Ron Artest is remembered for a lot of things including the Malice at the Palace, becoming Metta World Peace and wearing Panda sneakers on-court. However Lakers’ fans will remember him for his improbably game winning shot in 2010 and eventually helping the team become world champions.
Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals was played at Staples Center on May 27th, 2010. It wasn’t the prettiest basketball game but the Lakers were in command most of the game and held the lead going into the fourth quarter. But as the clock was dwindling down the Lakers were finding their lead crumble thanks to a strong surge by the Phoenix Suns. Kobe Bryant was doing everything in his power to keep his team in the game, finishing an assist away from a triple-double. Ron Artest, laced up in his signature PEAK Artest II, was having a very different and difficult game in comparison.
With the game clock dwindling left Jason Richardson banked in a “lucky” three-pointer that tied the game and shocked the hometown crowd leaving 3.5 seconds left on the clock. But this was Kobe time right? Everyone in the world knew who was going to take that last second shot to win the game. The in-bounds pass went to Kobe who took an off-balance, not very good, three-point attempt that missed badly. In fact it was an airball. However Ron Artest tracked the ball’s flight and won the rebound. He then quickly put up an off-balance layup as the final horn sounded. In the went the ball and he became the unlikely hero giving the team a 103-101 last second win. 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 fouls was his final stat line. But none of that mattered because the Lakers would take a 3-2 lead in the series and become the 2010 NBA Champions, thanks to
Pandas Friend Ron Artest and his PEAK Artest II.