“Comprimised the integrity of the team” is an interesting euphamism for something or another. Shame Rick Carlise didn’t elaborate.

ESPN’s John Saunders, however, claimed tonight on the “Shootaround” program that Ron Artest requested time off to deal with personal matters, including a budding hip hop career. Short of Artest strangling someone, I’m not sure the Pacers could’ve leaked a story that would’ve made Artest look nearly as foolish to the other GM’s that covet him at a discount. And with that in mind, perhaps there’s more to the story.

(Update : So it seems there really isn’t much more to this. And nothing was leaked, the rap album story came directly from Artest himself :

Artest said that he asked Carlisle for as much as a month off to heal his aching body and recover from a particularly busy schedule.

“My body has been aching, I was going to take some time off and I said it the wrong way,” Artest said. “Everything that happened wasn’t too negative. I kind of surprised the team by wanting to take some games off, just to get back together, maybe stay home for a little bit, rest a little bit and come back.”

The 24-year-old is scheduled to release his debut rap album later this month and has been spending a lot of time making promotional appearances.

“I’ve been doing a little bit too much music, just needed the rest,” Artest said. “I’ve still got my album coming out Nov. 23. After the album comes out I’m going to make sure all of my time is focused on winning a championship.”)

I didn’t catch last night’s Nets win over Portand in which Alonzo Mourning scored 14 points, hauled down 12 rebounds and blocked 3 shots in 37 minutes of action. But I sorely wish I had taped the 64-60 New Jersey victory just to see how well this no-shot-clock experiment is working out.

The Knicks finally waived Shandon Anderson today,after failing to find a trading partner for the 7 year vet. ESPN reported on the Suns/Cavs pregame show that NY have agreed to pay $19 million of the $24 million remaining on Anderson’s deal.