Monday , Dec , 12 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Ron Artest Wants Out, Stan Van Gundy Quits, Shaq is Back, and more…

What’s good, basketball fans?

Guess who’s bizack? If you’ve noticed the miniature mugshot to the right of your screen, you’ll know already that it’s none other than yours truly, the HoopsVibe Blogmaster.

So, what did I miss since we last met? Predictably, enough went down while I was away from my keyboard to fill a book, let alone a sub-thousand-word column. Rather than bore you with my thoughts on the last fortnight in the basketball world, I’ll jump right in with a look at today’s events, which were themselves enough for at least a few chapters of discussion.

Let’s get right into it.

Ron Artest Wants Out, Stan Van Gundy Quits, Shaq is Back, and more...


Ron Artest Wants to be Traded to the New York Knicks
Regular readers will know that I’m an unabashed supporter of the Artest formerly known as Ron, but that’s never clouded my view of him as being the biggest nut in the ice cream sundae that is the NBA. Accordingly, today’s news was, to me, simply another one of those “That’s just Ron” moments. Whether he really is demanding a trade or simply asking the Pacers to give him more offensive freedom isn’t certain; deciphering his message is best left to the psychologists. What’s for damn sure, however, is that Ron-Ron doesn’t have his story straight.
Let’s take a look at a few of his quotes.
"I don’t think I’m going to maximize my opportunity just playing defense. I have to show I’m one of the premier players on offense on the wing.”
Nothing too nutty yet, right?
"Here I don’t think I’m going to have a chance to maximize my opportunity for my potential."
Goofy wording, perhaps, but he still hasn’t said anything to set off alarm bells.
“If it was a perfect world, I would be going to New York.”
There you go. I’ll say this to you directly, Ron, since you must be the only person who doesn’t know this: New York is not the place for someone looking to become a premier wing player. It’s not the place to maximize your opportunity for potential (whatever that means). It’s not the right matrix for your basketball. It’s the place where Larry Brown now coaches.
If you’d been honest and admitted you just wanted to go back home, I would have given you some respect, but instead you said that you wanted more offensive freedom and suggested that Coach Brown’s town would be the perfect environment for it. That’s just Ron? That’s just wrong.
Breaking news: Just as I was about to publish this article, I was sent a report that Indiana CEO Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird, the Team President, will do their best to accommodate Ron’s wish to be traded. Watch this space, folks.
Stan Van Gundy Retires; Pat Riley Takes Over
As many times as this scenario has been predicted, it still surprised me to hear that it happened. Now that it’s official, we’re left with a number of questions. Did Stan jump or was he pushed? How will this affect the Heat? What was Pat Riley’s part in the affair? Rather than answer these myself, I’ll point you to an excellent article on the matter by HoopsVibe’s own Chris Sells.
Free Throws
Shaq is back
There was good news for Miami fans as everyone’s favourite seven-foot comedian made a promising return to the court for last night’s Heat victory over the Wiz. He may not have logged many minutes, but he played a key role in the final moments of overtime, putting a dagger in Washington’s heart with a trademark slam. Rocking a throwback uniform (word to the Floridians) he termed “hideous”, he also became the biggest person ever to wear pink.
Earl Watson may be traded
We all know he was only acquired to even out the Nenê-for-Pierce trade that never happened, so it’s no shock to hear that he may be out of the Mile High City very soon. Denver might not want him (after all, they already have one undersized point guard named “Earl”), but he certainly won’t be short of suitors.
Jay Williams to join Miami?
Given that I saw him loitering in the Heat locker room and chatting with team officials during the summer, it doesn’t come as news to me that they may be interested in his services. Having not seen him play recently, however, I couldn’t tell you whether or not he’s up for a return to highest level. What I can say is that he was possibly the most congenial NBA player I met at Alonzo’s charity game, so I wish him the best of luck with his comeback.
As always, feel free to get at me ([email protected]) with your comments, questions and suggestions. Until tomorrow, take it easy.