Sunday , Aug , 23 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Should Ron Artest be upset with the Houston Rockets?

For Ron Artest, these comments were about respect and motivation. Not his Larry Bird rights or money. After helping Houston advance to the second round of the NBA Finals and pushing the eventual world champion Los Angeles Lakers to seven games, Artest likely felt he was deserving of more consideration from the Rockets during free agency …


Should Ron Artest be upset with the Houston Rockets?Breaking NBA news mixed with analysis …

Their News: “Houston did me dirty. I can’t wait til next year when we go to Houston. I’m not shooting. All defense. Somebody getting locked da fu** up. I still feel blessed but they messed up my bird rights. So it’s on as long as I’m in the league.” (Ron Artest, Twitter)

Our Quick Analysis:
For Ron Artest, these comments were about respect and motivation. Not his Larry Bird rights or money.

After helping Houston advance to the second round of the NBA Finals and pushing the eventual world champion Los Angeles Lakers to seven games, Artest likely felt he was deserving of more consideration from the Rockets during free agency.

Well, perhaps.

Sure, ‘H-Town’ GM Daryl Morey didn’t break down doors to sign the lockdown defender. And sure, Artest behaved last season for Rick Adelman, putting together a productive year on and off court.

However, everything changed when Yao Ming’s injury became career-threatening. With no superstar five-man, the Rockets likely re-evaluated their circumstances and, for any number of reasons, decided against giving Artest a multi-year deal.

Morey may have felt Artest was playing the good soldier because he was in a contract season. If rewarded with the security of a long-term pact, Ron-Ron, the forward’s trouble-making alter ego, could re-appear.      

Mr. Moneyball may have preferred the rebuild route. With Tracy McGrady and Yao out indefinitely, Morey might have believed another direction was needed. 

Whatever the reason, the lockdown defender felt slighted by the lack of love from Houston. To be fair, Artest was the featured player on an undermanned, blue-collar squad that beat Portland and nearly upset Los Angeles this past playoff.

Now after signing with the Lakers, he has jiffy marked on the calender games verses the Rockets. This isn’t uncommon in professional sports. Players use insults, both real and perceived, as motivation to perform.

A focused and calm Artest is something to behold on-court. And the strong, Los Angeles, will be stronger in 2010.

Should Ron Artest be upset with Houston? Why? Why not? Let us know in the comment box below. Follow Oly Sandor on HoopsVibe and Twitter. Photo courtesy of sith120.