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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.
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.
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.