So how do you feel about Ron Artest winning an NBA championship ring last night?
I have a life-long disdain for the Lakers, so watching Kobe Bryant hoist another LOB trophy was painful, no doubt. But I found a strange solace in seeing Ron Artest bask in the glow of the win for a couple of reason. For one, it was straight up entertaining, but that was because he earned the moment with his play. With Kobe clanking away, Artest stepped up, even hitting a dagger three at the most critical time in the game with less than a minute to play.
The game was strange, ugly and intense thanks to the refs who, for the most part, let the teams play big boy basketball all night. The players had trouble adjusting to the physical play and the Game 7 pressure combined to give everyone a case of the yips from the perimeter.
Artest felt that Game 7 pressure but actually overcame a shaky start to contribute big time at both ends. The demons were swirling around him at the start of the game, though. His shot was off and his body language reeked of feeling the pressure. He was all set to play defense and let Kobe carry the team to victory.
That wouldn't work, though. The Celtics were swarming Kobe forcing Artest and his teammates to get involved. But then Artest made a layup. Stole the ball and made another layup. After another layup the demons were gone and he had let his game come to him. After banging down a corner three, Ronnie was in the moment and ready to make plays to help lead the Lakers to the championship. So, congrats to Ronnie. This was no ride-along championship, he earned that ring by coming up big in Game 7.
Artest's interviews also carried the post-game celebration. More on that, along with links with more stories from the finals and Pacer pre-draft rumblings after the jump and an interview with T.J. Ford.
Back to the entertaining, post-game interview. Doris Burke asked Ronnie something along the lines of, How does it feel to support Kobe winning a championship? Ron's answer should've been, Support Kobe? I led this team to a championship tonight. But this is Ronnie and the thoughts were spinning around in his head like a centrifuge until he started randomly spitting them out. His coaches, wife and family. His doctor and psychiatrist. Oh, the psychiatrist was huge. Oh yeah, there's a new single on the way. Burke realized she was in the midst of a Ronnie brain dump and quickly ended things. How can you not love that scene?
That was only the beginning though. After the links, check out the video of Ronnie's official post-game interview when he was feeling his oats.
Pacers consider UK's Orton
Mike Wells has a source indicating the Pacers' interest in Daniel Orton. With history as a guide, that means we won't see Orton with the Pacers. Usually the Pacers select a player or make a trade that hasn't been through the rumor mill. The once exception recently was the J.O. to Toronto deal that Wells snuffed out, much to the dismay of Larry Bird. So, consider this a rumor worth noting. Still, the interest in Orton indicates a trade down may be in the works and that trade may involve Troy Murphy. Stay tuned, I'm sure there will be a few more of these rumors flying around before the draft next Thursday. Also, more workouts today including Ekpe Udoh in town again along with Greg Monroe. UNC's Ed Davis will be in on Sunday for a solo workout. Hmm.
Lakers take Game 7, win back-to-back titles
KD offers his take on the game with appropriate credit due Artest and Pau Gasol.
SB Nation Houston Interviews NBA Guard & Local Icon T.J. Ford
T.J. Ford talks about his down year last season and the uncertainty he faces this offseason.
Lakers 83, Celtics 79: L.A. Still Runs the Game - Silver Screen and Roll
Congrats to SS&R and other fans of the Lakers. Yes, it's painful but to the victor go the spoils.
VIDEO: Ron Artest Thanks His Psychiatrist For Winning NBA Title
Here is Ronnie's initial post-game comments. Enjoy.