Blog Entry

Artest says he's signing with Lakers (UPDATE)

Posted on: July 2, 2009 6:56 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2009 2:17 am
 

Shaq can have LeBron. Ron Artest says he'll take Kobe.

Artest, whose versatility and toughness have made him one of the most coveted and combustible players in the NBA, told CBSSports.com Thursday that he's signing with the Lakers.

"I'm definitely going to L.A. -- to sign, yeah," Artest said in a phone interview. "Lakers, Lakers, Lakers. I'm in L.A. right now."

Artest said he met with Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss Thursday and previously had spoken with Lakers coach Phil Jackson. He was en route to his financial manager's office, where he planned to huddle on the phone with his agent, David Bauman, to finalize details.

Artest's exuberance -- he spent the whole summer in L.A., including several appearances at Lakers home games during the NBA Finals -- got ahead of the process a bit. Other teams that made overtures for Artest -- including the Cavaliers -- have not yet been notified that Artest is signing with the Lakers. (Consider them notified.) Bauman has spoken with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, and a person with knowledge of the negotiations told CBSSports.com that Artest agreed to a five-year deal for the full mid-level exception -- about $33 million. It's the same deal that Houston agreed to with Trevor Ariza, who swaps cities with Artest.

"I don't really care about the money," Artest said. "I'll play there for nothing. ... L.A. was very interested in me, and they got me."

UPDATE: Lakers spokesman John Black declined to comment on Artest's assertion, but another person with knowledge of the situation corroborated Artest's account that he will sign with L.A. pending the passing of the weeklong moratorium on player movement, which expires July 8.

Only 24 hours earlier, the buzz was focused on Artest joining LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal in Cleveland in what would've made a potent Big Three on the shores of Lake Erie. It would've been, well, eerie, too: Artest's internal combustion engine, combined with LeBron's exquisite dominance and Shaq's alpha-male, all-around Shaq-ness would've been something to see.

But Artest said talks with Cleveland "never got that far." Told that Cleveland, by all accounts, had extreme interest, Artest said, "I don't know how extreme. I love the Cleveland Cavaliers, though. I love LeBron and Coach (Mike) Brown and Shaq."

But what he really loves is L.A.

"L.A. is what it is," Artest said. "I've been here for the whole summer, and it's pretty good. It's good for me. I know Lamar Odom, so that's pretty cool."

Artest spoke as though Odom would return to the Lakers to join Artest and Kobe Bryant for another title run. Although the Spurs and several other teams were interested in Odom, the Lakers have the inside track. L.A.'s other free agent, Trevor Ariza, agreed Thursday to sign with Houston for the same mid-level deal Artest got from the Lakers.

UPDATE:
The addition of Artest is a coup for the defending champion Lakers, who have faced the prospect of trying to retain their own free agents, Odom and Ariza, and have seen other contenders make major efforts to improve. Most notably, the Celtics dispatched their Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce, along with coach Doc Rivers and managing partner Wyc Grousbeck to Detroit on Thursday to offer free agent Rasheed Wallace a mid-level contract. Cleveland's acquisition of Shaq put the Lakers, Celtics, and Magic on notice that the Cavaliers were making a serious push for a title next season. The Cavs' pursuit of Wallace, Artest, and Ariza signaled that they weren't finished after the pre-draft trade for Shaq.

"I talked to Coach Phil, and I was happy to talk to him," Artest said. "Big fan of Coach Phil. My agent talked to Kupchak, and I met with Dr. Buss. I'm very, very excited."

 

Comments

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: July 3, 2009 12:12 pm
 

Artest says he's signing with Lakers (UPDATE)

MP, i see them meshing fine. Artest has never, i repeat NEVER called the shots on a team. Remember Tracy and Yao? Ya, Artest hasnt called the shots ever! EVER!



Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: July 3, 2009 12:10 pm
 

Artest says he's signing with Lakers (UPDATE)

"L.A. is what it is," Artest said. "I've been here for the whole summer, and it's pretty good. It's good for me. I know Lamar Odom, so that's pretty cool."


Ariza to the Rockets. Artest to the Lakeshow. Just give us the 2010 NBA Title. Theres no competition, because when the Cavs play the Lakers, watch out for Bynum, Odom, Kobe, Fisher, and Pau. We can make our own little big 3 in Kobe, Artest, and Pau.



Since: Jan 30, 2009
Posted on: July 3, 2009 10:28 am
 

Artest says he's signing with Lakers (UPDATE)

A five year deal?  According to David Aldridge "They reached an agreement Thursday with Houston Rockets free agent forward Ron Artest on a five-year deal using the team's mid-level exception that would pay Artest a little more $32 million based on last season's mid-level amount of $5.585 million."  Apparently it can be structured into a 3 year deal but I am not a fan of Artest.

It's funny how we hate guys on other teams for dirty play, intimidation or trash talking, but yet when they put on our uniform those qualities become aggressive, intense, and spirited.  I was hoping this rumor wasn't true and that the Lakers were going to find a way to keep Trevor Ariza.

Now it looks as though I'll have to do a little back-peddling and hope my friends have a short memory.  That may be a bit difficult though....I've got a pretty big mouth and I think the word hate may have been the least offensive word used in talking about ole Ron.



Since: Jul 3, 2009
Posted on: July 3, 2009 9:48 am
 

Artest says he's signing with Lakers (UPDATE)

With Artest going to the Lakers and the source saying Rockets are getting Trevor Ariza

WHO ARE THE CAVS GOING TO GET!!!!!!!!!


XSGame
Since: Mar 29, 2009
Posted on: July 3, 2009 5:25 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



XSGame
Since: Mar 29, 2009
Posted on: July 3, 2009 4:59 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: May 14, 2009
Posted on: July 3, 2009 4:55 am
 

Artest says he's signing with Lakers (UPDATE)

The Lakers won the title last year by rolling through the playoffs easily and the regular season on top of that. I think they should've kept their pieces because they most likely would've won this year. Artest is a big gamble. He is a great player but it's Kobe's team and he calls the shots. Artest may not like being told by a teammate what to do and when. I see a team breakdown come midseason. Plus Artest doesn't always handle being in the spotlight that great so a place like LA where the spotlight couldn't be any brighter may just make him crack.




Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: July 3, 2009 4:50 am
 

Artest says he's signing with Lakers (UPDATE)

SOme further up the thread already mentioned that Artest really only had that one big problem with the fans in the stands.  He has been a model player since.  Why do we always hold such things against someone for the rest of their careers?  He had no episodes in Houston.  While I didn't agree with him going into the stands way back then, and it was way back, I wanted to go into the stands myself and kick those guys collective asses.  I am sure you would have wanted to do the same thing.  Let's just give him a chance and see where this thing goes.  I see it as a move up.



Since: May 1, 2008
Posted on: July 3, 2009 4:48 am
 

Artest says he's signing with Lakers (UPDATE)

Barring major injuries we may just string together a four-peat before Kobe & Ron start slowing down. Now I'm hoping Phil will retire and we can somehow get #4 out of his contract and coaching where he belongs. C'mon Byron!




Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: July 3, 2009 4:42 am
 

Artest says he's signing with Lakers (UPDATE)

Shaq was the go to guy.  Artest is a supporting player.  I knowit has been said before but using the rings to determine greatness makes Ronert Horrey greater than Shaw or Kobe.  The Lakers are an even stronger team with Artest than they were when they won it all this year.  Welcome to L.A. Ron, I hope you get at least 2 rings and 3 would be awesome.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com