So here we are at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, and I'm wondering how many thousands of fans wouldn't have bothered to brave the snow and icy roads if they'd known Ron Artest would be a no-show.
If the guy with the sign near the Kings bench is any indicator, there is still plenty of hatred for Artest in Hoosier land. The sign has Artest's old "91" jersey with a circle around it and a line through it, and it reads "Back Stabber."
Because it's Artest - who career is full of stories of secret getaways and bizarre behavior - his absence has created an air of mystery in the place. The Kings are merely citing personal reasons, and I was told he was with the team in Indianapolis until this morning. He flew back to New York, where his wife and family had come out from Sacramento to see Friday's game at New Jersey. Artest is expected to join the team for tomorrow night's game at Philadelphia.
- Sam Amick