RA: At first I thought it was important that I play in Detroit because of what happened [when Artest went into the stands and fought with Pistons fans in 2004, resulting in a 73-game suspension]. It would be a message to the youth out there. And Detroit was interested. At that point I didn't know where I was going until my agent said the Lakers called. I said, "What did they want?" He said, "They want you on their team." And I said, "O.K., let's go."
DP: That was it?
RA: They could have gotten me for a dollar if they really wanted to.
DP: Mark Cuban said he was glad you went to L.A.
RA: Well, he should be worried about the other teams [in the West], because it's not just the Lakers who are good. Even if he's happy I went there and thinks I'm going to be a negative, [it's not going to be] easy for Dallas to get past San Antonio and Denver and Portland. There are a lot more problems than Ron Artest. It's funny—they called.
DP: Wait. Dallas called?
RA: It was an option. But that's all I've got to say about that.
DP: How confident are you that the Lakers will win a championship?
RA: Every team I've played on, I've said we'll win. I'm always confident. I could play with three old ladies and I'd assume I'm going to win.