*ESPN writer, Marc Stein recently wrote that Lakers player Ron Artest wants out of LA, but it looks like someone was fibbing.
The NBA-er confronted the rumors, explaining that he is in fact happy with the Lakers and looks forward to taking the title again this year.
But according to a source close to Artest the basketball veteran was quite unhappy with the team and his role in the team’s offense. He also said the forward feels like he’s being blamed for the Laker’s shortcomings.
Head coach Phil Jackson of course put all the rubbish to rest, conceding that yes Artest is not performing to his maximum potential, but it is simply due to game injuries he’s been looking a bit unlike himself.
“He’s really limited. He’s not running freely. You can see it [in the second half against Houston] — he couldn’t get loose again. A lot of things go into this besides the speculation which you guys have going on.”
Jackson also dismissed the report of Ron wanting to leave as well.
“You guys know that’s something we don’t put credence in. Those reports have very little to do with what’s really going on,” he said, adding he believes life in Los Angeles suits Artest well. “I think he likes the Lakers, and I think he likes the action, and he likes the attention we get as a basketball club. I think that feeds into who he is as a person.”
Artest simply dismissed the tall tales and said it’s just a matter of getting the work done.
Despite what Artest says, the way the Lakers are playing this year (they lost last night to San Antonio 89-88), don’t be surprised if he a several others are shipped off before the NBA trade deadline which is February 24 .