View Full Version : Ron Artest: Why was I left off the Olympic team?

08-24-2004, 02:11 AM
Artest: Why was I left out?


August 24, 2004

Ron Artest was not so bold as to say things would be different if he were in Greece, just that he'd love to be there.

He's more than a little irritated that no one asked him to be.

"I was the [NBA] Defensive Player of the Year and didn't get an invite," the Pacers forward said. "It's frustrating not to have gotten a phone call."

Artest spoke yesterday at Park Avenue Country Club in Manhattan, promoting the 12th annual All-Star Classic, which benefits Wheelchair Charities. The game will be played Sept. 15 at Alumni Hall, where Artest played for St. John's.

Even before the Olympics started, USA Basketball received criticism for its selection process. It produced a team with poor outside shooting, defensive liabilities and a lackadaisical attitude. The 6-7 Artest said he has watched the Olympics on television and can understand why fans have been turned off.

"I think fans are upset because of what they see as a lack of effort," Artest said. "Although I don't think it's that the U.S. isn't playing hard, I think the other teams are playing hard, too."

Perhaps more galling to fans, and to Artest, is the idea that the Olympics have become meaningless to NBA stars and with that, the Dream Team concept has been eviscerated. Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett all passed on the opportunity to be in the Olympics.

"I was one of the guys who wanted to be there," Artest said. "Look, so many guys turned it down. After all the top guys, there's room for me.

"I don't know what it was. All I know is it's something that only comes along every four years and I would have liked to have been part of it. I'd have been the water boy or the manager or whatever. I wanted to go."

Copyright 2004, Newsday, Inc.

08-24-2004, 09:23 AM
the guy is crazy.

08-24-2004, 10:36 AM
There is definitely room for Ron Artest. What is team USA's biggest problem perimeter defense they got torched by Lithiuania. Artest could definitely help.

08-24-2004, 10:39 AM
Team USA is a collection of stars without the necessary roleplayers. Artest is a wacko, however he is also one of the premier roleplayers in the NBA. Team USA certainly could have used a few more roleplayers.

Big Boy Laroux
08-24-2004, 11:17 AM
i agree with him completely. why was he not even called? a guy that actually wants to be there, and could actually help the team (think that Lithuania PG would have been raining 3s if artest was on him? especially with the stuff you can get away with in international ball?). plus, he can hit an outside shot.

08-24-2004, 11:24 AM
Artest might be crazy... But he has a good point. He would have helped the team a lot, and he obviously was dying to go.

08-24-2004, 11:32 AM
that nut ball would have played some D at least!

08-24-2004, 11:37 AM
I agree. Why was he left off of the team? Not only him but why was Michael Redd left off? Was Billups even asked? What happen to Finley having a spot on the team?

08-24-2004, 11:42 AM
Im not so sure that Billups would be a great fit. I want the USA to have a pass first PG. Kidd would be great but he turned it down. Nash would be nice but he is canadian. I guess that Bibby/Cassel would have been good options... they could also hit the 3. Take out jefferson, put in Redd. Take out Melo, Put in Finley/Barry. Take out Amare, put in Artest. Take out Marbury, Put in bibby/cassel. That is a team that would win the gold.

08-24-2004, 12:18 PM
Artest would certainly been better than Carmelo Anthony to send to the Olympics.

08-24-2004, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by: LRB
Artest would certainly been better than Carmelo Anthony to send to the Olympics.
or possibly have the team.....

08-24-2004, 01:22 PM
It's starting to look like Bob Costas was right. That the NBA Marketing Dept has input into the selection process. There are lots of guys who should have been there. I think the problem is the NBA FO (Stern and the Marketing Dept) and the Executive of USA basketball. This needs to be addressed. The USA website has been taken over by the marketing gurus - every time they mention a player his nba team comes up, etc. This is what happens when you mix the pro's with the amateurs. The NBA FO is probably more meddling than other sports is my guess. Brown and Pop will probably say something if they lose out early.

In Canada for hockey they gave the job to one guy - Wayne Gretzky who put together a staff (for the 2002 Olympics and the upcoming World Cup). As far as I know they make all the decisions. The NHL would not have much if any input into that team.

08-24-2004, 03:23 PM
I think the better question is why wasn't Finley awarded a spot?

08-26-2004, 12:11 PM
They have all stars, no true PG's and barely any perimeter talent on this year's team. I'd take Artest over Jefferson or Stoudemire any day of the week.