Kings Blog and Q&A

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

July 1, 2008
Artest explains why not opting out was a 'mistake'

The Ron Artest Show, as it had unofficially become on KHTK, took on a more serious tone on Tuesday night.
Just as he has for much of the summer, the Kings small forward went on the air to chat with superfit late-night radio man Carmichael Dave. Yet after having dubbed his decision not to opt out before the June 30 deadline a mistake in an e-mail to ESPN.com, Artest elaborated on the rationale behind his stance.
"I thought I made the best decision by not opting out, but it didn't really work in my favor," he said in the phone interview. "I'm just looking at all of the (players) who...at 12 o'clock midnight (on Monday night) where their teams and their organizations pretty much took care of them. I always put myself in that same class as the Chris Pauls, Kobes (Bryant), and whoever else is out there as the top players. Obviously my career has been a little bit different from everybody else's."
For the backstory on the Tuesday morning meeting that led to Artest's change of heart, read here and in tomorrow's paper. He said much of his frustration had everything to do with watching so many veterans opt out of their contracts and receive long-term deals on the free agent market. Paul is reportedly close to signing an extension with New Orleans.
"I made a mistake because right now, this day today, I could've been somewhere and had a long-term commitment from somebody," he said. "That was the only thing I was bummed out about. And the market was kind of low, kind of suspect.
"But when you see (the Clippers') Elton (Brand) and these guys opting out at 12 o'clock midnight and (Golden State's) Baron Davis (who is reportedly signing with the Clippers), I'm like 'I'm a total jerk' because I could've opted out and the market was actually better today than it was (yesterday)." - Sam Amick



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