ESPN: … One theory already in circulation holds that Lakers owner Jerry Buss wanted to sign Artest in part to entice Jackson with a challenge to come back after winning his record-setting 10th championship ring as a coach, breaking his longstanding tie with Boston Celtics patriarch Red Auerbach.

The ability to keep Dennis Rodman plugged in with the Chicago Bulls, something only Jackson and Michael Jordan managed after Rodman’s early days with the Detroit Pistons, helped him win two of those rings.

Asked during a SportsCenter appearance Thursday if he believes he’ll be playing for Jackson when he reports to Lakers training camp in October, Artest said flatly, “He’s my coach.”

Artest also told the Los Angeles Times: “I had a great talk [Thursday] with Phil. I’m a huge fan of his and I can’t wait to show him what I can do.”

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