News » Houston Rockets Notes, Quotes 2009-06-12

Houston Rockets Notes, Quotes 2009-06-12

Houston Rockets Notes, Quotes 2009-06-12
--Ron Artest made his preference clear.

Asked if he wants to be back with the Rockets, he said, "Yes, God willing. It's not up to me."

He did not stop there. He spoke repeatedly about how he wants to grow with the Rockets' young players, and when asked if that meant he would be back if things work out in contract negotiations, he removed any gray area.

"Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes," Artest said. "That is yes. I just know this team was so good, I think we'll grow together."

The Rockets had decided in midseason that they would like to bring Artest back. They knew, however, that there have to be a great deal of negotiations before that could happen. Artest was not interested in a contract extension that with maximum raises would have been worth $37 million over four seasons.

"He has a desire to come back," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. "We have a desire to make it work. That's step one, with a lot of steps from here."

Artest said he has not considered the sort of free agent offer it would take for him to remain with the Rockets.

"I'll take everything into consideration, but it's hard to get into that right now ... what I'm thinking as far as somebody making an offer I can't refuse," Artest said. "We'll try to get this thing done as fast as possible. I don't have a figure in mind. Personally, I feel I'm one of the best all-around players in the NBA."

--The Rockets extended the contracts of assistant coaches Elston Turner, Jack Sikma, T.R. Dunn and R.J. Adelman for one season to match Rick Adelman's three-year deal with the team.

"We have an underrated coaching staff," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. "We are very happy they got the national recognition they deserve when they led us to a seven-game series in the second round of the playoffs even with all our injuries this season."

--The Rockets spent the season demonstrating resilience that became a point of pride. Including the playoffs, the Rockets went 13-2 in games following a double-digit loss.

Their final comeback from a bad loss came when they returned to Houston to beat the Lakers in Game 6, a win they considered more typical than stunning.

"I've stopped trying to figure this team out," Shane Battier said. "When you think we're down and out, this team comes with an unbelievable effort. We might not have the most talented team, but there is not a team with more heart in this entire league. We've shown it again and again and again and again."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I feel great about our team. We're not too far from really being there. We need health, which I say every year on the first day of training camp. But if we continue to add a few more pieces and continue to grow with the young guys, I think we'll be a tough out for anybody." -- Shane Battier.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: June 12, 2009


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