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

Pacers will try to trade Artest

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Indiana Pacers CEO and president Donnie
Walsh said Monday the team will try to trade disgruntled forward Ron Artest.

In an interview with an Indianapolis newspaper this past weekend, the often-
maligned Artest said he has issues with his role on the team and that the club
would be better off without him.

Artest has missed the last two games because of a sore right wrist. The 2004
NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Artest made headlines last season when he
charged into the crowd after fans following getting hit with debris during
a November 19 game against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace. Commissioner
David Stern showed no mercy as he suspended Artest for the final 73 games of
the season.

Walsh said Artest would remain on the inactive list for at least the remainder
of this week. Artest has also been told not to practice with the team.

“I do think it is a time to kind of break apart and see if he can get a new
start somewhere else,” Walsh said. “I think that it is important for us to put
our past behind us and stop these distractions so that what I think is a fine
basketball team can go on. What kind of trade is this going to be if there is
going to be a trade? All that has got to be answered and we’ll get about doing
that as soon as possible.”

The 6-foot-7 Artest is averaging 19.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest this
season.

In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, Artest said the “past haunts him
here” and that “I think they will be a better team without me.”

The Pacers have a 12-7 record this season, which is second-best in the Eastern
Conference.

“It’s about the Pacers,” said Indiana forward Jermaine O’Neal. “It’s about the
players that suit up every single day. I’m tired of answering questions about
Ron over and over and over again. At some point, you just get tired of all the
extras and you move on. I wish the best to Ron in his career and hopefully
he’s able to achieve whatever he’s looking for.”

IND