In the Paul Pierce thread he asked me:

peck....i respect u...and thats why i ask this question....

when u speak of artest....its like u become someone other than urself....

u dont speak of opponents players the way you do of fact u never speak like u do when u discuss artest....its just so, so far out of character for u....

why?....theres a fine line between love and hate, i know....but its almost like the sheer mention of artest seems to just hit a button and u become some other person....the obvious negative emotion u feel towards him just seems to be so out of character....

and i cant understand, why...these types of emotions are usually only reserved for very personal relationships....its almost like u react like a woman scorned would....but im assuming thats far from the truth....

so, again, im curious....why is it so personal with u where ron is concerned versus ur typical take on all other players and issues-a usually fairly unbiased and rational just very intriqued how a basketball player of any kind can evoke such a dramatic, somewhat irrational response from someone that appears to be just the opposite....

so again, i ask with all due respect....why?

I've actually started to answer this three differant times & each time I had to erase for differant reasons. But I don't want you to think I'm ignoring you so I will attempt to hammer this out right now.

Issue # 1

A lot & I mean a LOT of my stuff about Artest comes on the heels of one of his fans making excuses for him. Or better yet justifying his actions because they are fans of his.

Look there is nothing wrong with fan worship, God knows I am an idiot when it comes to Dale Davis (no comments about me being an idiot all of the time from the peanut gallery) but I have always felt that if Dale did something I was ashamed of on the court I would call him out on it. I know a certain someone is about to get on here & berate me for not chastizing Dale for fighting, but I always look at it like this that Dale goes face to face with his man & not hit him from behind or act like he wants to do something he really doesn't want to do.... But that's all besides the point.

Your new here so I won't bore you with all of the old stuff on here but I will say this. There is a segment on here who thinks just because Ron is a great basketball player he can do no wrong.

When I see wrong I can't just close my eyes & put my hands over my ears & go "la la la" I have a bad habit of calling it out.

Some of Ron Artest antics are just wrong. There is no other way to put it.

Breaking things, cheap shoting players & breaking plays does not mean you are more competative.

That is the one that gets me almost every time. Ron will do some boneheaded stunt & his fans will chime in with "Ronnie just hates to lose so bad"

In scholastic sporting events they would call this being a poor sport & in some cases where they actually cared about character they would remove the player from the situation for a time & if he didn't change they would remove him from the team.

In public life we would call it criminal activity.

Let me use this as an example & trust me with Ron it's almost always the play I come back to.

Andre Kirlenko has been toasting him all game & Ron is getting very frustrated with him so since he can't beat him on the court he intentionally steps behind AK47 & hits him in the back of the head as the guy is driving the lane & going up for a basket.

Now translate that to real life & use this example. You are a widget salesman & you are pretty good at it. Then another widget salesman comes to your area & starts selling about the same as you do & then one day he goes ahead of you in the block & starts selling more. You wait as he is coming out of a house after a sale & you run up & wack him over the back of the head. Do you think you could claim to the Police officer responding that you just hated losing sales so bad that you just couldn't control yourself? I'm guessing it's not gonna fly.

I'm not trying to compare the two btw, I'm just trying to point out that being competative does not give you an excuse for bad behavior.

Ok, I've gone off track here. Let me see if I can save some of this.

A lot of my problem with Ron isn't always Ron. It's fans who under normal circumstances would rebuke a player like him if he were on another team.

If it's wrong for Rasheed Wallace to do something doesn't mean that if Rasheed Wallace became a Pacer it would make it ok for him to do the same thing. Right & wrong does not change with a uniform color.

He has a fanatical fan base on here & on the internet in general & sometimes it's like you have assulted the Pope if you make a comment about him that does not portray Ron as either a hero or a victim.

Ok that takes care of a lot of that, on here anyway, I sometimes try & compensate for the over abundance of praise for him. I'm not just being contrarian for no reason however because I truely am not a fan of his.

Which bring me to issue # 2.

There is a segment of us out there that turned against Ron a long time ago. The brawl in the Palace was not a suprise to many of us, it was fullfilment of prophecy that some of us had been saying for a long time.

(in fairness I will admit that none of us would have ever dreamed possible the amount of damage that he was able to do to the franchise on that night but just weeks before it happened both Jay & myself were saying that he was going to tear the entire franchise down & boy did he ever)

You see a lot of people are at the stage with Ron now that they say "well let's give him one more chance & if he screws up again I'm done with him". To me, I was at that over a year ago. So last season wasn't a "one more chance issue" it was just "one more thing".

I'm pretty sure it was two seasons ago that I started getting to the point where I didn't care for him. When he hit AK47 that pretty much disgusted me but didn't put me over the edge, however I was very leary of him from that point on. But when I saw Mel Daniels litterally pushing & shoving him into the locker room after that loss in Boston I knew I was done with him. That was the second time I had seen him go after a fan, the first was at the fieldhouse when he went after our famos blond lady from the front row when he was with the Bulls.

Ok, again I've gone off-track let me see if I can put this together.

I was against Ron long before the brawl, in fact I spent the entire last summer doing two things.

1. B*tching that Brad Miller was traded.
2. B*tching that Ron Artest was not.

I guess I just want you to know that because I don't want you to think I'm just pileing on after a bad incident.

Issue # 3.

He's a great talent. Hell he may be the best player the Pacers have ever had but, IMO, it doesn't matter how good you are if you & your team mates & coach's cannot get along.

There is a lot of back story's that are well known on here (I'm not sure if you've heard them yet or not?) about Ron & Jermaine. But there are also story's of Ron & Rick that don't always get mentioned as much as they should.

Before last season Jermaine made a comment in the Star about having to dedicate more time to Ron to make him feel part of the team (read: babysit Ron) & how differant team members were taking turns with Ron. I'm sorry but the guy brings the team down when it becomes necassary to do that. I don't care who the player is. If it was Jordan or if it was Magic, nobody would be worth the entire team trying to make sure they were happy & content.

Anytime Ron doesn't get his way he either goes public with his thoughts about how he doesn't know if he wants to play here or not (like he did on two occasions Carlisle first season) or he somehow gets a migraine.

Well the star fessed up about covering up for Ron during last seasons playoffs when Kravits outed Montieth for this & I'm not sure that isn't why Mark doesn't cover the Pacers on the beat anymore. I'm not saying it is but it wouldn't suprise me either.

I digress.

Ron has faked issues before about headaches when he doesn't feel as though the offense goes through him enough.

Issue # 4

He's a great player however he is not the single best player to ever play kind of player. Yea, I know this should go under issue # 1 again but I'm gonna put it here.

Ron Artest can contribute to a title or to a great team, but he is not the end all be all of a team. If we cannot win a title without Ron Artest then there are serious flaws to our team. As has been pointed out by other posters, teams have won titles without Ron Artest being a member of that team.

Issue # 5

This is an on the court issue btw, but in tense games when discipline is called for I don't trust him. I don't for a min. beleive he won't break a play & call his own # when the play is clearly called for someone else.

If a player out plays him I am always afraid how he will react & I don't mean physical either. I'm talking about shooting dumber shots or making worse choices. Take last seasons game 6 vs. the Pistons. Ron just was being abused by Prince yet he kept forcing it. Eventually as the game ran down he totally abandoned the play sets & ran whatever he wanted to.

Issue # 6

This one is controversial & I know that there are going to be some who come shouting at me on this one, but I'll say it anyway.

Ron Artest is a typical bully, IMO.

Have you ever seen Ron Artest do somthing to somebody who was his own size or someone who would go back at him? If your gonna say Ben Wallace your gonna have to guess again. He had a chance at Big Ben & he chose a differant path.

Now I don't want this to break down into a whole brawl debate again, I just am pointing out that once again when Ron raised a fist it was over a person who was really smaller than him.

I will always go back to the Derrik Coleman issue. If Ron ever had justification to get up & take out somebody it was when Coleman litterally knocked out Ron's front teeth. But all he did was hold his mouth.

However little Quinten Richardson offends him by dunking on him he gets an elbow to the face.

Yes, yes I know he did the right thing with Ben. I'm not denying that, it's just funny that everytime I see him going after a fan in the stands it is to scare them into what? I guess into being better fans or something.

Now to wrap this up let me say this.

By all rights this guy should be my favorite Pacer, hell maybe of all-time. However I just can't get past the crap to apprecaite the talent he has all of the time.

Now also having said all of that I want it known that I know he will be here next year & so whether I like it or not I have no choice but to root for him to do good.

Ok, I'm prepared for the flaming I'm about to receive, so have at it.