Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reports:

Artest’s return to Houston wasn’t exactly akin to Brett Favre’s return to play in Green Bay, where he spent 16 seasons.

“There’s nothing really to get too excited about,” he said.

In fact, Artest estimated that he lost $20 million in potential salary because he came off the bench for part of last season, in a contract year, until Tracy McGrady’s knee injury allowed him to move into the starting lineup.

Artest said he regretted playing in Houston for one season.

“Yeah, I do,” he said. “I’ve been blessed to get paid to play basketball. One percent tells me I wish I could have been somewhere else. Things didn’t go the way I wanted it to.”

Then, after thinking about it for a split second, he hedged his words: “I was fine with that even though I was in my contract year.”

During his NBA career, Artest has generally been paid on the slightly lower end of what he was probably worth. A defensive superstar who isn’t quite as good offensively as his stats suggest, he’s basically gotten fair paychecks, but still probably could have landed an inflated deal somewhere along the way.