View Full Version : Artest won't confirm, deny if he's talked about retiring

03-25-2007, 04:21 AM
Artest won't confirm, deny if he's talked about retiring

By Marc Stein

Sacramento Kings forward Ron Artest told multiple teammates this week that he wants to retire at season's end to spend more time with his family, according to club sources.

Reached via e-mail, Artest wouldn't confirm or deny making such declarations, telling ESPN.com: "We can talk about it after [the] playoffs."

Artest added that he will indeed play Sunday afternoon when the Kings, 4 games out of the eighth and final playoff berth in the West, play host to Phoenix in an ABC game. Since being arrested at his Sacramento-area home March 5 after a domestic dispute with his wife, Artest has missed three games, most recently Thursday night's road loss to the Suns.

Artest pleaded not guilty Thursday to four misdemeanor charges stemming from the dispute. He tried to make it to Phoenix in time for the Kings' game after his court appearance, but weather-related travel complications prevented Artest and Kings broadcaster Grant Napear -- who also was also traveling on a commercial flight that day -- from joining the team.

The possibility of the eight-year veteran walking away from the Kings after the season to focus on family life is also raised at hiphopgame.com, where Artest has been posting journal entries this season.

But it should be noted that this isn't the first time he's brought up retirement. Before and after his 73-game suspension with Indiana during the 2004-05 season, Artest suggested numerous times publicly that he could be content without the NBA in his life. Few league observers believed him then, and similar skepticism is bound to greet his latest sentiments.

The 27-year-old has two seasons left on his contract after this one, both at salaries of $7.4 million. Artest has the option to terminate the contract after next season and enter the free-agent market in July 2008.

Artest was widely hailed as a savior in Sacramento last season after the Kings acquired him from the Pacers in a late January trade for Peja Stojakovic. The Kings were 17-24 when they got him and wound up rallying into the postseason, extending San Antonio to six games in the first round and stretching their run under co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof to eight straight seasons in the playoffs.

During the offseason, both Maloofs openly described Artest as the new face of the franchise, expressing hope that the enigmatic swingman would finish his career with the Kings.

This season, though, has been turmoil-ridden from the start, with ongoing reports of locker-room strife, and first-year coach Eric Musselman has struggled to assert his authority over the Kings. Artest and point guard Mike Bibby both were made available before the league's Feb. 22 trade deadline, leading to speculation that the Kings will be looking to jettison both -- as well as Musselman -- this offseason.

In an interview with ESPN.com in November 2004, just one week before the melee at The Palace of Auburn Hills that led to the longest suspension in NBA history, Artest raised and then shot down the idea of early retirement in the same conversation.

"If I think I want to retire, it doesn't make me crazy," Artest said at the time. "What's so crazy about being home with your family? I don't see anything so crazy about that. If people think that's crazy, maybe they don't know what it's like to be with their family. Family is more important than money."

But then he added: "I really -- before I retire -- I want to win a championship. I want to reach at least one of the things Michael Jordan reached."

After entering his plea of not guilty last week, Artest was ordered by a Placer County Superior Court judge to stay at least 100 yards away from wife, Kimsha, and their three children until further notice. Artest is allowed to communicate with his family by telephone, e-mail and letter, with another court hearing scheduled for April 5.

He was arrested March 5 at the family's estate in Loomis, some 25 miles northeast of Sacramento. Artest is accused of grabbing, pushing and slapping his wife. He pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges of battery and corporal injury to a spouse, false imprisonment and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime.

Artest has since apologized to his family and his teammates at a news conference. He's played in seven games since the incident, averaging 18.7 points and 6.0 rebounds, but the Kings are 1-6 in those games.

03-26-2007, 08:31 AM
From realgm.com: http://realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/45321/20070326/artest_plans_on_playing_overseas/
Artest Plans On Playing Overseas?
26th March, 2007 - 7:23 am
Sacramento Bee -

Corliss Williamson (http://www.realgm.com/src_playerfile/434/corliss_williamson/) looked at his cell phone last week and was surprised by what he saw.

It was a text message from Ron Artest (http://www.realgm.com/src_playerfile/2/ron_artest/), the Sacramento (http://kings.realgm.com/) Bee writes, who was informing Williamson and nearly the entire Kings' roster that he was planning to retire after this season.

The message was short and to the point, with Artest making it clear that this matter wouldn't affect his performance for the rest of the season and, he wrote, the playoff push.

"That was it," Williamson said. "I was shocked. What is this? It's his personal decision he's made, and we'll see what happens."

Artest's teammates weren't the only ones he told of the news. Friday, he told the editors of www.hiphopgame.com (http://www.hiphopgame.com), a Web site for which Artest writes a personal diary.

Artest was unavailable for comment before the Kings (http://kings.realgm.com/) defeated the Phoenix Suns (http://suns.realgm.com/) 107-100 Sunday at Arco Arena, and he did not speak after the game, either.

Many of his teammates remain unwilling to believe that Artest actually would leave the NBA at age 27, with a contract that is scheduled to pay him $7.8 million next season and a player option for $8.45 million in the 2008-09 season. But according to a source close to Artest and away from his basketball life, he is very serious about retirement.

According to the source, who didn't want to go on record for fear of reprisal, Artest plans to play overseas for a year or two, with hopes that he can put the seemingly nonstop turmoil behind him in a more discreet environment while leaving open the possibility of a return to the NBA. The list of off-the-court transgressions for Artest has only grown this season, from his dog being seized by Placer County in late January to his March 5 arrest on domestic violence charges.

Kings (http://kings.realgm.com/) basketball president Geoff Petrie said during Sunday's game that he considered this "a matter of conjecture" on Artest's part, but the matter was serious enough that Petrie and Artest met to discuss it after the game.

03-26-2007, 10:12 AM
Artest needs more time to pursue his other interests. Namely, slapping ho's...Choking ho's...Giving mouthy ho's a well deserved beating...He is a busy busy man...

03-26-2007, 10:16 AM
So, which prison is Artest retiring to?

03-26-2007, 12:49 PM
What a bonehead. I'm all for him focusing on family life but in reality I just don't think he'd actually do it.

03-26-2007, 02:08 PM
looks like a cry for attention. seriously. either #$*( or get off the pot. but don't distract your team in the middle of a playoff push by leaking this and telling everyone.

you have to feel bad for the maloofs.

03-26-2007, 02:38 PM
artest = moron

03-26-2007, 02:38 PM
maybe its a plan to get out of his contract, and then sign with some one else?

03-26-2007, 04:33 PM
Artest on ESPN Radio: http://realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/45333/20070326/artest_im_not_retiring/
Monday, March 26, 2007
Artest: 'I'm not retiring'
ESPN.com news services

The Sacramento Kings (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=sac)' Ron Artest (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3339) tried to clear up talk that he was planning to retire after the season, telling Stephen A. Smith that he's dedicated to the game of basketball. Appearing via phone on the Stephen A. Smith show on ESPN Radio 1050 in New York, Artest said: "I'm not retiring." Citing club sources, ESPN.com's Marc Stein first reported that Artest wanted to retire at season's end. Artest said he told teammates he was thinking of retirement because he missed his kids, but he never thought those comments would make it to the public. "I'm totally dedicated to this game," Artest said. "I'm totally ready to still try to make these playoffs" The Kings currently are four games out of the eighth playoff position in the Western Conference. Artest said he plans on finishing out his contract with the Kings and reiterated at the end of the interview that he isn't retiring. "I don't plan to retire," Artest said. "When you don't have your kids around you can get a little bit vulnerable, a little weak." Reached via e-mail on Saturday, Artest wouldn't confirm or deny making such declarations, telling ESPN.com: "We can talk about it after [the] playoffs." Artest totaled 24 points and nine rebounds in Sunday's home victory over Phoenix but declined to speak with reporters at Arco Arena before or after the game. The Kings' 107-100 triumph avenged Thursday's loss in Phoenix, which was the third game Artest has missed since being arrested at his Sacramento-area home March 5 after a domestic dispute with his wife.

Information from ESPN.com's Marc Stein was used in this report.