No, the Lakers are saddled with Artest. Carmelo’s flashy scoring (which… isn’t what the Lakers need at all, by the way. It’s also pretty much the only thing Carmelo offers on a nightly basis too) isn’t walking through that door.
Back in the 2008-2009 year, you could’ve convinced me that Derek Fisher was dead. He wasn’t shooting well, he played defense as if his shoes were made of concrete… he just wasn’t doing anything at all. It was a hole that I eventually thought was going to sink the ship.
And how did Derek Fisher respond? Only by delivering the *moment* of the Lakers title run: collapsing Luis Scola’s lung with a right shoulder when Scola came to lay a back-pick on him. That was the moment where it was declared: the Lakers weren’t taking anybody else’s crap anymore.
Then in Orlando? All he did was bury the Magic in their own blood in what became “the moment” of that Finals.
Ron Artest clearly isn’t Derek Fisher… but the savvy veterans have a way of laying in the weeds until they’re needed most. As miserable as Artest has been at times this year (and to be fair—the Lakers “struggles” go way beyond Artest’s struggles), the Lakers and their fans can only hope Artest will rise to the moment when it comes.
They may have no other choice.
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