Tales of Ron Artest’s zany exploits are hardly new to the NBA scene, but it seems that now that he’s a certified NBA champion, they’ll spiral brilliantly out of control. In the best possible way, of course.
After a relatively quiet season for all things Ron, Artest busted out everything that makes him so endearing in full force for this year’s playoffs. The Legend of Ron has gone to Queensbridge and back, and with the Finals wrapped, TMZ has one more anecdote to add to your Artest library:
After having the game of his life — and winning the NBA Championship — Los Angeles Lakers hero Ron Artest wasn’t in the mood to celebrate with Mickey Mouse last night .. telling us, “I’d rather go to Compton.”
If you missed the game last night, Ron played so well, that Phil Jackson called him the MVP of the night … and after the game, Ron was so excited — DUDE WORE HIS ENTIRE UNIFORM OUT TO DINNER with his family!
Somehow I’m not shocked in the slighest, just delighted that Artest is quickly becoming a tall tale. 25 years from now, we’ll recall that Ron was really ten feet tall with arms the size of tree trunks, one of L.A.’s premier cupcake chefs, and moonlighted in drag as the prima donna of the L.A. Opera. I remember it like it was yesterday.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.