Jul 30th 2008 5:01PM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Kings, RocketsTracy McGrady seemed completely ebullient when discussing Houston’s trade for Ron Artest on Tuesday night. Via TrueHoop, columnist Fran Blinebury got some quotes from Rockets star Yao Ming, who seems quite a wee bit less joyous.
“We worry about the new attitude to the team. We are adding talent to the team and we need that, but building team chemistry is important. This is not bad. I don’t mean he is not welcome to Houston. But a new player always needs some time. […]
There’s worry. Obviously, yes. We will think about it, of course. Hopefully, he’s not fighting anymore and going after a guy in the stands.”
Tip #1 for Yao: don’t bring up Malice, man! While you’re at it, cross “joke about starving dogs” and “offer giant snake eggs as welcoming gift” off your to-do list.
Off the court, the Rockets will be fine with Artest. It might surprise you to know he’s actually been a pretty popular guy in Sacramento’s locker room the past few years. He and Mike Bibby were friendly (a persistent rumor says Bibby bailed Ron-Ron out of jail in ‘07), Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia rave about the guy as a person.
On the hardwood, he will at times infuriate Yao, Rick Adelman, and Houston’s fans. He thinks he’s the third-best player in the world (behind Kobe and LeBron). If Yao and McGrady aren’t firm with him (and pehaps even if they are), Ron-Ron will take advantage and dominate the ball. He’s not like Shane Battier — he’s not a spot-up shooter, and never will be. If McGrady drives and kicks to Artest in the corner, Ron will fake the jumper, dribble to his right, survey the scene, get into an attack crouch, jab step, and shoot. Almost every time. Setting the table for Artest is a complete waste of energy. He creates his own shots. With a pair of stars who happen to be excellent passers, this could cause some conflict.more...