It was the NBA’s western conference semifinals when the Lakers went into the whole 7 games against a resilient Houston Rockets. There are countless of times when Ron Artest would guard Kobe and got hit in the jaw after series of trash talking and bad mouthing with the two. They love the intensity and they welcome every challenged each player gives in the court but we might saw the last of Artest wearing the Rockets uniform and the unlikely teammates with Kobe in purple and gold. Ron Artest got some persuasion by the Lakers and will be a Laker within the next 3 days. The 6-foot-7 defensive specialist had a verbal agreement with the Lakers after earning $7.4 million last year decided to sign for a 3 year deal worth only $18 million which could earn him $6 million per year. “He wants to win a ring,” Ron Artest’s agent David Bauman said. “He’s a winner and a hard worker and he went looking for a team with whom he could find some justification for what he does. He plays his best when he’s in that kind of an environment.” There is some cloud of doubts about Artest playing in the triangle offense. He demands the ball in offense which doesn’t work in that kind of play. He holds the ball too long and forces his own shots. Signing Artest leaves athletic wingman Trevor Ariza in limbo and the Lakers couldn’t offer enough money to make Ariza stay which is only a mid-level exception in that matter. It was also believed that Ariza had a verbal agreement with Artest’s former team the Houston Rockets. Ariza averaged 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists for the Lakers last season and helped Los Angeles in winning their 15th title in franchise history. Ariza is only 24 years old compared to a 30 year old Artest and Trevor slowly develop his outside shooting and has great footwork and superb defense. It was also known Ron’s improbable behavior on and off the court involving in scuffling with team mates and coaches in Indiana and Sacramento he also got suspended in a brawl involving fans. It might be a bad idea in signing Ron but the Lakers added toughness and depth. They could have used Ariza but it seems like they are bound to sign Artest. The Lakers knew that 3 years or less Kobe would retire and they want to make the best out of him. Maybe winning three or four more trophies and in any other way Ron Artest can help the Lakers develop the toughness they need….offense or defensive wise.
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