Latest News, NBA / Sep 10, 2010 / 2:30 pm

Ron Artest & Matt Barnes are “The Bash Brothers”

Ron Artest, Dime #21

With the L.A. Lakers’ offseason signing of Matt Barnes, it’s hard to argue against the idea that the two-time defending champions have formed the most agitating duo in the League: The Bash Brothers.

Depending on how old you are or what sports you follow, you might remember the nickname “Bash Brothers” from Oakland A’s sluggers Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, or from the ’92 Disney movie Might Ducks, back when Dean Portman and Falton Reed were throwing ‘bows like they were Ludacris at a downtown club in the Dirty South. But this is the new age of enforcers, with hit men walking around in the NBA.

Barnes is known for his defensive presence and ability to take other players out of their comfort zone — feel free to get Kobe‘s opinion on that matter. I wouldn’t exactly describe Barnes as a “lockdown” defender, per se, but he’s among the more relentless and enthusiastic in the League, and his ability to help the D isn’t just a matter of checking opponents. Matter of fact, Barnes ranked second in the League in rebounds per 48 minutes among small forwards, with 12.3, only behind Charlotte’s human crash dummy, Gerald Wallace. With the reputation of being an edgy, temperamental player, Barnes’ actions have been highly documented throughout the League as a forewarning, such as the ball-fake at Kobe’s face in Orlando, or the 20 technical fouls he’s picked up over the last two seasons, or even when he slapped a summer pro-am league coach recently. There’s no doubt that Barnes’ intensity can swing both ways. It can either be an asset or hindrance to a team, so Barnes needs to check himself and make sure that his emotions don’t carry over negatively on the Lakers — the “Zen Master” won’t put up with that kind of nonsense.

When the Lakers lost to the Celtics in the ’08 Finals, Kobe stated that his team was soft; they needed to add the pitbull mentality to their game. They decided to go out and sign Mamba’s on-court nemesis, Ron Artest, the following summer, who brought toughness and lock-down defense. Now, adding a player like Barnes is going to keep things interesting, at the very least, and possibly amp things up. Barnes can also score the basketball, but Lakers fans better hope he doesn’t catch a cold and start chucking up three pointers like the old days in Golden State.

Kobe also tried to make a push to bring on-court enemy Raja Bell to L.A., but Bell chose Utah instead. (Talk about holding a grudge.) If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Mamba is starting to become the Batman of the NBA by bringing all of his enemies to the Staples Center, which you could now dub “The Asylum.”

As for Artest, where do I begin? The former Defensive Player of the Year ended the Pacers “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” era after fighting in the stands at The Palace. Artest is still vulnerable against quicker players, though, while Barnes has some quickness and quite a bit of power in his 6-7 frame. I expect Lakers fans to give these two a standing ovation when they’re on the court together, the same way Ducks fans greeted Portman and Reed during their times on the rink — beating up on the opposing teams best players and smiling and laughing while doing so.

Obviously, Artest is excited about it.

“Matt is tougher than nails!” Artest wrote on Twitter after Barnes was signed. “Matt has the heart of a lion on steroids wit extra chest hairs and three testicles screaming ‘Adrian’!!!!!! Tougher than Richard Simmons trying to take off his spandex!! Matt Barnes is tougher than my rough ass feet!! Tougher than a penguin on steroids!!”

Like I said, welcome to the Asylum.

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  • https://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    “Matt is tougher than nails!” Artest wrote on Twitter after Barnes was signed. “Matt has the heart of a lion on steroids wit extra chest hairs and three testicles screaming ‘Adrian’!!!!!! Tougher than Richard Simmons trying to take off his spandex!! Matt Barnes is tougher than my rough ass feet!! Tougher than a penguin on steroids!!”

    LOL Ron is stupid!

  • JAX

    Shhhhhh….we’re resting…Mamba…Doc Pau…DFish…please…keep hyping the Heat and the Celtics with the Big Traitor…go ‘head and king Durant “the next one”….ssssssssshhhh…we’re gettin’ our rest right now…it’ll be time to Laker-up soon…excuse us while we listen to the waves in Santa Monica, as the Zen works through us from Marina Del Rey where the true playas play….sssshhh…

  • WinDelRoj

    I like the Asylum as a nickname for Staples Center. The Lakers are going to lead the league in techs (beating out the Celtics is tough). But they will have new ways to win. Im not a Laker fan but between the signings and the potential of their draft picks… should be interesting

  • i luv ur mummy

    pencil this team in for the 2011 champs already please!! commissioner stern !! i’m looking forward to the draft..WELCOME PERRY JONES!! NEXT DURANT!!

  • Dayinho

    I don’t know why everyone is talking about Barnes! This guy is a journey man/non-factor and was destroyed by Pierce during the last PO.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ Dayinho

    How can you not talk about Matt Barnes and Ron Artest playing together? Especially while Kobe tries to keep their attitudes in check the entire season? Barnes is my dude but your also forgetting the fact that he isn’t a lockdown defender, he’s just an agitator.

  • Chaos

    I think Kobe is surrounding himself with the Goon squad! he got barnes and artest…if he go and get oakley out of retirement or tell them to resign turiaf, Kobe got enforcers everywhere…the only team that would be willing to fight them would be boston (KG, Shaq and Perk)

  • Dayinho

    An agitator?
    We’re not talking about basketball on Dime? lol

  • https://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Nice one Jax and LA deserves the rest they been handelin theirs. Meanwhile everyone else (Houston talking to you)better be really at work!

  • sh!tfaced

    Only thing these two have “bashed” so far are pet dogs and wives…

  • yoda

    i disagree that bell went to utah because of some grudge. as far as i know, he got more money there than what he could get in lal.
    but you are right, its going to be interesting to see ron and mat on court at the same time.

  • A.R.

    @ 10

    im pretty sure Ron has a couple bashed heads under his belt.
    (Palace brawl)

    as far as Barnes u might be right but any guy tht can challenge Kobe the way he did has my respect.

  • atticusmitch

    I just want to thank Ron Artest’s therapist for helpin us win a champoionship this year. Hopefully Barnes can get a ref for him too. Maybe they can have group therapy sessions

  • Mike “Yahoo! Exclusive” Mihalow

    They’ll probably be doing their community service together from now on, so might as well get acquainted with each other.

  • jzsmoove

    these 2 aint just goons and slackers. they can ball. i like the move for the Lakers. i wanna see a Thunder/Lakers rematch. hope Thunder wins.

  • That’s What’s Up

    The Trash Brothers

  • Ian

    thats whats up
    agree comon bash brothers an overrated player artest and a scrub like barnes.

    damn i miss the real bash brothers big mac and canseco hitting back to back thats criminal.

  • downtown_brownclown

    oh well… that’ll be a lot of fouls to give on good guard/small forward type of players in the league…
    those two can get in your head, just like how karinne stefans get on ours… hahahahaha! *payce*

  • freddy

    how ’bout BRUISE brothers?

  • Hassan

    haha love ‘The Asylum’ it’s brilliant.

  • Jerry K.

    You know what would be a sick line-up for the lakers?
    No point gaurd really so i am just going to list who would be on the court.
    -Odom (or bynum)

    That team would pretty much be impossible to score on

  • Brooklyn Bull

    Kobe is like a madd genius. he elimniates his most aggressive antagonists by bringing the to his side. Almost succeeded with aquiring raja bell 2. not a big kobe fan but gotta admit this is a brilliant strategy

  • princesslebron

    I like calling Staples “The Asylum”. Props to the author

  • Guitar Hero

    I just read Sam Smith’s “JORDAN RULES”.
    Oh boy, I’m itching to read a similar book on the Lakers 10-11 season. Or The Celtics’, for that matter.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ princesslebron

    First, I like the name lol. Second, I’m glad you like my new nickname for the Staples Center.

  • JAY

    Re: The Asylum

    Hey Dime, Macaluso deserves a raise for that one! And while you’re at it, fire the guys who were trying to push “The Gooch” for Big Baby.

  • dlight

    “Release the hounds” in the asylum aka Zen master with 06 bulls on D. KB24 can cherry pick and rest on D. Can Barnes learn the tri? Can KB24 survive a 2nd year as professor on court for Phsyco Barnes, wondered why he never landed a long term deal. This is Bball not football refs will shut him down and KB24 will bench him. What’s Ron Rons reason for staying on the leash with a “Ring” in the books?