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Theus Held Artest Out of Lakers Game

From Sam Amick's Bee notes column:

According to numerous team sources, Artest – who has been battling a left thumb injury – asked to play and was rebuffed by Kings coach Reggie Theus. ... He said recently that he had wanted to sit down for the rest of the season weeks ago, but Theus asked him to keep playing.

"I told coach … asked him if he wanted me to sacrifice some of my time for the young guys," he said. "He said no."

Was it a matter of Theus wanting to allow extra minutes for Francisco Garcia and Quincy Douby? Or was it a last stand by Theus in opposition of Artest's infamous practice of deciding his readiness right before games? Judging by Artest's attitude on the bench, I'd guess the former.

A depressing note from the column: Kenny Thomas won't be opting out to chase his championship dreams elsewhere.