Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

February 20, 2008
Artest speaks, and speaks, and speaks...

PORTLAND, Ore. - I expected the reserved Ron-Ron, the one who'd offered no comments about all the trade talk the day before and who no one could blame for hitting the mute button until he was either traded or the deadline had passed.
Or not...
Ron Artest was candid and content after the Kings' win at Portland on Tuesday, hitting on everything from his daughter's health matters to his present and future. And because fatigue has the laptop monitor growing fuzzier by the minute, I'm going to simply dump the conversation for your absorbing pleasure here. And if for no other reason, then consider this: With less than two days to the noon Thursday trade deadline, it remains very likely he won't be speaking as a member of the Kings for that much longer.

On the game...

We played hard to the point where it hurt to run, and that’s how we’re supposed to play ever game. It should hurt. You should feel some fatigue in your legs. We played 48 minutes tonight.
Right now we’re thinking playoffs and championship. We just don’t want to be a rollover type team, so we’re making a push for something special this year. And we’re not out (of the playoff hunt) until we say we’re out.

On how he's feeling overall...

My daughter had the illness (cancer on her kidney). I hurt my elbow. That affected my play. And now that everything is great, I’m able to go out there and play ball. I’m having a pretty good season, but nowhere near where I’m supposed to be. Things happen for a reason, and God puts you in situations for a reason.

On how his four-year-old daughter, Diamond, is doing after having surgery on Feb. 12 to remove the cancerous tumor...

She's doing great. Doing great. They actually removed the tumor when we were in Memphis. She had surgery the same day we played. (The tumor) was the size of a softball and they took it out. It was the size of a softball. Thank God. Thank God. She’s walking. It's a thousand pounds, a million pounds off my shoulders. Ain’t nothing to be upset about. Great news.

On the trade rumors...

I read the Internet, because I like to read. I try not to run from anything. Anything in your life you’re dealing with, you’ve got to face it at some point in time. I read everything.
(Being discussed in trade rumors) is just great news. When I was young, I always wanted to be in the papers. I’ve got to thank God for my name being in the paper.
Like I tell people, if you’re not in the rumor mill then people are forgetting about you. There’s a lot of people who can’t get traded. There are people who actually want me. I’ve got to thank God for that, got to be grateful for that. There’s a lot of things I could’ve been doing with my life. I’m playing ball, and I got a chance to get traded. That’s beautiful.

Considering Artest has already made it clear he will opt out of his contract this summer, he was asked if he's all that concerned about where he is for the next few months knowing his future will be wide open come summertime...

(The Kings) gave me a big opportunity here, a chance to turn my career around. (Artest and his agent) asked (Kings basketball president) Geoff (Petrie) what was he thinking (a few weeks ago)? And he didn’t know yet, so I asked my agent if I could get traded somewhere.
So we spoke, and nothing happened yet, but you never know. Maybe they want me here, I don’t know. I don’t know if they want me here. We asked. We’ll see what happens. At the end of the day, I’m still with a class-A organization and we’re trying to make the playoffs.

On whether this team just had too many players with a scorer's mentality and whether the Mike Bibby trade could help the offensive flow...

It’s hard. Then you’ve got the stud Kevin (Martin). You’ve got to see what pieces fit around Kevin Martin, and I’m trying to be that piece to fit around Kevin Martin. It’s hard, because Kevin’s an up and coming 20-point scorer.
Kevin’s still learning. Everybody’s trying to get numbers. It’s hard. It’s hard. - Sam Amick

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