Tag:Ron Artest
Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:33 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 11:36 pm

Jerry West: Lakers too old to be good for long

Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West says the current Lakers are getting too old to be good for long. Posted by Ben Golliver. jerry-west

Even in retirement, former Los Angeles Lakers guard, coach and GM Jerry West is still regarded as one of the finest talent talent evaluators in the basketball world. When he talks, people listen.

On Friday, West talked, but the franchise he's long been associated with might not like hearing what he had to say.

The Orange County Register reports that West told a business luncheon crowd that the Lakers were getting too old to remain championship contenders for very long and hinted that he would pick LA's chief rivals, the Boston Celtics, to win the NBA title this year.
“I don’t think the Lakers will be good for much longer, ” he said. “You can keep a car running for a long time by changing the tires, etc. You can’t change a player’s tires.”
West said many of the Lakers’ current players are “getting long in the tooth.” 
“If there’s a loose ball now, how often do they get it?” West pointed out to the crowd, which was relishing the sports talk.
“I think Boston is a very dangerous team,” he said of the Celtics. “I would not want to play them every other night.”

In a study conducted earlier this month by Hoopism.com, both the Lakers and the Celtics placed in the top three oldest teams in the NBA when you weight their age by minutes played. As of Jan. 8, the Lakers' average age was 30.87 and the Celtics' average age was 30.48, virtually identical. It's worth noting that Boston's figure should come down slightly once center Kendrick Perkins, who is 26 years old, returns from injury and starts playing heavy minutes again.

Looking into the future, though, it's easy to understand what's troubling West. Guards Kobe Bryant (32) and Derek Fisher (36) are edging close to the twilight of their career. Fisher, in particular, has seemed to be on his last legs for like six years now, while Bryant figures to have a few very productive seasons left in him. But it's not just the backcourt: Lakers coach Phil Jackson is said to be retiring after this season and that likely makes everyone associated with the organization feel like the current chapter is coming to a close.

With that said, it's still too early to panic completely. Los Angeles sports key pieces like Pau Gasol (30), Lamar Odom (31), Ron Artest (31) and Andrew Bynum (23) who are not yet "long in the tooth."  In actuality, Boston may have even more questions in a few years than Los Angeles, with Kevin Garnett (34) contemplating retirement, and Paul Pierce (33) and Ray Allen (35) entering the twilight of their respective careers. 

The big difference between Boston and Los Angeles, of course, is that Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (24) has already solidified himself as the franchise centerpiece of the future. Arguably the best point guard in the NBA, Rondo will make any rebuilding effort that much easier. The Lakers, however, are left to ride Bryant for as long as possible and then pray that Bynum, who has dealt with knee injuries already in his young career, develops into a premier big man. Backup plan: wait for a dominant free agent to choose to come to LA.

Given the respective outlooks of the two teams, I think most people, like West, would choose Boston's future. Rondo's skill is more than enough to calm the nerves and provide hope.

Hat tip: Pro Basketball Talk

Posted on: January 18, 2011 8:09 am
Edited on: January 18, 2011 8:11 am

Shootaround 1.18.2011: LeBron James' cartoon

LeBron James makes an animated series based on himself, Blake Griffin gets his technical foul rescinded and is called boring, Charles Barkley does the Dougie dance, and a whole lot more. Posted by Ben Golliver.  shootaround
  • The New York Times reports that there will be a new web-based animation series on LeBronJames.com starring "The LeBrons," the four different versions of himself crafted in the Nike commercials. James, the Miami Heat forward, says the series will help him pursue his childhood dream of being a superhero. "I think everybody, even grown-ups now, today all wish they could be a superhero. I definitely had that imagination of, like, wow, it would be great to look over a city and take down the bad guys. Absolutely, I had those visions."
  • Remember that fight between the Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers we mentioned yesterday? The NBA league office rescinded the technical fouls and ejections given to Ron Artest and Blake Griffin. The LA Times with the details, saying Artest will turn the found money into hamburgers. "I could've bought 10,000 In-N-Out Burgers. I rather would've done that than give it away. I'm going to get 10 burgers [after Monday's game]. I love In-N-Out. It's addicting. It's the only reason I'm here in L.A. If it wasn't for In-N-Out Burger, I probably would've gone to Memphis or something."
  • After his Orlando Magic lost to the Celtics in Boston on Monday night, WEEI reports that Dwight Howard told reporters, "The matchup is awesome,” said Howard, tongue firmly planted in cheek. “He won the victory tonight, but we will win the war." He, of course, is Shaquille O'Neal.
  • John Wall asked to be fined by coach Flip Saunders when he sulks, according to the Washington Post, so that he can turn himself into a more effective team leader.
  • Thunder forward Jeff Green left impressed by the Lakers, according to NewsOk.com. "They’re playing a lot better right now. They’ve got their rhythm. They’re the champions. They know when to turn it on."
  • The LA Times says Blake Griffin is a boring interview. His response: "I didn't know I was boring until I was told I was boring.''
  • Detroit Pistons rookie center Greg Monroe, who started slow this season, had a career-high 16 points against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. The Detroit News writes that teammate Tayshaun Prince was impressed. "Over the last three games, Greg has done a great job coming out and starting us off in the first couple minutes of the third quarter, getting some rebounds on both ends," said Prince. "Young fella's been playing great for us."
  • Yahoo! Sports believes the New Jersey Nets are losing face in their pursuit of Carmelo Anthony. "The Nets are behaving in a most desperate way and trying too hard to validate Prokhorov’s relevance in the sport. Anthony treats the Nets like the unattractive girl he refuses to tell his friends he’s seeing on the side. She walks past in the lunch room, tosses him a smile and ’Melo tells his friends he hasn’t an idea why she keeps doing that."
Posted on: January 16, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2011 7:26 pm

Lakers, Clippers skirmish leads to 4 ejections

The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers got into a skirmish at the end of their game Sunday that resulted in ejections for Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, Blake Griffin and Baron Davis. Posted by Ben Golliver.

The giant-killing Los Angeles Clippers did it again on Sunday, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in the same week that they toppled the mighty Miami Heat. But the Clippers' victory wasn't without some endgame drama, as a skirmish broke out in the game's final seconds that resulted in four players being ejected.

During a Randy Foye free throw that gave the Clippers a 98-90 lead with less than six seconds remaining in the game, Clippers forward Blake Griffin shoved Lakers forward Lamar Odom underneath the basket as they jockeyed for rebounding position. Considering the game was already in hand, it was an unnecessary play by Griffin, but it's fairly understandable because Griffin doesn't have an off switch. He goes hard. Always.

After Foye's free throw went in the hoop, Odom grasped Griffin's jersey and swung him, and the two stared each other down. Clippers point guard Baron Davis raced into the scrum to separate the two combatants, leading Odom to give Davis a slight shove in return, which led to more jawing. Lakers forward Ron Artest then entered the fray, attempting to extricate Odom from the group from behind, to no avail. That led Artest to swing his arms out a bit in the general direction of Foye. Eventually, the referees were able to separate the two teams and complete the game's final six seconds.

When all was said and done, Odom, Artest, Griffin and Davis were all ejected from the game.

Here's the Clippers feed video of the skirmish, courtesy of YouTube user nbafufu.

Here's the Lakers feed video of the incident, courtesy of YouTube user NBAPlaybook.

Back in December, Portland Trail Blazers point guard Andre Miller took exception to Griffin in a similar situation, as Miller was upset that Griffin shoved him in the back while attempting to gain rebounding position on consecutive plays. Miller retaliated by body-checking Griffin at full speed, which resulted in a fine and one-game suspension by the NBA.

After the game resumed, the Clippers held on for a 99-92 victory. With the win, the Clippers improved to 14-25 on the season. The Lakers dropped to 30-12.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 8:43 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 9:09 pm

Bryant: Lakers' problems not as bad as 2002

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant says this year's struggles aren't as bad as those of the 2002 Lakers. Posted by Ben Golliver. kobe-fisher

It's January, and the Los Angeles Lakers aren't undefeated on the season (they've even dropped a few games they really shouldn't have), so some Lakers fans and critics are freaking out a little bit, predicting apocalypse for the two-time defending NBA champions. 

Even though the Lakers are 24-11, tops in the Pacific Division, a recent up-and-down stretch that included a blowout home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies raised some concerns that the team might not be able to three-peat. 

Leave it to Lakers star Kobe Bryant to act as both history teacher and calming influence. In comments posted on ProBasketballTalk.com, Bryant says this year's struggles -- which include forward Ron Artest getting into it with coach Phil Jackson this week -- are nothing compared to what the last three-peating Lakers, led by Shaquille O'Neal and Bryant, went through.
“We were awful,” Bryant said. “People here forget about that stuff. We were awful and dysfunctional. Here, right now, we’re just awful. It’s much better now than it was. People forget that three-peat that we had to get to, we were [expletive]. We had to go on the road in San Antonio and thank God the Eastern Conference was terrible. We winded up having home court advantage in the Finals but we were awful.”
It's going to be a long haul to achieve a three-peat, it always is, but Bryant makes an excellent point. Going through bad stretches of play is one thing; dealing with bad internal chemistry is another. The Lakers' core is a veteran, tested group that has been there and done that many times, and it's as ego-free on the court as can reasonably be expected from a star-studded group of millionaire basketball players in Tinsel Town. And, other than rehabbing center Andrew Bynum, whose role is still a bit of a question mark as he returns from knee surgery, the important pieces are known quantities that have exhibited success together in the past.

An NBA title is never totally smooth sailing. But bet against the defending champs, talented and playoff-tested, at your own risk. 

For more on the Lakers' struggles so far this season and some possible recipes for turning it around, check out CBSSports.com's Ken Berger breaking it down on video.

Posted on: January 5, 2011 5:08 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 5:12 pm

Ron Artest tried to play pop-a-shot in boxers

Posted by Royce Young

You should really read Chris Ballard's fascinating piece on Ricardo Reyes, the Pop-A-Shot king who defeated five NBA stars on Jimmy Kimmel Live. But there was actually supposed to be a sixth NBA player for Reyes to take on. Only there was a problem.
An interesting side note: there was supposed to be a sixth Kimmel opponent, Ron Artest, but then Artest showed up for his interview with Kimmel wearing only boxer shorts. The Lakers handlers, sensing disaster, whisked him away from the studio before he could film his showdown with Ricardo.
So, so many questions here. Did Artest drive to the studio in only boxers? Did he not bring any pants? Why? Did he know he was going on TV? Why couldn't he have just put on pants for the pop-a-shot contest? Did Artest have some sort of stipulation that he'd only appear if he got to wear boxers?

Here's the thing though: Artest still went on TV in only boxers. He just didn't film his competition with Reyes in boxers.

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 4, 2011 11:30 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 11:43 pm

Jackson and Artest have 'direct' confrontation

Posted by Royce Young

When the Lakers lose, things start getting snippy. And weird.

First was the apparent skirmish with words between Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson through a couple odd quotes. Now, it's a small dust-up between Jackson and Ron Artest. Via Yahoo! Sports:
At a recent practice, league sources said, Artest loudly confronted Jackson. As he tried to fit into the defending champions a season ago and earn his way, Artest grudgingly went along with Jackson’s public floggings. This season, Artest has less tolerance for it. Essentially, Artest told Jackson that if he wants to coach him, coach him. Just stop embarrassing him in public.
Jackson acknowledged the confrontation but said using the word "loudly" was inaccurate, instead saying it was "direct." He also added that his relationship with Artest is completely fine.

Jackson addressed the situation Tuesday:
“It was not a loud confrontation it was a man-to-man confrontation. It was obviously out of character for that to happen at practice and for Ron. And it was not about embarrassing him in public, it was about some of the issues that have been brought up that were focused about him.

It’s nothing more than what could normally happen in a practice. And obviously there is a spy or a cam or a leak or something that went on in our practice, but those are the things that happen in practice. It was not the first time and it’s not going to be the last.

Ron came in and apologized not only to me but in front of the team for what he said was a distraction at practice. That was his own desire to do that, I didn’t even solicit it from him."
Again, when a team that's used to lots and lots of success starts losing, things get chippy. Tension rises. Small quibbles between players or coaches seem to rise to the surface. Winning makes everyone feel appreciated.

After the Lakers rip off five or six straight everyone will be best friends again. But right now, fingers are being pointed, criticism is going public and the Lakers look like they're near a blow-up. Sometimes though, this sort of thing is good for a team to go through. Especially one that has two straight titles in their back pocket. Sometimes a little kick in the pants is needed to get everyone going.

Between Kobe and Phil's jabs, the iPhone malfunction, Kobe's public frustration and now this, something has got to give in L.A. And if we've learned anything about the will and mettle of the Lakers, it will.
Posted on: December 29, 2010 12:17 pm

Kobe must stop shooting, but Lakers will be fine

Kobe Bryant must curtail his shooting as his percentage dips with the Lakers struggling, but come playoffs? They'll be fine. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The Lakers are 7-8 this year when Kobe Bryant shoots more than 20 times. The defending NBA champions who are 21-10 overall, have a losing record when Kobe Bryant shoots more than 20 times. On the season, Bryant is shooting 44% and 33% from the perimeter. In those 15 games where he's shot 20 attempts or more, he's shooting just 41% and 30% from the arc. 

So, in all honesty, Kobe's got to stop shooting. 

Don't count on it. 

Before the season started, there were discussions with the Lakers training staff and coaches about Bryant's role in the offense, and the hope that he would come to accept a decreased role in the offense. Instead, Bryant seems more intent on shooting his way out of the hole the Lakers have found themselves in.  He has responded to the Lakers' struggles by yelling at teammates, demanding improvement, and then going out and not letting the most talented team in the league be the most talented team in the league. 

This is the worst part of Bryant's offensive kamikaze failures. The Lakers' offense features the personnel, talent, and system to allow them to overcome any individual challenge. Is the defense denying Pau Gasol the entry pass (while he's once again failing to establish position)?  Lamar Odom off the cut should pull the defense apart to allow Gasol better angles. Has the defense compacted to shut down on interior movement?  Shannon Brown, Ron Artest, Steve Blake, and Derek Fisher will make them pay from the perimeter. 

Bryant's refusal manage his game when it's not falling (or when his pinky is bothering him) has to concern Lakers fans not only about this season, but about how the rest of his career will shape up as his skills continue to deteriorate. But at the end of this, after three losses of double digits by the Lakers, are they in trouble?

Come on. It's December. 

This Lakers team had troubles in the 2009 playoffs. They slacked off in the regular season last year. And while this stretch of games feels considerably worse than their issues last year which were all coasting, Phil Jackson has five months to get the team right. This has never been a team to sprint to the finish. Or the middle. Or really at all.  For a team driven by such an obsessive as Kobe Bryant, the Lakers haven't held an all-out attitude.  But they still have two rings to show for it. Trying all the time and remaining focused hasn't been their path. But being taller, more talented, and more experienced has gotten them where they want to go, regardless of how they perform in the winter months. Spring is what matters for this team. 

The questions are about whether they'll have home court advantage. But with the experience this team has, it may not need it. There's not a dominant home court advantage for a contending team, unless you consider Oklahoma City such a team. The Lakers just need to get a top four seed, not the top seed. As long as they're ready for May, that's what they care about. 

That said, the Lakers danced with Bryant shooting them out of games in the playoffs last season, but managed to survive it. (Go check out his numbers from Game 7 of the Finals.) This year, with an improved Eastern Conference and now the West making a strong show, at some point, something's got to give. The coaching staff is going to have to get Bryant to buy into trusting his teammates in a way he never has before. In the past, he's relied on them to fill in the gaps of his game. Now, he may need to rely on them to carry him for stretches. Something tells me that's going to be an awkward conversation for the Mamba. 
Posted on: December 26, 2010 4:27 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:50 pm

Ron Artest's title ring raffle raises $500K

Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest gave away his 2010 NBA championship ring at a charity auction raffle that reportedly raised more than $500,000. obama-artest Posted by Ben Golliver

Back in the summer, we noted that Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest made the unusual decision to raffle off his 2010 NBA championship ring, the only ring he has won to date, to raise money for a mental health awareness charity.  Following the Lakers' disappointing 96-80 loss to the Miami Heat on Christmas, Artest followed through on his plan, handing over the ring to Raymond Mikkael, a "father of four from Hawthorne," California, according to KTLA.com. Mikkael held the winning ticket for Artest's raffle, which reportedly raised more than $500,000 for his Xcel University charity, which will provide support to "high-risk youth with mental health issues," according to the Associated Press. The AP also reported that this is just the beginning for Artest.
"It's a good feeling, because it got a lot of publicity, and that's cool," Artest said. "I'm glad we can start over now and do some more work with charities."
If you tried to tell people back in 2004 that the Ron Artest who fought with fans in the stands during a game in Detroit would provide the NBA's best Christmas story of 2010, they would have scoffed. That Artest has gone so far above and beyond in his maturation and awareness of his role as a public figure deserves all the praise in the world. In a league known for its copycat culture, here's hoping Artest's actions inspire his fellow players to pursue creative, far-reaching charitable contributions on issues that matter to them. 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com