The Pacers, fans and personnel alike, have displayed patience of biblical proportions when it comes to Ron Artest. Somewhat understandable, since he's a prototypical package of intensity, athleticism, defensive awareness, scoring...unfortunately wrapped around the mind of a 12-year-old.

Crazy Ron
Wait a minute. We trusted this guy?!

Back when Artest was a league leader in T's and flagrants (and Isiah feeding him hot sauce and gun powder), and was practicing anger management by smashing TVs and wall hangings in the locker room, we wrote it off saying was "a little wound up sometimes. As long as we're winning." Even so far as to blame his tantrums on a potential bi-polar disorder and a rough childhood.

When Ron was so desperate to land a shoe deal, in the All Star game he changed to a different pair of mis-matched shoe brands at the end of every quarter, "eccentric and enthusiastic" we called it. And we applauded when he signed with LA Gear, bringing their endorsement roster to a total of one. If you don't count royalties from that "Teen Steam" video with Alyssa Milano.

Rugged Ronnie then earned himself a nice suspension when wanting to take time away from the team to promote his rap album. The man is telling us he has little interest in playing ball, but the Pacers community collectively shook their heads..."a wide-eyed youngster" they called him. Then we bought his album.

When a Dixie cup to the face caused Ron to spark a pier-six brawl that would make Vince McMahon jealous..."Those Detroit fans are a bunch of savages". Then we all pulled for Ron when his year-long suspension was being appealed.

Even though the donnybrook that set the Pacers franchise back 5 years (and even led to a uniform change!) was connected to the most volatile, unpredictable man in the league, Donnie Walsh and the boys doggedly backed Teflon Ron, refusing to even entertain the idea that the franchise would be better off without the Ultimate Fruitcake.

Now, almost one year after the brawl to the day, Artest rewards Indiana for it's years of undeserved loyalty with a steaming pile of "fuck you". Apparently Ron has insight that Rick Carlisle, Larry Bird and company never had over the years, apparently doing the Pacers a favor (he's not entirely wrong) and saying his trade demand "it's better for the team"...and, by the way, trade me to New York, the rap game is large out there.

Unless the Pacers are eager to get some combination of Eddy Curry/Jerome James/Jamal Crawford/Quentin Richardson, it ain't happenin. Money says Larry Bird is orchestrating a move that will land Ron in some sort of basketball purgatory, maybe Toronto. He's spiteful like that. On the upside, Ron could become the big Maple Leaf's biggest rap star since Snow.

Bird Canada
We hope you enjoy Canada, Ron. Actually, no we don't.