NBA Insider: Artest all out of love for LA?

BY foxsports • February 3, 2011

Feb. 3, 2011

You just never know with Ron Artest, do you?

The 31-year-old forward is on his fifth team, the Los Angeles Lakers, and he may or may not be looking for his sixth.

ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported that a source "close to the situation" told him that Artest would like to be traded. Stein said that Artest would not demand a trade and would publicly deny that he was interested in moving on, but that he is "weary of being scapegoated" for the team's struggles and doesn't want to be marginalized on offense.

For the first time in his career, Artest is not averaging double figures in points. His 8.1 points per game, 2.9 rebounds per game, 1.3 steals per game and 27.8 minutes per game are all career lows.

On Wednesday, Artest that he doesn't want to leave the Lakers.

"No, definitely not," Artest said.

It's not like the Lakers are in dire straits at this point, even though their 6-4 record in their past 10 games is not up to their lofty standards.

The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 24, so stay tuned.

BOYKINS STILL STANDING TALL

Earl Boykins, who went to Eastern Michigan, is best known for being an NBA player at 5-foot-5. His height has not deterred him from lasting 13 years in the league.

NBA.com ran an interesting interview with Boykins recently, in which he talked about his height (of course), his longevity, his favorite "small" player and his feelings about not being drafted, among other things.

One thing that Boykins has enjoyed is the fact his story of bucking the odds as a small player in a tall man's game has inspired others.

"When people see me, I give them hope," Boykins told NBA.com. "I show people that if you work hard at anything, whether it's basketball or anything else in life, you can be successful regardless of your size or stature. It comes down to hard work."

Check out the full story.


T-WOLVES WANT TARGET CENTER RENOVATED

The Minnesota Timberwolves and the city of Minneapolis are looking for public help in renovating the Target Center, now the league's fourth-oldest building at 21 years old.

Mayor R.T. Rybak, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and City Council President Barbara Johnson proposed a $155 million renovation that would remodel the inside, move the main entrance and add two large glass atriums and a restaurant.

Although Taylor said he does plan to use some of his own money for the project, he would like to have a public-private partnership for the building, which is owned by the city of Minneapolis.

RIVERS TO COACH EAST ALL-STARS

Gregg Popovich finally knows who his Eastern Conference counterpart will be -- Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

With their victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, the Celtics ensured they will still have in the East on Sunday. Their record is 37-11.

Rivers led the Celtics to the 2008 NBA title, the 17th championship in team history. Rivers also coached the East All-Stars that season, leading them to a 134-128 win in New Orleans.

ROOKIE HONORS

No one will be surprised by this -- the Washington Wizards' John Wall and Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin were named Eastern and Western Conference T-Mobile Rookies of the Month for January.

Wall led all East rookies in scoring at 13.9 points per game, in assists at 10.5 assists per game and double-doubles for the month. He became the first rookie in league history to have nine or more assists in 10 straight games. As if that weren't enough, his 168 assists for the month were the most for a rookie since Mark Jackson's 172 in 1988. Wall was born in 1990.

Griffin, perhaps the league's most-heralded rookie, was the rookie leader in scoring at 26 points per game, rebounding at 13.4 rebounds per game and was second in assists with 4.4 assists per game. He became just the fourth rookie in the last 20 seasons to average at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in a calendar month.

Among the other nominees was the Pistons' Greg Monroe.


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