During his NBA career, his problem has been the inability to keep his off court persona off the court.
Artest has been fined, suspended and traded several times and his character suffered a permanent hit after the infamous brawl in Detroit with their fans in 2004.
So if this guy has all of this baggage, why are the Lakers bringing him aboard? They just won the NBA title and have reached the finals the last two seasons.
While Artest will definitely bring some toughness to the defensive end, whether because of suspension or otherwise, he’s never played a full 82-game season over 10 years in the league.
Artest can put up 15ppg and 5rpg easily, he can guard the bigger forward/guards, like Carmelo Anthony so Kobe won’t get torched in the post but he can also be a cancerous force in the locker room if he gets disgruntled. This is a huge risk to take for a franchise that has traditionally played it safe; this move may backfire.
I don’t expect it but it wouldn’t surprise me if Artest and Kobe got into a fist fight before the regular season began. I’m interested in seeing how and if he fits in, we’ll know soon enough.