have been subjected to the roller-coaster ride by the rugged forward's unpredictable nature. Artest revitalized the Kings in his first half-season in town, powering Sacramento into the 2006 playoffs and a feisty first-round loss to the San Antonio Spurs (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=sas) that was more competitive than most experts predicted. But legal troubles and friction with then-coach Eric Musselman in 2006-07 were followed by Musselman's dismissal after just one season on the bench, with Artest revealing late in the season that he strongly contemplated retirement to spend more time with his family.

Artest missed the first seven games last season to serve a league suspension after a no-contest plea to infliction of injury on his wife. He went on to miss 18 more games through injury, but Sacramento weathered its myriad dramas and health issues -- as well as the midseason trade of Mike Bibby (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3245) to Atlanta -- to exceed most preseason forecasts and post a 38-44 record under Theus. Artest wound up having one his best statistical seasons -- averaging 20.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 57 games -- and has claimed often that the Kings would have been right there with the eight 50-win teams in the West if not for the injuries suffered by him, Bibby and Martin.

He has been actively working to address doubts about his reliability, which are most commonly associated with Artest's suspension for the remainder of the 2004-05 season for his role in the infamous Pistons-Pacers brawl in November 2004. Heavily involved with the NBA Players Association's humanitarian efforts in Africa and elsewhere abroad, Artest likewise signed on last season as a spokesman for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and has done volunteer television work in recent months for the Maloofs-owned Sacramento Monarchs of the WNBA.

Artest also unsuccessfully reached out to USA Basketball officials earlier this month in a bid to convince them to consider him as an 11th-hour candidate for this summer's China-bound Olympic team.

In spite of Artest's eccentricities and controversial past, most NBA executives agree that Artest will attract plenty of interest from contending teams between now and next February's trading deadline with his reputation as one of the league's top all-around players when focused ... and his very tradeable salary. Sacramento had serious Artest talks with the Denver Nuggets (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=den) at the February trading deadline and Petrie's fellow GMs surely haven't forgotten the initial impact Artest had on the Kings when he arrived.

But even if the Lakers did budge from their current stance and consented to include Odom in a deal with the Kings, chances are nothing could happen before Friday at the earliest, as L.A. must first decide whether to match the Golden State Warriors (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=gsw)' four-year, $17 million offer sheet to forward Ronny Turiaf (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3963). The Kings could also elect to take their time before consenting to move Artest in hopes of generating better trade offers as the summer progresses and other teams' free-agent options begin to dwindle.

I find a couple of things interesting about what Ron-Ron had to say.

1.
"In a way I wish this [coming 2008-09 season] would have been [Theus'] first year and [Adelman] would have left this summer, because it could have showed how much [of] a winner I am. Guys like Rick Adelman and [B]Rick Carlisle [brought] that out of me.
Wasn't it because RC was riding him so hard after he returned to play after the brawl that prompted Ron's trade demand in the first place? And now he has the nerve to make a statement like that? The grass ain't always greener on the other side, huh, bud?

2.
"When my agent at the time asked me not to opt out so the Kings can get something in return, I thought it was the right thing to do. I didn't want to leave them out there after all they did for me. But [by] doing that, I'm left out in the cold and still being experimented on like a lab rat.
Believe it or not, but this is probably the only part of the article where I have symphathe for Artest. He didn't want to leave the Kings (Maloof's) hanging in the wind by opting out. So, instead he took the high road and stayed. Noble, but it seems the Maloof's are more than willing to ride out their relationship w/Ron-Ron and let it fade away after this upcoming season - or atleast let him earn that contract extension. You be the judge, but to me it looks like one way or another Ron's days as a King are numbered; it's just a matter of when not if.

3.
I was blinded by friendship. Even Mama Maloof [Colleen Maloof, Joe and Gavin's mother] told me she wanted me to stay. I never knew that meant one more year. I thought it meant several.
Now, you know how Bird and Walsh felt when you bailed on them. Doesn't feel to good to put your trust in somebody and then get betrayed. Does it?

4.
"I didn't know I would be on this roller-coaster ride. Neither did we Pacers fans and the entire franchise. Welcome to our world, Ron Artest. How's it feel not knowing when the ride will end?

Now, I'll agree Artest remains one of the most under-paid talents out there at his skill level, but he created the uneasy and mistrust I'm sure most teams have about him. So, in this respect I can understand Joe Maloof's point when he said, "I think the best thing for (Ron) is to play out the contract and earn his next contract with a great year. He's got to stay mentally focused."
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In a related story (found on sidebar with the above article)...

Kings Owners Deny Rift

Sacramento Kings co-owner Joe Maloof acknowledged Sunday that the Kings are receiving trade inquiries for Ron Artest but disputed the claim that he and brother Gavin Maloof are avoiding the forward.

"Ron has been terrific for us," Maloof told ESPN.com in a phone interview. "He's a wonderful talent. I'm sure he gets frustrated. His opinion is that maybe he should have opted out [of his contract]. But I think the best thing for him is to play out the contract and earn his next contract with a great year. He's got to stay mentally focused.

"We love him. He's been great in our community, our fans like him and he works hard. I know he's just frustrated, but Gavin and I, we appreciate everything Ron has done for us. We don't have any problems with him.

"We've always been accessible to our players, but we leave all the basketball decisions to [Kings president Geoff Petrie]. We don't like to interfere with Geoff. That's not our style."
When asked if he expects Artest to be a King once training camp starts in October or to characterize Artest's future with the club, Maloof said: "I can't really answer that."

But he dismiss an oft-cited theory that the Kings, because of their fierce on-court rivalry with the Lakers early in the decade, wouldn't make a trade with their divisional neighbors.
"Absolutely not [true]," Maloof said. "We're rivals with the Lakers, but we respect them as an organization. If we can make a move that improves our situation, it doesn't matter who the other team is.

"The Lakers do want him," Maloof continued. "But so do about six other teams."

-- Marc Stein

BlueNGold
07-13-2008, 11:55 PM
This is so much deja vu. History certainly does repeat itself.

ChicagoJ
07-14-2008, 01:03 PM
Ron is selfish and stupid, not "mentally ill."

I'm pretty sure Jerry Krause would tell you Ron is all three.

I'm pretty sure Donnie Walsh would tell you Ron is all three.

I'm pretty sure Geoff Petrie would telll you Ron is all three.

ChicagoJ
07-14-2008, 01:14 PM
My only statement that I have to make about this is what I have always said.

Being selfish is not a mental illness. Being disruptive because you are self centered is not a mental illness.

Ron does have a mental problem, but people let him off the hook way to easily by using the "he's nut's" statement.

Yes, he has a legitimate medical condition.

However that does not explain or excuse all of his bad behavior.

Ron is just a person just like anyone else. He has both good and bad sides to him.

To many times though people use the (he has a heart of gold and truely cares) excuse for him when at the end of the day that is all it is, an excuse.

He is self centered and is a total distraction because he chooses to be, not because he has a medical condition that makes him this way.

I understand what you are saying, but (a) with Ron (and a number, but certainly not all of other victems), you can't really separate the b!p0lar d!s0rder from the selfishness. Since he refuses to take his medications regularly (or at all), - which itself is an act of selfishness - in practical terms this distinction doesn't really matter.

and (b), professional sports teams are not prepared to deal with legitimate illnesses and depressions. They are geared for the usual ego-maniac (think: Kobe) that has been coddled and built-up by dozens of previous coaches, shoe-company reps, and agents. And guys like Phil Jackson and Pat Riley do a good job of getting ego-maniacs to focus on the team.

Thus, my venom about the entire Ron Artest situation was intended to be toward the idiots in the front office that thought "I can handle him" or thought that they could identify a coach that could handle him (or funnier yet, thought that Rick Carlisle was the coach that could handle him.) I feel sorry for Ron as a human being, but I don't want him anywhere near the team I care about (or used to care about.)

From the sideline, we can analyze and split his loony-ness into "Ron's being selfish" or "Ron didn't take his medicines". In reality, whatever team he is on has to deal with the destructive combination.