So much for traditional media and press conferences. So much, for Twitter.
Over the holiday weekend, Ron Artest released two videos documenting some behind the scenes footage of his whirlwind courtship with the Lakers.
Here’s a link to the first, most revealing video:
In it Artest shows us a conversation he had with his wife as negotiations with the Lakers start heating up, and a rather riveting conversation with his agent, David Bauman, who relays the Lakers interest in his services. Hard to tell exactly which night this is, but it is most likely Wednesday night, since Artest reached an agreement in principle with the Lakers on Thursday afternoon.
After getting off the phone with his wife, Artest places a call to Bauman, who asks how some of his meetings with producers and record executives have been going, then relays how the first hours of the free-agent negotiating period have gone:
Bauman: I just got back home and I have a message from the Rockets and they want to talk tomorrow. And I just spoke to Mitch Kupchak for a half hour, the general manager of the Lakers.
Ron: What’d he want?
DB: What do you think he wants? He wants to get you a championship ring next year.
DB. The only problem is money. There’s just no clean, easy way to do it. … So he understood.
What he’s going to do, he’s not going to do anything with other players right now. He wants me to figure out where the lay of the land is on Houston for you. And he wants me to call him everyday with some updates.
Artest doesn’t react much, but seems to be listening intently as Bauman goes on to give a brief survey of the free agent landscape. He talks about Detroit’s plans, how Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur didn’t opt out, which means Detroit won’t use its cap space on Boozer. That, Bauman says, “is good because it takes two guys off the market.”
He mentions Utah’s restricted free agent Paul Millsap, who will now “be kind of squeezed,” and that (Trevor) “Ariza will probably get some offers, Mitch thinks around 35 or 42 total for a five or six year deal, like seven (million) a year. And Turkoglu is probably going to Portland, which is the word on the street.”
“The Rockets are in a really tough spot. They really don’t know what the prognosis is for Yao, and a lot of what they offer…”
Just when it’s really getting good though, some random guy walks up to Artest’s car and starts trying to sell him some magazine or something. Artest politely tries to get rid of him, but Bauman keeps talking on a speakerphone.
Finally, we get back to the conversation.
DB: Did you ever hook up with LeBron?
Ron: I’m speaking to LeBron as we speak right now. He called me. He’s a real cool dude.
DB: Of course he is. Was he talking to you about getting you there?
Ron: We haven’t talked about no teams or anything. I’ve spoke to him periodically. My cousin was in jail with his Pops, you know. My cousin did ten years, his Pops did some years too. They was in the (Feds) together. But um. So I spoke to him periodically about, um, that. He didn’t speak about nothing (business wise), he just just said you know, `You’re a great player and he kind of would like for me to be on his team,’ and stuff like that.
DB: OK, well feel him out. Find out what’s up. And I put a call into the GM, Danny Ferry already. Things are going well. It’s going to be a very slow process, just so you know.
Bauman was right about a lot of things in the conversation, except the last part. Within 24 hours of the video being shot, Artest had agreed to terms with the Lakers.