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The Only Explanation: Ron Artest Has Bad Representation

As Carl noted in the previous thread, Sam Amick offers more depth to that story from ESPN's Marc Stein from earlier this afternoon.

The backstory here involves a conference call the small forward had this morning with Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie and Artest's agent, Mark Stevens. It appears that Artest was under the impression that there was a high likelihood the Kings would discuss his eventual signing to a long-term extension. But after numerous sources have said for months that such a move was highly unlikely, Artest and Stevens had continued to talk as if it was a strong possibility.

Petrie said in a phone interview minutes ago that he had a "candid" conversation with Artest but that "he wasn't too inclined to (say) much further than that."

If Artest thought Petrie was going to drop a multi-year deal on his lap this morning after desperately trying to trade him for Linas Kleiza and Eduardo Najera at the deadline, then Ron-Ron has received painfully poor information. No one in the world -- except Ron and his agent, apparently -- thought there'd be a chance the Kings would lock Artest up this summer.

If this stems from those Joe Maloof comments a few months ago -- basically, Maloof told a few radio shows the team would consider offering Artest a long-term deal only if he did not opt out -- then it's even worse. I assume Stevens knows how to reach Petrie. There's no excuse to be this misinformed about the team's very obvious plans.

This hurts Artest, just like Stevens' statement in 2006 that Artest did not want to play in Sacramento hurt, and just like Stevens' meddling in the trade talks this past winter likely hurt. Has Stevens done one thing in Ron's best interest?