Alright, I dogged Ron Artest every game.
I'm not sure if I can stomach him. He disappointed me time and time again this series. He was missing wide open threes, failing to even attempt wide open looks, and turning the ball over in the paint. Artest only shot more than 33 percent from behind the arch in one game. His defensive performance has not been spectacular as he only has seven steals, two blocks, and only 24 boards in the five games that the Lakers have played against the Suns.
I couldn't help but be one of the first to discount him. He wasn't impressing me. A man who was considered to be a better than average three-point shooter and defensive superstar just wasn't playing to the level that I expected. Maybe I am expecting too much of him. After all, he did have a big 18-point, two-steal game in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.
But Ron Artest rectified himself tonight after scooping up the last of his five rebounds on a Kobe miss. He threw up the last of his nine-shot attempts and the only statistic that mattered in this game as the clock struck triple-zeros and the red lights illuminated the backboards of the Staples Center. Ron Artest's final shot attempt fell into the rim giving the Lakers the win over the Phoenix Suns by a score of 103-101.
My favorite part of Ron Artest hitting the final bucket was his post-game interview in which he got Craig Sager to say, "Queensbridge ."
Just moments after giving L.A. reason to forgive his awful performance in this series, he remembers his roots and puts Queensbridge on the map. That made the moment even more special as Craig Sager is a man who probably never has seen or knows what Queensbridge is (for anyone who does not know, Queensbridge is the largest housing project in the United States located in Queens, New York).
Ron Artest, I hate it when you have the ball in your hands but I love it when you have a microphone in your hands. You say "the darndest things." I would love to see you on a show with Bill Cosby and Charles Barkley as you guys would crack me up. I believe it was you that had a blog entitled: The Artestical, or something along those lines.
I really hope that you, TNT, and T-Mobile realize your marketing potential. If that's the case, then you can be assured that as soon as you are willing to admit that you have lost your touch on the basketball court, you don't have to retire completely. You already have job opportunities to look forward to and with this economy, that is more than many people can say. But as for tonight, Ron Artest, my cap is off to you and your very clutch performance and just for you, Queensbridge is in the building.