I can't believe I love Ron Artest

Really a Laker

Laker Fan my whole life

I can't believe I'm writing this. It really hurts in a way- kind of like admitting conceding to someone that your sister is cute. If the Lakers repeat it will be because of Ron Artest.

I've hated him forever - not beginning when he went into the stands like a moron. I've hated him since he actually wanted to leave basketball to be a rapper. Nothing drives me crazier than NBA guys with talent who don't work at it. It's hard not to root for Kobe,not because he's a good person- he's not- but because he takes his craft seriously and works so hard at it.

Artest on the other hand? Crazy athletic ability - but always seems to be lacking focus whenever he's not on the court.

Artest said he used to drink Hennesy at halftime
Artest said he used to drink Hennesy at halftime

My Kind of Crazy?

It is hard not to argue that Ron Artest is coo-koo for coco puffs. He makes Dennis Rodman look like the kind of guy of you want to date your daughter. Fighting in the stands, drunk at halftime, abusing his dogs - you name it- he's been associated with it.

Having said all that - he's exactly the kind of unpredictable crazy that you never want to play against. Its intimidating to play against someone who clearly could care less- about anything. Add in his freakish athleticism and he can be a nightmare for the other team. Kind of like a mini-Oakley with a lot more crazy.

Its all about the D

The one thing Ron has always done- play lock down D. You could argue that Trevor Ariza- with his length and quickness- was at least equally effective. Ariza is certainly better at ball-hawking. Ron Artest, however, can get in your head. He is so annoying- and I can only conjecture- not just on athletic level but a personal one as well.

Good fit

Truth is the 2009-10 Lakers need Artest more than he needs them- as much as that one hurts. Now that the monkey is off Phil and Kobe's back- they needed to shake a few things up to keep the drive alive. Odom, with all his length and ability has the intimidation factor of my brother's family yorkie. Gasol, talented as he is, is not much better.  

At the end of the day- its still all about Kobe. And more importantly, Kobe in the 4th quarter. Artest gives the Lakers a chance to rest Kobe on Defense- drawing the #1 assignment on the opponent for most of the game, letting Kobe freelance and conserve energy.

Thoughts anyone?

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3 comments

Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

Like Kobe, age plus wear and tear have caught up with Artest to some degree, but he is still one of the best defenders in the game--maybe in the history of the game.

Like you, I can't stand the guy. I wrote a hub about the ten NBA players I hate the most, and he made the list. His focus is often on the wrong things, and it seems pretty clear that he is not a nice person. But, as much as I hate to say it, he's really helped the Lakers. Bryant, Fisher and Odom aren't spring chickens any more, Bynam is frequently hurt, and Gasol is a finesse player. They need Artest to play well if they want another shot at a title.

I will show my age a bit here, and suggest that this year's version of the Lakers is a lot like the New York Knicks of the 70's with Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, etc. Most of them were older players when the Knicks were on top in the NBA, and their talents blended together better than any other team at the time. That is what I see for the Lakers--Artest, Bynam, Odom, Fisher, Gasol and Bryant more as equals and less as Bryant and any four guys. It will always be Bryant's team, as long as he's healthy enough to take the court. The other guys will have to do more than they would have five years ago, however.

It could happen with Artest, though. His complete game is exactly what the Lakers needed.

I'm with you that the Lakers need Artest--it just makes me wince a bit to admit it.

Thanks, this was a great article, and I apologize for my long-winded commentary in response.


thehis profile image

thehis 6 years ago from San Diego Author

Mike,

Thank you so much for the response. Artest is well, an acquired taste that I'm sure I can do without, but he will help the Lakers in lots of ways- including a lot of intangibles.


jjj 4 years ago

kobe will always be the best

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