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Pacers Will Try To Trade Artest


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INDIANAPOLIS -- Ron Artest wants to be traded, and Indiana Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said Monday he'll try to do that.

Artest said in interviews with various media over the weekend that he wants to be traded, that his past haunts him in Indianapolis and that the team would be better off without him.

Walsh told RTV6 Sunday he didn't like Artest speaking to the media first about his desire to be traded.

"I would've appreciated that if he was going to make a statement like that he would've come upstairs and talked to Larry (Bird) or myself about it before going public with it," Walsh said. "There's no doubt that it's a distraction."

Walsh said Artest's desire to move on wasn't the only factor in the team's decision.

"This is kind of the last straw of a lot of issues, and it's at the point where we should look for a trade," Walsh said.

He said Artest remains on the roster but will be on the team's inactive list with pay for the rest of the week.

Forward Artest missed 73 games and all the playoffs last season after his suspension by the NBA for triggering a brawl with fans in Detroit.

Artest, who leads the league in steals and is the Pacers' second-leading scorer at 19.4 points a game, has missed the past two games with a sore right wrist. He was not available for comment at Monday's practice.

Indiana is 12-7 and has the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

"We have a good roster with good players on the roster," Walsh said. "I think they'll appreciate not having this in the middle of their season."

The Associated Press left a message Monday seeking comment from Artest's agent Mark Stevens.

Indiana went 2-1 in the three games Artest missed.

The Pacers' Jermaine O'Neal said Monday that it was time for the Pacers to focus on playing without Artest.

"At some point, you just get tired of all the extras and move on," O'Neal said. "I wish the best to Ron and his career, and hopefully he's able to achieve whatever he's looking for."

RTV6 asked the Pacers' Stephen Jackson if he would welcome Artest back if Artest changed his mind.

"Yeah, I would," Jackson said. "I don't have a problem with Ron, but like (Jermaine O'Neal) said, if he doesn't want to be here, he doesn't have to be. We're going to play with him or without him."

Walsh, when asked the same question Monday, indicated Artest's future would still be with another team.

"I'm going to pursue trades. That's as far as cutting the bridge down as I can do," he said.

In an interview with The Indianapolis Star published Sunday, Artest said, "I still think my past haunts me here. I think somewhere else I'm starting fresh. I'm coming in with baggage, but people already know about it and how I'm going to be."

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I honestly think the Pacers are doing the right thing. Just stupid that he wouldn't talk with the team first and rather talk to the press. Serves him right.

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Playing on both sides of the ball Artest is probably one of the top 10 players in the league (if not higher). Obviously he's a risk but some desperate teams (the Knicks) could definitely use him. Of course, the Pacers will never get equal value back so I think the trade would hurt them. I'm kind of surprised by this. I thought Larry Bird had taken Artest under his wing. I don't understand why he'd make this announcement to the press first either. Should have tlaked with the Pacers' management first.

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Playing on both sides of the ball Artest is probably one of the top 10 players in the league (if not higher). Obviously he's a risk but some desperate teams (the Knicks) could definitely use him. Of course, the Pacers will never get equal value back so I think the trade would hurt them. I'm kind of surprised by this. I thought Larry Bird had taken Artest under his wing. I don't understand why he'd make this announcement to the press first either. Should have tlaked with the Pacers' management first.

Right, but he's still a risk.

The fight occured, cost the Pacers several important players and definately some fines. And he proceded to go onto local radio stations and talk about how he needed the vacation to work on his new album. :blink:

He's trying the bad boy image as leverage, wherever he goes, and this time, it bit him in the ass. If he did it during one press conference, airing out some issues, maybe you could excuse it. But at several different ones?

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