Friday , Aug , 01 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Ron Artest: Yao and I Had ‘great’ Conversation

Ron Artest: Yao and I Had 'great' Conversation“Yao reached out,” Artest said. “He said some real nice things. I really appreciate it. It was nice of him.”

With that, Artest’s mood had returned to the excitement his representative, Mark Stevens, had described in the hours after the deal.

"He’s outrageous," Stevens said. "He’s happy, he’s jumping, he’s fantastic right now.

"He is happy as he can be to be put in a situation to compete for a championship. He’s ecstatic."

By Thursday, Artest was happy to talk about basketball and joining Tracy McGrady, Rafer Alston and Shane Battier with the Rockets.

“Definitely playing with Tracy, I’ve got a guy that can take over a game,” Artest said. “I got my thing take over a game defensively.