Artest Wants Less ‘Cruising,’ Criticism, More Defense and a Ring

NBA Fanhouse: Ron Artest has never won an NBA title, but he knows championship- level basketball when he sees it.

And that, the Lakers small forward said on Wednesday, is precisely what he saw in his team’s dominating Game 5 win over Oklahoma City at the Staples Center. But before the Lakers headed back to the Ford Center for Friday night’s chance to close out their first round series, the 11-year veteran who so desperately wants his first ring wondered why that sort of performance has been the exception and not the rule.

His best guess: champions are always prone to becoming too complacent.

“I guess there were times when (Michael) Jordan and (his Chicago teams) won back-to-backs (titles) and three-peats, when they won 69 games one year, then won 59 and 55 (games), (and) I guess you’ve (won) so much and you’re just waiting for the big picture (of the playoffs),” said Artest, who signed a five-year deal with the Lakers last summer to take part in this very pursuit. “But a guy like me, I don’t have much (in the way of championships) so I want to play every day hard.’”

Which is something he wishes the Lakers had done more often this season.

“We were cruising through the whole Western Conference this year, and we stayed in cruise mode,” Artest said. “And then at the end of the season, you saw that it hurt us, and then it led into the playoffs a little bit. We stayed in cruise mode. We thought we were something that we’re not. We thought we were hot, just hot stuff, but we weren’t. But we are if we play the right way.”

Continue reading ‘Artest Wants Less ‘Cruising,’ Criticism, More Defense and a Ring’

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.
  • daboss1848

    preach on, bill.

  • WINLESS

    He needs to start kicking his own teammates asses in practice and remind them of what they need to do to win it all this year. I think this “trying-to-fit-in” label for him all this year has to stop and be more the REAL Ron Artest that I’ve grown accustomed to watching over the years. Physical, intimidating, bullying, and most of ferocious on defense and it will send the message that he’s not f*cking around anymore.

  • trippleocho

    Tell em Ron-Ron

  • lakers0828

    Then Get your Team Mates to Show Up Every Night and Play like the Lakers Should Play which is with Determination Heart and Stop Playing Chums and Play Like CHamps

  • TOUCHING_MYSELF

    He just gave the best and most right on self-assessment (Team wise) of the season! Ron Ron seems to be fueled by the hunger of a missing championship ring! If Kobe and Company keeps claiming that that’s what they’re all about then it’s time to sing to the tune of Ron Artest which is DEFENSE!

    The Lakers offense is not a problem when they run the triangle! This was so evident on Tuesday night! The thing that surprised everyone was not their efficiency in their offense, but the DEFENSE! Everyone already knows how potent and explosive their offense is, but NO ONE knew that our Lakers were capable of this type of defense!

    That was the most dominating defensive effort I’ve seen of any Laker team during the last decade! They DIDN’T GIVE UP ON ANY PLAY! NOT ONE! Even when Westbrook stole the ball from Fish, Kobe chased him down and when Westbrook felt the pressure of Kobe’s eminent block, he miss stepped and threw the ball back into Fish’s hands! They got each other’s backs the ENTIRE night and just “SHOCK AND AWED” the Thunder.

    I hope that everyone listens to what the Tru Warrior has to say this time, because it’s about the most basic truth that they need to hear! Just play hard and not to take any play off and they will roll over EVERY TEAM in the league! Bring it LeBronze (if you can make it to the Finals), Bring it Cockston (our boys and fans would like nothing more than seek the revenge that they so desperately want), Bring it Magic ( we’ll show everyone that you guys are nothing more than an ILLUSION again)!

    FCUK ALL THE OTHER TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE!!!!!!!!!!!
    Our team DOMOs over them all!
    GO RON RON!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GO KOBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GO PAU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GO BYNUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (BACK TO BACK CHAMPS!)

    • http://thetruthrenaissance.wordpress.com/ BE_A_LakerFan

      Co-sign

  • justdogm1

    is that really a revelation that they don`t play hard?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1460601006&ref=profile OaklandLakers

    Ron-Ron is L.A.’s Pitbull & I proudly take him in this Laker family no matter what the media say. Sick em’ Ron-Ron

  • Robert

    I see the “Kobe scowl”, but this time it’s Ron-Ron’s! He’s hungry like Kobe was last year. Look out, roadkill! Here comes the warrior.
    .
    And a word on their ‘cruising’ pace: they played injured ALL year long. If they had played extra hard, they might have only won home court against the East winner. But, they might have also burned out early. They won the West, which is imp. for home court for now.
    .
    And NOW, they have the energy to make it through the playoffs. This is the advantage of cruising during the year. They turned the switch ON, finally. AND, as the media also mentioned, if they play like this, they are unstoppable (yes, they can beat the CAVS!). I’m looking for another championship IF they play like this for the games that count.

  • justdogm1

    really???they`ve played one good game out of 4 and will most likely loose tonight.we win our home games,road games are a coin flip.

  • lakerman1

    Lakers & Spurs in the western finals guaranteed.

    Lakers & Celtics or Lakers & Magic finals guaranteed.

    Then Lebron to NY or Chicago guaranteed.

    Ron now feels part of the team and will take over for Kobe as far as getting in these guys faces and pushing them to play hard every night as he does. Ron is just what the lakers need. Anybody think Ariza can strike fear like Ron. I don’t think so. And when the Lakers win it all it will be because of Ron. He has finally seen enough already. He even said regardless of what Phil says if he is open for those side threes he is going to take them. Say what you want Ron Artest is a Mans Man.

  • Robert

    Nevermind the “Laker switch”, the “Ron switch” is on. Remember that Ron-Ron led the Rockets (a depleted team) to 7 games against the World Champion Lakers last year (the only team to take them to 7 – weren’t we worried in that series?).
    .
    The Rockets fell short last year, because the Lakers slammed down Ron-Ron (Kobe challenged him – and the refs followed suit). Then, in the last few games, he didn’t play up to par.
    .
    This year, there is NO ONE on any of the potential opposing teams to slam down Ron-Ron (no great defender like Kobe, or Battier, or Bowen who retired, etc.). He can slice through them like butter.
    .
    Kobe has ‘officially’ deferred to his teammates, to win a Championship – he will take a more ‘integrative’ role, and that allows his teammates to step up. He knows that that is the best way to win this year. He doesn’t have to put up MVP numbers – he can do that next year when we win again, and he is all healed up.
    .
    On the other side, LeBron is now injured (a bad time to have an injury now), and so his team will be pushed to the limit, if they even have a chance to make it. The rest of the team is so reliant on him – that will be the Cavs undoing. And now Ron-Ron can step up his defense – since defense wins games in the playoffs, we have a much better chance than last year (Lakers can handle the Jazz and the Spurs).