Ron Artest is a Los Angeles Laker! This is nuts — pun intended!
CBS Sports: Shaq can have LeBron. Ron Artest says he’ll take Kobe.
Artest, whose versatility and toughness have made him one of the most coveted and combustible players in the NBA, told CBSSports.com Thursday that he’s signing with the Lakers.
“I’m definitely going to L.A. — to sign, yeah,” Artest said in a phone interview. “Lakers, Lakers, Lakers. I’m in L.A. right now.”
Artest said he met with Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss Thursday and previously had spoken with Lakers coach Phil Jackson. He was en route to his financial manager’s office, where he planned to huddle on the phone with his agent, David Bauman, to finalize details.
Artest’s exuberance — he spent the whole summer in L.A., including several appearances at Lakers home games during the NBA Finals — got ahead of the process a bit. Other teams that made overtures for Artest — including the Cavaliers — have not yet been notified that Artest is signing with the Lakers. (Consider them notified.) Bauman has spoken with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, but parameters have not yet been agreed to. Still, it’s pretty clear where Artest is going.
“I don’t really care about the money,” Artest said. “I’ll play there for nothing. … L.A. was very interested in me, and they got me.”
Here is the original story break:
UPDATE: This has been posted on the top of their website as “breaking news”:
CBSSports.com: One-time All-Star forward Ron Artest tells CBSSports.com senior writer Ken Berger he’ll be signing with the Lakers.
Additionally, Ken Berger of CBS Sports had posted this tweet:
Breaking News. Ron Artest tells CBSSports.com he is signing with the Lakers. (via Twitter)
His column can be found here, with a link to his twitter page as well.