Friday, May 04, 2007

Ron-Ron Will Use This As Fodder For His Advice Column.

Well, at least the animal abuse charges got dropped. Erstwhile Kings forward Ron Artest pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence charges, and has received a sentence of community service and a 10-day work project. His wife Kimsha seems willing to take him back, and the judge has dropped most of the restrictions from seeing her and their children, so I assume he's moving back into his Loomis mansion relatively soon.

The problem is that we really don't know whether Artest's time in Sacramento has run out or not. All recent signs with the Kings would say yes, despite the declaration of "no immediate plans" to trade him in the AP copy. Eric Musselman got axed, Mike Bibby is already being talked about again as trade bait, and the Maloof brothers may be thinking that Ron-Ron's off the court trouble aren't worth his usually steady on-court play.

But who would take Artest at this point? He's a good defender and can put in a double-double on a regular basis, but there are quite a few players in the league who can do that, maybe not with as much intensity and drive, but with a lot fewer concerns over PR and off-court distractions. That's two teams in a row that he's floundered on or sunk. Terrell Owens got a third chance, but T.O. isn't near the notoriety of Artest, for the brawl at the Palace at Auburn Hills. I'm not so sure anyone will actually pick him up if the Kings say it's been real, it's been fun, but it ain't been real fun.

It's instructive to look at Artest and Stephen Jackson side-by-side after their respective trades to California: Jackson's crazy is still around -- and surfaces sometimes -- but it hasn't cut into his work; he was a big part of the Warriors' upset of the Mavs, coming through big in Game Six. Artest's crazy envelops him, defines who he is -- it's almost completely consumed his status as a ballplayer.

(P.S. Honestly, I think if someone had hit me in the face with a beer cup and I was an NBA player, I'm not so sure I wouldn't have gone looking for them in the stands either. So, I can't throw a ton of stones at Artest there, but it was still an ugly thing to watch.)


Hercules Rockefeller said...

The Nugs are going to need a defensive presence after Camby gets traded this offseason.

Signal to Noise said...

Hercules, let me put it this way: NO.

Hercules Rockefeller said...

Hey, I wouldn't want to see it either, but....