1) Why would the Rockets part ways with Artest? Especially since Yao Ming may be done forever and maybe, just maybe you can get a healthy T-Mac back. A little wishful there, but even if you have to move Artest, you don’t send him to the Lakers.
2) Why would the Lakers even take a chance on Artest? Yes, he’s an excellent defender and a capable offensive threat, but is that enough to chance an Artest meltdown?
Well, we now know why the Lakers were completely comfortable with this deal. It turns out that Kobe and Artest were completely comfortable with this deal. And apparently each other. So comfortable that they discussed it while Kobe was in the shower. Yes, you read that right. They discussed it while Kobe was in the shower. Here’s the Zen Master’s recollection of the events in an interview with KLAC.
Last year after the devastating loss in game 6 to the Boston Celtics, Ron Artest came in our locker and walked in the shower with Kobe Bryant. Kobe’s there taking a shower – and this is a locker room the coaches have, it’s off limits – so, Ron said, ‘Coach, I can help your team, I can get that championship for the Lakers.’ I said, ‘Well, thanks Ron, that’s very nice, I appreciate your sympathies. We’ll see what happens as you go through this year.’ Then, he walked out of that coaches’ area, and in to the shower and told Kobe the same thing. Kobe’s been knowing Ron’s intentions for the last two years… He didn’t soap down Kobe and he didn’t towel him off, I’m not saying that.
So no soaping down or toweling off? Yeah, this is doomed for failure. Everyone knows that soaping and toweling off one another is the key to success.
Phil Jackson: Ron Artest Jumped In The Shower With Kobe (Sports Radio Interviews)