Thursday , Jul , 31 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Houston has a problem: Yao wrong to express concerns about Artest

The 7-6 post isn’t sold on Artest. He’s worried about chemistry, Ron-Ron’s history of certifiable antics, and hopes he won’t pull a Malice N the Palace sequel by “going after a guy in the stands”. All fair points. And everyone has the right to an opinion. But public figures, especially superstar athletes, must show discretion when expressing that opinion even when their feelings are justified. Failure to do so creates problems …

Houston has a problem: Yao wrong to express concerns about ArtestHe hasn’t practiced, played, or even spoken publicly as a Houston Rocket. Heck, the deal isn’t even official, but Ron Artest’s reputation alone has already created a Texas-sized controversy.

Yesterday, Yao Ming, the Rockets’ franchise guy, spoke to a reporter about his newest teammate.

“For some reason, I like (Artest). Because in the games we play against him, I hate him. When I text messaged with Luis, we talked about team chemistry. That’s only what worries us. We worry about the new attitude to the team. We are adding talent to the team and we need that, but building team chemistry is important. This is not bad. I don’t mean he is not welcome to Houston. But a new player always needs some time. Also, he was the biggest part of a team in Sacramento. He was a star player. We need more chemistry and more communication.” (Houston Chronicle)

Not exactly a ringing endorsement. And there’s more.

“There’s worry. Obviously, yes. We will think about it, of course. Hopefully, he’s not fighting anymore and going after a guy in the stands. I haven’t talked to Ron yet, so it’s hard to say. I have to find a way to talk to him and see what we can do as a basketball team. He has a history. But we know he is a physical player. He is a good player. He really can help us. And Ron is on a contract year, too. I think Ron Artest is a good player if coach (Rick) Adelman can control the team well." (Houston Chronicle)

The 7-6 post isn’t sold on Artest. He’s worried about chemistry, Ron-Ron’s history of certifiable antics, and hopes he won’t pull a Malice N the Palace sequel by “going after a guy in the stands”.

All fair points. And everyone has the right to an opinion. But public figures, especially superstar athletes, must show discretion when expressing that opinion even when their feelings are justified. Failure to do so creates problems.

And right now, Houston has a definite problem because Yao’s comments are dominating message boards on CNNSI’s Fan Nation and Henry Abbott’s True Hoop blog on ESPN. And, fair or not, there is a perception of a Yao-Artest beef, which could become explosive.

Yao had no reason to go all Charles Barkley. He could’ve bitten his tongue, recycled an old athlete quote about giving his best every night, or, worst case scenario, offered a no comment to the inquiring reporter.

Now the Ron Artest drama has started. And like I said, he hasn’t practiced, played, or even spoken publicly as a Houston Rocket.

Was Yao wrong to speak out about the Artest trade? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe’s The Blog for more NBA Tidbits. Photo courtesy of  floorgasm.