Artest: I Don't Want to Be Traded
By JOE MCDONNELL
Special to FOXSportsWest.com
Feb. 2, 2011
It was bound to happen. And given the emotional nature of Ron Artest, many might be surprised it took so long.
A national sports website reported that a source close to the Lakers' forward says Artest wants to be traded. After practice, Artest denied the rumor.
"We lost a couple games, so people (in the media) probably wanted to start a bunch of stories about what's going on with the Lakers," Artest said.
"I don't want to be traded. Definitely not."
Lakers head cach Phil Jackson, who at times has expressed concern about Artest's performance this season, scoffed at the story.
"That's something we don't put credence in," Jackson said in a post-practice media gathering. "Sources, they can be a mother-in-law. It doesn't have anything to do with what's really going on."
Artest's brother Daniel, a prolific Tweeter, has popped up on the Lakers' radar - "yeah, we're aware of him," said Jackson - and Artest joked with the media about tracking down his brother for an interview.
"My brother is interesting," Artest said. "I love my brother. My brother is more frustrated than me. He's upset because I'm not playing well. I think he's trying to get his media thing going. Maybe I should direct message him on Twitter and do an interview for him.
"He's screaming for attention," a laughing Artest said.
Artest told the gathering that he feels good about his situation, and that his attitude hasn't changed one bit.
"I feel good every day, the same every day. We have a chance to win multiple championships here, and I'm not going let any (story), whether it's a major story or minor story, come out and affect what we're trying to do here."
An exchange with a reporter may have shed a brighter light on Artest's true feelings.
After talking about his sometimes-erratic play last season then "coming through in the big games," the Lakers forward said that he just goes with the flow of the season.
"Just because you may be uncomfortable, doesn't mean you're unhappy," he said.
The reporter followed up by asking Artest if he was happy being a Laker.
"That's your second question. You've gotta ask a better question than that," Artest said testily. "We're having a good time here. That's a horrible question. You've gotta come with something better than that."
But he never did answer the question.