Jim Buss, the Lakers’ VP in charge of player personnel, had this to say about the signing of Ron Artest as a free agent last summer: “I think Artest is an incredible defender and he’s a perfect fit for this team. I think we improved. He enjoys locking down top, quality players on the other team. He enjoys it. It’s hard to find those kinds of guys. He looks forward to going against Carmelo Anthony. He looks forward to going against LeBron James.
“Not too many people say that. He’s impressive to me when we sat down and talked to him. I know he’s got that reputation, but when you talk to him you can’t see it. He’s been good for years. The circumstances that happened, he’s even asked for his money back. I think he’s a good guy. I think he realizes what he really wants, and that’s a ring.”