LA Lakers Trade Rumors: Comments From Team Only Fed Media Speculation

Yesterday morning, a swarm of reports splashed all over sports networks and websites claiming that Ron Artest desired a trade out of Los Angeles and that he felt like he was the scapegoat for all of the teams shortcomings this season.

As everyone expected, the team immediately stepped into the spotlight to deny those reports and deflect the attention, but they may have done more damage to the story than good.

When asked about Artest in the game against Boston and his activity in the last quarter of the game against Boston and the game on Tuesday against Houston, he referred to a knee to the thigh injury that was sustained during the Celtics game and how that has affected Artest’s ability to perform.

Jackson, of course, dismissed the claims of a possible trade and talked a little about Artest liking the action and attention of the Lakers ball club and how that feeds into his personality.

Last time I checked, teams did not keep players on for the long haul because the personality of the player thrived off of the attention and coverage. Calling Artest an attention whore does not really seem like formidable defense against talks of a trade. He did not include in his rebuttal Artest’s value to the team or his determination to win another ring, as I assume other coaches would in a similar situation.

A little earlier in the season, Jackson had to talk about reports that he and Artest had a minor altercation during practice. He brushed those off as well, saying that it was entirely blown out of proportion and that Artest had apologized for the disruption he caused.

Publicly bashing the coach has never gotten players anywhere but the chopping block, except in football of course.

Ron Artest himself also addressed the media barrage denying the reports with comments like, “Just because you’re not comfortable does not mean you are not happy” and “I don’t ...

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