Artest says he’s quicker and stronger this year

Hawks Lakers BasketballLakers Examiner: The evidence is clear.

With Kobe Bryant guarding Joe Johnson at in the first quarter of last night’s win over the Atlanta Haws, Johnson was 7-8 from the field with 18 points. In the second quarter, Ron Artest switched onto the Hawks star for the rest of the game and Johnson finished with 27 points on 8-17 shooting, with many of his points coming against the reserve unit.

Was some of it that Johnson had to rest and it made him cool off? Sure. But there was no doubt that Johnson was frustrated by Artest’s physicality.

Ron’s physique is something that was widely discussed coming into the season. Some felt he had put on weight, and that he could no longer play defense against smaller, quicker guards. After last night’s game, however, Ron set us all straight:

People say I was a little slower this year, but I actually feel more athletic. I’m faster this year, so it’s going to be even tougher for a lot of players…

I’m weighing more, about two or three pounds more, and more muscle, and I’m actually quicker. So it’s going to be tougher for guys.

According to Ron, he weighs himself everyday and is currently at 265.

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Jaime is the co-owner and Operating Director for LakerNation.com from Alhambra, CA. He's help create the official websites for Kevin Durant and Goodwin Sports. Currently, he's the Online Producer for FOX Sports Radio and AM570 KLAC.
  • Robert

    Simple formula: Ron-Ron’s D leads to Kobe’s O. Phil wants Ron to score too, but it’s ok. There is plenty of season left to go. Lakers don’t need to play like crazy now (unlike Celtics, who are idiots for playing hard this early). We’ll get to playoffs fine, so just wait and see what Ron-Ron will do in the next few months.
    Recall that Phil wanted to draft Ron-Ron in 1999, but the Lakers didn’t have enough cap for that. Imagine if he came in 1999 – Lakers would have won 10 straight titles.

    • http://www.jjceleb.com Megan Fox JJC

      You don’t know that for sure. Ron was immature and emotionally explosive back then.

      • Robert

        Phil would have helped channel his aggression into a stellar player. Look what he did with Rodman, one of the greatest if not the greatest defensive player ever.

  • WifelovesLuke

    Ron is getting good looks inside and outside. His shot is going to fall. I’m just really excited about the energy he is giving on the defensive end and hope it’s contagious. It was nice to hear Kobe and LO say as much in the post game interviews.

    1-2-3 Ring!!

  • shannon4mvp

    265 POUNDS DAAAMN!! Hews bigger than lebron and the second biggest guy on the team next to Bynum 275 or 285!

    • WOWzer

      Too bad lebron is way way faster and got more hops for artest to keep up with