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Thread: Ron Artest, Kobe not sweating LeBron

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    Default Ron Artest, Kobe not sweating LeBron

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angele...e=NBAHeadlines
    By Dave McMenamin

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- If you ask the Los Angeles Lakers' Ron Artest, the biggest NBA signing of the summer wasn't LeBron James leaving Cleveland to go to Miami as a free agent; it was Kevin Durant extending his contract with the Thunder to stay in Oklahoma City.

    "He's the second best player in the NBA," Artest said of Durant, ranking the youngest scoring champion in league history behind only teammate Kobe Bryant.

    "Kobe's got five rings, six game winners [last season], 23-straight points in [Game 5 of the Finals] off mostly jump shots," Artest elaborated. "[He's] the biggest shot maker, big shot maker. So, that said, Durant's the second best player in the NBA."

    When asked where James ranks on his list, Artest excluded the back-to-back MVP from consideration.

    "I only count to two," Artest said. "I've been out of school 15 years, so I only count to two."

    Bryant himself said that James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh coming together on the Miami Heat did not raise his motivation level to win another championship, but did manage to raise an eyebrow.

    The 15-year guard said his first reaction to the South Beach signings was, "Wow. How did Pat Riley pull that [expletive] off?"

    Bryant acknowledged the Heat's potential to be "great" but added that when the Big Three materialized in Miami in the middle of the summer, his thoughts remained with himself and his team.

    "I said I've got to get my knee healthy, that's what I said," Bryant added.

    Artest's praise of Durant echoes a recent statement made by the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard. During a radio interview with Sports Illustrated's Dan Patrick, Howard was asked who is better, Durant or James? "I'm gonna go with Kevin," replied Howard.

    Artest's respect for Durant's abilities on the offensive end has influenced the former Defensive Player of the Year's diet. The Lakers starting small forward has vowed to abstain from alcohol during the season and is putting in extra work to try to get his weight down to 245 pounds by the time Los Angeles could face the 6-foot-9, 230-pound Durant in the playoffs.

    "He was a hard cover for me last year," Artest said. "I had to spend a lot of extra energy carrying extra pounds, so this should at least give me more of a chance to run around [guarding him]."

    Artest weighs less than 260 pounds now after coming into training camp at 268 a year ago.

    "I was a little bit afraid [Durant] would average 40 on me if I came in 270 [again]," Artest said.

    When informed by a member of the media that Durant actually shot well below his normal percentage in the first round of the playoffs with Artest marking him primarily (35 percent in the postseason vs. 47.6 percent during the regular season), Artest acted surprised.

    "Wow ... good job, Ron," he said.


    After admitting last weekend that, "when we get to the championship I'll worry about the big weight guy later, LeBron," like Bryant, Artest was not ready to coronate the Heat on Thursday.

    "You never know," Artest said. "Boston got [Shaquille] O'Neal and [Jermaine] O'Neal ... Dallas, they're looking good. And Kevin Durant, don't forget about Kevin Durant."
    The whole Miam thing has made me want the Lakers to stomp the bejesus out of the Heat should they meet in the finals

    Its funny it seems LBJ has pissed some players off as people are now anointing Kevin durrant as the second best player in the NBA

    I wouldnt go that far as I would still rank it
    1. Kobe
    2. LeBron
    3. Wade
    4. Durrant
    5. Dirk
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    Default Re: Ron Artest, Kobe not sweating LeBron

    If Artest is as focused as he is indicating (which I doubt), the Lakers have improved enough to take out the Deciders if they meet up in the Finals.

    I hope it is true for that very reason despite loathing Kobe overall. Ron already has a ring, so his winning another one doesn't bother me.

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    Default Re: Ron Artest, Kobe not sweating LeBron

    If Artest is as focused as he is indicating (which I doubt), the Lakers have improved enough to take out the Deciders if they meet up in the Finals.
    Brad, just curious as to why you doubt Ron is focused?
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    Default Re: Ron Artest, Kobe not sweating LeBron

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    Brad, just curious as to why you doubt Ron is focused?
    Historically, Ron's actions have spoken far more loudly than his words in my opinion, and his focus has been lacking from time to time in the past, to put it mildly.

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    Default Re: Ron Artest, Kobe not sweating LeBron

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    Historically, Ron's actions have spoken far more loudly than his words in my opinion, and his focus has been lacking from time to time in the past, to put it mildly.
    Historically yes

    not so sure about recently though
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    Default Re: Ron Artest, Kobe not sweating LeBron

    I still Artest is a nutjob. He's certainly not at LeBron's level. Artest rides the coattails of Kobe even more than some assume LeBron will be riding's Wade. If Artest thinks he's going to play a mindgame on LeBron he is vastly overevaluting his own intellect. He ain't no Phil Jackson after all.

    And while Durant is from my neck of the woods he won't be as good as LeBron's until he passes more and plays better defense.

    All these players, teams and coaches seem not to be worried about the Heat and LBJ but they sure can't stop from talking about them when given a chance.

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    Default Re: Ron Artest, Kobe not sweating LeBron

    The Heat is a flawed team. I don't think the Lakers will have any problem handling them. Lebron's had centers just as good as Bosh and fell way short. DWade will help them, but Kobe will be his blanket. I don't think the Heat can possibly beat LA...

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    Default Re: Ron Artest, Kobe not sweating LeBron

    Quote Originally Posted by KennerLeaguer View Post
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    I still Artest is a nutjob. He's certainly not at LeBron's level. Artest rides the coattails of Kobe even more than some assume LeBron will be riding's Wade. If Artest thinks he's going to play a mindgame on LeBron he is vastly overevaluting his own intellect. He ain't no Phil Jackson after all.

    And while Durant is from my neck of the woods he won't be as good as LeBron's until he passes more and plays better defense.

    All these players, teams and coaches seem not to be worried about the Heat and LBJ but they sure can't stop from talking about them when given a chance.
    I think you make a good point, but do not discredit the media comtantly throwing this crap in our face (and I am sure they are always asking the players about it as well)

    I am not sure who Ron Artest is, so I can not comment on him

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    Default Re: Ron Artest, Kobe not sweating LeBron

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    The Heat is a flawed team. I don't think the Lakers will have any problem handling them. Lebron's had centers just as good as Bosh and fell way short. DWade will help them, but Kobe will be his blanket. I don't think the Heat can possibly beat LA...
    I agree with everything you said here. I have never seen Bosh as a center, always considered him to be a PF. I never have been a fan of Bosh or his game. I think he is very weak and can be easily dominated on the inside. He can score but defense is weak. Besides his rookie year where he played 59 games at center, he has only played at center 7 times. Is Miami considering making him their starting center? I hope so, teams would just go inside on them and force Bosh to play out of his comfort zone causing bad all around play or Bosh to foul out a lot. A healthy Bynum would chew up Bosh and spit him out all game long.

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