I suppose since this very spot was occupied last week by stud sportswriter Sean Lewis’ two cents on Kobe’s offensive onslaught – much to the chagrin of the brass at the sports desk (me) – I shouldn’t feel sheepish about chiming in on my new favorite basketball player: Ron Artest.

After six text messages during lecture last week, I mobbed on my cruiser back to my place to see the good news first hand. The only problem was there no longer was any news; the trade was nixed. I felt like poor Ralphy after Santa tells him that he will, indeed, shoot his eye out, and kicks him down the slide.

His dreams? Shattered, just like mine. I thought I would be reduced to watching Peja Stojakovic chuck up more errant three pointers when it matters the most. I thought I would have to watch the 6’10” Peja pull down three boards a night forever – that’s silly.

But in another bizarre twist, like an indecisive girlfriend, the next day the trade was back on.


Perhaps the deal is short sighted. Maybe the Maloofs were merely trying to steal a few headlines from their southern Californian counterparts, maybe Artest will demand another trade when he realizes he’ll occasionally have to wear those putrid-gold Kings unis, but one way or another, I’m a huge fan.

It’s been a long time since those of us who grew up around the 916 were able to brandish a player with Artest’s defensive tenacity. While I’m not quite convinced that the Kings will transform from the team that has provided plenty of lowlights and lackluster performances to immediate contender as some members of the real media have opined, but at least Kings fans might have reason to be optimistic again.

For once, even if they keep losing, the Kings might finally lose that “soft” label that has been stamped on them for years. Artest immediately transforms the persona of the stumbling Kings. That team was going nowhere in a hurry. Do you think Ron-Ron would let Kobe drop 81 on him? Do you think Peja would?

So despite the fact the trade has berated many Kings fans, I am ecstatic. And that’s an understatement. The trade puts Sacramento back on the map. Even if they continue to stink up the place, Artest is pure entertainment. Who knows when the dude will snap and attack Kings announcer Grant Napear and his atrocious red hairpiece? Maybe he’ll brawl a Kings fan for annoying him with a cowbell. But maybe, just maybe, he will make good on his guarantee and carry the reeling Kings on his back all the way into the playoffs.

Now that would be entertainment.

Daily Nexus Sports Editor Sean Swaby has already began to take on Artest’s persona – he recently requested time off from the Nexus to promote his rap career, idiot.