Posts Tagged ‘David Bauman’

Agent: Artest Not Headed To Finland

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We had a feeling the rumors about Ron Artest agreeing to play in Finland in the event of an NBA lockout seemed just a tad bit suspicious, since Artest didn’t announce it himself via Twitter (where the name Metta World Peace has already been incorporated).

Artest’s agent, David Bauman, confirmed those suspicions to the Los Angeles Times, calling the entire affair a “publicity stunt,” among other things:

“I’m his agent and nothing has come across my desk,” Bauman said. “Although Ron has asked me to explore all options over in Europe in the event of a prolonged lockout, there are several legal and business considerations that have to be addressed. The biggest one involves insurance. None of those have been addressed and I don’t even know who this guy claiming to have an agreement is. Final thing is what if the league has a lockout for say two weeks and then end up getting a deal. It becomes a moot point.”

Artest currently has a three-year, $21-million contract remaining with the Lakers, making the possibility to play overseas during a possible lockout even more difficult. NBA Commissioner David Stern has publicly maintained players are free to play overseas during a possible lockout, but International Basketball Federation rules require teams to honor contracts signed in other leagues.

“The whole notion strikes me as a publicity stunt,” Bauman said. “Nothing has come across my desk. Ron has asked me to look into options in Europe, but certainly not with a small team in Finland.”

Glad we got that cleared up!

Artest Wants Out?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — An already strange season for the Los Angeles Lakers shifted into crazy mode today with the news that Ron Artest is hoping to be traded by the team he helped win a championship eight months ago.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak indicated that the Lakers would be open to dealing someone in order to energize things.  ESPN.com’s Marc Stein has “a source” that indicate Artest is hoping he is the man that is moved:

I’m told that there’s at least one prominent Laker who hopes he’s the guy who gets shipped out in the next 20-odd days.

One source close to the situation insists that Ron Artest wants out.

Asked to react to that, Artest’s agent David Bauman declined comment.

This is where I’m obligated to remind you that no one in the NBA can change his mind faster than the famously fickle Ron-Ron. Another pertinent disclaimer: Artest’s play has been sufficiently sluggish in the second season of a five-year deal that whatever he wants is bound to be greeted by shrugs and scoffs, no matter how much he gave the Lakers in the epic final game of last season.

I’ve nonetheless been assured this week that Artest — though he hasn’t outright demanded a trade and is likely to publicly deny it — is serious about wanting to be dealt somewhere “he can have fun again” less than a year removed from the pivotal role he played in that ring-clinching Game 7 with Boston that the Lakers so nearly squandered.

One can only imagine how this news will go over in the locker room with Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Lakers, not to mention Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

UPDATE (3:40 p.m. ET via the LA Times): Artest’s agent refuted the claim that his client wants to be traded. “Ron is not looking for a trade,” Bauman said. “The frustration is there among everyone on the team. But Ron is a Laker, and he just wants to win. Ron is frustrated with the losing, as everybody is.”

Rather than waiting around for their responses, which will surely be as entertaining as they are biting, we’ve decided to put this matter to a vote.

Does Artest stay or go? You decide.