When I was a kid, I saw a Minnesota Twins TV ad in which a young Butch Wynegar proclaimed “I love this game so much, I’d play it for free”. Said declaration was followed (natch) by notorious skinflint Calvin Griffith gushing “I love that kid.”

I don’t think the Maloof Brothers will have a similar spot in mind for Ron Artest. From the Sacramento Bee’s Joe Davidson.

Ron Artest claims he would play next season free of charge if the Kings bring back coach Rick Adelman and bruise brother Bonzi Wells.

Adelman does not have a contract extension, never mind the eight consecutive playoff berths and near-miraculous turnaround this season when the campaign looked lost in January. Wells will be a free agent and is sure to draw considerable interest from teams after he took San Antonio to task in the first round. He also was the Kings’ most steady performer in the regular season when he wasn’t hurt, according to team president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie.

“I’ll give up my next year’s salary to keep Bonzi Wells,” Artest said.

Then he added about Adelman, a coach who put the ball in the man’s hands and allowed him to create and attack, all while maintaining his penchant for defense: “I’ll give him my salary, too.”

The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro suggests that Shawn Marion deserves greater accolades.  Unsurprisingly, the Matrix concurs.

Only Marion, Elton Brand, Kevin Garnett, and Yao Ming averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds in the regular season. Only Marion has finished a season twice in the NBA’s top five for steals and blocks since steals became an official stat in 1974.

Marion received his first All-NBA due last season as a third-team pick, but this run, with Amar̩ Stoudemire out, has brought Marion a new level of respect Рto an extent.

“If I’m averaging 20 and 10 and I’m 6-7 and 225, am I just supposed to do that?” Marion said late in the regular season as he lay on a hotel bed playing handheld electronic poker. “How the hell do I not get the same credit as Garnett and Tim Duncan and those guys? I’m 225, barely. Is this just what we’ve come to expect of Shawn?”

Marion sat up and put the game aside as he continued.

“It’s frustrating because I’ve been doing this since I got here. I’ve been playing with Jason Kidd, Stephon Marbury and Steve Nash and been able to adjust my game to everyone.”