Ron Artest Seems Strangely ... Normal

Ron Artest has never been Allen Iverson. There's never been an equal and opposite reaction for every time he's called a "thug" or "knucklehead." Let's face it, even Ron Ron's biggest fans have got to admit that their main man can be a screw-up at times. ↵
↵
↵But then sometimes, you get the sense that Artest just might be one of the most confusing, if not complicated, athletes out there. Take, for instance, the following passage from Sam Amick's Kings Blog: ↵
↵⇥Since McGrady's last game on Feb. 9, Houston has won 20 of 27 games and Artest has led the charge. The timing of it all was impeccable, as McGrady and Artest had been sniping at each other in the locker room prior to McGrady's exit and the chemistry declining by the day. The new development, though, was that those I spoke to in Houston had said Artest was the one receiving support while McGrady's act was growing increasingly tired on that scene. [...] ↵⇥
↵⇥
↵⇥"We've been healthy," [Artest] said. "Everybody was healthy. Tracy wasn't healthy, and it hurt me, it hurt him, hurt the team. Everybody was looking forward to seeing the three-headed monster (of Artest, McGrady and Yao Ming) on the court, but he (McGrady) couldn't play hard. I felt bad for him." ↵
↵Actually, let me revise my original statement. This doesn't sound like grist for the grand mill of pop psychology, or a further wing in the gallery of Artest's behavioral weirdness. Honestly, Ron Ron comes off as a level-headed human being, in a tough situation, trying to deal with the tension that comes out of seeing a friend struggle but not wanting to blame him for it. It's so normal, so familiar, that coming from Artest it's almost ... grotesque.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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