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July 14, 2008 4:43 PM

Ron Artest doesn't want to play for Nuggets

By Chris Tomasson

Ron-Ron is down-down on the Nuggets.
The Nuggets tried to deal for Sacramento forward Ron Artest before last February's trading deadline, and he never seemed bothered by the prospect of playing for them.
But not now.
With trade rumors swirling around Artest, I sent him an e-mail Sunday asking if would have interest in being dealt to the Nuggets. He wasted no time in giving a definitive no.
"I cannot play in Denver because they question my drive to finish my career off strong and not embarrass my family,'' Artest wrote Sunday night. "Any player wants to win a championship is low risk.''
So what's that all about? I can't remember anybody on the Nuggets criticizing Artest.
So Artest was sent another e-mail on Monday asking who on the Nuggets might have spoken ill of him. The e-mail also asked if his thinking means he won't consider Denver when he becomes a free agent next summer.
Artest's answer wasn't specific. But he's definitely down on playing for the Nuggets.
"That's not even an option to be a Nugget,'' he wrote. "They let me know how they felt about me already.''
But there are things Artest likes about the Nuggets.
"I live (sic) watching them play,'' he wrote. "Very exciting. And (Linas) Kleiza and J.R. (Smith) are very impressive when I watch them.''
The Nuggets could have traded Kleiza and Eduardo Najera last February to the Kings for Artest, but Denver was reluctant to give up a top young prospect in Kleiza for a player who could opt out of his contract this summer and become a free agent. As it turned out, Artest did not opt out.
In April, before the Kings played the Nuggets for the first time since the trade fell through, Artest was asked via e-mail about the possible deal.
"Carmelo made my son and daughter happy when we found out that he wanted me on his team,'' Artest wrote about star Carmelo Anthony having wanted the Nuggets to trade for Artest. "He is my son's favorite player. It made me feel blessed that he wanted me on his team and I immediately thanked God for that. (If) God put me in Denver, it's no question they would have been a better team.''
Artest isn't pushing for any move to Denver now.


  • July 14, 2008

    5:58 PM

    Luke writes:

    Considering the front office made no secret about their lust for Artest's services last year, one would have to assume George Karl (who is not one to bite his tongue) told somebody who told somebody else who told Artest that his desire is questionable. This is made more obvious by the fact that Karl supposedly almost resigned halfway through last season because the team was flirting with dealing Najera and Kleiza (the only two Nuggets, Karl has publicly stated, he's enjoyed coaching) for Ron Ron.

    Artest is a clown, that's obvious, but he's also a tremendous talent and a player who actually gives an effort every night on the defensive end. People question the potential hit on chemistry, but the team is a zoo as is. I severely doubt one more admission to the asylum is going to do any harm. This isn't the San Antonio Spurs. At the risk of a joke becoming jokier, the potential rewards in adding Artest were far greater.

    Bravo, Nuggets, for succumbing to the demands of an overrated coach who's head-in-the-clouds mentality will have him savoring throat lozenges and checking Coby's NBDL stat-line on his PDA instead of drawing up plays.

  • July 15, 2008

    3:32 PM

    paul writes:

    forget ron.just sign janero pargo.hes a good shooter who could benefit off of the penetration of iverson and carmelo

  • July 15, 2008

    9:47 PM

    aaron writes:

    Alright, you want the low down from a cat who has played and followed basketball since the days of the fab 5 and bad "
    Bad Boys".
    Look someone needs to tell the top dog who ever make the decision that what ever they are doing they best change it up Look The nuggets aren't going to go anywhere with the line up they have right now, they would be lucky to make the playoffs. Every team out west is getting better, except the
    Nugs Even Seatle has a chance to be better then the Nugs. Simple solution your going to have to bit the bullet on A-I and K-Mart, no one wants them and they are over paid. Don't get me wrong I love A-I but he's small for a gaurd and isn't a true point gaurd. The bottom line the
    Nugs NEED A TRUE point gaurd: a Nash, Billups, type of guy. There goiing to have to trade Kleza or give up something bigger the Camby to make any real difference. Oh also, worst decision ever to keep coach Karl, what has he ever one. Let's see went doen in history as #1 seed lossing to #8. let me tell you The nugs weren't a better team they just wanted it more. Seatle wasn't prapred, Karl didn't adapt to the series make adjustments, like a coach should do. I can Call it out now get ready for another long SEASON, with out a 3 player deal!!!

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