Love it. This is why we got Ron!
O.C. Register: Bryant looked at Artest in the locker room and recounted the start of the game, when the Lakers and Celtics were already jostling and trash-talking in the jump circle before tipoff. Artest got the ball in the post on the first play and was fouled hard by Boston’s Paul Pierce — at which point Artest struck the sort of wide-eyed, menacing pose very few non-institutionalized people can.
He stared and seemingly braced himself to fight. Bryant told Artest he noticed the Celtics’ reaction at that precise moment: “They didn’t want any part of this crazy (expletive). I’m telling you. I saw it.”
There’s very little Bryant wants more for this Lakers team than Bynum not backing down from contact and Artest being an effectively “crazy (expletive).” Bear in mind that after the Lakers began this trip with a loss in Cleveland, Bryant questioned the toughness of his teammates and looked forward to seeing something different in Boston.
It’s expected Bryant will overcome injuries and hit winning jumpers. His will was the backbone of the Lakers’ 2008-09 NBA championship team. But when you wondered what could be better for the Lakers in 2009-10, the primary possibilities were two: Bynum’s improvement and Artest’s addition.