Ron Artest Wants Out: Why the Los Angeles Lakers Don’t Need To Panic Just Yet

Ron Artest is having a lackluster season. He came to LA to win a championship, and he accomplished that last season. Artest still has value, as he has shown he can excel in the right system. Artest can still dominate defensively and adds an element of toughness to a weak team.

He seems to be a movable piece, despite his past character issues. Artest's history includes getting drunk at halftime during games, as well as pummeling fans in the stands at the Palace. That being said, Kobe, Jackson, Artest and the rest of LA is panicking prematurely.

The Lakers are 34-16. If the season ended today, they would be the No. 2 seed in the Western conference. While the Lakers expect to win it all again, a complete franchise remodel should not be in the works just yet.

The Lakers are pointing fingers and are in a position most teams would love to be in. They have one of the best players in basketball history along with the most decorated coach of all time. They are solid in the backcourt and have the big men to win a championship.

Everyone is talking about why the Lakers are struggling, but they have the fifth best record in the entire league. Phil Jackson has built a team that can dominate in a seven-game series. He has the ultimate closer in Kobe Bryant and can create mismatches against just about any team.

The bench is riddled with players who have won rings and playoff experience on the roster is overwhelming. It is still the regular season. If Ron Artest wants out of LA, so be it, but the finger pointing nonsense has got to be put to rest.

The Lakers are currently in second place in the West and people are asking whose "fault" it is? They have a chance to put all of the critics in their place when they take on the top seed Spurs on February 3. Even if they lose, Magic Johnson shouldn't go on the record in saying it is time for a trade to bring new life to the Lakers.

LA is fine. A regular sea...

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