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Ron vs. Caron
They are both 28 years old and injury-prone, spent two years in college, have been traded a couple of times, and are members of high-powered trios. Ron Artest joins Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming this season, while Caron Butler continues to play with Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison.
They each also rank among the league-leaders in steals, although Artest is more heralded for his defense.
They each have a somewhat menacing appearance, with Artest sporting large muscles and words shaved in his head, and Butler showing off some ink of a skull on his arm.
These two players have much in common, but their names are not among the similarities.
Ron is short for Ronald, from Queensbridge, NY. He says he grew up on the streets and always follows that code of honor. No one, including fans, may disrespect him or his friends.
Caron is Mr. Butler’s middle name. James Butler, who was born in Wisconsin and went to high school in Maine and college in Connecticut, does not sound like a very dangerous sort of guy. Naturally, he went with Caron and got the aforementioned skull tattoo.
Background aside, who would you rather have on your team right now?
Ron Artest: 20.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.5 APG
- Each time he missed games, his team was much worse.
- He won Defensive Player of the Year in 2003-04.
- He was selected to the 2004 All-Star game.
- He played well in his sole All-Star game appearance, unlike Butler.
- His PER (Player Efficiency Rating) has improved every year except the 2005-06 season, when he was traded from Indiana to Sacramento.
- Artest had to play with Stephen Jackson, Jamaal Tinsley, and numerous other bad influences.
- He is fiercely devoted to his teammates—he now loves Yao Ming.
- Knicks fans have been depressed for the last nine years that the team drafted Frederic Weis over him.
Caron Butler: 20.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 4.9 APG
- He was an All-Star in 2007 and 2008.
- Caron’s PER has risen each season except his second, when Miami imported a bunch of new players, and he could never get in a rhythm.
- He greatly improved his passing and shooting last year, and helped the Wizards make the playoffs despite a major injury to Gilbert Arenas.
- Last year, he had a higher PER and Win Score than Artest.
- He has played second fiddle to Arenas, Bryant, and Wade, and clearly plays better without them.
- He is less likely to suddenly retire, join the Knicks, or release a music album.
Who would you rather have by your side?