With the report of the Los Angeles Lakers entering the latest sweepstakes for Carmelo Anthony, will this make Ron Artest's inner demon be exposed in the City of Angels?
Will this be the final agitator to force Ron Artest to proclaim he wants out of L.A.?
There has been uncertainty surrounding Artest's future after a source close to him expressed he wanted to be traded to a different team last week.
Artest refuted these statements, and he responded to reporters, "I feel good every day. We've got a chance to win multiple championships here trying to work towards another banner."
However, during the interview, he did say, "Obviously, when I was on other teams, I got a lot of touches," which is a strong indicator Artest does have some issues with how the Lakers are handling him.
Since 1999, the journey-man has sported the uniforms of Chicago, Indiana, Sacramento and Houston before coming to the Lakers. It is clear he eventually becomes a clubhouse distraction and the welcome mat is swept off his feet.
Ron Artest's playing time has dropped dramatically recently, and he has not been used late in games. His shot has been off this season and his rebounds are down this year, too.
Simply, Artest is not the same player he was last season.
If the Lakers were to successfully complete a trade for Carmelo Anthony, the city of Los Angeles may want to keep their roads clear for the storm of Ron Artest may be brewing.
The trade of Carmelo Anthony would mean Artest would be seeing less of the court and more of the bench.
Would the fiery Artest accept the role as the sixth man?
I highly doubt it.
Ron Artest is a competitor, and he does not like watching everyone else bask in the glory.
The Lakers have to trade Artest before they do any kind of transaction involving Carmelo Anthony.
The Lakers do not want to have their public image destroyed from a disgruntled athlete.
I can't imagine Artest being calm and collective as reporters question him if he is still happy to be in a Lakers jersey despite playing less minutes.
Do you remember what he did at the Palace of Auburn when he was playing for the Indiana Pacers?
Do you remember the relentless punches he threw at a fan in the stands who had every right to express his displeasure to an athlete, but Artest felt otherwise?
This is a fire the Lakers have to put out before it gets started.
History has shown us with Artest, something will eventually go wrong.
This is something the Lakers can not gamble on.
They do not need a cancer in their clubhouse while they are aiming for their third consecutive NBA championship.
Artest has kept his head on straight ever since he was signed by the Lakers.
But, as we all learned from Smokey Bear, only you can prevent fires.
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