You see you basically answered your own question of why he failed. You cant get rid of a player as good as Artest and make the team better. There are about 5-10 guys in the entire league that you can even hold ground on when its Artest, nevermind get better. That is where they went wrong. Nevermind when you basically engineer a complete devaluation of him and then trade him. Basically Indiana royally ****ed themselves. They made Artest seem like a complete cancer for saying something that pretty much every player has said at one point. They made the situation and burnt themselves, cant feel sorry for that to be honest.
They made Artest a villian basically and then put him on the shelf, they put him past his used by date so to speak. Either stick with and by him(which they should have done, especially after he apoligized) or trade him when that suspension happened(as big a joke as it was). Badly handled.
I think Artest is really to blame for the mess in Indiana. He made himself into a villian by going into the stands and punching dudes in the mouth (granted, I cant say I wouldnt do the same thing and I believe the fans involved deserved what they got).......He continued the shenanigans when he returned.. I agree that maybe Bird and co. jumped the gun, but i can hardly blame them. Artest's teammates were ready for him to play elsewhere as well as the coaching staff.... after he came back and kept acting up, he forced the Pacer's hand.
My original post was more a statment than a question......Possibly Bird could have gotten better than Peja, but I can see what he was trying to accomplish...It just backfired....
I think the Pacers tried pretty hard not
to villify Artest..they stuck by him for a long while....but he wouldnt stop the madness...Ron Artest is a fantastic player, but I'd be worried about his mental state daily if I was the GM/Owner/Coach/Teammate of his.