Lakers Beat Celtics, Artest Earns His Ring, and Pacers Pre-Draft Rumors

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.


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