Report: Artest To Sign With Lakers

Goodbye Trevor Ariza, hello Ron Artest? Looks like it. Ron Artest just told CBSSports.com senior writer Ken Berger that he’ll be signing with the Lakers. Here’s a screenshot…

“I’m definitely going to L.A. — to sign, yeah,” Artest said in a phone interview. “Lakers, Lakers, Lakers. I’m in L.A. right now.”

Artest said he met with Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss Thursday and previously had spoken with Lakers coach Phil Jackson. He was en route to his financial manager’s office, where he planned to huddle on the phone with his agent, David Bauman, to finalize details…

“I don’t really care about the money,” Artest said. “I’ll play there for nothing. … L.A. was very interested in me, and they got me.”

Now, Artest ranks somewhere in between the Boy Who Cried Wolf and that Army impersonator on the believability scale, but this sounds like the real thing. After all, why would the Lakers let Trevor Ariza walk, especially after Kobe didn’t opt out specifically so the Lakers could re-sign him and Lamar Odom?  The Lakers also sold away draft picks to be able to sign both players. The only thing that makes sense to me is that the Lakers decided to let Ariza walk and sign a better player.

Artest is the better player by far (at least below the shoulders). If Kobe, Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher and former AAU teammate L.O. can keep him in check, then the Lakers have four of the top 25 players in the league, maybe top 20. Smells like a repeat to me if this is indeed true. I can totally see QB’s finest signing for the MLE to live out in L.A. and play with the Lakers. After all, he is always in L.A. and once was going to work at Circuit City. Money obviously ain’t a thang, and we know he loves L.A. More on this to come, but for now it looks to be the real deal.

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