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Why I love Ron (but wish not to invest in him)

First things first. I love Ron Artest. Love, love, love, love, love him. LOOOOOOOOOOVE HIM!!!

I also loved a woman prior to meeting and falling in love with Mrs. section214. And I loved her. Loved, loved, loved, loved her. LOOOOOOOOOOVED HER!!! Alas, the woman was not dependable and could not commit, and we eventually parted ways.

It's a dependability issue with Ron Artest as far as I am concerned. My fear is that Ron Artest will do a Fredo Corleone on me. You broke my heart, Ron-Ron, you broke my heart.

Ron Artest is also (when he plays) the best player on the Sacramento Kings. Bar none. Better than Kevin Martin, better than Brad Miller, better than the recently departed Mike Bibby.

Since Ron is our best player, I decided to run his dependability against some of the other best players in the league. This is a random sampling of a dozen of the game's best. Most have played longer than Ron, a couple as long, a few less than Ron. All of these guys played a significant amount in their rookie year, including Ron (72 games). The numbers are what they are, I was trying to prove to myself one way or the other whether or not Ron Artest was more or less or equally as dependable as the other players that he compares himself to.

My definition of dependable is simple. If there is a game, you play. This does not mean that you are a slacker or a mean person or a villain if you don't play, but it does mean that your team could not depend on you to suit up.

The formula is also simple. Games played by the player divided by the games that his team played during the regular season.

Out of fairness and curiosity, you will find two Ron Artest's on this list. Brawl suspension Ron (BS Ron) and no brawl suspension Ron (NBS Ron).  Also, "PSA" = per season average. That is, take the percentage of games played and multiply it by 82 games and you get the "PSA."

The list:

  1. Kevin Garnett 97% games played, 79 PSA.
  2. Dirk Nowitzki 97% GP, 79 PSA.
  3. LeBron James 95% GP, 78 PSA.
  4. Tim Duncan 95% GP, 78 PSA.
  5. Carmelo Anthony 92% GP, 75 PSA.
  6. Jason Kidd 92% GP, 75 PSA.
  7. Kobe Bryant 91% GP, 74 PSA.
  8. Steve Nash 90% GP, 74 PSA.
  9. Allen Iverson 87% GP, 71 PSA.
  10. Baron Davis 82% GP, 67 PSA.
  11. Shaquille O'Neal 81%, 67 PSA.
  12. NBS Ron Artest 81%, 66 PSA.
  13. Dwayne Wade 81%, 66 PSA.
  14. BS Ron Artest 73%, 60 PSA.
Based on these numbers, Ron places in the lower end of the star player list, down there with the oft injured Dwayne Wade, the breaking down Shaq, and the used to be brittle and blue flu Baron Davis.

Now, I didn't use the next echelon of player, but if I did I might start with Vince Carter. Carter comes in at 85% / 70. Or his draft day trade partner Antawn Jamison (88% / 72).

Bottom line, the numbers tell me that Ron Artest is a risky investment. Numerically as risky as Shaq or D.Wade, though significantly cheaper at this moment.

On the flip side, these numbers show that Ron plays eight or fourteen fewer games per year than Kobe Bryant, twelve to eighteen fewer than Tim Duncan (depending on the Ron you choose, your mileage may vary). That's anywhere from 10% to 22% of the season. Is that a big deal?

For me, Ron Artest is simply too risky of an investment. Period. This is not where I want to spend the money. Good heavens, we were all in a panic about Spenecer Hawes' knee in preseason and we have next to nothing invested in him.

And it kills me that I feel this way. It kills me that I can't reasonably depend on Ron and his immense talent to propel this team back into the playoffs. He's the right age. He's ferocious on the court. I think all in all he is well liked by his teammates. I think he's probably a great guy. But can we depend on him?

Peja's star fell around here when he began to suffer injuries, when we could no longer depend on him. Peja, by the way? 82% GP / 67 PSA.

I love Ron. But I'm afraid Ron will Touch me in the morning, then just walk away.

I so want to be wrong about this, I really do. Ron Artest is a rare talent. I just can't see how we - how the Sacramento Kings - can ever depend on him.

Anybody have an opinion on this?