Hoop Du Lakers: The Little Things

Through all the commotion, through all the criticisms he has faced as a Laker, Ron Artest was able to deliver. The unlikely hero in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals came to none other then Ron Artest.

Memories of Game 6 from the 2006 NBA Playoffs against the Suns started to resurface as the Lakers were unable to grab a rebound after two three-point attempts clanked off the rim. Jason Richardson banked a three pointer that made the Staples Center crowd go in sheer silence. It was almost an identical play of a Tim Thomas go-ahead three pointer that put the game into overtime four years ago. The Lakers would eventually lose the game, as well as the series.

But this is a different time, a different series, and a different Lakers squad. With someone more determined then ever to bring a ring to the Lakers, Ron Artest has provided just that; a difference and heart, something that you won’t see on the stat sheet.

His shooting has been sometimes forgettable, as has his decision making. But, one thing that has never been in question has been the heart, which is that of a warrior. A determined individual that has never given up on any play, or let down on any challenge.

Artest shot a missed 20-footer with 1:02 to play and then missed a three-point attempt with 22 seconds on the shot clock that left fans in the crowd confused and baffled. At the next timeout, Lakers’ Coach Phil Jackson gave Artest an earful and later said he even questioned himself for leaving Artest in the game.

“I don’t know why I left him in the game,” Coach Phil Jackson later admitted. “I actually questioned it myself when I put him out there on the floor, and there he was. Made the key play.”

But, Artest has never let himself down. He has worked hard before and after practices, even going straight to the gym right after games. He has been seen on the court hours before games with no other then the Lakers star Kobe Bryant, causing praise from the Lakers superstar along with much respect.

Asked if it was the biggest shot of his career.

“Biggest layup,” he said. “I missed a lot of layups during the regular season. Now I’m missing jumpers and missing layups, but, you know, staying with it.”

Staying with it is the key term, something that Artest has never come short of doing. Helping his team in anyway he can, Artest has never complained about having to sacrifice much of his game. Just keeping to himself and contributing with any little thing he can. Saying that his sole reason for being in a Lakers uniform is for his defense.

“He sacrificed a lot to help us get to where we’re trying to go,” Derek Fisher said. “That’s why we were so happy for him.”

Even after getting a game winner and putting his team ahead in the Western Conference Finals. Ron Artest was not ready to go celebrate. His brother Daniel Artest posted on his Twitter wall, “And then after the game, he didn’t even party, he went to the gym to workout.”

Even if his sub-par shooting isn’t welcomed, that kind of determination is. That is what will bring a back to back title to Los Angeles.

Some may call it being at the right place at the right time. But, his heart and will, got him to that place.

  • TOUCHING_MYSELF

    Here’s thing… all this talk about Artest being the UNLIKELY HERO is bunch of BULLSH!T! A hero isn’t just someone who knocks down the winning shot! A hero is also one who will sacrifice whatever he needs to, to get to where he needs to go (either for himself and/or for the betterment of a group, in this case a team)!

    Ron Ron has done nothing, but sacrifice since he’s been on this Lakers’ Team. He’s sacrificed his shots, his glory, his time and energy, and his position as an ALPHA DOG to try to bring a TITLE for this team, this city!

    (“He sacrificed a lot to help us get to where we’re trying to go,” Derek Fisher said.)

    The Tru Warrior has been D’ing up all of the best on the other team so that Kobe can be our offense, so that Kobe can have a rest, so that no one else gets the responsibility of the toughest assignments. If things work out, he gets a pat on the back… if they don’t, he gets our wrath!

    His heroics either go unnoticed or gets glared over because of how well Kobe, Pau, or Bynum does in a game. Even LO gets mor glory for having a 15 and 10 than #37 will for getting 4 steals and shutting down the likes of a Kevin Durant, Pudgy Pierce, or a Vince Carter.

    Those steals that he gets are opportunities lost for the other team and opportunities gained for us! 4 steals can translate to a possible 16+ point swing!

    This man does so much more for our Lakers team than we are seeing! His defensive energy is relentless! I know that we all know that he is the defensive juggernaut to Kobe’s offensive juggernaut, but we don’t celebrate it because it’s NOT flashy or glorifying! He’s willing to do the little things that needs to get done for our team to advance and become the CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM that we are striving for!

    So let’s put away this UNLIKELY HERO title once and for all. I, for one, am sick of hearing it. Sure, he took an ill-advised shot, but who hasn’t? Think that every shot Kobe puts up is golden? And trust me, I am in no way shape or form knocking Kobe. This is just to put things into perspective for you all to see… we’ve got ANOTHER HERO, and his name is RON ARTEST!

    His brother Daniel Artest posted on his Twitter wall, “And then after the game, he didn’t even party, he went to the gym to workout.”—- SOUNDS LIKE A HERO TO ME!

    GO RON RON!!!!!!!!!!!
    GO KOBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 242LakerFan

    What he said.

  • gugy

    Well Celts are in the Finals. Let’s stamp our passport tomorrow and beat those SOB at the finals and avenge 2008!
    Talk about glory if we can beat the Suns and Celts in the same season. WOW!!!!!!!

  • kobebryant24mvpfinal

    it time for lakers to take this serie and go to the final and revenge 08 final lost to the celtics

  • Robert

    Kobe won’t let the Celtics win this year. We were caught off guard in 2008, but not this time.
    .
    Also, Ron-Ron, our HERO (agree with all above) promised Kobe that he can help deliver the Celtics, and he will make good on his promise, I know.
    .
    As for Ron-Ron’s 3 point attempts, I have to admit, I too had a moment of regret when it first happened. But you know, I’m not a pro. And neither are the pundits who report the sports news, and were criticizing him. Ron felt correct in attempting that shot, and my guess is, because the Suns have been playing successful zone all series long, Ron had an ‘extremely open look’, that was difficult to come by. So he attempted the shot knowing that the percentages tended to be in his favor.
    .
    Does anyone recall the series (against OKC? maybe it was Utah) when Ron-Ron made an inbounds pass that was intercepted (may have even been a bad call by the refs), but he later helped make a play that was complete redemption? That’s his game! And also his D is magnificent. He knocks basketballs out of opponents’ hands without fouling. Not easy to do! He’s not only a hero, but a future CHAMP!

    • daboss1848

      I always do love the “Kobe won’t let the Lakers lose” explanation for why the Lakers will win.
      .
      Just for my own edification, what happened in 2004 and 2008?

      • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Josh Herrington

        2004- Kobe was immature in a sense that he THOUGHT he could do everything which pushed away his teammates.
        .
        2008- Kobe was on the verge of a breakthrough and only until next year would he discover it.
        .
        2009- Kobe has toughened his team and now they are ready for any opponent. Only, the Magic weren’t their worst nightmares.
        .
        2010- Its present time and Kobe has willed his team on several occasions from not losing. Buzzer beaters, 3rd quarter explosions, but also, Ron, Pau, Derek, and a few others have been a help to the success you see now. Thats what will make the difference on June 3rd.

      • Robert

        Thank you, Josh! Perfect explanation.

  • Laker4 Life

    Yeah! Bring on the celdicks. It’s time for revenge.
    But, first we need to finish of these suns. Lakers vs. Celdicks is gone be tough, but Artest will shut down Pierce and Kobe will do what he does best.
    Lakers in 7.

  • edsel

    hey let’s not yet get over ourselves. phx is a challenge tht’s not to be looked over. they are capable of upsetting the lakeshow.

    we to plan well what to do in game 6.

    first, i think in the first few minutes of the game, expect stat and robin to pressure us inside in the wake of having to to let our big men into foul trouble early. i guess what this series taught us is that stat is more athletically gifted than gasol, that is why he can blow by the spaniard and the help, for most of this series, is a little late to come. and robin, God bless andrew’s leg, will kill bynum again in the inside, by 5 minutes into the game, odom will sub for our center.

    second, the suns bench will again come out blazing, again thier bench has a life on its own, without them the suns would have not been in these playoffs. if the lakeshow can slow the bench production then we have a great chance of closing out this series.

    third, is how to make pau effective again in the inside. one thing for sure, the zone affected the guy more in this seriesf(check stats gme 3 onwards). i think the lakers should match phx early assualt headon. give the big guys the confident they needed by feeding them our first possesions of the game and let them redeem themeselves against thier counterparts.

    fourth, let ‘The Machine Play!’

    well anyway, the fourth part is my x factor so that makes me dumb.

    la in 7 is a more probability than tomorrows win.

  • seankobe

    I hope phil will not make too many rotation especially on the fourth even the lakers leads by 18…no bench in the fourth pls. except lamar…go for the kill phil!

  • jonb

    WHy does EVERYBODY write us off. .espn especially, they can NEVER pick the lakers to win a series. It may be because of their recent win and lingering bias but only TWO states chose the lakers winning a lakers-celtics finals (yes a sportsnation poll). We R BETTER but hey let’s prove them all wrong again. Go LAkers beat the suns in phx please, only beating the celtics would feel better than that…

  • Robert

    ESPN is an east coast biased Laker hater organization. They were absolutely crushed when LeBrick & the Cavs were eliminated. They had them on the highest pedestal, even higher than the statue in Rio de Janeiro.
    .
    Even when the Lakers win this year’s Championship, ESPN and others will reluctantly concede defeat. They will do anything to talk against the Lakers. Their articles on Ron-Ron are ridiculous. They keep bringing up the Palace, even though it was years ago.
    .
    Actually, I’m glad they and others are putting down the Lakers, because that’s just enough fuel to get the Lakers angry enough to win it all this year. Look for the “Kobe scowl” … I think I saw bits of it in the last PHX game.

  • JOSH IN DA 310

    FUCK ESPN!!
    ALL LAKERS FANS BOYCOTT ESPN! FUCK MIKE WILBAN

  • ESPN Hates Kobe because of 2003 Colorado yea we know that’s the real reason and Charles Barkley is a Bonifide Hater that couldnt Win!!

    Yea I hate ESPN I Listen to Foxsports radio Everybody at ESPN said for two straight yrs Cavs are going to win and they didnt after the game last night the kept talking about 2008 and how this team look like the team from 2008 well Wake up this is 2010 and The celtics dont have Eddie House,PJ Brown,Posey or them other guys and We have growned as a team since then Pau Gasol Got KG now because KG cannot move like he did in 08 Paul Pierce is not good against strong defender like ron artest because he muscled Vince Carter not gonna do that to Artest and who is gonna guard Kobe……Allen?
    Bynum just need to be out there because last time I checked Perkins was not Hakeem Olajukwon,Patrick Ewing,Kareem,Shaq(lakers yrs.) well know what I mean he is not a Offensive Specialist Benga can be a big Help in this series Lamar Odom will step up because Sheed Nappy head ass is not gonna chase him around we know he will get some Techs called on him.

    And for the so called experts the only ones that can tell the lakers how to win is Magic Johnson,Byron Scott,Kenny Smith and Avery Johnson because the have won NBA Titles as for Jalen Rose,Mashburn,Reggie Miller,Fat ass Choker Charles Barkley and Them other ones cant tell Kobe and LA shit because they Couldnt Win a NBA title Thanks to Jordan

    • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Josh Herrington

      Growned? I know you’re ranting. I’ll let you finish.

  • ESPN Hates Kobe because of 2003 Colorado yea we know that’s the real reason and Charles Barkley is a Bonifide Hater that couldnt Win!!

    Fuck Michael Wilbon

  • Touch ME

    When LA loses tonight and say they win game 7 they will have 2 full days of rest. Well it looks like we need to get ready for Game 7 according to Nash’s Game 6 guarantee. It takes a real man like Nash to step up to the Lakers and guarantee a game. Sorry Lakers the road gets only harder because the Celtics are in the Finals now.

    • Touch Me is Gay and he love the lakers because he’s always on here

      take your faggot ass somewhere you always on here obviously we a big deal to you because you be on here all the time Witness………………Kobe!!!!

    • LakerLand Nostradamus

      Dude get a fu-cking clue.
      Nobody is interested in the garbage that comes out of your mouth. We all no you are a Laker hater. Go Fu-ck yourself!
      F-A-G

      • LakerLand Nostradamus

        I am talking about Touch ME by the way. LMAO!!!!!!
        What a f-a-g name you chose anyway.

  • http://THRILLERRONwww.post16blog.blogspot.com Return of the P&G Assassin
  • daboss1848

    Always cute to hear that ESPN hates the Lakers.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2008/series?series=lalbos

    • Robert

      ESPN’s job is to pretend as though they know what they’re talking about. And … it’s a ‘show’ (entertainment). The purpose of a ‘show’ is to keep your attention long enough so that you watch the commercials and hopefully buy the products that the sponsors are paying for.
      .
      They are all ‘media’ people, not ‘true sports’ people (they would have to have actually played or coached, to do that). Yes, they do have ‘sports guests’, but the sports guests are not part of the ‘predicting’ staff (esp. from that link that you provided).
      .
      Their job is to make it seem like they can predict things. But they are no better than weathermen, or any of us.
      .
      So, they ‘predicted’ the Lakers will win based on statistics, matchups, etc. (in 2008).
      .
      That doesn’t mean they like the Lakers.
      .
      And the guy above is ‘basically’ correct. The truth is, that the media was all behind Kobe before 2003. They were propping him up as the second coming. After the Colorado fiasco, they had to ‘bail’, mostly because they didn’t want to alienate their audience and thus alienate their sponsors who are paying their bills. So, they have ‘reluctantly’ come around, since Kobe overcame all that garbage by simply being ‘great’. You can’t deny greatness.
      .
      Tiger needs a few lessons here. Tiger … call Kobe.
      .
      Anyway, ESPN is an east coast based organization with only recent ‘scant’ west coast ties. They favor the east coast teams. In 2008, they really believed the Lakers would win (so did many of us). They had to align with the audience so that they would watch ESPN, and their sponsors would be happy.
      .
      It’s that simple! It’s all about $$, nothing else.
      .
      Also, the only ESPN analyst who is a ‘true’ Lakers’ fan, Colin Cowherd of Sports Nation, admitted ON TV that he gets in trouble for being a Lakers fan. Who would he get in trouble with? ESPN management.
      .
      The ESPN charter is: root for east coast teams, and if the Lakers win, or have a good chance to win, then ‘reluctantly’ concede. They seemed to do that last year. (it was said: ‘the Lakers would have played the Celtics again, and would have not defeated them, if Garnett were healthy’. Did they forget that Bynum was ‘out’ in 2008? Nobody said “the Lakers would have defeated the Celtics if Bynum were healthy”).
      .
      I don’t see a difference in treatment this year.

    • daboss1848

      I guess the “show” continues . . .
      http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2010/matchup/_/teams/celtics-lakers 6/10 espn “weathermen” have once again picked that east team – the Lakers.
      .
      (Legler was the only one right in 2008)

  • KB24ForLife

    this article is aight
    but there’s so many grammatical errors tony. you need to work on that

    • 242LakerFan

      Amen, brother. Really, there should be a higher standard, TLN. I know the folks who post on the response boards get away with the most atrocious language, but the articles should at least be written in something resembling standard English, even if it is the American version of it.

    • http://www.myspace.com/guszo gus26

      lol… after you wrote aight… hahaha

  • http://www.lakers.com Jerry_West

    Is the bar really that low for posting articles on getgarnett.com?

  • Robert

    Aw, it’s just a blog! Not the New York Times. Now, if you guys decide to go pro, that’s a different story. You’d need a proofreader and copy editor.
    .
    But, if your grammar, usage, or copy gets better, then it might have a rippling effect on the blog contributors! (although, sometimes it’s fun to pore through the misspellings and figure things out!).