UPDATE: After practice yesterday, Ron officially responded to the swirling rumors around his supposed desire to be traded:
“No, definitely not. Just because you’re not comfortable doesn’t mean that you’re not happy. Obviously when I was on other teams, I got a lot of touches. But I’m playing with the greatest player in the history of the game, and I’m playing with All-Stars. I don’t have a problem with looking bad on the court for the benefit of the team.”
(Read the full report, including all the original updates, after the jump)
UPDATE: Ron has broken the silence, well, kind of. Around 4:10pm this afternoon, he tweeted:
“Dont believe those trade dumped. Lakers working on 2011 banner!!!”
Whether or not Ron wants to be traded, and should be traded, may be two very different things. So, Laker Nation, is now the time to trade Ron, or do we continue the chase for the 3-peat as currently constructed? Let’s hear your thoughts…
“Ron is not looking for a trade. The frustration is there among everyone on the team. But Ron is a Laker, and he just wants to win. Ron is frustrated with the losing, as everybody is.”
(Read the original story after the break)
This morning, ESPN’s Marc Stein was hush-hush on his sources, but made his point deafeningly clear:
“I’ve nonetheless been assured this week that Artest — though he hasn’t outright demanded a trade and is likely to publicly deny it — is serious about wanting to be dealt somewhere ‘he can have fun again’ less than a year removed from the pivotal role he played in that ring-clinching Game 7.”
We’re not sure what to make of this yet, but we do know that Ron-Ron is, and always has been, an emotional guy. Taking that into account, along with the media onslaught over the Lakers recent struggles, and you have to ask the question:
Is Ron legitimately unhappy, or is he just frustrated with the current situation the Lakers find themselves in?
We expect the next couple of weeks to answer that question for us. In the meantime, check out Marc Stein’s entire piece on the Artest situation.