5 Reasons Why The Cavs Should Sign Ron Artest

Ron Artest used to be famous for his role in The Malice at the Palace in which he portrayed a young and misguided male from the projects with a short fuse and an appetite for destruction. Fast forward to 2009 and Ron Artest is still famous for what happened on that crazy night in Detroit in 2004 but he decided somewhere along the way not to let that moment define his entire career.

Despite his past transgressions, not many people will argue the fact that Ron Artest is still a difference maker. His passion for the game and the intensity he brings each night are matched by only few and those are just a few of the intangibles that would make him an excellent addition to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Here are 5 reasons why the Cleveland Cavaliers should sign Ron Artest this summer:

#5: Artest is a difference maker when his mind is in the right place.

The Kings finished the 2005-2006 regular season with a 44–38 record and went 20–9 after the All-Star break with Artest in the lineup, which was the second best post-All-Star break record that season. They went on to claim the 8th seed of the Western Conference playoffs, but were defeated by San Antonio 4-2 in the first round. The following season Artest got into trouble with the law for neglecting to care for his dogs. The Kings saw no choice but to trade him. They didn't make the playoffs in 2008 or 2009.

With the Rockets this season Artest averaged 17 ppg in over 35 minutes per game. He played a key role in the Rockets playoff run averaging 15+ ppg and 4 assists in a little over 37 minutes per game. His biggest contribution may have come on the defensive end trying to stop Kobe "3 rings" Bryant. More on that matchup later.

#4: Our backcourt is small. Really small.

At 6'1 and 6'3 respectively, Mo Williams and Delonte West are going to have their hands full covering even a medium-sized backcourt. When you combine that with Daniel Gibson and his 6'2 frame coming off the bench we are in trouble against teams with legitimate size in their backcourt such as Orlando. At 6'7, Sasha Pavlovic is really the only backcourt contributor with any size but his inconsistencies and non-guaranteed contract have made him expendable.

Despite the fact that Delonte West did a respectable job checking Hedo Turkoglu in the Conference Finals Orlando is going to be a very tall hurdle for the Cavs for the foreseeable future unless they add a player like Ron Artest who can shutdown tall players on the wing.

#3: Mike Brown has already established a relationship with Artest.

The most important factor in working with a player like Ron Artest is gaining his respect and his trust. In 2003 Mike Brown was hired by the Indiana Pacers as an Associate Head Coach. One of the players on that Pacers team was Ron Artest.

If Danny Ferry is truly interested in adding Ron Artest there is no doubt that he will ask Mike Brown for his input. This could be the deciding factor on whether or not the Cavs even make an offer. Brown has been through some good times and some tough times with Artest and his endorsement would echo loudly to Danny Ferry should the Cavs find themselves in position to make Artest a realistic offer for his services. Maybe Mike Brown saw too much "ghetto" in Ron Artest and he doesn't want to take a chance on exposing King James to a player with that kind of baggage. I doubt that's true. Mike Brown was actually the first person to enter the stands in Detroit to try to subdue Artest and protect him from the fans and himself.

#2: Artest is in Kobe's head.

Ok, maybe he's not completely in Black Mamba's head but he knows how to get his point across and he's not afraid to play physical with the second best player in the league.

These two players have developed an intense rivalry since Artest moved to the Left Coast in 2006. Even though he's no longer in the same state, Artest has still made it tough on Kobe including in the 2009 Conference Semi-Finals which included verbal exchanges that would sometimes last for what appeared to be an entire quarter. L.A. defeated Houston in 7 games but Kobe was never challenged against Denver the way he was when Artest was checking him.

Kobe vs. LeBron in the NBA Finals is going to happen eventually. You know it. They know it. Nike obviously knows it (or thought they did). With LeBron's pending free agency after next season it's very important that Danny Ferry swings for the fences and hits a homerun this offseason to give the Cavs a great chance to get past Boston and Orlando in the East and even L.A. in the Finals if the inevitable does indeed happen.

#1: If Ron Artest is wearing a Cavaliers jersey he won't be guarding LeBron James.

Nobody can stop The King but Ron Artest may be the very best at keeping LeBron in check. When the Cavs travelled to Houston on February 29 to take on the Rockets, LeBron was held to 21 points on 7-21 shooting in what was possibly his worst game of the season. Guess who was checking him that night: Ron Artest. Oh yeah, LeBron went the entire game without an assist.

It's not a matter of Artest being stronger or faster than LeBron but his physical nature and unwillingness to stop applying constant pressure seem to have an affect on James at times. To put it plainly, Artest doesn't get out of the way.

If there is any player on Cleveland's roster who can keep Ron's head in the game it's #23. Perimeter players love to play with a guy who can drive and kick and there are few players who draw as many defenders as LeBron James. Artest is a pretty good shooter from the oustide so he would get plenty of opportunities to score. With two of the NBA's very best defensive players in his lineup Mike Brown would be in basketball heaven.

No comments:

Post a Comment