Did Report Imply Artest is Unhappy?

by Conrad Brunner

Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2003

If you'd like to pose a Question of the Day to Conrad Brunner, submit it along with your full name and hometown to Bruno's_mailbag@pacers.com

Conrad Brunner
Q. I've read a recent report off of a link from NBA.com that Ron Artest would not mind being traded. Also, in his statement he said that he had not accomplished anything with the Pacers because he has not gotten past the first round of the playoffs. Are the fans to believe that Ron Artest wouldn't mind being traded because the Pacers haven't gotten out of the first round and maybe management thinks some changes have to be made to help the team?

Is Ron Artest happy in Indiana or was he trying to say that he understands the nature of the game and the business aspects of it? Can we expect to see him in a Pacers uniform for years to come, or just until the end of his contract? (From John in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)

A. The article, published Sept. 11 in the New York Post, included an interview in which Artest said he wouldn’t be surprised to be traded. His exact quote: "Nobody's safe in the league. Guys like Tim Duncan, Shaq, Kobe won championships. Those are the only guys that should be safe. As far as me, I shouldn't be safe. I haven't done nothing. I can't even get past the first round. That's how it works."

That doesn’t mean he wants to be traded, or expects to be traded. That means he understands the business aspect of the game. It also does not include any criticism of the team for failing to get past the first round; instead, he refers only to his own personal disappointment.

There was nothing in Artest’s words that implies unhappiness or unrest. He’s entering the first season of an extension that runs through the 2007-08 season, so he’s tied to the Pacers for several years to come. In fact, the most enlightening comment in the article came when Artest was asked how he would control a player who got out of line.

"The way to control players, if I was a coach, and I had a player get out of line, I'd bench him,” he said. "That's what you do. You don't kiss nobody's rear end, because it stinks."

Safe to say, it’s going to be an interesting year.