dreamRon Artest on Wednesday officially became a part of the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Artest received a five-year deal worth about $33 million dollars. This either can be a major headache, or what seems to be more likely…

An absolute steal

Career averages of 16.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.1 steals.

An all-star caliber player, who has been named to All-Defensive teams, has won a Defensive Player of the Year award, and shot 40% from behind the three point line last season.

No offense to Trevor Ariza. He gave hustle, heart, and a will to improve on his game. He showed up on the biggest stage, and was a huge part why the Lakers won a NBA championship.

But Artest is better, a lot better, there’s just no argument to be made.

What Ariza’s agent didn’t know is why he was asking for more money than his client was worth, the Lakers had options of bringing in a better player than Trevor Ariza, and that player would be more then OK to sign for the MLE.

It was a no brainer, not to mention the last couple of years the Lakers have resigned their own players, they have been disappointed with their improvement. (See Sasha Vujacic, and Luke Walton)

Yes there is a crazy side of Ron-Ron that must be pointed out. His rookie season with Chicago he applied to Circuit City for a job in order to receive an employee discount. With the Pacers he attended a practice in a bath robe. He was suspended for 2 games by Pacers coach Rick Carlisle after he asked for a month off to promote his new album, and of course we all remember the 2004 brawl at the Palace.

Ron-Ron is not perfect. But it seems as if he has grown out of those immature crazy days. Sure he is still a great sound bite for reporters, and probably has a few more ejections up his sleeve. However, this new Ron Artest seems content in winning a NBA championship at all cost, and very excited to play alongside Kobe Bryant, and be coached by the G.O.A.T. Phil Jackson.

Ron Artest is this era’s Dennis Rodman. Sure Rodman dressed up in a wedding dress, dyed his hair, kicked a camera man in the groin, and even left his team before game 4 of the 1998 NBA Finals to go wrestle with Hulk Hogan.

However, those crazy antics don’t resonate as much when you produce like he did. All Rodman did in Chicago was win his fifth, sixth, and seventh rebounding title, and help the Bulls to win three straight championships.

The Rodman experiment worked in Chicago because he had a strong coach in Phil Jackson to keep him controlled, and the best in the league Michael Jordan to lead him.

Ron Artest has that same Phil Jackson, now with ten championship rings, and the best in the league Kobe Bryant to lead him.

Artest is a player that you love to hate when he’s on the opposing team, but a guy you can’t help but love when he’s in your team’s uniform. A pit-bull, that will defend the wing, back up his teammates, and most importantly do whatever it takes to win.

“Kobe has four rings, I’ve got none,” Artest said. “I’ve got to have one; I need one bad.”

Next season might be a year where the Lakers might take a sigh of relief. Artest will be there to push them to do it again and go back to back.

You might see Artest at the clubs on Sunset after the game, he might say some alarming things in the media, heck he might even pay homage to Dennis Rodman and throw on a wedding dress.

But if it produces a couple more championships. The crazy antics will just be another sub-plot in this succesfull Hollywood drama.

David Brickley is a staff writer, and host of The Voice of the Nation podcast on TLN. You can view more of his work at davidjbrickley.com.

  • 1ST TO COMMENT!!!

    YEA!

  • imfasterthanur

    Well written. I had no idea Artest applied to Circuit City to get discounts. lol

    The man is from the straight hood! lol

    With that being said, he seemed very mature and mellowed out in today’s interview. I’m extremely excited and cannot wait for next season to start.

    Btw, any new word on Lamar Odom?

  • kb24bestever

    great article.
    dia rod man really leave before game 4?

  • eficient

    This is the guy you want on your side. He instantly gives us ANOTHER scorer on the Lakers. I cant’ wait for the season to start. It’s gonna feel like a complety new team

  • BringDFishBack

    Until Ron proves otherwise, he is a cancer. Who thought AI in Detroit wouldn’t work? None of you guys of course, because you fail to see anything beyond playing ability. Ron will not work in LA, and will not come close to the contributions Trevor made. First of all, Ron loves to hold the ball on offense. The triangle is about constant movement of players and the ball. He loves to sit in one spot and just hold it. You can even tell from the press conference where he said he is going to prevent teams from doubling Kobe, Pau, and Bynum because he’ll be open for three. Sorry, but that’s not how this team works. It’s constant movement, and his plan of benefiting from double teams won’t work. Second, he’s a mess in the locker room. Yes Rodman worked in Chicago, as you mentioned. But you fail to recognize 4 things: Phil was more active, Kobe is not Michael, the rest of this team are not the rest of the Bulls, and Artest is not Rodman. Phil is older, and is definitely going to miss some games this season. He also has grown fonder of the letting the players learn on their own thing. He will not be as much of an influence as he was with Rodman. You say Rodman had the greatest (Michael) to lead him, and Artest has that with Kobe. Sorry, but Michael was the greatest player in the game as well as the biggest locker room influence, and it has been well noted. Kobe is not that same leader that Michael was in the locker room. Third, this Laker team is filled with more stars than the Bulls had. Pau has complained about shots (not trying to same Pau is bad, he deserves more), Bynum wants his and gets frustrated when he doesn’t, Kobe is obviously going to get his, Fish will get his. This team is not one of perfect harmony, they are all going to speak their minds (if not in the media then in the way they play on the court) if the shot situation isn’t going well. Finally, Artest is not Rodman. Rodman didn’t completely go against what the Bulls offense was, and he wasn’t going to disturb the rest of the team with what they did on the court. Artest will.

  • laker fan who hates flukes

    [Comment ID #79067 Will Be Quoted Here]

    stop pretending to be a laker fan you spy.

  • http://dailydynasty.blogspot.com PHATIUS

    [Comment ID #79067 Will Be Quoted Here]

    ever hear of paragraphs?

  • kobewankenobi

    [Comment ID #79067 Will Be Quoted Here]

    you little idiot
    ron proved not to be a cancer in sacto and houston
    he carried an awful houston team at the 7th game against us
    so get your fact straight before talking non sense

    Ron knows perfectly where he stands in this team
    He is here to do whatever he has to, in order to win the ring
    this guy, took a huge paycut to comne to play along with kobe and phil
    and win a ring
    stop hating

    plus as a lot of players already mentioned, artest in the lockeroom is a great teammate
    he is a nightmare for opponents

  • Dennis Rodman

    HELL YES LET’S GO LAKERS!

  • kobewankenobi

    that said
    artest will bring a completely different game than ariza
    for sure
    ariza definitely knew how to perfectly fit in this team, without ego
    and this was his best asset

    but artest will bring something these lakers desperately needed
    TOUGHNESS and great 1 on 1 defense (which ariza was not good at, he was great on playing passing lanes and stealing the ball)

    at the end, artest is an upgrade for us
    and if we sigh LO we will be a stronger team than this year

    and i am glad we are since spurs, celts and cavs all upgraded too and are more dangerous than ever

  • Nabil

    I’m just curious why we didn’t do it as a trade in order to save our mid-level exception. That’s what they did with Turkalu/Marion, and in this case the salaries match. I mean, now Lamar’s agent will be like, “well, what are you going to do, you can’t sign anyone else above $2M?” I guess Mitch has proved himself pretty much, so he probably has his reasons…

    Happy Artest is a Laker. :)

  • sheed-power

    Ron Artest wont make a difference this year if ya’ll play us. Sheed and Garnett will dominate your bigs. PP and Ray Ray will own Kobe and Artest. Bet on that!!!

  • laker fan who hates flukes

    [Comment ID #79079 Will Be Quoted Here]

    why is even a celtic fan on a laker site? bangwagin as usual!!

  • lakerman1

    People and there predictions. Well heres one for the Artest naysayers. Artest could have went to Cleveland but the guy is smart enough to know who the GOAT coach and one of the GOAT players in the game is. Ron I repeat Ron is not here to stir up controversy, he brings more to his game then Ariza and its Ariza fault if he is not man enough to speak for himself, give Mitch credit for recognizing that there was someone better then Ariza who would sacrifice money to be on a championship caliber team. Every team would be estastic to have a Tough don’t back down player like Ron. Dude quit whining about things you have no clue about. Forget about what Ron did in the past its what he can do for this team in the future. Go somewhere else with your bitching. People on this site want to hear positive chatter.

  • zoomtime

    Why dose everyone on the Nation keep reporting 5 years 33m when ESPN is reporting 3 years 18m…. who is right?

  • http://www.vidaguerrasbutt.com/vida-guerra-playboy-picture-a_17.html#pic daboss1849

    [Comment ID #79067 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Trevor had one good year and got a big payday. Lets see if he follows in Luke’s and sasha’s footsteps, have a great year get paid and be completely useless after that…

  • KobagePatch

    zoomtime
    “Jul 9th, 2009 at 7:58 am
    Why dose everyone on the Nation keep reporting 5 years 33m when ESPN is reporting 3 years 18m…. who is right?”

    5 Years 33Mil is the right amount, he had the choice between the two and he chose 5 yrs with an option after the 4th….

    Sheed-Power… Your a joke and the celtics are headed back under that rock they they fit so comfortably under for 20 years until they paid for that championship.. Now your players are crusty and your team is crap. Sorry Man!

  • WifelovesLuke

    ” laker fan who hates flukes
    Jul 9th, 2009 at 7:11 am
    sheed-power on July 9, 2009 at 7:03 am said:

    Ron Artest wont make a difference this year if ya’ll play us. Sheed and Garnett will dominate your bigs. PP and Ray Ray will own Kobe and Artest. Bet on that!!!

    why is even a celtic fan on a laker site? bangwagin as usual!!

    First off, I love it when Celdick fans show up here. It makes them look even more stupid than we already know they are.

    Second, you aren’t a real laker fan if you hate Luke. That just makes you look more stupid than you really are.

  • lakersforlife77

    I’m sick of all the fans that are whining and complaining about Artest. They’re driving me up a wall.

    The only way we could get Ariza is to overpay him double what he is getting from Houston. That pretty much makes it impossible to sign Odom because there goes a giant chunk of Odom’s available salary to an overrated and overpaid role player.

    Signing Artest, still able to sign Odom >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Overpaying for Ariza, and in result losing Odom.

    Case closed.

  • wilzuvsteel

    Ron appears hungry to win. He didn’t back down when he played against us and now that he has a championship caliber team he’ll follow the script as planned by the coaching staff. Now if this was Kenyon Martin, Zach Randolph, J.R Smith, would you be able to say the same thing? The difference is the Lakers are a championship team with a coaching legend at the helm. If PJ was coaching the Magic, Trailblazers, or Nuggets teams I truly believe they’d also be champions. PJ knows how to incorporate Artest’s talents to the group. Artest wouldn’t have signed up for 5yrs if he didn’t believe this was a great opportunity for him. He could have signed for 1yr like Houston did.

  • Willmo

    sheed-power on July 9, 2009 at 7:03 am said:

    Ron Artest wont make a difference this year if ya’ll play us. Sheed and Garnett will dominate your bigs. PP and Ray Ray will own Kobe and Artest. Bet on that!!!

    Sheed is being brought in to insurance in case one of those 8 players on the roster over 50 brakes down like they’ve had the past 2 yrs.
    The Celts found a player who’s even older than Ray Allen, is that possible?? You better hope that the Celts get homecourt advantage or else it will be the Lakers/Cavs or Magic in the finals next yr.

    LO will sign for about 7-8 million, if anything this waiting game will only help the Lakers.

    Artest will be a stud next yr playing with kobe and pau. Scary!!!!

  • k1on

    [Comment ID #79098 Will Be Quoted Here]

    speaking of JR Smith and Kenyon Martin, i wanna see them try and talk smack to Ron

  • JJONES

    Everyone who is saying luke walton has been a dissapointment obviously don’t watch all the lakers game. Did you forget he statred before he went to phil jackson and suggested to come off the bench and start trevor ariza for the betterment of the team. Luke is a coaches dream. Luke gets his teamates involved which is his best attribute. He is the definition of a team player and that why la loves him.

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #79079 Will Be Quoted Here]

    The Suckdics, otherwise known as the geriatric all-stars. Man, the Suckdics are getting so old, I’m waiting to see Doc Rives and Danny Ainge suit up – HAHAHAHAHA

    Face it Suckdic fan. the Suckdics are over.

  • Michael

    Imagine the possible lineups that artest will bring to our team. When kobe and pau sit down, it will be artest and odom, or even artest and bynum on the floor to take over scoring. Scary. You can;t say that about ariza. Also Kobe is going to be ridiculously fresh when its time for him to close games. Lights out, Suckdics!

  • THELAKERSWON09

    Ron will be great, but with out odom we fall short of a championship.

  • WatWudChickSay? (WWCS)

    Signing Ron-Ron INCREASES the odds of the Lakers repeating.

    Skills-wise, Ron-Ron is an improvement on Ariza over the next two years. After that, Ariza would have been better value. But the organization is thinking “CHAMPIONSHIP” for each of the next two seasons and will deal with 2012, 2013, and 2014 later.

    The time to win, with Kobe just passing 30, is NOW.

    TheLakersWon09 is right: no Lamar next year, no championship, even with Ron-Ron.

    Cross your fingers that Bynum comes back next year with as much zip as he had at the start of the O8/09 season.

    If that is the case, AND Lamar re-signs, you can get out the etcher and start putting the “Los Angeles Lakers” on next year’s O’Brien Trophy.

  • 242LakerFan

    Did some complete moron say that Kobe is not the leader in the Laker locker-room? If not, then who? The only leader they all followed (straight to a Championship if memory serves) was Kobe. He was…scratch that…IS the leader of this team on the court, in the locker room, on the freakin’ team bus, in the restaurant after road games…hell, Ron-Ron followed Kobe in the SHOWER! He’s not gonna follow him on the court?
    SUCKER PLEEEEEASE!!

  • ilikebasketball

    don’t put luke in the same categroy as sasha.
    luke did exactly what he was supposed to, so don’t belittle his efforts. it’s unfair.
    farmar was more of a dissapointment this year than luke by a long long shot.
    though it may have been him coming back from injury too soon. but we’ll see next year.

  • gus26

    [Comment ID #79077 Will Be Quoted Here]

    mitch said that you can’t get “cute” when you want to get a guy on your team. something about not wanting a bunch of people getting involved and just wanting to get ron to LA.. that being said on the flip side of giving odom’s agent some power. don’t you think that speaks volumes of how confident mitch is they’ll eventually sign LO?..

  • YellowPurpleFever

    [Comment ID #79067 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Definitely, youre NOT a Lakers fan. Where were you 3 years ago? Up Fishs a$$! We have been after Ron for awhile now, thats included Dr.Buss, PJ, Mitch, Kobe, and 99% of the fans on this site. Your whinny paragraph make my SICK!
    Pack your bag and go EAST and hang out with Joseph the Celdicks
    So NEGATIVE…MAN

  • LA

    You morons here, again,
    You guys stop being ignorant.
    He is what he is until he proves in LA.
    Unless we sign L.O., we are downgrading our status.
    It does not matter what he has done in SAC. and Hou.
    It is the LA we are talking…
    We are not SAC or HOU..
    We are the champs.
    We need someone like Ariza…in the end.
    You will see it in the end…
    Please wake up morons!!!!!

  • http://deleted LA

    And what an welcome to Ron Artest!!!
    No one showed up for him on the day….
    What a lousy welcome he got there…
    That tells you he is not being respected now…
    Never will be by Lakers players…not by Kobe…

  • LA

    What a waste of money to spend like this….
    Kobe never never never willl acknoledge Ron Artest..
    Hell no…Hell no respect to him…
    Sign L.O.
    or we are doomed….
    Nothing measures up to our potential unless we win one again…
    I am getting this weired feeling about Artest…
    That is bad…

  • ryanperry36

    Farmar was looking solid until the injury, bynum was looking very well until his injury, and odom was just getting over his back spasms. I think the laker team we saw in the finals was still not 100 percent. Ariza was on or off not consistent until the end of the finals

    I do think he will continue to improve. However odom will be back next year even better than post season this year, why would he pass up playing with his “brother” in the nba. they’ve played together when they were kids. Bynum I am hoping will look as he did just before the injury when hes back to 100 percent. Kobe we dont even need to mention hes always going to be consistent for the most part. Artest wants a ring pretty bad, I think he will be so into doing what ever the coaching staff asks of him in order to achieve his goal its not even funny. Add another 6 points from what we had before with artest, plus as I read, lets see someone try to cheap shot kobe by tripping him or pushing him with two hands going up to the basket without artest being there to have his back.

    Walton is good… I do however very strongly dislike sasha and feel that he is a complete waste of money and roster space on this team. Brown is extremely athletic and will come into his own even more with the lakers.

  • ryanperry36

    oh and another thing. kobe does respect artest, especially how strong his intensity and love for the game is. artest is EXTREMELY COMPETITIVE and he and bryant are friends. he will be a great fit.

  • http://myspace.com/sonicussj Whatsa

    [Comment ID #79152 Will Be Quoted Here]

    What the heck are you talking about when you said “no one showed up.” To WHAT?

    Oh and wtf.. no respect to him? KOBE and ARTEST are FRIENDS off the court. Now that they’re teammates, they’re friends in both ways. Also, Artest and Odom were childhood friends, so thass wassup. Not to mention that Artest has always wanted to play with Kobe..

  • Jay from PHX

    WHY DO WE HAVE CELTICS AND MAGIC FANS HERE IN OUT SITE DONT THEY HAVE THERE OWN SHIT STAY IN YOUR LANE

    GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lakersforlife77

    [Comment ID #79153 Will Be Quoted Here]

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

  • gugy

    I see that many haters here (Celtics/Magic) are desperately. They know Artest is the key piece for the Lakers to become a dynasty.
    I miss Ariza, but Artest will bring that toughness and D that we lacked on certain games last season.
    If Odom signs with us, I see a huge improvement this season. If Bynum plays like beginning of last season, then the Lakers will be unstoppable.

    Meanwhile, Celtcis team looks like a geriatric institution….

  • What Will Be

    [Comment ID #79152 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Hey the Lakers are about Championships pal, that’s when they’ll show up and you’ll see our guys…

  • vintij

    [Comment ID #79067 Will Be Quoted Here]
    doesnt kobe alraedy hold the ball? Dont we have a ring because of it?

  • What Will Be

    KOBE&ARTEST, I think HAS kobe’s back, 100%, even the great Shaq said this makes the Lakers a tougher team… Odom, 6th man of the year?

  • TJ

    Fcuk if Odom doesn’t want to be 6th man of the year on a back to back team, what the F… take a 1 seaon contract, the economy will be better next season…

  • http://www.nba.com josh

    artest welcome to champs

  • http://myspace.com/lyricalsoul EPIC

    [Comment ID #79092 Will Be Quoted Here]

    you DEFINITELY made it nice and clear and simple for people to understand. Couldnt have said it any better. hahaha. ANYONE THAT DOUBTS WHAT THE LAKERS ARE DOING OR THINKS WE MIGHT NOT STAND A CHANCE, GET THE F*CK OFF THIS SITE AND DONT CALL YOURSELF A PART OF THE LAKER NATION!!!!! Everyone else, ITS TIME FOR ANOTHER 3-PEAT!!!!! hahaha (more would be nice too) haha IVE BEEN A LAKER FAN SINCE IN THE WOMB, AND WILL DIE A LAKER FAN