The second ABC chose to interview Ron Artest among the Lakers' hoopla, you knew that something funny was going to come out of the controversial star's mouth.
Artest did not disappoint.
Rather than answering the question about him stepping up after Kobe Bryant had a poor shooting performance, he chose to use the face time in a different way.
First, he thanked all his people from "the hood." That, from what I gathered, encompasses his family and close friends.
Then, he spent a good deal of time thanking his psychiatrist.
And if everything he said was true, perhaps the Lakers organization and its fans should be giving their thanks to that psychiatrist as well.
Artest claims they had some discussion related to him knocking down a three-pointer near the end of the game. That was a crucial series in which the two teams traded off on back-to-back-to-back treys.
More than that one play, Artest seemed cool and collected in arguably the most important game of his career.
He underperformed throughout the series, and if the Lakers had lost, people would have wondered if keeping Trevor Ariza would have been a better decision for the squad.
That hypothetical scenario is irrelevant now.
Artest scored 20 points and grabbed five rebounds in his team-leading 46 minutes of play. Equally as important were his five steals, which were a major component in the Lakers' stifling defense.
Was the importance of the psychiatrist overstated?
Maybe, and maybe not. As the announcers were quick to point out as they scrambled to make sense of what Artest said, he was one of the instrumental members of the Pacers-Pistons brawl. Ever since, he has been scrutinized for anything he does off the court, such as his "musical career."
But what has never been questioned is his defensive prowess and his desire to win.
Perhaps sometimes in his pursuit of greatness he lets his emotions get the better of him, but that's who he is. Sometimes he just needs to be calmed down to channel his abilities to the basketball court.
So, thank you, Ron Artest's psychiatrist, for focusing him at the most crucial moment of the season.
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