Monday, June 07, 2004

I done told y'all, part 2

More on "Crazay" Ron Artest from My Man Sam(tm):

It was a wild ending for the Pacers and Ron Artest with Artest's technical fouls at the end of Game 6 in the Eastern Conference finals against the Pistons being pivotal. Artest had missed practices the previous days with migraine headaches, which he often gets. So he skipped the team flight to Detroit, also common for him, took a commercial flight, and then went to the movies to see the disaster film, "The Day After Tomorrow" the night before the game. Maybe they had the sound turned down.

In the Pacers' closing meetings, it became clear that the team will consider trading Al Harrington. The backup forward has brooded all season about being the sixth man and has told friends he would ask for a trade after the season. Bird said Harrington was the only player who said he'd be interested in playing elsewhere.

"We're going to look to see what we can do," Bird said. "It's like with any player who walks in and says they're not happy. You try to explain to them that the grass isn't always greener. When they think they can take their game to the next level and they want to get more minutes and more shots, you look around. But if you can't get the value you think you can get for them, they're still going to be here. It has to be a deal that makes us happy."

But the big issue facing the Pacers is whether to trade Artest. His value never will be higher after winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award and becoming an All-Star without many incidents. But the Pacers know the potential is there. And Artest, who breaks the offense constantly and takes wild shots, doesn't fit the controlled style coach Rick Carlisle likes to play. It might be their best move to get a big man or a scorer to take pressure off Jermaine O'Neal.

"I don't think this team will be back in its exact form next year," Carlisle said. "There will be some changes, either through free agency and the draft or the possibility of trades. There's going to be some things that are going to be different."

The Pacers trading Artest and keeping Harrington is in my opinion a great idea. Let Artest be someone else's headache, while getting some serious value in return.