From the NY Post’s Peter Vescey :

Nothing quite launches a campaign (NBA Cares) than Tim Duncan ” commonly identified as the league’s most wholesome player ” branding David Stern’s dress code as retarded.
You now have an inkling why The Big Detrimental tends to be uncommunicative; it conceals his lack of sensitivity and smarts.

Plainly, between Duncan and Ron Artest, free speech is grossly overrated.

Stern must find the following fascinating: While he’s attempting to dress up his league’s image, Artest, fresh from a 73-game suspension for invading The Palace stands, is the latest to pose naked above the shoulders (surrounded by three scantily clad women) for a magazine that markets undress, and babbling about fighting Ben Wallace for $10 million on pay-per-view.

Today, Artest (above) is uncovered as a Penthouse Putz. Tomorrow, he’s on the cover (along with Pacer President Larry Bird) of Sports Illustrated. Naw, nobody on its honorable staff will be able to get him to say something remotely obtuse or controversial.

Yeah, right!

Shamefully, Artest has become the media’s most effortlessly exploitable person in the NBA. Like Dennis Rodman and Micheal Ray Richardson, anybody can get Artest to say anything at any time. Getting him to open up and bare his unsophisticated soul is as easy as offering him a Popsicle.

After hearing one yack radio howler after another, overcome with outrage at Artest’s Penthouse appearance (who knew Penthouse was still publishing?), I can only wonder why it has never occured to these Knights of The Kneejerk that Artest has some kind of condition, disability, whatever. For a guy who is regularly made out to be Public Enemy No. 1, I find him to be without guile (or much sophistication) and clearly unaware that each public statement makes him the subject of ridicule. Whether he needs medication or a minder, I can’t say for sure, but surely the image-conscious NBA, if not the Indiana Pacers can see the downside in one of the game’s finest all-around players generating so much over the top hatred.