Holy Shit - Artest to L.A.!!!!

 I knew Ariza's agent trying to play hardball with the lakers wouldn't sit well with Dr. Buss.  :  <br />

Jul 02, 2009 6:56 PM EST

Ron Artest has told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that he will sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I'm definitely going to L.A. -- to sign, yeah," Artest said in a phone interview. "Lakers, Lakers, Lakers. I'm in L.A. right now.

Artest says he's signing with Lakers (UPDATE)

Shaq can have LeBron. Ron Artest says he'll take Kobe.

Artest, whose versatility and toughness have made him one of the most coveted and combustible players in the NBA, told CBSSports.com Thursday that he's signing with the Lakers.

"I'm definitely going to L.A. -- to sign, yeah," Artest said in a phone interview. "Lakers, Lakers, Lakers. I'm in L.A. right now."

Artest said he met with Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss Thursday and previously had spoken with Lakers coach Phil Jackson. He was en route to his financial manager's office, where he planned to huddle on the phone with his agent, David Bauman, to finalize details.

Artest's exuberance -- he spent the whole summer in L.A., including several appearances at Lakers home games during the NBA Finals -- got ahead of the process a bit. Other teams that made overtures for Artest -- including the Cavaliers -- have not yet been notified that Artest is signing with the Lakers. (Consider them notified.) Bauman has spoken with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, but parameters have not yet been agreed to. Still, it's pretty clear where Artest is going.

"I don't really care about the money," Artest said. "I'll play there for nothing. ... L.A. was very interested in me, and they got me."

UPDATE: Lakers spokesman John Black declined to comment on Artest's assertion, but another person with knowledge of the situation corroborated Artest's account that he will sign with L.A. pending the financial parameters being finalized.

Only 24 hours earlier, the buzz was focused on Artest joining LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal in Cleveland in what would've made a potent Big Three on the shores of Lake Erie. It would've been, well, eerie, too: Artest's internal combustion engine, combined with LeBron's exquisite dominance and Shaq's alpha-male, all-round Shaq-ness would've been something to see.

But Artest said talks with Cleveland "never got that far." Told that Cleveland, by all accounts, had extreme interest, Artest said, "I don't know how extreme. I love the Cleveland Cavaliers, though. I love LeBron and Coach (Mike) Brown and Shaq."

But what he really loves is L.A.

"L.A. is what it is," Artest said. "I've been here for the whole summer, and it's pretty good. It's good for me. I know Lamar Odom, so that's pretty cool."

Artest spoke as though Odom would return to the Lakers to join Artest and Kobe Bryant for another title run. The addition of Artest would mean the Lakers have to choose between Odom and Trevor Ariza. Obviously, Ariza would be the odd man out and already has expressed displeasure with the Lakers' efforts to lure him back with only the mid-level exception.

UPDATE: The addition of Artest is a coup for the defending champion Lakers, who have faced the prospect of trying to retain their own free agents, Odom and Ariza, and have seen other contenders make major efforts to improve. Most notably, the Celtics dispatched their Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce, along with coach Doc Rivers and managing partner Wyc Grousbeck to Detroit on Thursday to offer free agent Rasheed Wallace a mid-level contract. Cleveland's acquisition of Shaq put the Lakers, Celtics, and Magic on notice that the Cavaliers were making a serious push for a title next season. The Cavs' pursuit of Wallace, Artest, and Ariza signaled that they weren't finished after the pre-draft trade for Shaq.

"I talked to Coach Phil, and I was happy to talk to him," Artest said. "Big fan of Coach Phil. My agent talked to Kupchak, and I met with Dr. Buss. I'm very, very excited."


As much as I HATE to lose Ariza.  The lakers do improve with this move.  Not sure how to feel though, I'm not much of an Artest fan.

 Artest is twice the player Ariza is.  Plus winning actually matters to him, where its clearly meaningless to Ariza.  Let some other dumbass GM pay Trevor about 3mil more a season than he's worth, I just hope its not the Cavs wasting their money on him.

The league should just cancel the season.  Artest, Kobe, Gasol and Bynum could handle some teams 4 on 5.  Add Odom back to the mix and its game over.  I smell another laker 3peat coming.

"Plus winning actually matters to him"

I love seeing players take a pay cut at a chance to win (like Malone).

Very refreshing.

Horrible signing for LA IF it is true.

I can't believe this!

I read it online (NBA.com) and shit myself.

and the say the Lakers can't play tough.. lol


quick - Horrible signing for LA IF it is true.

 It will take a while for me to acclimate to Artest but he is far from horrible.

He already has experience in the triangle.

Better defender, shooter and overall player.

Kobe & Phil would have had to sign off on him prior to any pursuit so they do believe he will fit in well.

Now, the guy is prone ot losing his mind but I think a high Lakers winning percentage will buffer any pre-exhisting frustrations.

Still, I really would have liked to resign Trevor though,  but his Agent made a baaaaaad move with the bluff.

Now sadly, Ariza will sign for the same MLE amount but with a non-contender in Houston.  Not sure why he didn't  sign MLE for his hometown team that just won him a ring.


Ariza shot close to 50% from three in the entire playoffs. Artest is a bricklaying machine. Yeah, he's tough, but he hasn't been a true DPoY for years. I think they would have been better off keeping Ariza and giving him an extra million a year.

Now that I think about it, it sure looks they "Stephen Jackson-d" Trevor Ariza. You got a 23 year old stud who was clutch in the playoffs and made big plays at big moments who's looking for some love.

The team is insulted that he dare ask for more than they offer and kick him to the curb.

Lakers might come to regret this as much as the Spurs did. Spurs would probably have another title and at least 1 repeat if they had just paid Jackson the extra he wanted.

I would have liked to have seen Ariza sing for a 5 year 28.5 mill contract like he was offered.  I'm prettey sure he doesn't get much more in Houston and will have the luxury of staying where he wanted to stay in his home town, and compete for a few more titles.

his agent however fucked up the whole thing and already has a shaky history from the Bynum signing.

When he went on Yahoo last night posturing about the negotiating he blew it,  he fucking blew it.

Artest is as great a plan B as anything.

Artest is better right now...quite a bit better. But I love Ariza's potential and it's going to piss me off if he blossoms somewhere else.

Plus Artest will always be a punk in my eyes.

PoundforPound - Artest is better right now...quite a bit better. But I love Ariza's potential and it's going to piss me off if he blossoms somewhere else.

Plus Artest will always be a punk in my eyes.

 can't argue with you there.

I'm  thinking he should come off the bench till he proves himself worthy.

quite a bit better?

I don't know. Artest's not the defender he used to be now that he'll be 30. He's brick city on offense.

And it's a little lame to only offer matches to what other teams offer. It's LA. They make more money than anyone. There's no excuse to get all cheapass with the guy who made game changing shots, run-stopping shots, back-breaking shots and grabbed more steals and blocks on average in the playoffs than Artest did.

The strides Ariza has made since being a 2nd rounder . . . I don't think he's peaked. Artest is on the downward slope. He'll get slower and heavier and brickier and brickier.

I'm not suggeting this costs the Lakers a ring, especially with Chris Wallace eager to dump OJ Mayo for Sasha Vujacic no doubt right around the corner. But for a team that makes SO much money to nickel and dime a young guy who I don't think has hit his ceiling yet . . . it's questionable.

My question is why?

Why would LA go and get a guy that can't really help them much, but could possibly hurt them? Artest is not a good shooter, not really even a good scorer. He can play D, but he's not really a difference maker on D.

Mother fucker. See what I mean? What i've stated for years...the Lakers get whoever they want. I'm interested in seeing how much he's signing for.

I was happy for about five whole days knowing Spurs made moves to get a lot better and now this. UGH!!!

I've always wanted Artest in a Spurs uniform too.

"Mother fucker. See what I mean? What i've stated for years...the Lakers get whoever they want.'

Maybe because people want to live in LA? Not where the weather sucks like... Minnesota?

which just sucks.


Man, hate to see Ariza go but shit, RON ARTEST! I'm trippin' out, can't think of a better person to replace Trevor. The Lakers intensity and toughness will be even better next year. Scary thought for the rest of the NBA.

 Actually, now that I think about it. Artest probably wasn't plan B. I wouldn't be suprised if the Lakers were looking to get him first and foremost all along.

Maybe they either never made Trevor a real MLE offer or calculated a first offer rejection. Artest had made it known that he wanted to play for L.A for a while now and Mitch was more than willing to pull the trigger for the right price.

Hmmmmm..... I wonder.

 Fuckin aye.   Trevors contract in Houston was basically the same one Mitch offerered him.

Trevor needs to fire his agent asap.