Ron talks about Mark Cuban’s criticism of Ron Artest.

Press Enterprise: It’s no surprise that Ron Artest got a little irked when Dallas owner Mark Cuban said this month that the Lakers made a huge mistake by signing him to a five-year contract.

More surprising, however, is the reason for Artest’s aggravation.

Artest felt Cuban’s statements were a blown marketing opportunity because he made them at a time when the Lakers forward didn’t need the Q rating boost.

“It was just bad timing for me because we could have scheduled it the right way,” Artest said, chuckling. “I’d have told him to wait. I have a song coming up this week, but next week my name will probably die down a little bit, so say it next week. That’s the problem I have with Mark: Bad marketing.”

Artest certainly didn’t do anything to disprove Cuban’s sentiments, scoring just three points on 1-for-6 shooting in a foul-plagued 23 minutes. He slammed the ball down in frustration after picking up a first-half charge trying to dribble through a double team and later picked up a technical in the third quarter arguing with a referee after getting slapped with another offensive foul for elbowing Jason Kidd.

“He stole the ball and Kidd jumped at him to try to take it back,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “He went to protect the ball, and the referee called him for elbowing. That ended up being his fourth foul and a technical on top of it. That was another momentum-stopping sequence.”