In sports, everyone is a winner-some people just win better than others. Like the largest public housing project in the country, which got a hard-earned national TV shoutout from the night's hero, Ron Artest — and Craig Sager.
Where has Ron-Ron been all playoffs? (Besides going 19-for-78 from beyond the arc. It's not even the .244 percentage that's so egregious; it's that despite that, he's still attempted 78 threes.) The Lakers never seem to want for drama, but he's been in the background. Quietly grabbing boards, staying out of trouble, making fans wonder how good they could be if they had just kept Trevor Ariza.
That's not the Ron Artest we know and love. The Ron Artest we've come to welcome as a part of our family does unpredictable things on the court, and says unpredictable things off the court. It took until five games into the conference finals, but Ron Artest is back.
It was a strangely poetic game for a man you probably wouldn't script a Disney sports film around. Until the final buzzer, he was 1-8 from the field, and put up donuts from the free throw and three-point lines. But Ron never stopped shooting, including missing two egregious open looks with about a minute left; on the second one, Staples Center fans implored him not to shoot.
His antagonist (or protagonist, depending on your sympathies) was Jason Richardson, himself blanked from beyond the arc, until a bank 3 with 3.5 seconds left to tie it. Richardson was on Artest under the basket, which seemed academic as everyone knew it was Kobe's to shoot.
To the victor go the spoils, and I can't think of a better spoil than the pimp spot with Craig Sager. And, of course, a two-man shoutout to the Queensbridge Houses, which gave the world Nas, Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga, and Ron Artest. Thanks, Queensbridge.