Update: I just found out that Artest has a Filipino kid living in Puerto Rico. Wow! I cant believe this! And there are vids on youtube showing him eating Filipino food. And he likes Halo-halo!!! Whooooooh!! Artest you the man!!! See the vids here and here and here and singing Celine Dion in a Filipino house here.
It was the first few seconds of the game and someone from the Lakers squad officially announced to the whole world and more importantly to that hated Celtic team that this year is not 2008. This is 2010! This is the year when the Los Angeles Lakers are the defending champs! And even if Ron Artest is not part of the team that won it last year, he made sure that everyone knows that he is very capable of defending the ring that he never got in 2009.
And so it all began... and ended with Pierce most likely still scratching his nuts on how he could get over that big bulky and strong wall that was not there the last time out. In a game that featured more fouls than what the Celtics dreamed of, it was Ron Artest who made the biggest impact (well of course that is if Kobe is sleeping).
The three-pointers went in. Every defensive move made is momentous, including the one with 6 minutes left on the clock. He pumped his fist, showing his grit and his intensity. He didn't show it by exchanging verbal jabs with the Celtic Loudmouths. He did it by doing his job. Showing patience and determination at the same time. Even that former-Knicks-coach-and-now-analyst emphasized how Artest has changed over the years, exclaiming that there is something definitely wrong if Artest is the showing up as the voice of reason. And just like that, he is not just the deliverer of that Game 5 win versus Phoenix and not the 2nd best man of the Western Conference Game 6. He is the pivotal figure in the pivotal first game.
This is the same man who barged into the Lakers locker room after that tumultous lost in Game 6 of the 2008 Finals. This is the same man who proclaimed to Bryant that he can help the Mamba be physical with Boston. That is exactly the same man that showed up in Game 1. And as long as he is keeping up with that universal proclamation, the Lakers will win these Finals.
Lakers in 4!!!