This articls is also published at Hoops4Life.com, a great place for basketball information. I decided to post it here because, well, you all seem to like this kind of stuff.
Everybody knows that Ron Artest has been traded to the Rockets. It's been major news seeing as he is a high quality basketball player who creates a buzz wherever he goes.
I'm sure that if you look all over the blogosphere you can find content that says that Artest is going to make the Rockets a worse team and that his personality off the court is going to hinder his performance on it.
However, Artest has been pretty good at keeping his name clean over the past year or so and, in my opinion, he is becoming a changed man. Much like T.O. in football, Artest realizes that his career is coming to an end and that he needs to clean up his image to leave on a high note.
However, most casual fans are going to look at Artest's past, mainly the Big Brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills between the team he was then on, the Pacers, and the Detroit Pistons. We all remember Artest getting hit with the cup and reacting by running into the stands and punching the fan that he suspected threw the cup.
But that was nearly four years ago, and since then, Artest has kept his name pretty clean. Surprisingly, Yao is one of the people that has concerns about Artest messing up the chemistry that helped the Rockets go to the playoffs last season as well as win 22 straight games.
However, Yao Ming is not some random blogger or even a member of the media. Ming is a player, and more importantly, a new teammate to Artest. When some guy in the media calls you a distraction, you say he doesn't know what goes on in the locker room, that he isn't there when he is having a great time with the guys.
Artest can't do that with Ming, because that would create the distraction that Ming had predicted. Even worse, he could go to the media and talk about how he was right and make the situation even worse.
But this doesn't add pressure to Artest as much as it makes me feel that Ming needs to learn how to talk to the media better. He said things that should never be said about a guy who is coming to a new team.
"We worry about the new attitude to the team. We are adding talent to the team and we need that, but building team chemistry is important. This is not bad. I don't mean he is not welcome to Houston. But a new player always needs some time.