After having a breakthrough season with Indiana and earning the NBA’s defensive Player of the Year award on route to a 61-win season, Ron Artest is positioning himself to be traded.
During the Eastern Conference finals versus the Pistons he was reportedly goofing off in practice, threatened to quit the team during Game 5, and was not at practice the day before Game 6 because he missed the team’s charter plane to Detroit. Artest also blew off a postseason meeting with Larry Bird to boot. In an attempt to maintain team unity, the Pacers never let his actions leak to the public until now.
In a recent interview with Slam Magazine Artest went as far as to say, "I thought I was the MVP last year because we had the best record and I was the best player on the team, so I felt that I should have at least been talked about for it." He does not mention Jermaine O'Neal of course.
In light of all of Artest’s actions, the Pacers may be looking simply trade away the problem. The biggest name out on the market is Peja Stojakovic who has said he wants out of Sacramento, albeit in a more tactful manner than Artest.
In the end, the Pacers might not be able to get fair value for Artest, and a trade -- for Stojakovic or anybody else -- might not happen. But they're going to try.
Insanity aside (his own and Indy's for even considering this), I think Indy should keep him. Though I wouldn't mind them trading him to the Knicks. *wink,wink* ;)
Wow. All this goofing off during the playoffs is news to me. If this is true, then yeah, we should take a long, hard look at trading him. But for Peja? I don't know. Certainly we'd get a very good shooter out of the deal, but defense is a four-letter word to Stojakovic. I'm not entirely certain I'd make that deal.But in any case, you didn't really expect Artest to be humble during an interview with SLAM Magazine, did you? Is anyone humble in interviews with SLAM Magazine?
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The 1985 NBA Draft Lottery, when the Knicks' envelope was bent, was the most-obvious rig job ever, and it landed the Knicks Patrick Ewing. Today's method would make it virtually impossible to rig, I would think.