NEW YORK—Insisting that he’s capable of reaching the same heights as in the past, small forward Carmelo Anthony told reporters Wednesday that he is confident he can still help a contender flame out in the first round.
SAN ANTONIO—Shortly after the NBA announced that Ron Artest would be suspended for Game 2 for elbowing Manu Ginobili in the head during the third quarter of the Spurs-Kings series opener, the Kings forward issued a barely concealed threat in which he promised that he would return for Game 3 "in classic form" and that "the gloves are off for this one." "Everybody better watch out, because I'm more motivated than ever to get out there and do some real damage on the court," Artest said in a statement directed either at members of the Spurs, or members of the Spurs, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, NBA referees, members of the Kings, and the approximately 17,317 fans scheduled to be in attendance at ARCO Arena Friday night. "The only way to truly even this series is to get back to basics, play Ron Artest basketball, and use the same techniques that got me to where I am today." Asked to clarify his remarks, Artest would only say that he planned to "really outdo himself this time" and that Friday's matchup would be "a heavyweight fight to the finish, and if I can get Big Bear and Crusher to the arena, possibly even a dogfight."