Friday, July 3, 2009

Lakers look to Artest to fill dramatic role

Kobe Bryant always admired that Ron Artest never acted like he wanted an autograph when duty demanded that he defend him. He loved that Artest was combustible and crazy and always left people wondering: Is this the moment when Ron-Ron loses his mind again, when all hell breaks loose?

Deep down, Bryant wanted Artest on his side. Artest gives a thirtysomething Kobe what Dennis Rodman gave a thirtysomething Michael Jordan: A belligerent, tough guy bearing the burden of protecting the superstar’s back.

And as far back as the Western Conference playoffs, the Lakers believed Artest wanted to trade Houston for Hollywood, that the Rockets’ decaying cornerstone of Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady turned that team into a temporary rehab assignment.

“If they couldn’t get Trevor [Ariza] cheap,” said a source with knowledge of the Lakers’ free-agent plans, “they had Ron in their back pocket.”

And maybe, in some ways, that won’t be the worst thing in the world for the Lakers. Chaos? That’s letting your agent’s agenda and big mouth get your butt shipped from the Los Angeles Lakers for lottery land in Houston. Kobe Bryant had been willing to take back his whole team, but Ariza made the mistake of giving the Lakers what they always wanted, what they always believed was available to them: the combustible and crazy Ron Artest.

Kobe Bryant gets his Rodman now, and yes, this is how all hell breaks loose in Hollywood.


Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home

Blogger Template by Blogcrowds