Here’s an interview Ron Artest did with ESPN.
Thanks to Ramona for transcribing it.
Q: How did (a three-year, $18-million agreement with the Lakers) come about?
A: “I thought i was going back to Houston, but when Yao (Ming) got hurt and my Bird rights were with the Houston Rockets it kind of messed up my chance of going back to Houston. I was a little disappointed Houston offered me a one-year deal, then said, ‘David (Bauman, his agent), let’s see what options we have and L.A. was the first team to step up and I’m so happy to be here.”
Q: On taking a pay cut.
A: “I’ve made money over my time in the NBA. I lost some money when David Stern suspended me (for 73 games for his role in the ‘Malice in the Palace’ brawl in 2004-05). That kind of hurt. But I’m playng to win, I’m not playing for the money no more.”
Q: What do you need to do for Lakers?
A: “Just fit in and do exactly what’s asked of you from coach, and it’ll work. That’s what I did last year and that’s why we were able to exceed all the expectations of everybody and all the doubters out there in Houston.”
Q: On his relationship with Kobe Bryant.
A: “Kobe’s cool. He reached out to me a couple times. On the court is different. Especially in your opponent. There’s no friends out there, no helping anybody up off the floor. I get a chance to play with him, it’s going ot be a good feeling. I think it’ll develop, but it’s been there. It’s been there for quite some time. Now that we’ve got the same purple and gold on, it’s going to make it that much better. So I’m looking foward to playing with all the teammates.”
Q: Are you confident Phil Jackson will be your coach?
A: “He’s my coach. Phil Jackson is my coach. He spoke to my wife earlier. That was a good thing. I appreciate him for doing that. He gets me some cool points with my wife.”
Q: Can you win a championship in L.A.?
A: “We can definitely win a championship. Oviously, we have to put that work in and do what it takes to win during the season, build that momentum going towards the playoffs.”