Ron Artest is a master of the third person

On the heels of Marc Stein’s report that Ron Artest would like to be traded, FanHouse posted an interview with Ron Artest where Ron Artest talks about Ron Artest quite a bit. Here’s an excerpt:

FH: Break down last season compared to this one for me. What are the main differences for you?

RA: Last year I didn’t really know the offense that much. I realized this is (Bryant’s) team, so he really dominates the game a lot and I had to adjust my way of thinking. My whole summer before my first year as a Laker, I practiced spotting up. Even if I played with regular players in the street, I’d be a spot-up player because I knew Kobe was going to dominate the ball and I wanted to perfect my role. But then during the playoffs, I’d see how these teams be playing off me … and I’d mess up. I’m like, ‘A couple years ago, y’all were double-teaming me, and triple-teaming me,’ so I had to readjust.

The whole year I was going through a transition of getting comfortable, and then the playoffs came and, bam, the old Ron Artest came, the best one — where he locks up his player, where he locks up a former Finals MVP (in) Paul Pierce, he gets five steals, a couple rebounds and scores buckets. So this summer, it was different. I didn’t prepare to play a role. I prepared to play like Ron Artest played. And that’s to help my team.

So sometimes it’s uncomfortable a little bit because I can’t play how Ron Artest plays all the time, but I don’t quit. I don’t quit on my team. I still do what it takes to win. So even if I have two points, I’m so arrogant with my defense — because I already know my defense can change a game. So when people are saying, ‘Ron Artest is playing bad,’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m playing great. Just give me a chance and I’ll show you.’ That’s the difference. The difference this year is I’m definitely playing how Ron Artest is going to play.

His numbers may not be there this season, but Ron Artest is certainly working the third person for all it’s worth.

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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?

2010 Year-End Sports Review: What We Learned

Years from now, when people look back on 2010, what will they remember as the defining sports moment? Uh, they can only pick one? We discovered that Tiger Woods likes to play the field and that Brett Favre doesn’t mind sending pictures of his anatomy to hot sideline reporters via text message. We found out that LeBron listens to his friends a little too much and that Ben Roethlisberger needed a serious lesson in humility. But we also learned that athletes such as Michael Vick and Josh Hamilton haven’t blown second chance opportunities (or third and fourth chances in the case of Hamilton). It was also nice to see a certain pitcher turn down bigger money so that he can play in a city that he loves.

We’ve done our best to recap the year’s biggest sports stories, staying true to tradition by breaking our Year End Sports Review into three sections: What We Learned, What We Already Knew, and What We Think Might Happen. Up first are the things we learned in 2010, a list that’s littered with scandal, beasts, a Decision and yes, even a little Jenn Sterger.

Contributors: Anthony Stalter, John Paulsen, Paul Costanzo, Drew Ellis and Mike Farley

Tiger Woods gets around.

We hesitate to put this under “golf” because the only clubs involved were his wife’s nine-iron hitting the window of his SUV and the various establishments where Tiger wined and dined all of his mistresses…over a dozen in all. This was the biggest story of the early part of the year, but it got to the point that whenever a new alleged mistress came forward, the general public was like, “Yeah, we get it. Tiger screwed around on his wife. A lot.” He has spent the rest of the year attempting to rebuild his once-squeaky clean image, but it’s safe to say, we’ll never look at Tiger the same way.

Golfer Tiger Woods apologizes for irresponsible and selfish behavior during his first public statement to a small gathering of reporters and friends at the headquarters of the U.S. PGA Tour in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida,on February 19, 2010.   UPI/Sam Greenwood/Pool Photo via Newscom

LeBron wilts when his team needs him most.

Say the words “LeBron” and “Game 5” in the same sentence and NBA fans everywhere know exactly what you’re talking about. In the biggest game of the season, LeBron looked disinterested, going 3-of-14 from the field en route to a 120-88 blowout at home at the hands of the Celtics. There were rumors swirling about a possible relationship between LeBron’s mom and his teammate, Delonte West, and there’s speculation that LeBron got that news before tipoff and that’s why he played so poorly. Regardless of the cause, LeBron played awful in that game, and it turned out to be his swan song in Cleveland as a member of the Cavaliers. Talk about leaving a bitter taste.

You can auction off your talented son’s athletic abilities and get away with it.

The NCAA set a strange precedent this season while dealing with the Newton family. The always inconsistent and completely morally uncorrupt NCAA decided in its infinite wisdom that despite discovering that Cecil Newton shopped his son Cam to Mississippi State for $180,000, and that is a violation of NCAA rules, that Cam would still be eligible because it couldn’t be proven that he knew about it. Conference commissioners and athletic directors around the country spoke out about the decision, while agent-wannabes and greedy fathers everywhere had a light bulb go off in their own heads: As long as we say the player doesn’t know about it, it could go off without a hitch. What was Cecil’s punishment in this whole thing? Limited access to Auburn for the last two games of the season. Easy with that hammer there, NCAA. Read the rest of this entry »

Ron Artest to auction off championship ring

June 17, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02208488 Los Angeles Lakers player Ron Artest (C) in the locker room after their win over the Boston Celtics in game seven of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 17 June 2010. Los Angeles leads the series 4-3 for the best of seven games. The Los Angeles Lakers won 83-79.

And he’s doing it for a good cause: mental health.

There’s no punchline here. Artest is simply doing an altruistic deed.

Artest finally won a title in June after 11 regular seasons of trying … and now he’s planning to sell the championship ring as a fundraiser to put more psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists in schools.

“I’m never going to put it on,” he said.

Artest plans to soon announce details of what he hopes will become a worldwide auction, and he takes possession of the jewelry in an Oct. 26 pre-game ceremony before the Lakers open against the Rockets. It’s an incredible gesture. But it’s even more meaningful as a statement.

“You work so hard to get a ring, and now you have a chance to help more people than just yourself, instead of just satisfying yourself,” he said. “What’s better than that? For me, this is very important.”

Artest has long been considered crazy, and he probably is, but he thanked his therapist after Game 7 for helping him get his mind right for competition. Now he’s using his considerable celebrity to shine a light on a problem that is close to his heart.

Ron Artest interviews Ron Artest [video]

All I want to know is — who came up with the questions?

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