One of the well-researched, long-pondered reasons that I opposed the Lakers' signing of Ron Artest
was because he is, well, crazy. But, OK, I must admit today, sometimes it can be a good crazy.
Did you check out his first promotional appearance as a Laker in San Diego on Monday? Artest was nuts, but it was the kind of nuts that maybe the Lakers need.
First, he was accountable nuts, immediately hoisting the season on his shoulder at the risk of self-vegetation.
“They won last year, and I’m the new addition,” he said. “The fans expect to repeat. Everybody in L.A. expects a second ring. And if we don’t, then, yeah, they should point right at me, throwing tomatoes and everything.”
Have you ever heard any Laker place such pressure on himself? Have you ever heard any NBA player doing that?
Second, he was Kobe nuts, wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey that wasn’t even a real jersey, but some black souvenir thing that turned him into a walking tribute.
“It makes me more excited, gives me a better understanding of what jersey I’m actually wearing,” Artest said. “So today I decided to wear the black Kobe Bryant jersey because he is the ‘Black Mamba’ and I’m really happy to be part of this team.”
Giving Bryant public love is one thing Artest must do, and do often, for this potentially combustible combination to work.
I will write more on my new pal Ron Artest later today. But anything that can distract Lakers fans from the upcoming sacred union between Lamar Odom and One Of Those Kardashian Clowns is surely a good thing.
But what do you think? Leave a comment on if you think Artest is the kind of crazy the Lakers need or if he is going to disrupt a winning team.
-- Bill Plaschke
Photo: Ron Artest. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times