The Lakers pick up bad boy Ron Artest to fill in the shoes left behind by past trouble makers like Rambis, Rodman and Ronny. Now with the new addition of Ron, I am forced to use my creative juices and call this, "The 4th R-mageddon". I know it's cheesy but this is all I have being it's 2:30am. Please let me know if I've forgotten any other Laker bad boy...Cooper, maybe even Madsen too?
At first, like most Lakers fans I'm sure, hearing about Artest joining the Lakers squad next year had me vomit in my mouth. I could not believe it, please say it ain't so! I knew at the time Ariza's return was still iffy and when I heard about this I knew for certain that Trevor was out and Ron was quickly put in to fill the gap. How can we let Trevor go? Oh yeah, David Lee. This makes sense now. Sports agent Lee is infamous for lengthy contract negotiations. This is the reason why Trevor in now a Houston Rocket, for sure. I'm not sure if it was David's greedy hands that caused this separation or Trevor deservingly wanting a deeper role with a different team. Who knows, I truly hope both parties benefit from this unfortunate fall out. In the outcome, players ability to perform to their TRUEST potential ALWAYS comes down to dollar signs. Always. Bynum is represented by Lee as well so if we see Bynum leave unexpectedly then we know who's at fault there.
Pros and Cons about Mr. Laker Ron Artest.
On a day when the media is covering Mr. Low Sperm Count Manny Ramirez returning to the Dodger line-up, the Lakers gain more testosterone by adding Artest to the line-up. He will give the team that extra punch (literally) needed to spark the often criticized weak defense. Ron will take one for the team and better yet give one for the team like D. Fish did to Scola. I do see Ron backing up Kobe when Kobe needs protection. We lacked that somewhat last season with sometimes obvious timidness shown by the bench.
Artest is the better scorer than Ariza however Ariza is much quicker and can steal the ball. Kobe will definitely get more help in the points category but will also lose some help with defensive steals. Ariza was showing confidence in his perimeter shooting and may be the better scorer next season.
Better defense is a given result when Ron Artest is on the floor. He can out physical most players out there. He is very strong and is very resilient. This is exactly what the Lakers need to help harden their softer side.
Artest is Artest. He has a label that will never leave him just like the label given to Kobe. It's just part of the game and it comes down to the individual to change it. If Ron's intention of joining the Lakers goes deeper than an easy milked opportunity to get a ring, then maybe, just maybe he can improve his image and really help the Lakers become a much stronger team for years to come.
Artest is not known to make big shots like Ariza did in the Finals. Artest is also known to force the ball and make stupid plays. This is why I'm harsh with my criticisms. I personally think Ron is mentally ill and needs medical attention. His mental state carries over onto the court which interferes with his decision making skills. This will drive Kobe off the wall. You think Sasha pisses Kobe off? Just wait until you see Artest snap at team captain's direction giving. Ron can not take direction well and this will cause indifference's which will also spill onto the court. We can not afford to have this team start to separate at the seam from this close knit relationship. Just one man has the capability of such a thing, just look at Shaq and the Suns. Just when you think you've made a good move to better the team, the true reality of it shows itself mid season when it's too late to fix.
Let's hope to look back from this come May and thank Mr. Kupchak once again for his brilliant risk taking that always seems to pay off in the end!