It's considered an Olde English Proverb that "A leopard cannot change it's spots". Apparently neither can Ron Artest and Phil Jackson should know better. After another brick from downtown late in the game 2 victory by Dallas at LA, the ball headed for the corner. Shawn Marion and Ron Artest both gave chase. Artest shoved Marion into the bench. :33 seconds left and the outcome was no longer in doubt. Why in the world Laker coach Phillup didn't yank this punk right then and there is beyond me. A mere 9 seconds of game time later, kind of going for a steal, Artest committed a blatantly stupid act by forearming the Mav's Jose Barea getting a technical foul and an ejection. Down 2-zip the champs needed the time off to re-design their game plan before the must win battle in Big D . They also would have preferred to have their full compliment of players which obviously includes Ron Ron. It's 10:22 am on the West Coast. I'm assuming Artest is suspended for Friday's game. We all know about the irony of Artest recently being awarded the NBA Citizen of the Year award. That's off court. On court he remains nothing more than a talented punk who can barely contain his emotions. He's just another spoiled brat in a man's body. The knucklehead is 31 years old for crying all night. Grow the hell up! We'll get into the specifics of what the Mavericks are doing to torment the LA defense, but this is nuts.
In the East I was really impressed with the game plan designed by Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau who made his bones as the defensive master under Doc Rivers with the Celtics. In a game they had to have, the opponent(Hawks), managed just 73 points. Atlanta did not make a bucket the final 4:15 of the game, managing just 2 Jamal Crawford free throws as Chicago locked them up air tight. They rendered the perimeter impenetrable. Needing points, Atlanta managed the following down the stretch. Misses from 17, 28, 20, and 19 feet while the Bull offense put the game on ice. Well done and that thing is all square heading for Dixie.
Major question of the day for Crunchtime and Sportstalk gets us back to Artest. Who are some of the athletes we view as "troubled" who just never changed and a few who actually matured and put their pain in the butt past behind them. Curious as to who you come up with.