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MavKikiNYC
12-07-2003, 10:26 AM
Gosh, I wonder if this could have something to do with Isiah Thomas being gone?

Leadership matters.


Artest Learns to Keep His Cool, and Sees His Game Improve
By CHRIS BROUSSARD

Published: December 7, 2003


Ron Artest was about to put in a breakaway layup when Derrick Coleman clocked him, sending him sprawling, chipping his tooth and bloodying his mouth. Last season, someone or something would have had to pay, be it Coleman, a referee or an object in or around the Indiana Pacers' locker room.


But this season, Artest did not even give Coleman, who was charged with a flagrant foul, a second look. He gathered himself and made two free throws to help Indiana to an 85-74 victory over Philadelphia on Nov. 9.

"That showed me right there that Ronnie really had changed," Donnie Walsh, the Pacers' president, said. "Derrick really hit him hard, but he kept his cool. There have been other instances when he held back."

It seems that Artest, the Pacers' aggressive and feared small forward, has finally figured it out. After his penchant for blowing his top, smashing cameras, slamming phones, shattering pictures and hurling water bottles cost him 12 games to suspension last season, Artest said he decided to calm down.

He went through the first 19 games without a technical foul; in all of last season, he received 14, in addition to 9 flagrant fouls. He was also ejected from one game.

"I was playing too much like I was in Queensbridge," Artest said, referring to the tough New York City housing project where he grew up. "When I retire, I can go back to the neighborhood and play grimy basketball. But in the N.B.A., you've got to be professional."

Artest's temper was so out of control last season that the N.B.A. met with Walsh about it. Artest also underwent court-mandated anger-management therapy after threatening his former girlfriend during the summer of 2002.

Always remorseful after the fact, Artest seemed to wake up when he realized that he had cost himself hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and that the Pacers, 43-26 with him last season, were 5-8 without him. Their first-year coach, Rick Carlisle, and first-year president, Larry Bird, spoke with Artest about his value to the team, but they do not take credit for his transformation.

"The bottom line is that the decision to go the way he's gone has been completely his," said Carlisle, whose team leads the Eastern Conference.

A tireless worker who sometimes stays in the gym for hours after practice, Artest, 24, improved his long-range shooting and ball-handling skills in the off-season to become an all-around nightmare for defenders. He is averaging career highs in points per game, rebounds, assists, minutes, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage.

"It's unusual in this league to see a guy that can do all three things drive the ball, hit midrange shots and shoot the 3," Carlisle said. "That gives his game great diversity. And he's one of our better post-up players, too."

Artest said his new mental approach had made the biggest difference.

"I think I'm just a bit more wiser and playing more with my brain instead of all physical," he said. "When you play all physical, that doesn't help. You've got to think the game through."

Artest thinks most when encountering a situation that would have sent him into a rage a year ago.

"Every day there's a situation like that," Artest said. "The refs don't make a call or you get fouled or something happens where you want to explode and smack a player or smack a referee. But you've got to hold that inside and just play basketball."

sike
12-07-2003, 10:32 AM
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick......

MavsFanFinley
12-07-2003, 10:26 PM
Artest ejected in game at Sacramento

December 7, 2003

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Indiana forward Ron Artest was ejected late in the second quarter against Sacramento on Sunday night for arguing an offensive foul call.

Official Anthony Jordan whistled Artest for a charge 3:31 before halftime and Artest became angry and received a technical for arguing. The Pacers called timeout before Mike Bibby shot the first technical shot.

During the timeout, Artest approached Jordan to give him another earful and official Bob Delaney called the second technical that led to Artest being tossed.

Artest had nine points, an assist and no rebounds.

MavKikiNYC
12-07-2003, 10:45 PM
Oh wow, we just did the equivalent of the SI Jinx.....

Simon2
12-08-2003, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by: MavsFanFinley
Artest ejected in game at Sacramento

December 7, 2003

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Indiana forward Ron Artest was ejected late in the second quarter against Sacramento on Sunday night for arguing an offensive foul call.

Official Anthony Jordan whistled Artest for a charge 3:31 before halftime and Artest became angry and received a technical for arguing. The Pacers called timeout before Mike Bibby shot the first technical shot.

During the timeout, Artest approached Jordan to give him another earful and official Bob Delaney called the second technical that led to Artest being tossed.

Artest had nine points, an assist and no rebounds.

Artest just did this coz he was losijng his bad boy image. :-)