Talent is king in the NBA, so you’d better have size and athleticism … or you’re winning less than the Washington Senators.
Yet talent alone doesn’t win championships, so add some intangibles such as an indefatigable work ethic, a refuse-to-die toughness and a personality quirk that keeps opponents guessing (if not fearful).
Combine a 6-7, 260-pound frame replete with explosive muscles and the listed traits, and you have a 12-year NBA career featuring averages of 16.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.1 steals, plus an All-Star appearance, numerous All-Defensive Teams and even a Defensive Player of the Year award.
You have Ron Artest, whom the Lakers acquired via free agency from a Houston squad just weeks removed from giving L.A. its toughest playoff test (4-3).
Now, if talent and intangibles seem already evident in Artest, it may be his versatility that ends up most benefiting an already-loaded Lakers team.
Here’s a closer look:
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