The warm feelings lasted a long, long time.
Artest told ESPN.com on Tuesday that he wishes now he had opted for unrestricted free agency, like Brand and Davis, instead of electing to play out the final year of his contract with the Kings next season at $7.4 million.
Artest also conceded that his long-term future is likely not in Sacramento, saying via e-mail: "I don't see myself with [the] Kings beyond 2008-09.
"I think I made the biggest mistake by staying in my contract and I have to live with it," Artest said. "I had some misleading information [in making the] decision on not opting out. [But] I still thank G-d for all his blessings and being able to play basketball and help people."
Who misled Ron? His agent? Don't worry, Ron-Ron: it's not because Mark Stevens has shady motives, it's because you're his only client and he seems to know less than he think he does.
Don't worry, really. Either the team overperforms and you're on a winner, or Geoff Petrie will deal you to a playoff team by the deadline. No frets, man.
Also: I have no clue why ESPN.com editors or Marc Stein himself would bleep the word "God." Damn Heathens!
UPDATE, 6:09 p.m.: I now know why the 'o' would be omitted in the word 'God.' Thank you to Josh for setting me straight. I apologize to Stein and anyone I may have offended. I'm just a dumb Catholic.
UPDATE #2, 6:10 p.m.: By 'I'm just a dumb Catholic,' I mean to say 'I am dumb and a Catholic,' not that Catholics are by definition dumb. I apologize to His Holiness and Denis Leary.