Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ron Artest to the Heat? Make it happen Pat!

Hide the women and children. Because if Pat Riley has his way, Ron Artest may be coming to our neck of the woods soon. It's no secret the Heat and its fans have been disappointed with the offseason free agent aquisitions. So far the Heat have added the inconsistant Smoosh Parker and the over-the-hill Penny Hardaway to its already aging roster that resembles a Century Village All Star Team than an NBA playoff contender.

It's not like the Heat haven't tried to bring in free agents. Moe Williams and Rashard Lewis were both pursued vigorously by Riley and general manager Randy Pfund.
Adding to the frustation, Eastern Conference rivals Boston acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, while Orlando added Rashard Lewis to its improving roster. The last time we saw the Heat, they were embarassed and looked every bit as old as advertised against the Bulls.

The addition of Ron Artest is certainly high risk and high reward proposition. Artest brings an influx of energy desparately needed on this Heat team. He's as tough and tenacious a wing defender as you'll find in the game. He's got good range from the outside and he'll battle tooth and nail for every loose ball. The bottom line is he will make this team better.

But if you know anything about Artest, he hardly resembles the white knight to the rescue. His problems on and off the court have been well-documented. From his numerous suspensions to his participation in the infamous Pacers vs. Pistons brawl and his arrest for domestic violence. He's a volitile performer with a lot of baggage.

However, at this point, the Heat have to do something to shake up its roster. The team has releasted Eddie Jones. Gary Payton has retired and the future of James Posey remains questionable. Right now, the Heat are a worse team than it was 365 days ago. Is acquiring a Artest an act of desparation? Maybe to an extent. But it perhaps this is a necessary evil.

Artest is the type of player you hate if he's playing against your team. He plays hard and he's been known to bend the rules. But when he's on your side, you still might hate him. But he will make your team better and that's the bottom line. Make it happen Pat! Go get em!

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