When Ron Artest was asked if he’d try to make amends with Oklahoma City guard, James Harden, on Monday evening, Artest stated that he doesn’t shake the hands of substitutes, just the fellow starters on the floor. The question was rephrased, and he was asked if he would seek out Harden before the game to shake his hand. Again, Artest shrugged it off and stated that he has never done that in his career–that he doesn’t shake hands with substitutes.
Yep. I refuse to call this guy Metta World Peace, but I do believe that he and Chad Johnson/Ochocinco would be perfect mates for a reality show entitled, “We Think We’re Like the Little Kid in ‘Big Daddy’ who Wanted to be Called Frankenstein.”
Artest won’t have to worry about shaking anyone’s hand in OKC this evening when the Lakers take on the Thunder in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. He’ll be ignored, and the officials will be on high alert. Look for Kevin Durant to go off, and for Russ Westbrook to have his way with the Lakers inferior guards. James Harden–who could start for the Thunder, or any other NBA squad, and who is twice the point guard option that the Lakers presently have on their roster–will also take advantage of the Lakers once-in-a-blue-moon team defensive effort.
I come across as a Laker hater. Nah. I just can’t stand Ron Artest. Name another athlete who would still be playing in their professional league for all the crap he’s done? So, beyond the fact that OKC is deeper and more talented, there’s the fact that they just play harder than the Lakers on a more consistent basis. In all fairness to Artest, he is King Hustle, and Kobe will always be Kobe; however, Pau Gasol and Raggedy Andy Bynum are soft serve and prima donna, respectively.
Case in point. L.A. playing for their playoff lives in game 7 on Saturday vs. the Denver Nuggets, barely hanging on for the win. One might argue, including myself, that Denver choked away their opportunity to advance.
I see Kobe becoming frustrated, and Pau Gasol once again checking out in this series. Regardless of the competitive nature of the games, the Lakers won’t log many wins.
The Lakers fall in 5.