We know he’s a good player, we know what he’s capable of doing on the court. It was his ability to stir trouble off the court that had Lakers fans worried when his signing was announced at the beginning of 2009/2010 season. After all it was Trevor Ariza who left the team to sign with the Rockets, he was a big part of the Lakers second unit in the championship run the previous season.
We loved Trevor Ariza, he was athletic, explosive, exciting, and he always kept a cool head. He’s that quiet kid from LA who was just happy to be a part of it and did what ever the team asked of him. From shutting down the best player in opposing teams to making big shots in the NBA playoffs, he did it all, in a non-egotistical way … that’s hard to find in LA, especially in the Lakers.
Needless to say, when it was announced that Trevor would sign with the Rockets, and Artest would sign with the Lakers. Ron Artest had big shoes to fill, strange thing to say with the type of credentials that Ron Artest has.
– 2003-04 NBA Defensive Player of the Year
– All-Defensive First Team Selection (2003-04, 2005-06)
– All Defensive Second Team Selection (2002-03)
– All NBA Third Team Selection (2003-04
– All Star Selection (2004)
For many seasons during that period, Ron Artest was considered the top perimeter defender in the league along with players like Kobe Bryant and Andrei Kirilenko. It wasn’t his ability that we were worried about, it was his attitude, his ego. The last thing we needed was for a player as unstable as Ron Artest to disrupt the delicate chemistry that the Kobe and Phil Jackson have worked so hard to restore at Staples Center.
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