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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

Artest still upsets my stomach

Posted Wednesday, June 23, 2010, at 3:24 PM

I don't want to sound bitter, especially when I am ever so grateful to be part of the living and upright after my bout with an infection gone bad and subsequent back surgery that has had me homebound for over a month (more on that in a another column later).

But I wanted to throw up when former pro coach Jeff Van Gundy said after game 7 of the NBA Finals, "You have to feel good for Ron Artest?" No I don't, nor would any self-respecting Indiana Pacers' fan feel good for the thug that was trying to promote his second rap album after being part of winning a title June 17. I think the first one sold 87 copies when he was a Pacer and he wanted to take time away from the Blue and Gold to promote it.

It was bad enough that the Los Angeles Lakers repeated as NBA champions last week, but it was like pouring salt in the wound to watch Ron Artest share in the celebration after his contributions in the last two LA wins.

To say the least I am still gashed to the core about what Artest did that fateful night in the Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich. In November 2004. Yeah, you remember The Brawl when Artest went in the stands after being doused with beer by a Pistons fan.

The thing that people forget is that the Pacers had won a league-best 61 games in 2003-04, but lost to Detroit in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pistons then went on to beat the three-time champ Lakers in the finals six years ago.

Also, what people forget is that the Pacers were ahead by double figures on the defending World Champs in their building on that fateful November night and were on the way to something pretty special. They were 8-2 at that point.

The melee that ensued not only decimated the Pacers as Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson all were suspended for their part of the brawl, which started when Artest fouled Piston center Ben Wallace in the waning seconds.

Somehow coach Rick Carlisle managed to keep the Pacers together with tape and glue that year and they somehow made the playoffs before losing to the Pistons at Conseco Fieldhouse in May 2005, the last time that Reggie Miller suited up for Indy.

Indiana also made the playoffs in 2006, but they have not been part of the postseason since. Four straight years of being also-rans after making the playoffs in 16 of 17 years, five trips to the ECF and one trip to the World Finals in 2000.

But those days seem light years away and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the actions of Ron Ron started the decline.

If that wasn't bad enough, Artest decided that he no longer wanted to play in Indy at the start of the next season.

It wasn't good enough to ruin one season, he had to go for two.

Pacers president Larry Bird said that he was going to clean up the culture of the team, getting rid of Artest, Jackson, Jamal Tinsley and other knuckleheads. Give him an A in that category.

The Pacers seem to have a corps of good young players who are getting better, but more talent is needed to turn around the damage that Artest caused.

I know that Artest had a sick daughter who spent time in Riley Hospital and I wish her the best.

Nobody plays harder than Artest, but many play smarter. I am not a doctor but bi-polar would be my diagnoses.

Somebody told me one time that "Life isn't fair. If your momma told you it was, she was lying to you."

When I think of the success of Ron Artest, who was the difference for LA in games 6 & 7 after stinking for the first five games, I want to vomit

He had the gall to apologize to the Pacers during his interview after game 7.

Too little, too late Ron, don't you think?

B.J. is the sports editor of the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at hargisbj@gmail.com or (812) 240-1993.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I was happy to see Artest be part of a championship team. I am not a fan of the Pacers, so none of that bothers me, but I do realize that Artest is a heck of a baller and that most people only see the negative things he has brought on himself.

-- Posted by EggMan on Thu, Jun 24, 2010, at 10:09 AM

This guy literally destroyed a franchise in a matter of about 5 minutes! There are several of these 'Time Bombs' in the NBA, NFL, MLB, & NHL. Get them out and keep them out.

-- Posted by baseballman on Fri, Jun 25, 2010, at 6:48 AM

Artest is a great defensive player who like most of us, was his own worst enemy. I felt sorry for him when his temper got the best of him in Detroit, and am glad for him that he has helped a team win the championship. I guess I'm on Van Gundy's side on this one.

I don't pin the Pacers current problems on one guy loosing his cool many years ago.

-- Posted by Question? on Sun, Jun 27, 2010, at 5:12 PM

After watching Lebron quit on his team (no one will ever convince me otherwise) in the final two games of their season, I have new found respect for people who leave it all on the floor. You may not like Ron Artest's attitude but when he is out there he gives everything he has

-- Posted by 3Setsof10 on Mon, Jun 28, 2010, at 2:19 PM

Artest hasn't been a part of the team for five seasons now. The Pacers' problems go a lot deeper than the Malice in the Palace event. Might want to look into new management.

-- Posted by Lil' Hahn on Tue, Jun 29, 2010, at 1:43 PM

You just may want to try to get over it.

-- Posted by chevygleen on Thu, Jul 1, 2010, at 11:27 AM

Maybe the Pacers should try to do something like the other Central Division teams....like the Bulls or Bucks....get some players.

-- Posted by THE END on Sun, Jul 4, 2010, at 12:16 PM


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Enough said
B.J. Hargis
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