2010 NBA Finals: Should L.A. Have Kept Trevor Ariza Instead of Ron Artest?

Shaun WeissmanContributor IJune 14, 2010

BOSTON - JUNE 08:  Ron Artest #37 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game Three of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 8, 2010 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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He's averaging less than eight points, just over four boards and just about two assists per game.

They got him as a potential Lebron stopper, which is now even more laughable after watching Paul Pierce torch him all night in Game 5 for 27 points.

On a franchise that has a history of magic, on the court and with the management, Ron Artest is the odd ball out, and rightfully so.

In 1996 the Lakers traded for a young 17 year old who needed his parents signature to play in the league, enter Kobe Bryant, giving up the original flopper, Vlade Divac.


After developing into the best duo in the league, backed up by three championship runs, the Lakeshow disbanded their dominant team, parting ways with Shaq.

A brief period of all Kobe all the time began, but not even the great 24 could lead Los Angeles to the promise land.

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Visions of another title run became blurry for the ring hungry Bryant.

Then in 2008 the magician Jerry Buss pulled another ace from his sleeve: Pau Gasol for a bunch of nobodies (including his brother Marc, who is definitely developing into a somebody), namely Kwame Brown.

But now, down 3-2 and heading home for Game 6 on Tuesday evening, the Lakers and their fans have to be wondering where the signing of Artest ranks among boneheaded offseason deals.

Last season Trevor Ariza provided the Lakers with a deep shooting threat, right now Kobe is the best three point shooter on the team, and he provided the Lakers with another athletic body on both ends of the court.

This season he averaged almost 15 points and six rebounds a game...on the Houston Rockets.

Fast forward to today, the Lakers with Trevor Ariza would have won and would be headed back to L.A with a commanding 3-2 lead.

Instead, the Lakers chose a different route and signed the always entertaining yet misunderstood Ron Ron, or Hennessey as I call him.

Artest isn't playing the defense he's been known to play throughout his career, he is completely lost on the offensive side of the ball and he plays with a lack of effort.

Still wishing Ariza was a member of the Lakers?  Yeah, I thought so.

On a team that flourishes because of front office steals, Ron Artest has to be one of the worst "big name" signings by the Lakers, or any team for that matter (disregarding Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury and Tracy McGrady) in recent history.

Disappointment doesn't even do justice as a description for Ron Ron's play.

Too bad none of Lakers magic can be used for a hot tub time machine.

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