Warren LeGarie is a smart man.
The orchestrator of all things summer league (who is an agent for coaches otherwise) was thrilled to hear that he'd have Kings forward Ron Artest as a blockbuster attraction. So when the idea arose to play a track off of Artest's rap CD before the Kings game against the New York Knicks, LeGarie had no problem making Artest happy.
Did he ever.
When "Dirty North" was piped out to the Cox Pavilion crowd, Artest went nuts in a good way, running over to media director Dennis Rogers and eager to show his appreciation with - what else? - his own CDs.
He unloaded 200 of them, enough to cover at least half the crowd that watched the Kings fall 79-78 for their first summer league loss. For a while, it seemed like the game would never begin.
The game prior was a ludicrous whistle-fest between Detroit and Phoenix, one that resulted in 96 fouls. And that's in four quarters of summer league play where they have just 10 minute quarters, good for a 2.4 fouls per minute ratio.
Once the game began, the Kings and Knicks engaged in a back and forth affair. Kings point guard Ronnie Price locked down on Knicks mini-mite Nate Robinson in the final minute, sparking a fastbreak layup from Kevin Martin to put the Kings up 76-75. But Price was whistled for a touch foul on the next sequence, putting Robinson at the line and giving the Knicks a lead they didn't lose.
The Kings played without rookie draft pick Quincy Douby, who has a sore right Achilles but should play on Wednesday. Artest wasn't around to see it, though, as he left the grounds early in the second half and left minutes for the youngsters. An early swan song for the aspiring musician, you could say.