Ron Artest: I Wanted to Choke Ariza
But judging by what Artest had to say afterwards, there certainly could have been.
Artest claimed that the Rockets were being extra-physical with him in hopes of getting him ejected. And after taking a shot from Ariza early, Artest admitted that thoughts of getting violent out there definitely crossed his mind.
"I wanted to (choke Ariza) because he hit me with the elbow," Artest said. "But then I thought about David Stern, and I thought I wasn't going to do this. I got hit with three or four elbows. It's just not fair. I don't want to fight."
A kinder, gentler Ron Artest. Thank the heavens.
After picking up the first quarter technical foul, Kobe Bryant could be seen whispering something into Artest's ear, and Ron remained calm for the rest of the game. This was the concern of many heading into the season: would Bryant and Phil Jackson be able to contain the volatility of Ron Artest?
We're just four games into the season, but after Wednesday's potential meltdown in a hostile Houston environment was averted, the answer so far is a resounding "yes."