Archive for the 'Ron Artest' Category

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Now Batting for the Dodgers… Ron Artest!

Tell me you don’t like this picture … nope, you can’t.

Ron Artest

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Richard Jefferson on Ron Artest

Ron Artest - Richard JeffersonThe newest Spur had a few words to say about newest Laker over on Spurs.com:

Here’s the intereaction as Spurs.com’s Ben Hunt relayed a question from one of San Antonio’s Twitter followers to offseason signee Richard Jefferson:

Spurs.com: Who is the best defender not named (Bruce) Bowen you ever faced?
RJ: You know there are different guys. Ron Artest is definitely one of those guys. For his size, he is just so big and strong. There are just certain guys that you know you have to do a little bit extra. You have to be a little more exact and Artest is definitely up there. His addition to the Lakers only makes the Spurs and what we’re doing here more exciting. To know that the Lakers probably got better and so even though we made some huge strides here you know that the champions got better. It makes everything we’re doing here just try to get that much more focused and more direct, so we got a lot of work to do in front of us.

Those interested in reading the rest of the interview can CLICK HERE, but one primary point to take out of Jefferson’s comments is that Artest is an ideal defender for some of the league’s best threes with size, such as Jefferson, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Paul Pierce and Brandon Roy.

Several Lakers Gather for Wednesday Workout

Training camp is still a few weeks away for the Lakers, yet several of the players gathered in El Segundo on Wednesday afternoon to shoot, lift and play some pick up ball.

As Shannon Brown explained in the above @Lakers Twitvid, he was joined by Luke Walton, Sasha Vujacic, Ron Artest, Jordan Farmar, Josh Powell and Adam Morrison in addition to some D-Leaguers (to round out a 5-on-5 run).

Prior to the full-court action, some of the players went through lifting and general strenghtening activities with Lakers Director of Athletic Performance Chip Schaefer (Walton and Brown specifically), others got some shots up (Vujacic and Farmar) while others worked with assistant coach Brian Shaw and advance scout/assistant coach Rasheed Hazzard on running L.A.’s offense (Artest and Brown).

“It’s just good to get back in here,” said Walton. “I think we’re all excited about the coming season and eager to get ready to go.”

It won’t be long, since the first preseason game is only three weeks away on October 7 against Golden State.

Artest Runs Through China

Ron ArtestIf you’ve been following new Laker Ron Artest on Twitter (@96TruwarierQB), you already know a bit about his journey through China, thanks to tweets about his rap concerts (“Just did another show in Shenyang, China”) and shoe appearances (“Stay tuned to my Ron Artest shoe coming soon”).

Thinking that a more detailed description of his trip would be of interest, we contacted Team Artest to get the rundown:

- Artest was scheduled to leave the country of roughly 1.3 billion people on July 29, but is having such a great time that he extended his stay until August 8 so he can visit more cities.

- L.A.’s new forward performed at Vic’s nightclub in Beijing, an event that was attended by Jason Kidd, Dikembe Mutombo and Donell Jackson and can be seen on YouTube.

- At Shenyang’s (in Northern China) Happy Family Mall, a four-floor open-air mall that had roughly 20,000 people in attendance, Artest and Jackson had a shooting contest on stage with two fans, spoke to the crowd and then Artest performed his “Champions” song.

- On Tuesday (July 28), Artest and his people were in Quanzhou, where the PEAK shoe company headquarters are located (Artest’s Lakers teammate Sasha Vujacic shares the same company, and the Slovenian was in China as well). Artest toured the factory and facilities, and then played hoops with two local teams at an arena. Prior to greeting some kids, Artest was presented with a certificate of “Master Teacher” to “acknowledge his years of basketball skills and mastery” (Anytime you can be called a “Master Teacher,” it’s probably a good day).

- The trip will continue to Hong Kong for a press conference for Artest and Kidd, after which Artest plans on going back to Beijing, Shanghai and a couple more cities to do more promotional tours.

Team Artest has photos from the trip, including pics of Artest wearing traditional Chinese clothing, that we’ll get upon the trek’s conclusion.

Mitch Kupchak Podcast on Brown, + Artest/Odom

Shannon Brown - Ron ArtestWe sat down with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak on Thursday afternoon primarily to discuss the signing of Shannon Brown, and also to touch on the Ron Artest deal … plus the team’s continued hope to retain the services of Lamar Odom.

Clearly, Kupchak is still pretty busy.

He detailed what the Lakers like about Brown’s game, explained why the 23-year-old was acquired in the first place, and opined on why signing Artest put the team in a better position to ink Brown and Odom. Kupchak also said that while L.A. would like to expedite the Lamar talks, the organization has “way too much” respect for the versatile swingman to rush the process: “We’re hopeful that a day goes by, two days or maybe the weekend and we’ll have more clarity,” he concluded.

You can listen to the audio (9:53) by clicking below:

Ron Artest: By The Numbers

Ron Artest - Kobe BryantTo take a closer look at the newest Laker a day after his introductory press conference, we broke down some numbers from the career of Ron Artest:

1
Defensive Player of the Year honor, which came in 2004 when Artest played for the Indiana Pacers. He credits former Pacers center Jermaine O’Neal’s shot blocking for allowing him to be more aggressive on the perimeter, and said he looks forward to playing with L.A.’s twin seven footers for similar reasons.

3
Players in NBA history to post career averages of 16+ points, 5+ rebounds, 3+ assists and 2+ steals. The list: Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler and Artest. The major difference in numbers between the three is scoring, as Jordan averaged 30.1 points, Drexler 20.4 and Artest 16.1.

4
NBA All-Defensive Teams for Artest, who twice made both the First Team (2004, 2006) and Second Team (2003, 2009).

5
Times among the league’s top five in steals per game: 2nd in 2001-02; 2nd in 02-03; 3rd in 03-04; T-2nd in 06-07; T-2nd 07-08.

5
Postseason appearances.

8
Career high for steals in a game, which Artest has accomplished four separate times. His high in 2008-09 came against the Lakers on Mar. 11, when he totaled six thefts.

16
Pick in the 1999 NBA draft. Some players taken ahead of Artest were very good: Elton Brand (1); Baron Davis (3); Lamar Odom (4); Richard Hamilton (7); Andre Miller (8); Shawn Marion (9); and Jason Terry (10). Some were not: Jonathan Bender (5); Alex Redojevic (12); Trajan Langdon (11); William Avery (14) and Frederick Weis (15). Coming after Artest were James Posey (18), Devean George (23) and Andrei Kirilenko (24).

22
Times Ron-Ron has scored 30 or more points in a game.

33
Career double-doubles.

39
Artest’s career-high scoring output (two times).

42.2
Career field goal percentage for the one-time All Star.

50
Total games missed by Artest in the last three seasons; he played in 69 of Houston’s 82 last season.

74.8
Free throw percentage from Artest in 2008-09. He’s a career 72.3 percent shooter from the stripe and has never shot higher than 75 percent (2000-01).

105
Steals in his 69 games (1.52 per game), which led the Rockets and was good for 12th in the league, just above Kobe Bryant’s 1.46 steals.

153
Three-point field goals made by Artest for Houston last season, a single-season career high. He attempted 383 triples, also a career high, converting at a 39.9 percent rate. That would have led the Lakers, who were paced by Derek Fisher’s 39.7 percent success rate in the regular season.

This Work of Artest Will Be Worth Framing

Ron Artest - Mitch KupchakTalent 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:

(To read the full article, head over to Lakers.com by CLICKING HERE and scrolling to the right.)

Lakers Sign Artest, Brown: Links

For all the details on L.A.’s signing of free agent Ron Artest, CLICK HERE.

The page includes the official press release, an article breaking down the addition of Artest to the NBA Champions and a photo gallery of the small forward through the years.

You can also CLICK HERE to read the press release regarding Shannon Brown’s agreement with the Lakers.