Ron Artest wants out?

Denver Nuggets guard J.R. Smith (C) tries to draw a foul from Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest at the Pepsi Center in Denver on January 21, 2011. The Lakers beat the Nuggets 107-97. UPI/Gary C. Caskey

Marc Stein has a source that says that Ron Artest wants out of L.A.

Artest’s two main beefs?

1. He’s weary of being scapegoated for the team’s struggles and feels that he’s destined to always absorb the bulk of the blame no matter what happens because Jackson and Bryant are so dependent on the more glamorous contributions of Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom and will never publicly go after regal Laker lifer Derek Fisher.

2. As we heard at various points during his stops in Indiana, Sacramento and Houston, Artest is eventually going to squawk if he’s being marginalized in the offense, which inevitably disengages him from his defensive responsibilities.

After a so-so regular season, Artest justified his signing by coming up big in the playoffs. He followed up Kobe Bryant’s airball with a game-winning layup against the Suns in Game 5 and then hit a HUGE three-pointer against the Celtics in Game 7.

But he’s averaging just 8.1 points and 2.9 rebounds this season, which are easily career lows. The problem here is not that Artest wants out, it’s that nobody is going to trade for him. He’s 31, and his game has (seemingly) fallen off a cliff. The Lakers aren’t happy with the way he’s defending, and that might be a result of how he’s been marginalized offensively. He has three years and almost $22 million remaining on his deal, and he has a reputation for being a malcontent — who is going to want to take that contract on?

No, the Lakers are stuck with Ron Artest and Ron Artest is stuck with the Lakers.

Trevor Ariza is starting to look pretty good, isn’t he?

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>