Larry Bird finally commented on the Ron Artest situation, saying the following to the Indianapolis Star:
“I don’t know if this is the right wording, but I felt betrayed. We’re disappointed. Things happen, maybe it’s a good thing. He’s a very talented player. I always liked working with him and how he went about things on the basketball court. He’s a top-12 player in the league, but we’re in a situation where we have to move on. I think enough is enough. … I think Ronnie will do fine but not here.”
The Pacers have said that ten teams are still in the running as destinations for Artest, but the two teams being mentioned consistenly are the Denver Nuggets (for Earl Watson and Nene) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (for Wally Szczerbiak and Michael Olowokandi). The Denver deal would be better for the Pacers, as they would be getting more in return for Artest. Bird is right, Artest is a Top-12 player on the court, but off the court, he’s a headache, a la Terrell Owens. The Pacers will not get equal value for Artest basketball-wise, but they should come close to getting total value for him, given all the drama that seems to constantly surround the superstar.