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Tuesday , Apr , 24 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Ron Artest: ‘I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden’

“On that play, I just dunked on Durant and Ibaka, and I got really emotional, really excited. And it was unfortunate that James had to get hit with the unintentional elbow. I hope he’s OK. The Thunder, they’re playing for a championship this year. So I really hope he’s OK, and I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden. Such a great game, and it was unfortunate so much emotion was going on at that time.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Metta World Peace’s elbow to the dome of James Harden has caught the attention of the suits at NBA head office and will surely result in a forced vacation and/or fine.

But the rapper, philosopher, and part time comedian’s poor judgement should alarm the Staples Center faithful. After all, the old Ron Artest -- the troubled and emotional forward for the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Houston Rockets -- got flagrant foul twos.

The Lakers supposedly got a mellow, friendlier Artest, albeit a less productive one on-court. For the most part, Metta World Peace has been like Barney when compared to the dude who rushed the stands and started the Malice N’ the Palace at Detroit.

That’s why his elbow was so surprising. It was unprovoked. It was intentional -regardless of what he says. And it could have been the difference between the Lakers winning and losing against the Thunder in what will surely be a playoff preview.

Recent reports indicate that Harden has a concussion. And Metta World Peace, to his credit, apologized.

Bottom line: the purple-and-gold aren’t as deep as the squads that captured back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. They can’t win with Metta World Peace on the sideline for any amount of time, so these sorts of slip-ups can’t happen.

Hopefully, it was a one-off. And Metta World Peace doesn’t turn back the clock again and become the old Ron Artest.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Apr , 20 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Sources: Mitch Kupchak to interview with Blazers

Kupchak is one of the Blazers' top targets in their quest to land an executive with experience running a franchise's basketball operations, sources told ESPN.com.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Mitch Kupchak, things are weird with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The owner’s son, Jim Buss, is your boss despite having no experience as a basketball executive. The superstar, Kobe Bryant, is a raging Alpha Male who can’t accept that the team is better with Andrew Bynum as the top option. Speaking of Bynum, his lack of maturity is obvious.

And we haven’t even mentioned Metta World Peace, Matt Barnes, coach Mike Brown‘s offense, the press, or the rapid fan base that demand a championship every year.

Still, the Lakers quirks are nothing when compared to the mayhem of the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Blazers lost two of their top three players, Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, to injury. Long-time coach Nate McMillan was recently fired. The club is starting over.

Sadly, the on-court mess wouldn’t be the biggest challenge. That would be eccentric owner Paul Allen.

Remember, Allen fired executive Kevin Pritchard moments before the draft and casually told his former executive to stick around for the team's pick. The club spent months searching for Pritchard’s replacement. They supposedly had their man in Richie Cho, but fired him a year later for being too quiet.

There's a reason the Blazers haven't hired a replacement: no decent executive will take the gig. They don't want the mess, melodrama, and headache.

So Mitch, stick with the Lakers. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Apr , 17 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Will Kobe Bryant fit with new, balanced Lakers?

If this is something that Bryant does take to heart, the Lakers, now that they have a major upgrade at point guard — Sessions for Derek Fisher — appear fully capable of coming out of the Western Conference. And while Bryant's stint on the bench has allowed his teammates to build their own confidence, it has also allowed his legs to rest. "This is a blessing in disguise for him to rest, heal up," World Peace said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: So, what happens now?

The Los Angeles Lakers have won four straight games with  Black Mamba on the sideline in an expensive, dark suit.

To be fair: the purple-and-gold are 4-1 without Bryant, their franchise face, All-Star, perennial MVP candidate, and long-time Alpha Dog.

With Bryant sporting an injured shin, the Lakers have found their groove. Andrew Bynum has become an even greater beast. Pau Gasol is loving the extra touches. Metta World Peace is playing like a young Ron Artest -minus the outbursts. Even Matt Barnes has found his old form.

Bottom line: the Lakers have chemistry.

Whenever Bryant returns, he must fit with teammates and not disrupt the good vibes that have circulated Staples Center during his absence.

If that means deferring, so be it. If that means looking inside more to Bynum, so be it. If that means contributing in ways besides scoring, so be it.

Then, in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, Bryant can become the end-of-game assassin we know.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jan , 14 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Will the Lakers say goodbye to ‘World Peace’?

“I don’t have any issues … it’s not even an issue,” World Peace said. “The issue is that we won. We won, so it doesn’t even matter. It’s one team that’s working on winning and that’s all that matters.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ron Artest, also known as Metta World Peace, is saying the right things. Problem is, he’s doing the wrong things on-court.

Artest deserves credit for accepting his recent benching against the Cleveland Cavaliers with dignity. The former Defensive Player of the Year didn’t complain to reporters about sitting the entire game.

Yes, Artest watched all 48 minutes, earning his first Did Not Play-Coach’s Decision.

To be blunt, the forward is a shadow of his former self. He doesn't defend. He’s uncomfortable down-low, where new coach Mike Brown plays him. And his intensity from the 2010 championship is gone.
 
Remember, Artest struggled mightily last year, and isn’t even worth the discounted mid-level exception salary he signed for in 2009.

Bottom line: Artest’s play improves or the capped-out Lakers will likely cut him via the amnesty clause to gain financial flexibility.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Saturday , Sep , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Ron Artest Guarantees Lakers will win NBA Title in 2012

"Win it all," Artest said when asked will the Lakers do in the 2011-12 season. "Win the whole thing. That's a guarantee."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: His new name is coming. His confidence hasn't gone anywhere.

Nobody knows if Ron Artest will actually change his name to Metta World Peace, however, the speculation surrounding his moniker hasn’t impacted the swing’s confidence.

Artest/Peace is so sure his Los Angeles Lakers will win the 2012 NBA Title that he pulled a Joe Naismith and publicly guaranteed it.

There are a few issues. First, there might not be a 2012 season due to the labour impasse between owners and players. Second, if a 2012 season occurs, it will be with a stricter collective bargaining agreement that may force the Lakers to shed talent. And third, the club has a new coach in Mike Brown, which means a transition will occur.

All in all, the Lakers will be hard pressed to win their third championship in four seasons. Just don't tell Artest that.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Lakers guaranteed the 2012 NBA title already? No way!
Saturday , Sep , 03 , 2011 J.N.

Lakers guaranteed the 2012 NBA title already? No way!

Book it. It’s over. There is no need for the 2012 season even if the lockout ended right now. "Win it all," Artest said when asked what will the Lakers do in the 2011-2012 season. "Win the whole thing. That's a guarantee.” Wow. Interesting. And here we go again. Why must you do this? And why must some of Laker Nation have to front run so much? Why? Dallas Mavericks dominating the Lakers was not enough? You were not entertained?

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Monday , Aug , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Ron Artest on meeting Celine Dion: ‘My Nipples Froze’

Celine made me and all my thug friends cry with the French song!!!! She cried !!! Wow!!!! She hugged me !! I got chills!! My nipples froze!

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: New name. Same sense of humour.

Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, admitted via twitter to attending a Celine Dion concert in Las Vegas with his ‘boys’.

And when Artest - the tough guy swing turned lovable entertainer - met the Canadian crooner backstage a part of his body 'froze'.

Apparently, what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas -even when it needs to.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

The players are leaving.
Thursday , Jul , 14 , 2011 J.N.

The players are leaving.

It’s not a mass exodus although notable players are taking off to become international ballers. As this is happening, some fans were saying that the NBA is in better shape than the NFL. Uh how so? Are you oblivious? The NFL is about to reach an agreement to end the lockout. Where is the NBA? I’m not even sure if they are even negotiating right now. The players and owners are too far apart. There are some owners against owners. As a result, the players are leaving. 

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Sunday , Jul , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Metta World Peace on Ron Artest: ‘He’s a expletive’

"I changed my name because I got tired of Ron Artest, he's a [expletive]," said Metta World Peace. "And when fans get mad at me, they can't say, 'I hate World Peace."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Metta World Peace is tired of Ron Artest. Well, Laker-nation is tiring of 'Hollywood Ron' and wants more 'Ron-Ron'.

It's impossible to knock Artest for being a happier, healthier person. And it's equally difficult to knock his work as an advocate for mental health. More people, not just athletes, should follow Artest and get involved with causes in their community.

Let's be clear: Artest’s health should always be priority one.

However, the rap videos, stand-up act, and appearances on late-night talk shows seem to have neutralized his edge on-court. And the Lakers need Artest’s edge.

Again, let`s be clear: the Lakers do not need the Artest who leaped into the stands, smashed cameras, got suspended for various infractions, and ultimately walked on the Indiana Pacers.

They do need the former Defensive Player of the Year. They do need the two-guard who stood up to Kobe Bryant in the 2009 playoffs. And they do need his energy and intensity.

The Lakers need less World Peace and more 'Ron-Ron'.  The sooner World Peace accepts this, the better he and his team will be,

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Jun , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers need Ron Artest, not Metta World Peace

Say goodbye to Ron Artest and HELLOOOO to Metta World Peace ... Mr. Metta World Peace to you. Yes, Ron is going the way of Cassius Clay, Lew Alcindor and Chad Johnson.  Ron's filed a petition in L.A. County Superior Court to change his name to -- World Peace.

FYI, metta means loving, kindness, happiness and all that jazz. We're told Ron wants to put the new last name -- Peace -- on the back of his L.A. Lakers' jersey. These name changes are typically granted by a judge unless it would result in confusion or fraud. Hey, give Peace a chance.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I have no issue with Ron Artest changing his name. It is, after all, his name.

I have no issue with Artest being happy off-court. I applaud him for seeking help, conquering his demons, and giving back.

I, however, take issue with Artest’s play in 2011. The lockdown defender was a shade of his former self, getting lost in Phil Jackson’s Triple Post system, and not contributing on defense, either.

To be frank: Artest looked distracted. The hoopla and glitz of Los Angeles seemed to come first; basketball seemed to come a distant second.

His priorities must change if the Lakers are to contend for the championship in 2012. The purple-and-gold need Artest to shed weight, regain his status as a premier defender, and score more for new coach Mike Brown.

Artest should enjoy living in LA. This enjoyment should stem from team and individual success on-court.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.