On a breakaway dunk against the Celtics, Ron Artest got as much elevation as I have seen him have since he came to Los Angeles. Nobody is ever going to confuse him with Josh Smith or Vince Carter circa 2002, but with foot problems this season Artest’s vertical had gotten to the point one wondered if he could dunk anymore.
After the game, sitting with his feet in a bucket of ice, I asked Artest about his elevation and condition, and he credited weight loss.
“I feel alright. It’s been tough on me a little bit because I’ve been trying to lose weight and do it during the season,” Artest said. “When I first played I used to play at 260 – 268 and I was good at that weight. But I’m getting older now and I don’t think I want to play at 260 to 270 anymore.
“I can get down. Luckily for me I’m able to. If I play at 270 I’m going to have no fat. I’m going to play at 250, I can get down to 250. The good thing about me at 250 is heavy, but I feel light. The other guys, at 230, 235 they probably feel heavy and out of shape. My 250 is light. My 260 is light also.”
So like middle aged house wives everywhere, Artest is trying to drop a few pounds. However, he’s doing it to take some pressure off his feet, not to work off that extra Valentine’s Day candy. He said he’s getting his weight down by running for about 45 minutes after games. You know, exercise, the stuff left out of mass marketed diets aimed at middle aged women.
The important thing is, so far it seems to be working for Artest on the court.
DeMarcus Cousins says Mavericks’ rumored interest flatters him, but he loves Kings
The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.
So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?
“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”
“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”
“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”
Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.
And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.
Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?
LeBron James dunks, struts past camerapeople and toward crowd, spooks fan (video)
NEW YORK (AP) — Derrick Rose is missing the New York Knicks’ game against Cleveland because of lower back pain.
Rose left the Knicks’ victory over Miami on Tuesday in the third quarter with back spasms. Coach Jeff Hornacek says Rose still felt sore on Wednesday when he came in and met with team doctors, so they sent him for an MRI exam to make sure there was no structural damage.
Rose is averaging 16.7 points and this is the first game he’s missed this season.