Just a fun article
Coach trip for Artest
By Mark Murphy
Friday, May 6, 2005 - Updated: 06:21 AM EST
INDIANAPOLIS - Just because he's not allowed into Conseco Fieldhouse on game night doesn't mean that Ron Artest isn't contributing to the cause.
The suspended Pacers forward has been making his appearances during home practices.
Who better to try to shoot against during a scrimmage? Who better to slap a teammate with a dose of reality than the man still considered the best defensive player in the NBA, save for possibly Detroit's Ben Wallace?
There he was during a recent practice, first standing up against Reggie Miller, and then showing the Pacers guard what suspiciously resembled Paul Pierce [news]'s jab step 20 feet from the basket.
Could one of the most tightly wound figures in the league actually have coaching potential?
Though he nearly choked when first asked the question, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle ended up nodding his head before his team lost to the Celtics last night in Game 6.
``He very well could be a coach someday,'' said Carlisle, who at least has some first-hand knowledge of Artest as a teacher, based on how the forward has heartily taken to helping his teammates in practice.
``It's great to have him around for practice,'' said Carlisle. ``I'm sure he talks to the guys a lot about the moves and tendencies of different players. He has quite a bit of knowledge about that sort of thing.
``There have been a lot of times during the season when he's told us about certain things about different players,'' he said. ``Before our last game (of the regular season) against Miami, he went over a lot of things with the guys about Dwyane Wade's game, and that turned out to be a big help for us.
``Ronnie is a very intelligent basketball player. He has a high basketball IQ.''
Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who was identified early in his playing career as coaching material, can see the kernel of leadership in Artest.
``I could see him as a defensive coach,'' said Rivers. ``Ron Artest has the finest defensive mind in this league.''
Now get ready for the comic rim shot. [continue]
And probably, as a coach, he'd be a lot calmer,'' the Celtics coach said with a laugh. ``There's a lot of people in this league you wouldn't imagine as a coach who could turn out as a coach.
``Reggie (Miller) would be a great coach,'' said Rivers. ``He's played more with his brain than his talent all these years.''
Paul Pierce [news], however, smirked at the Artest question.
``No, I couldn't imagine that,'' he said. ``What's gonna happen the first time someone throws a cup at him?''