I'm gonna miss you. I admit, I'm a little weepy right now. You were everything we asked for when we traded Donte Greene and a draft pick to get you last summer. We always knew it might be a short-term relationship given that you were in a contract year. We didn't care. Nor do I feel cheated today. It was worth the risk. And I fully believe that risk paid off in spades.
You helped get the Rockets to the second round this year. Which for Yao Ming and others had to seem like a myth until they actually got there. (Tracy McGrady... still a non-believer.) You brought an aggressiveness and a mindset to Houston that had been lacking for more than a decade. No one bullies the Rockets anymore.
So, thank you, Ron Artest. I truly mean it.
I do not begrudge you in your decision to join Kobe and the Lakers. It makes perfect sense. Yao and T-Mac probably won't be suiting up in 2010. The Rockets are rebuilding, whether they want to admit it publicly or not. I'm okay with all of this. Which is why I understand that you had to do what is best for you, Ron. I absolutely do understand. And I wish you nothing but the best in Los Angeles.
Though, this does make this picture seem a little weird now:
Happy trails to you, Crazy Pills. And good luck. You're going to need it.
(I can't wait to see what motivational book(s) Phil Jackson gives to Artest... )