Special thanks to John ‘Fatty’ Fatland for writing this take and giving us the privilege to add it to TheLakersNation.com. Again, if you guys see anything Lakers related that you think deserves to be put up, just e-mail us at articles@TheLakersNation.com.
“I can handle him,” Kobe Bryant speaking about Ron Artest on a recorded cell phone conversation.
Kobe can do a lot. All of us know that. The guy is truly amazing.
But ‘baby sit’ the person we all affectionately call Ron Ron? The guy we all definitely call a “nut case.” That’s one tall order for even Mamba 24.
Ron Ron, is one gifted NBA Player. One of the few defensive stoppers in the NBA. A former Defensive Player of the Year. And the man can shoot. He can pass. He can post up. Some have said, he’s one of the most versatile players in the NBA. And, he is paid relative peanuts by NBA standards ($7,800,000).
It’s because of these gifts, that some teams have developed selective memory issues. You know, repressed memories. When things hurt so bad, you simply forget them. It’s a way us humans can deal with terrible stuff.
I think this is the case with Artest. I hear people saying, ‘Ron Ron isn’t all that bad.’ ‘He’s just misunderstood. He’s a good boy at heart.’ ‘Why, he even went to Africa to feed people.’ Of course, even there, a monkey took issue with him and wanted to fight. Ron Ron showed great restraint and didn’t swing back. Maybe he his a changed man after all?
So then, why would Sacramento want to trade Ron Ron?
Ron Artest: A brief history
First a trivia question. How many games and times has Ron Ron been suspended?
Hint: You will need more than your fingers and toes to count. Get your calculator out, it’s a lot.
What’s interesting, its not just the amount, but the reasons. Flagrant fouls. (That’s not too bad. He’s tough and the NBA is soft) “I want time off to promote my CD” Suspension. I want time off to rest from making my CD. Suspension. Inciting a riot. 73 game suspension. “Maybe, I don’t fit in and they should trade me.” Suspension and Trade.
But he’s a new man. Sacramento has changed him. Okay, I’ll consider that. Its true, he hasn’t been suspended that much since arriving to Sac Town. Just the seven games to start this season for a domestic disturbance dispute. But the man has had the police out to his house 13 times since coming to Sacramento in the last 18 months. That’s not normal. How many of you have had the police out to your house in the last 18 months? Unless you live in the projects, probably zero.
And for what reasons. Let’s see, his wife smashed out his windows to his Hummer with a frying pan with him in it. Those with memory issues will say ‘that’s between a man and his wife. Its not our concern.’ We talking, Hummer here. We talking, Police arrest him. We talking, conviction and community service sentence. We talking 7 game suspension and a promise of much more from God Father Stern, if it happens again
Animal cruelty. The neighbors watch as he leaves and doesn’t feed his dog. To save the Dog (Sock’s, nice name) from starvation, they feed him. The county charges him. Another conviction.
‘But he’s so good’ Another memory lapse in the making. Last year, he tells the coach, he doesn’t feel like playing right before game time. The coach wants to know why. “Its my knee, its sore.” Coach asks trainer. Trainer shrugs and says, “first I heard of it” Bibby is informed just before tip-off and rolls his eyes in disgust. “I can’t believe it”. Coach tells Artest, “if you would’ve mentioned this 1 hour ago, we could’ve activated another player to replace you, and now its too late.” Artest just looks off into the distance. He does it another time, later in the season.
Sacramento is furious. This is the last straw, they leak to a reporter, . Artest is gone after the season. As the Summer goes on, no one has offered Sac much for their star. And Sacramento wonders why. If that’s the case, we are going to keep him, we’ll show you.
Perhaps, the greatest case of selected memory and repressed memories has been with the Kings themselves.
One more thought. And some of you are upset with Mitch, because he wouldn’t give up Lamar Odom for Ron Artest. Good, now I feel better for saying that