Will Ron Artest’s Recent Comments Add Fuel To LeBron James’ Fire?

Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest took a few moments after Thursday's practice to give his opinion on some of the happenings from a busy NBA offseason.

Artest, in his typical fashion, claimed he really didn't know too much about the Miami Heat's historic offseason, because he was too busy running for mayor, partying and enjoying his summer.

However, when Artest was asked who he thought the NBA's top players were he had no problem offering his opinion on the matter.

Artest said he felt Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant were the NBA's top two players and his toughest defensive covers, but the interviewer's next question was the most revealing.

The interviewer kindly pointed out that Artest had forgotten to add LeBron James, and he asked Artest where James stands on his mental list of top players.

"I can only count to two."

Artest went on to explain that he had not attended school in the past 10 years, so his arithmetic was kind of rusty, but I think you get the picture.

Whether or not Artest really has any courage in his convictions is beside the point, because his statements may have a different underlying meaning.

The Heat's ability to land LeBron James and Chris Bosh in free agency stole a little bit of thunder from the Lakers second consecutive championship last season, and even though no one is mentioning it, the tension is definitely there.

The Lakers are saying all the right things in front of the camera, such as the importance of maintaining focus and the need to get healthy, but underneath, they may feel a little pissed.

Miami has become the NBA's latest paper champion while the team that earned the title on the court is forced to sit back and bear witness to the Heat's premature coronation.

That attitude was definitely strewn throughout Artest's recent comments, and an earlier remark by Bryant may be proof that the La...

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