I asked Artest if he had a place in Los Angeles or if he was just hanging out. He told me that he used to have a spot, but he was just in town to watch the games. Artest wasn't hiding his support of the Lakers. He has known fellow Queens native Lamar Odom since he was 12, and they were on the same AAU team. Artest also is a huge, huge Kobe Bryant fan. I've talked to Artest several times before, but I never realized what a cool, regular dude he was until last night. He shared a pretzel with [Peter] Vescey, shook hands with fans and signed autographs.
"My question: Why exactly would it have killed them to trade for Artest in a "now or never" bid? I know that Kleiza is cute and all, and beloved by the owners, but Ron Ron could've made that Lakers mess into a series. And perhaps energized the whole team going forward. Yes, his contract was up this summer, but is that inconvenience really preferable to the uninspiring morass Denver's now in?"