Artest At The Mic = Priceless!

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Posted by Sekou Smith

LOS ANGELES – Ron Artest‘s first taste of the NBA Finals was everything he thought it would be, and a bit more.

The “more” was the crowd gathered around him during the media session after the Lakers’ Wednesday morning practice, where Artest asked nearly as many questions as he was asked and played his part in an annual dance routine that he had to know was coming.

Bottom line, Artest with a sea of cameras, microphones and digital recorders in his face (above) is priceless!

Some of the highlights of the back and forth that is sure to entertain us all in the weeks ahead:

Reporter: What’s the best way for you to stop Paul Pierce?

Artest: I’m going to figure it out in Game 1. We’ll see. I don’t have the answer right now but by [Thursday night] I should, so we’ll see.

Reporter: How does it feel now that things are going your way, the game winner and a good performance in the close-out game of the Western Conference finals?

Artest: What things [going my way]? Oh, that’s in the past. I totally forgot about that. Whole new day, whole new story.

Reporter: Does the rivalry mean anything to you?

Artest: Not necessarily. This is my first year as a Laker, so I don’t really have anything to do with that rivalry right now. I guess, after [Game 1], after I play, I guess I’ll be a part of it. I don’t really know much about it. Of course, you know Bird and Magic. But I was always a Chicago Bulls guy so …

Reporter: When you came here you said this is why you came to the Lakers, to win a championship, so it’s all on the line for you?

Artest: I said that when I first came here, right?

Reporter: Yeah, and that if they didn’t win the championship to blame you.

Artest: I did say that, I did say that. And it’s great to be involved in what’s going on right now. And tomorrow it will be back to basketball. Today is more like an activity with all the media and it’s great. The media came from all over the world and that’s great.

Reporter: Do you think there’s more of a burden on your shoulders because of what you said?

Artest: It’s up to you, what do you think?

Reporter: Well, yeah!

Artest: (Smiling) Cool.

That’s vintage Artest. The scariest part is there’s more where that came from, so much more.

The kicker is, if his play in this series is anywhere near as good as the quality of his performance Wednesday, Artest will have to answer plenty of questions as we move on.

24 Comments

  1. CB says:

    Sure Rondo is faster than Fisher, but nobody remembers the past Laker games where Kobe guarded Rondo and they stuck Fisher on Ray Allen because he is better at getting over the screens? Rondo is one of the best point guards as far as attacking the basket, but i’m sorry, when it comes down to the line 4th quarter, tied game, i’d pick Fisher anyday. If you clog the key Rondo is only a passing threat as he cannot shoot at all. Now Fisher’s shooting- Let’s not forget about F his 0.2sec buzzer beater and countless other 4th quarter clutch and game winning baskets. I’m not saying Fisher is more talented, merely that basketball is a team game, and of course Fisher won’t be able to keep up with Rondo (just like Westbrook, Williams, Nash, and almost every other top notch pg) but the Lakers as a team help him. Somehow when it comes down to the line, 4th quarter, Fisher makes the stops that he needs.

    As far as Paul Pierce vs. Kobe, that’s a no-brainer, the will of Kobe won’t be denied, but individual matchups aren’t what is going to determine this series, its all about team play and whose entire team shows up. The Lakers need more from their entire team whereas the Celtics to me seem to have that going for them.

    This will be a very interesting series, game 1 will dictate the tone, and honestly it could go either way.

  2. bliss says:

    Surely, you did read George K’s lengthy comment thinking it was part of the article? LOL He’s very biased IMHO.

    Boston has the advantage in the PG position and overall defense. But the Lakers are gonna win the series anyway on other factors. Lakers in 6 or 7.

  3. THIS IS THE SERIES says:

    @GEORGE K,Adderulus, and Kel……First off, I will say, I am a Lakers fan, but above all, I am a fan of great Basketball and I love the game.
    1- The Rondo vs Fisher matchup I do not care what anybody says…..it goes to Fisher!!! The reason why is a)he can shoot better. B)In the fourth quarter of a tight game there is 2 things u can do with Rondo….force him to shoot, or put him on the free-throw line where he is a wonderful 58%….lets not forget he was 1 of 6 in the closeout game vs Orlando. c)Fisher all though I will be the first to admit it, got beat-down against WestBrook, Williams, and Nash, can we honestly say Rondo is better than, or as good as the last two?? (Williams and Nash?) keep in mind that westbrook is faster, a better shooter, and stronger than Rondo. And then we have the ultimate factor in this…..4 championship rings vs 1….Bottom line is, never underestimate the heart of a champion. Rondo killed Orlando Cleveland and Miami, but none of those teams were as good as people hyped them to be anyways.
    2)Bryant vs Allen- simple…..Allen. He will be healthy, he does not have a true defender on him, and he gets the luxury of having double and triple teams to guard Kobe…..where as Lakers cant afford to send a double or triple at Allen. The only thing that will slow Allen is a)not getting the ball, or b)if he shoots the ball poorly. other than that, Allen will not have a hard time getting whatever shot he wants, where Bryant will have to pull Pheonix type of shots out of his bag of tricks…capable, but im sure Boston wants that.
    3)Bynum vs Perkins……Bynum injured is putting up Kendrick Perkins numbers when Kendrick is Healthy….If Bynum gets over 10 a game (which might happen twice or 3 times this series) Lakers win easy. When is the last time we seen old Perk get 12 and 8? thats considered a monster game for him, whereas Bynum gets that and he is still on the firing Block…
    4)Lakers D vs Celtic D- Lakers have a all-around advantage, but Celtics have the advantage at certain areas. Pg-Celts Sg-Lakers Sf-Celts pf-Tied C-Lakers bench- Lakers
    Everybody looks at the Pheonix series and thinks L.A has no defense?? lmao, truthfully they dont know the game clearly and have not been watching why that was. Pheonix had a strategy where even after a made bucket they push the ball and before 15 seconds on the shot-clock they want to get off a shot… well that style gives you about 30 more possesions per game…..which means more points. Boston on offense usually gets everybody involved, and shoot with about 4 or 3 left on the clock…..which gives u almost 30 less possesions both ways….which means less points!!
    The bottom line is, the Lakers can play ANYSTYLE thrown at them, and not only is that why they are champs, but headed for a repeat! Boston is an extremely good team…but dont take them winning in this series because they beat the Cavs and the Magic….thats an insult to the Lakers….they are a different breed.
    Lakers in 6

    • Jumpman says:

      Are u kidding me??
      Rondo will burn Fisher, Kobe will have to guard rondo, which means they will have to find someone good enough to guard ray allen

  4. highhata says:

    I do remember the Lakers blowing 18 point leads in two consecutive games and almost losing both times, correct? Good defense? and allowing an average of over 100 ppg to the Suns, you guy are lucky to even be in the Finals, if the Suns knew how to play legit defense. And everyone thinks the zone is what hurt the Lakers, they shot over 45% against it, the only thing the zone did was take Gasol out of the game….

  5. Michael says:

    George K,
    seriously do you believe anything you just said? Are you saying the Lakers beat the Suns because of their outstanding defense? Jesus Christ! you must be 5 years old. I suggest you to watch the series over and over again. There wasn’t one game that didn’t got over 100 point No I call La a good offensive team ! Not a defensive. They have got good individuals like Bryant and Artest but as a team they aren’t worth one bit on the defensive end. And the bench. Odom might be the best player coming of both benches but the Celtics have more depth. Don’t underestimate Tony Allen. Bryant considers TA as a superb defender on the celtics squad. Last year Orlando didn’t play with heart. It was exactly the same intensity as this series against Boston. Dwight is just immature. I say Celtics in 6 !

  6. zzanzabar says:

    Im sorry but is there a part of the interview on this blog that I missed? It seemed like a standard ‘no comment’ type of player interview before a big game (yawn). Artest said nothing that seemed odd or inflammatory so what is the big deal? Smith, this game is big enough that it really doesn’t need hyperbole or headline grabbing tactics, the only thing ‘priceless’ to this article is that it took time to read and respond that I will never get back.

  7. jon conner says:

    lakers in 5…….. and yes, phil jackson already has 3 3peats….. he wins in 3’s

  8. ThiruchelvamRamachandran says:

    Rondo has to be guided by coach and then it is celtics

  9. Kel says:

    Wow. George K is deluding himself that the Lakers have the advantage at the PG position and clearly, Boston is the better defensive team. Plus, Kobe will get somewhat tired if he has to chase Ray all night. My guess is he won’t, and at times Allen will be able to shoot over the top of Brown or Fisher, etc. Obviously having Kobe is a huge advantage. But Pierce is also a great player. No where near Kobe, though. Perkins will hold his own vs. Bynum, although offensively, Bynum gets the nod. KG will probably not score as much as Gasol, but defensively is much more of a presense than Gasol. He’s just stronger than Gasol. Bench: Nate, TA, Davis, Finley, ‘Sheed, Williams and Daniels are much stronger than Farmar, Odom, Vujacic, Brown, and Powell. Only Odom could be a real factor. He and Sheed have both hit big shots, and have both been inconsistent, but Odom could be more a problem for the opposing team if he gets hot.

    Also, quit with the age thing. Both teams have proven they are more than energized for these playoffs. Clutch, we all know who it’s going to, and as I recall, Kobe missed two end of game shots that were forced and well contested, only to have Gasol (vs. Thunder) and Artest (vs. Suns) put it back. Kobe’s great, but Boston has at least 3 guys who they can go to at the end of games, probably more.

    Both teams are very experienced, so there’s really no advantage either way. But Rondo I believe has benefitted most in the two years since the ’08 finals than anyone else.

    I will say that if Boston can win one of the first 2 games, they will win in 6. If not, Lakers in 7. I believe both teams will get a road win at some point during this series. No matter what, I will be extremely surprised if this series isn’t competitve, and I don’t think it will end in just 4 or 5 games.

  10. ZULU says:

    Priceless……. Ron Artest & Sarah Palin doing traveling press conferences.

  11. LAKERS says:

    The key factor for the Lakers to win will be Artest and Bynum. If these to players play good the Celtics won’t have a chance.
    CELTICS SUCK!!! CELTICS SUCK!!! CELTICS SUCK!!! CELTICS SUCK!! CELTICS SUCK!!! CELTICS SUCK!!! CELTICS SUCK!!!

  12. Jake says:

    I feel bad for Ron Artest. He gets paid to play basketball not to think. Some guys shouldn’t have to do interviews because they just make a fool of themselves.

  13. lue says:

    Laker 2010 and 2011 champins the 3 peat usuallty phil jackson wins one he gets 3 back to back

  14. Adarellus says:

    Wow, George K….

    If your going to (try) provide a preview for the finals, at least state before hand that you are seriously one-eyed and a definite Kobe fan-bwoyy…..

    Seriously, you gave Fisher the advantage over Ronda for the mere fact that he can shoot the 3? Boston has been closing out 3 point shooters all finals, and you think they will all of a sudden stop for the lakers?

    I doubt that Kobe will be on Allen all game because if he is, Allen will just run off screens each set and tire Kobe out on defense so their match up doesn’t have too much significance. However Kobe obviously wins this one, since he is one of the greatest.

    Artest is the best defender in the NBA (arguably) however he is just one cog in a machine that doesn’t have too many good stoppers, and Pierce is good at picking his moments and playing as a distributor. Althgouh the match up could be quite close, Pierce still has the advantage as he can play both offense and defense more consistently (guarding Lebron in the Cavs series?).

    Garnett Gasol will be an awesome match up, however for me it’s hard to tell how much Garnett’s knees will affect him compared to how much Gasol has improved. The deciding factor to me will be how hard Gasol plays, and whether or not he gets intimidated into playing poorly by the celtics tough defense.

    I would generaslly give the Perkins Bynum matchup to the Lakers but wih Bynum injured I can’t help but think Perk might have a slight edge here. Bynum’s minutes have been decreasing steadily to 18. whatever per game last series due to both the injury AND foul trouble. I don’t think he will be to effective if he doesn’t seriously up his game this series, so advantage either 50/50 or to Perkins.

    Also, benches have a bigger impact than you think, unless you believe Jackons and Doc will play their starting 5 for 48 minutes every night??? Yeah, sure they will….. Celtics bench has been providing more energy/points and contribution as a group comapred to the Celtisc so far, and I don’t see that changing for this series.

    My prediction, Celtics in 7!!

  15. zone-one says:

    Suck boston… ARTEST would be the lucky charm… gogogogog lakers….4,5,6 or 7 game its not important! 2010 Champion Los Angeles Lakers!!!!

  16. George K. says:

    Ok now seriously, lets take a step by step look at everything.

    1. Matchups
    PG RONDO VS FISHER: When celtics attack rondo just dribbles inside and lays up.When orlando closed the paint he played extremely poorly cause he cant shoot. When lakers attack fisher is a killer shooter, let go of him for a moment and hill nail the 3. ADVANTAGE: Lakers, if they play rondo the right way but phil jackson knows what hes doing.

    SG ALLEN VS BRYANT: Allen a very good player which i have a lot of respect for. Kobe , what can i say he deserves to be known as the 2nd best of all time. With him amazing is nothing, i could write pages with his feasts. Also he is much better physically so running off screens is gonna be a problem for allen only. Plus Kobe is the most mentally tough human being ive ever imagined of. Hes gonna torch the celtics for revenge. ADVANTAGE:Lakers

    SF PIERCE VS ARTEST: Pierce is a great player.He came back to play basketball after being shot and for that i have a lot of respect for him. He has very good all-round versitality but hes a mediocre defender. Artest is a defence specialist and the toughest guy in the league.He can get a 14 man ejection between him and the opposing team.His only issue is his shooting. When he gets it going the lakers blowout everything. When he doesnt………..lol i hide. Both players are in great form. ADVANTAGE: Celtics

    PF GARNETT VS GASOL: Garnett is old and injured and has a bit of a crybaby mentality but he is extremely intense and great offense. Gasol has become a man and improved all round.Plus he is 100percent ready(where the f..k is the percent symbol on my f..king keybord.Laptops suck.) ADVANTAGE:Lakers

    C PERKINS VS BYNUM: Perkins is a post defender but he doesnt score offensively at all. Bynum is hurt but that chicago bullshiz. Kobe plays through the whole season with injured arms and is G.O.A.T. and jordan played flu games.
    Also celtics suit bynum cause they dont double team in the post. ADVANTAGE:Lakers

    6th MAN WALLACE VS ODOM: Wallace provides energy at defence , is experienced, but all he does is shoot 3s in offence. Odom is a very decent player , physican ,energetic , skilled and scores a lot.Both are 100percent. ADVANTAGE:Lakers

    Bench: note i dont believe bench is a key factor in basketball but whatever. Both are about even tony allen vs shannon brown , farmar vs robinson , davis vs powell/walton(whoever goes for it) ADVANTAGE: My xbox360 and my HALO 3

    2. Generally

    EXPERIENCE: lakers have been to the finals 6 times this decade and won 3. Celtics won in 08 but this is their second time and didnt do a thing for 22 years. Again this is championship experience im talking about. ADVANTAGE: Lakers

    ENERGY: Lakers are younger so the have a slight advantage. Also they swept utah and thus had to give less games during their run.

    OFFENSE: Lakers triangle, boston getting everyone involved. Also lakers have kobe. ADVANTAGE:Lakers

    DEFENSE: Lakers by far. The GREAT celtics defense against magic was just not double teaming howard. And against cleveland and miami they beat two individuals. They are however playing physically. Lakers proved last year against orlando that they could stop even the best shooting team in the league. Artest , bryant , gasol , bynum great defenders. It is also a fact that they held utah to 2 lessthan100pointsgame and the thunder in 4 playing against TEAMS. ADVANTAGE:Lakers have proven themselves worthy.

    SUPERSTAR:KOBE BRYANT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>PAUL PIERCE ADVANTAGE:Kobe is prettier that pierce.I think everyone agrees about that.

    CLUTCH TIME: KB24>>>>>>>>>HUMANITY

    MOTIVATION: LAKERS REVENGE>>>>>>>>>PIERCE IN CELTICS HISTORY

    3. Prediction

    First of all i think this is very close.Lakers are favourites as world champions anyway and there is also the reveng factor. But i definitely believe kobe is going to win it. He is the best along with michael when it comes to fighting double teams. Also homecourt advantage and lakers great conditioning.

    LAKERS 2010 WORLD CHAMPIONS and cant wait to watch the series.Hope we throw rocks at their bus after winning in 6!!!!!!!

    • Fedja says:

      NBA.com should hire you

      • happyforthemoment says:

        Does anybody know what he is talking about?
        First off, you can’t spell…physician? Don’t you mean PhysicaL? Favourite? How about FAVORITE?
        Lakers have kobe???? Did you not watch the 0’8 finals? They had Kobe then too and still lost!
        I am rooting for the Lakers but I gotta say, NBA.com doesn’t send their people to school for english composition and certainly doesn’t want a know nothing idiot.

    • Dee says:

      I love it..you definitely said it best..what more can you say..

      Lakers in 6..

    • Sal says:

      George K. you are dumb ass and obviously a Laker fan, we’ll talk later when you advantages wil turn to disadvantages.. Good luck sucker!!!

  17. He responded well to my opinion and I think it’s on the ground that everything will

  18. Romanbp24 says:

    He is gonna be a monster on Pierce.