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Rアーテスト(今年、やっと大人になりました)

Rアーテスト(今シーズンはまじめです)
After several seasons of controversy ranging from legal issues to on-the-court altercations that led to mountains of suspensions, Artest is finally figuring out how to keep his nose clean.

"This is the first season I've had where I can just let the story happen instead of me creating the story," Artest says. "That's been different for me. I can just go out there and play basketball and not worry about how people will look at me after the suspension, or how people will look at me after getting in trouble at practice.

"It's been an adjustment," he admits. "A good adjustment."

The way Artest tells it, his success this season has been all about maturing. "When I was young it was just a new environment and I didn't know how to adapt. I wanted to do things how I was used to doing them, and getting used that was hard.

He adds, "Getting into the NBA I had some coaches, some players, some veterans help me with that. Where LeBron James is at age 23, it took me years and years to get to that point. I wish I could've been like that."

"When we lost when I was in Chicago it did not sit with me well," he recalls. "Now that I'm older, when I lose games I just go to the gym and work out. Before I'd get mad at a coach or a player, or get mad at myself and get frustrated. That just wasn't working."

Now, with Tracy McGrady out, Artest has been pegged as the offensive and defensive heart and soul of the team. This opportunity in Houston has been godsend for him, and he's not lost on valuable this break is.

"I got a lot of second chances," he admits. "That's the good thing about living in America is you get a lot of second chances. I've had five chances, nine lives, more lives than a cat."

Even nine lives run out eventually, though, and Artest explains that he has no desire to push limits anymore. "I don't want to use [those lives]. I don't want to feel like I have the option to use them. I'm a good place right now with my game, my career, my life."

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[ 2009/03/05 10:05 ] 08-09 NBA | TB(0) | CM(0)

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