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Lakers' Ron Artest responds to Charles Barkley's criticism

Artest takes exception to the TNT analyst's assertion that the veteran forward could become a distraction to the Lakers. The two have sparred verbally before.

November 07, 2009|Broderick Turner and Mike Bresnahan

Ron Artest fired back at Charles Barkley on Friday after the TNT analyst criticized the Lakers forward by saying he could become a distraction to the team.

Barkley made his comments after TNT did a prerecorded segment on Artest's off-court activities that aired Thursday night during the telecast of an NBA doubleheader.

Artest said Barkley took his "shine," meaning his publicity.

"That whole spotlight they did on me, he just took that away," Artest said about the TNT interview.

Artest has spent time rapping, working on his Twitter account, interacting with fans and attending charity events and other entertainment ventures. He took exception to what Barkley said, pointing out that some of his rapping was about abuse of women in Afghanistan.

"It was something I felt was worth speaking about, because he was like, 'It is a distraction,' " Artest said. "I'm like, 'I do a lot of good things. I've been with my wife since I was like 15 years old. What can you say about that?' I'm still with my high school sweetheart in the NBA doing videos with pretty women. I'm an entertainer. I'm not going anywhere. I think that's successful. I think kids can learn from that."

Artest said the segment TNT did on him was "great."

It's just that Artest apparently didn't like some of what Barkley had to say.

"He said, 'This is his last go-around,' " Artest said. "I'm like, 'My last go-around? My last go-around for what?' I signed for five years [and $33.7 million]. Maybe I might get another deal after this. Why are you telling general managers this is my last go-around? Maybe I want to play 20 years."

It's not the first time Barkley and Artest have had issues. Artest called Barkley "overrated" as a player in an interview earlier this year, saying Barkley didn't play any defense.

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Scorer's dedication

John Radcliffe was the Lakers' official scorer since 1961, charting the on-court achievements of Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Magic Johnson , Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and others.

When he died in September of heart failure at age 73, the Lakers decided to dedicate their scorer's table to Radcliffe. A large replica of his signature will be on top of the table for all Lakers home games.

The dedication took place Friday night in a brief first-quarter ceremony during which Radcliffe's wife, Carolyn, was given a Lakers championship ring.

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Still going

Stu Lantz has missed two Lakers games in his 23-year broadcasting career -- one for his mother's funeral and one for his daughter's graduation.

He said he wouldn't miss any games next week after having surgery Monday because of torn cartilage in his left knee.

Lantz, who played eight seasons in the NBA, has been limping lately because of gradually worsening knee pain. He'll have a few days to recover before the Lakers play Thursday against Phoenix.

"It might hurt to get from place to place, but it won't affect my voice," he said.

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broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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