Los Angeles Lakers Rolling, Artest Tweeting: Cause For Concern?

The Los Angeles Lakers are on a roll, winning four straight playoff games heading into Utah Saturday night. After being tested in the first round by an up-start Oklahoma City Thunder squad, the Lakers have held home court en-route to a 2-0 series lead over the Utah Jazz.


All has been quiet in Los Angeles since Tuesday night’s 111-103 victory over the Jazz. Things are going too smoothly in “La La Land.”  With four days between Games 2 and 3, someone must have the free time to stir things up or give the media a nugget of controversy. 


Enter Ron Artest and his Twitter feed, @RONARTESTCOM. Artest tweeted Thursday night: "Finally Phil Jackson didn't mention me in media before talking me Now I can build on game 2. Hopefully he talks to me before the media."  Maybe this is boredom, maybe Artest simply doesn’t have a good relationship with Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson. 


Jackson is notorious for motivating players in his own unique way. His methodology generally involves slighting a player in the media, not a sledgehammer to the head, but more subtlety, often just a quick “jab” reference to one weakness or missed assignment.


Friday after practice, Jackson slyly brushed off Artest’s comments, saying he was not aware of the tweets, but offered a contradiction to the notion that he was talking to the media before meeting with Artest about any team matters. 


Artest has been a model citizen in Los Angeles, often going out of his way to frustrate the media with his lack of opinion or mundane interviews after games.  Given Artest’s conflicted past, this newly aloof demeanor relating to the media can be viewed by the Lakers as a positive step. 


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