Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Artest to Houston

The Houston Rockets are close to acquiring "controversial" (quotes are the Houston Chronicle's, not mine) forward Ron Artest in a somewhat stunning mid-summer trade.

This is not a bad move, especially if the Rockets are only giving up reserve guard Bobby Jackson, a No. 1 draft pick next season and probably this year's No. 1 pick, Donte Green. That's not much of a loss for Houston.

However, I'm not sure if the trade makes the Rockets a true NBA title contender because they still lack a dependable point guard, a reliable outside shooter and someone to assume the scoring load when T-Mac or Yao are hurt or ineffective, which happens pretty regularly. And, in a way, I disagree with ESPN's J.A. Adande here: the Rockets already had plenty of mettle and grit, which is a fine substitute for crazy.

To be sure, Artest is a tad nuts. And that's a welcome change for Houston. I don't think my hometown has had a legitimately crazy sports star since the days of Carl Everett.

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