Should the Rockets Keep Ron Artest?

In his debut season with the Houston Rockets, the once hot-headed Ron Artest had some pretty impressive numbers. He averaged the following per game in the ’08-’09 regular season:

Points: 17.1
Rebounds: 5.2
Assists: 3.3
Minutes: 35.5
Free Throws: 74.8%

Now these numbers aren’t MVP-worthy, but Artest brings a great deal of experience, and I’ll even venture to say “maturity” to the team. Artest and Battier were probably the best perimeter defending duo throughout the regular season. He fires his team up and is always entertaining for the fans. Most importantly, how could you not love his Playoff haircut?

The problem with Ron-Ron became apparent in the Playoffs. His poor shot selection may have arguably contributed to several of the Rockets’ losses. As a fan, even I began to lose faith when I would see Artest either jacking up a three-ball or turning it over on every offensive possession. 🙁

Regardless, I still think the Rockets should sign him for at least one more season. His defense is stellar and his offensive numbers are solid – what more do you want?

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  1. Resign Artest and Von Wafer, let Dikembe Mutombo retire peacefully, draft a legit back-up center, and convince McGrady to accept a less expensive contract.

    What the playoffs forced Rockets not named Yao Ming or Tracy McGrady is that they are also forces to be reckoned with. With the Lakers, Houston truly developed a second style of attack, making them even more dangerous going into next year. Adelman can more comfortably in the future rest Yao and McGrady more often so that they don’t get injured in the future.

    If they can work Hayes into the 4 position and develop his offense over the offseason, he’ll become a Rashard Lewis equivalent.

    I wish I was back in Houston to watch Rockets games more frequently. I’ve yet to get to the Toyota Center… 🙁

    • Wow, crazy mental picture. The Chuck Wagon shooting the three ball like Rashard Lewis. 😀

      You’re absolutely right about the Rockets being a lot more dangerous than the fans, the coach, and even the players themselves thought. It’ll be an interesting ’09-’10 season!

      As for now, I hope Kobe Bryant never wins another championship.


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