Thursday, July 2, 2009

Portrait Of An Artest...

...As A Laker.

"L.A. is what it is." Those are the words of Ron Artest who, earlier today, told Ken Berger of CBS Sports that he is "definitely" going to the Lakers. The Los Angeles Times reports that talks between Artest and the Lakers should come to terms this afternoon.

This comes as a surprise not just because of the friction between Kobe and Artest in the Houston-LA playoff series, but Artest also claims he would "play there for nothing." This sounds like a prank, which wouldn't be past the trash-talking veteran, but on the other hand it sounds like a best possible situation for the Lakers. If Ariza decides to leave Los Angeles for the Rockets, the early acquisition of Artest is certain to become the talk of the NBA.

Artest has the power and determination to become a star in Los Angeles. A tough, bad boy New Yorker, his defense has been his greatest strength over his career and is greatly desired by an offensive powerhouse like the Lakers. Artest has that balance of Kobe's intensity and Odom's humor that will hit our city (emotionally) and others (physically).

Artest can put up big shots and use his strength to drive ferociously, but most important for our team is his defensive skill. Kobe and Artest could become one of the great defensive duos in the league, and facing each other in practice will make both of them better on both ends of the court.

Hold on to your seats, folks. And scratch everything I said about keeping Ariza. This deal is simply too good to pass up (or be true for that matter).

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