Ron Artest takes honest introspection to a new level for a professional athlete. Before his Lakers met his former team, the Pacers, Artest was frank about his immature behavior when he played in Indiana from 2002-06. "A coward, I was a coward," he said. "When you do coward stuff, you feel like a coward. I don't care if it was done intentionally or by mistake, you're still a coward. I don't care how young I was. That's not an excuse."
Artest conducted a memorable interview after the Lakers beat the Celtics in Game 7 of the finals in June, when he credited his therapist for keeping him grounded. He further explained Wednesday that he wasn't tough enough to overcome his mental problems during his younger days.
"There's no question those [mental-health issues] played a role," he said. "I just wasn't mentally strong enough to deal with adversity, deal with things not going my way, not strong enough to not throw an elbow [at Pistons guard Rip Hamilton] when [Game 6 of the 2004 Eastern Conference finals] was tied. ... That's why it's so hard for me to forgive myself for that time in my life. It sticks with me. It sticks with me."
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."