Ron Artest played against a lot of great offensive players in his career, and one of his most significant responsibilities was to stop them or at least slowed them down. In a recent podcast on the Knuckleheads episode, Ron Artest gave more insight into some of the best offensive players he had to face early in his career. His answer was a bit of a surprise since he mentions a few names a lot of people don’t know about, or they don’t remember anymore.
When Artest came in the league back in 1999, he said Jerry Stackhouse and Grant Hill were a problem guarding. However, from one of his earliest memories, Voshon Lenard and Jamal Mashburn were the ones that he couldn’t figure out, and he had difficulty guarding. If you don’t remember, Lenard was a solid shooting guard who played in the NBA for a decade averaging 12 points for his entire career. On the other hand, Mashburn was even an All-Star once but was a very efficient scorer who averaged over 19 points for his whole career.
“I was always a pretty good defender, I came in, and I was a really good defender, and I was locking a few people. But Jerry Stackhouse early was tough, Grant Hill, Voshon Lenard. Voshon Lenard was nice. Definitely remember his moves in the post. It was really hard to guard him because he had everything. He can turn right, and he was big a little bit. He could shot. I remember having problems with him.”
On the other hand, Mashburn was even an All-Star once but was a very efficient scorer who averaged over 19 points for his whole career. Artest compared him to Carmelo, which is a valid argument because of their similarities.
“I also guess early Mashburn. I came in when Mashburn was still playing. He was like a real small boy. I guess almost like Melo maybe, I mean both of them shot differently, their form is different but they could shot and they could move. Mash also had a little bounce, he had bounce.”