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Kstat
11-11-2004, 06:44 AM
7 days Archive

Bob Kravitz
The time is now to unload problem


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November 11, 2004


In the end, it doesn't matter exactly what Ron Artest did to get himself booted by his coach. It doesn't matter if it was a disagreement over touches, a hygiene issue or some strange request to take a month off to concentrate on the promotion of his rap album.

What matters is, Artest is The Story again. What matters is, Artest is a distraction again. What matters is, after all this time, Artest still has no idea how to be part of a team, and remains a player the Indiana Pacers simply can't trust -- now, or when the big pressure comes to bear in May and June.

If they couldn't count on him to step up and help fill the void caused by all these early injuries, how can they count on him when the season is on the line?

They can't.

Deal him. Deal him before his trade value is diminished even further. Deal him before he destroys a team that has a chance to win an NBA championship.

It doesn't matter that they won't get equal value in terms of raw talent. This is addition by subtraction. And there's a lot to be said for bringing in another player who will show up to work every day.

"Can you trust him?" I asked coach Rick Carlisle before Wednesday night's Pacers game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

"Yeah," he said. "He's part of the team."

Then he paused and said, "It's up to him and the other guys on the team to prove they're trustworthy. Trust has to be earned all the way around. We're all accountable."

That is, with all respect to Carlisle, a bunch of disingenuous gobbledygook. And in his heart, he has to know that.

How can any straight-thinking basketball coach or executive believe they can count on Artest to be there?

The cover-ups, the half-truths, even the lies -- like Carlisle telling reporters Monday there was nothing going on with Artest -- are bathing this organization in an unflattering light. Carlisle said he booted Artest for "compromising the integrity" of the team, but by continuing to play these insipid games with Artest, management is compromising its own integrity.

"You know, this is a family," Carlisle said, "and we're needing to remind ourselves that we need to be a family."

Compassion, patience, understanding, those are all noble things.

I'm sorry that Artest has troubles, and nobody wants to throw him under the bus, but we all have crosses to bear. At some point, you owe it to the rest of the family to do what's best for the larger group.

Here we are, just a week and a half into the season, the Pacers limping around with an injured roster, and Artest is talking nonsense about taking time off.

Now, I'd be happy to share the gist of Artest's pregame comments Wednesday, but I don't speak Artest-ian, nor did I have a translator at my disposal. Suffice to say this was a performance at the Theater of the Absurd.

Somewhere between the mumbles and forays into circular logic, I deduced that Artest wanted some time off, possibly to pursue his musical interest, expressed that desire to Carlisle in a hugely inappropriate way, and the coach benched him for two games.

Which seems bizarre, even by Artest's lofty standards.

But, then, at one point Wednesday, he was asked about his burgeoning music career. His answer suggested maybe that scenario wasn't so bizarre, after all.

"Yeah, I think I've been doing a little bit too much music and I needed some rest," he said. ". . . I've still got the album coming out Nov. 23. After that, I'm going to make sure all my energy is focused on winning a championship."

Huh?

How about if the Pacers bench him -- without pay, this time -- until after Nov. 23?

Artest had a lot of other odd things to say, but it's what he didn't say that was most bothersome.

He didn't say he was sorry.

Usually, we can count on a heavy dose of contrition, but not this time. He just insisted "there wasn't that much harm done," and "what happened wasn't too negative."

Really?

Carlisle and team president Larry Bird know this better than anybody else: Championships are built on a foundation of trust and a shared willingness to sacrifice for the greater good.

Where does Artest figure into that equation? He doesn't. And the longer the Pacers kid themselves into believing they can control him with tough love, the more likely it becomes that Artest will be at the root of their demise.

I not only believe the Pacers can win without Artest, I believe they can win a championship. Already, we've seen what Stephen Jackson brings. We've seen how Fred Jones has developed. We've seen how Austin Croshere and Scot Pollard have come back from the end of the bench.

Put it this way: If the Pacers want to keep Artest, they lose the right to complain about his eccentricities.

"Ron, should your teammates be concerned that they can't trust you?" I asked Artest.

He shook his head.

"No," he said. "I'm not worried. I'm just worried about winning games."

Could have fooled us.

Peck
11-11-2004, 07:28 AM
I just fail to see how anybody other than just a pure blind Artest fan can disagree with this.

Harddrive7
11-11-2004, 07:39 AM
I just fail to see how anybody other than just a pure blind Artest fan can disagree with this.


Amen! Just unreal.

Doesn't get more selfish than this. I can't think of a team that would touch him now.

Vicious Tyrant
11-11-2004, 08:16 AM
Agree with what? Artest should be traded or we can win a championship without him?

If you're saying only a blind fool could possibly think a championship is out of our reach without Artest, then - OWWW! I didn't see that light post I just walked into.

SoupIsGood
11-11-2004, 08:41 AM
Our chances of dealing this guy are low. What team is crazy enough to take this risk?

Slick Pinkham
11-11-2004, 09:07 AM
If you want to dump him for an expiring contract:

Indiana trades:
C Scot Pollard (7.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 0.7 apg in 29.3 minutes)
SF Ron Artest (24.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.3 apg in 38.0 minutes)

Indiana receives:
C Samuel Dalembert (4.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 0.5 apg in 21.0 minutes)
Glenn Robinson (No games yet played in 2004/05)
Change in team outlook: -27.6 ppg, -7.8 rpg, and -2.5 apg.

Philadelphia trades:
C Samuel Dalembert (4.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 0.5 apg in 21.0 minutes)
Glenn Robinson (No games yet played in 2004/05)

Philadelphia receives:
C Scot Pollard (7.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 0.7 apg in 29.3 minutes)
SF Ron Artest (24.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.3 apg in 38.0 minutes)
Change in team outlook: +27.6 ppg, +7.8 rpg, and +2.5 apg.

TRADE ACCEPTED



----
Glenn plays no D at all but his 12 million comes off the books. Dalembert would be our best defensive Center by far.

:chin:

Granville
11-11-2004, 09:17 AM
I'm afraid this ugly episode by Ron is just the beginning of a very ugly ending to his Pacers career.

I can only assume by the response of the members of PD that most people are disgusted with this latest event.

With that said, it is not hard to imagine the crowd booing Ron with great vigor the next time he plays at home. We've seen Ron flip off opposing crowds. How's he going to react to his own crowd? Can any of us say with any confidence that he won't melt down on the Pacers crowd? That is when they will reach the point of no return.
wording

Doug in CO
11-11-2004, 09:36 AM
Someone please tell me howw we are going to get any value for this guy? If we deal him, championship hopes are out the window. I guess I am a blind fool.

ABADays
11-11-2004, 10:09 AM
I truly believe Artest has the mind of a child in a man's body.

ChicagoJ
11-11-2004, 11:02 AM
Didn't we just beat Minnesota on the road without him?

I've said this once and nobody picked up on it - I think his teammates really wanted to prove to Management, Ron, Ron's fans, and the rest of the world that they can beat a top team without him.

As for the game against the Roach Clips, hey we ran out of gas. Look back to the first month prediction thread. Rick's done an amazing job patching this team together. We just got a little dose of injury-bug reality last night.

The only point of Kravitz in which I disagree is suspending him. DO NOT suspend him - that's what he wants. Make him attend every practice and every game. Make him dress for every game. But give him DNP-CDs until at least after the album is out, then decide if he or James Jones should be Stephen Jackson's backup. Reggie and Fred Jones can split the SG minutes.

As long as JO and Tinsley are healthy and Rick is coaching, we're a contender.

Now's the time for Rick to really hammer home the message that he's going to play the guys that want to be part of the team. The rest of you can draw your paychecks, and sit and watch while you fade into oblivion while the team (when healthy) keeps winning without you.

tseramid
11-11-2004, 11:09 AM
Didn't we just get hammered by the Clippers at home? We are not good enough to win a championship while getting peanuts for Artest. We may be good enough to ride this storm of injuries for a while, but this whole thing is going to catch up with us badly very soon. I admire the team for what they have done so far and that win against Minnesota was great.

Lost in this whole mess is that Jermaine O'Neal just reinjured his foot. Perhaps he will be back soon, perhaps not. If Artest were reliable, I would feel much better about the next several games than I do now.

3Ball
11-11-2004, 11:10 AM
If you want to dump him for an expiring contract:

Indiana trades:
C Scot Pollard (7.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 0.7 apg in 29.3 minutes)
SF Ron Artest (24.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.3 apg in 38.0 minutes)

Indiana receives:
C Samuel Dalembert (4.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 0.5 apg in 21.0 minutes)
Glenn Robinson (No games yet played in 2004/05)
Change in team outlook: -27.6 ppg, -7.8 rpg, and -2.5 apg.

Philadelphia trades:
C Samuel Dalembert (4.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 0.5 apg in 21.0 minutes)
Glenn Robinson (No games yet played in 2004/05)

Philadelphia receives:
C Scot Pollard (7.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 0.7 apg in 29.3 minutes)
SF Ron Artest (24.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.3 apg in 38.0 minutes)
Change in team outlook: +27.6 ppg, +7.8 rpg, and +2.5 apg.

TRADE ACCEPTED



----
Glenn plays no D at all but his 12 million comes off the books. Dalembert would be our best defensive Center by far.

:chin:



Wow, Artest and Iverson on the same team. How'd you like to coach that bunch?

All they would need to do is hire Rodman out of semi-retirement, and they could field the All-Time headcase team.

ChicagoJ
11-11-2004, 11:21 AM
Didn't we just get hammered by the Clippers at home? We are not good enough to win a championship while getting peanuts for Artest. We may be good enough to ride this storm of injuries for a while, but this whole thing is going to catch up with us badly very soon. I admire the team for what they have done so far and that win against Minnesota was great.

Lost in this whole mess is that Jermaine O'Neal just reinjured his foot. Perhaps he will be back soon, perhaps not. If Artest were reliable, I would feel much better about the next several games than I do now.

With an injury-riddled, distracted team, I wouldn't draw any conclusions based on the Clippers game.

Stryder
11-11-2004, 12:28 PM
Could we involve Kravitz in a deal along with Artest?

Kravitz is worthless.

McKeyFan
11-11-2004, 12:47 PM
Wow, Artest and Iverson on the same team. How'd you like to coach that bunch?



Duo rap album.:cool:

sweabs
11-11-2004, 12:50 PM
What I'd like to know, is where the entire "retirement" issue came from :confused:

When this story first leaked out, it was about Ron contemplating early retirement was it not? Was that just Vecey blabbing?

Suaveness
11-11-2004, 01:35 PM
Could we involve Kravitz in a deal along with Artest?

Kravitz is worthless.

Exactly, he can kiss my ***. Sorry, but I do not believe in trading Artest. I guarentee you we won't win a title without him.