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Are shoes cutting Lakers' Ron Artest down to size?

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The forward says he's been suffering from plantar fasciitis in both feet, and Phil Jackson believes the cause may lie in his shoes, which the coach likens to 'concrete boots.'

January 25, 2010|By Broderick Turner

Reporting from Toronto — Is it the shoes?

Something has caused Ron Artest to develop plantar fasciitis in both feet, and Lakers Coach Phil Jackson believes that something might be the shoes his small forward wears.

Whatever the case is, Jackson said Artest might have to sit out if he continues to have pain and remains ineffective.

"I've called his shoes concrete boots for about the last month," Jackson said. "Those shoes look like they are made for the Hudson River. But he stays with them and he gets his feet worked on. But he does not move really quickly. He looks like he's clogging around out there."

Artest endorses a shoe by a Chinese company called Peak Shoes, as do Dallas' Jason Kidd and Houston's Shane Battier.

Artest had another poor game Sunday against the Toronto Raptors, scoring five points. He played only 10 seconds in the fourth quarter.

"We haven't had any conversations about sitting out," Jackson said, "but if it continues, yeah, he may have to sit."

Artest disclosed his injury on his Twitter page Saturday.

His history has been to not complain about injuries.

"I just don't like excuses. That's it. No excuses," Artest said. "I don't want nobody saying, 'Oh, Ron Artest has got plantar fasciitis, so that's why he didn't play a good game.' No, I didn't play good or I didn't do what I did because that's just what happened. No excuses.

"It's gotten a lot better. So that's a good thing. I know I haven't been able to get the [defensive] stops I want to get this year, but I feel it getting better, so it'll come back around. You've just got to take care of it."

Mum on Bosh

Jackson, peppered as always about Chris Bosh, was willing to expound on how much the Raptors forward has improved.

"He's deliberate in the post, making things happen out there," Jackson said about Bosh, who had 18 points and 13 rebounds against the Lakers.

The next question gave Jackson pause: Would he like to see Bosh play for the Lakers one day?

"You know, I can't comment on that," Jackson replied. "The league slapped us one time for that. I'll leave that one alone."

The Lakers were fined $25,000 in December 2005 for violating the league's anti-tampering rule after Jackson said Bosh had become "quite a talent."

"There are some [players] that will be available [as free agents] in the year following that you obviously have to take a look at, and this kid here is one of them," Jackson said at the time.

What made the talk about Bosh more interesting is that a recent report said the Lakers were interested in acquiring the All-Star forward for Andrew Bynum, something the Lakers vehemently denied.

White House visit

The Lakers, as defending NBA champions, will visit President Obama at the White House today, which is something Derek Fisher said he's excited about.

"He's obviously busy with things other than watching basketball, but at some point or another, he's maybe seen you do what you do," Fisher said. "That's an exciting thought to think about, that he may actually know who you are."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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