Ron Artest is kind of like El Nino: Not fully understood but capable of wreaking unspeakable havoc when you least expect it. Although, honestly, we probably should have anticipated that he'd go a little crazy(er) after watching Baron Davis, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette get rewarded with bags of free money for opting out of the final year of their contracts after he chose not to. It was like the Joker just read that Kite Man got named "Batman's Greatest Enemy" by Supervillains Digest.
So - Ron being Ron - he sent a few long, rambling and segue-heavy emails to ESPN over the weekend to express his intense displeasure over his decision to remain a King.
"It's weird because [the] Maloofs [were] high on me [after] the initial trade," Artest wrote, referring to the January 2006 deal that brought him from the Indiana Pacers to the Kings in exchange for Peja Stojakovic. "But during this opt-out time in my career I have not heard from them. That should have been a sign to me that my future in [Sacramento] is N/A or undetermined.
"In a way I wish this [coming 2008-09 season] would have been [Theus'] first year and [Adelman] would have left this summer, because it could have showed how much [of] a winner I am. Guys like Rick Adelman and Rick Carlisle [brought] that out of me. Isiah [Thomas] was going to bring that out of me if he didn't get fired [by the Knicks]. A coach like Phil Jackson can bring that out me."
"Reggie more than qualifies," Artest continued. "[But] as much as I have to prove I can win like a Rasheed [Wallace] or [Kevin] Garnett in the first year [with their] respective [new] teams, I can make an argument [that] firing Rick Adelman was not the best thing to do. It put me in a position where I had to start over. The good thing is, I should be in my prime at 32 years old, so I have time and, with faith in God, I can move ahead with progress to reach success."
I don't know about you, but when I think "Ron Artest," I think "faith in God." Anyway, Ron also complained that he's "being experimented on like a lab rat" and blamed the departures of Rick Adelman (fired) and Bonzi Wells (not re-signed) for ruining his "legacy as a King." He even managed to drag the Maloof brothers' mom into it.
"I was blinded by friendship. Even Mama Maloof [Colleen Maloof, Joe and Gavin's mother] told me she wanted me to stay. I never knew that meant one more year. I thought it meant several. When Mama [Maloof] talks, you listen, and it's a must you consider and take heed to what she is saying."
And you know, once you bring somebody's mom into a dispute, there's going to be a response. And here's what Kings co-owner Joe Maloof had to say:
"He has to balance the way he acts," Joe Maloof said by phone. "He's got to control his emotions a little better. You've got to try and keep your cool a little bit. Take a deep breath and quit flying off the handle with comments that don't make sense. I hate to say it that way, but that's how I feel. It doesn't make sense to me."
Uh, Joe, comments that don't make sense are Ron's specialty. You might as well ask him to stop breathing, eating and using the toilet. Or, you know, making trade demands.