OAKLAND, Calif. -- When Ron Artest raised his angry right hand to the throat of the unsuspecting Shawne Williams in the first quarter on Sunday, it was a trip back to a place no one wants to go.
The edge. The look. The unpredictability.
The Lakers small forward who had buried a layup in traffic and been bumped by the New York Knicks forward en route to the free throw line looked ready to crush Williams' Adam's apple with a Darth Vader-like death grip, thus exiting this Zen-ish place in which he has flourished for some time now. p90x, p90x dvd, p90x cheap, power 90;ghd hair, ghd styler, tai chi , bao chi;vibram running shoes , five toe shoes , vibram five finger;nike air , adidas shoes , ugg boots , moncler jackets , coach handbags , chanel handbagsBut Artest -- whose takedown of Amar'e Stoudemir two quarters later was a continuation of the aggressive play for which he was once known -- stopped just in time to avoid the wrath of Emperor Stern.
Watching from a distance, you had to wonder if there were cracks forming here. And, of course, you had to wonder whether that meant this three-peat attempt was about to be shattered under the weight of his pent-up frustrations.
Just five days before, news of a recent practice confrontation between Artest and Lakers coach Phil Jackson had been reported, and the public criticism that ensued had clearly affected the man who thought these days of guilty-until-proven-innocent were done. He apologized to the team, wholesale nfl jerseys,cheap nhl jerseys,football jerseys,nba shop;winter cap,red bull cap,monster hat,new era hats,dc winter cap;asics running,asics gel shoes,running shoes asics;180 color eyeshadow,mac makeup,mac brushdespite the fact that the very people he said sorry to considered it, as forward Pau Gasol said, a non-issue.
He sought sympathy from reporters, discussing how he had tried too hard for too long to clean up his once-tattered image to see it soiled yet again. The greater context certainly didn't help matters, as the Lakers had lost four games by an average of 17.3 points in a six-game span and the predictable doom and gloom predictions were in full force.
But the tension was nowhere to be found on Wednesday at Oracle Arena. As Artest sat at his locker before facing Golden State, it was as if he had spent the week with the therapist he made so famous after winning his first championship.
He chatted with reporters for more than 15 minutes, offering insights that were comedic and candid and, more to the point, free of any conflict. He explained the aberration that was his Knicks' performance, blaming his fiery ways on the fact that his fire always burns hotter when he faces his hometown team.
He downplayed the drama that had surrounded him and the team, insisting that the circus that surrounds the two-time defending champions simply doesn't affect "The Lake Show" itself. And as they showed with 115-110 win over Golden State that was their sixth straight overall and 12th straight against the Warriors, all is well again. For him and for them.
"No matter how hard you play sometimes, if there's a glitch there's a glitch," Artest had said about the latest stretch of losing. "It's like sometimes you try to close a door and there's just something stuck, and you don't see it until you move (the door), you know? So you could be doing all the right things, but just something is stuck. And that was it.
"It was real simple. That's why I wasn't really worried a couple weeks ago, and I knew it was going to be better."
For him and for them.