Ron Artest has been called many things in his career in the NBA, from stellar defender to world-class crazy man.
That is, unless your name is Amar'e Stoudemire.
Other than his 42-point outburst in Game Three to get the Suns back into the series—and I'm by no means taking anything away from that—you can't really describe Stoudemire's performance as anything other than decent in this series.
If the Suns are unable to come back and take the series, more than anything else, Stoudemire's performance off the court will be more memorable than his performance on the court.
Yes, I'm talking about the performance of his mouth after Game One in which he said that Lamar Odom "had a lucky game" en route to notching 19 points and 19 rebounds in the Lakers' victory.
So, you can only imagine what Stoudemire is thinking after watching Artest seemingly come out of nowhere to snatch Kobe's air ball out of thin air and flip up a shot that looked like it came straight out of your friend's backyard in a game of H-O-R-S-E.
Judging by Phil Jackson's comments after the game ("I don't know why I left (Artest) in the game"), you would think Jackson agrees with Stoudemire's perceived opinion. But I wouldn't chalk it up to anything more than a little Zen master mind game.
Of course, if Stoudemire spoke up again this series, he would get torn to shreds for actually saying out loud what he is probably thinking right now—if he thought Odom's performance was lucky, he would probably equate Artest's shot to winning the lottery—because Jason Richardson definitely did not call glass on that prayer with 3.5 seconds left.
Besides, if a picture (see above) is really worth 1,000 words, Lakers' fans would tell Amar'e that Kobe told Artest exactly where to catch his errant shot.
I guess the biggest question now is if any reporters had the balls to ask Amar'e if he thought that shot was lucky?
More importantly, Stoudemire needs to figure out where the Lakers are keeping their horseshoe, because the Suns are running out of time.
If I had to wager a bet, I'd guess it's hidden somewhere near Odom's infamous stash of candy. The only thing more improbable than that would be Artest bailing Kobe out at the buzzer.
Hey Amar'e, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.