The following is a transcript of Ron Artest speaking to the media during Tuesday night's Lakers game:
Question: How are you feeling, Ron?
"I'm doing better. I'm feeling better. I'm seeing the doctor every day. I can't wait to get back out there."
Question: Can you tell us what happened?
"It was Christmas time, we were enjoying Christmas, I was coming home ... One minute I was about to walk into my house, the next minute I wake up and my wife is asking me, 'Are you all right?' For a second I didn't even know who she was. After that I didn't know I was in L.A. Then I didn't even know we had a game. Then she had to explain that I had a game and we just came from the game and we lost by 20.
"The first person I called ... well, I texted Kobe and I said, 'I can't remember nothing and I'm going to the hospital.'"
Question: Did you fall down stairs while holding a box?
"Yes, Christmas boxes. I can't remember everything. It was some Christmas things and presents and [inaudible] my wife said I was asleep for two to three minutes. Honestly, I don't remember that part. I went to the hospital and it took me about an hour just to get my senses back a little bit and that was it."
Question: Has anything like this ever happened to you before?
"No, never. Never. And it was ... I didn't feel it. That's the scary part. I didn't feel it. It's never happened but I'm feeling better. I'm still a little woozy at times so it's definitely not safe, probably, right now to be playing."
Question: What is the status on your return?
"Hopefully really soon. I can't wait to get back. You know, I'm glad I'm walking and I got staples in the back of my head and some stitches in my elbow, but I'm walking. I'm gratefully walking and I don't know how bad it could have been but I'm definitely thankful to be able to be out and talking and even having the possibility of being back pretty soon so I'm happy about that."
Question: Ron, just to clarify, did you fall down the stairs and then pass out or did you get dizzy and pass out and then fall down the stairs? Did your wife tell you exactly what happened?
"She wasn't there. She woke me up. I was coming in the house and then she woke me up and said, 'Ron, are you all right?' basically. But, I can't really remember much. But I was passed out from hit, I didn't pass out on the way down. I was passed out from the hit."
Question: Ron, how many stairs did you fall down and do you have any residual pain from the fall?
"No, I'm pretty good. I can't remember exactly how many flights or how many stairs I fell down. I can't remember. But, I don't have that much pain. No headaches. Just dizzy, I just get dizzy. Like, the first couple of days I was feeling really dizzy. Now I'm only a little bit, but I'm getting better."
Question: How did the elbow injury come into play?
"Trying to brace ... trying to brace the fall. I guess it was trying to brace ... I can't even remember. I don't remember even ... I just was with the doctor and they said, 'You need stitches in your elbow.' I was like, 'For what?' And then they showed me the picture and it was a deep cut. I got a little scrape on my back too, but the scrape on my back is not as bad. They put stitches in my elbow but they don't hurt. There's no pain, they don't hurt."
Question: The team defense since you've been out has been really bad. They gave up the most points they have all season in a game in Phoenix and the first quarter tonight was the most points they've given up in a quarter. Do you think that's related to you not being out there?
"6:22 ... I think the games that we won, some games we won on talent. We probably just got to adjust a little bit so, we'll make it up. We'll make it up. We have such a good team. I don't know if anybody has ever been in this situation before on this roster. It's early enough to catch it but we just shouldn't take what we have for granted. We're just so talented, so talented and it's been so easy for us. Winning, winning by 20 or 30 points by the fourth quarter is just ... I've never been in a situation like that. So we just have to continue, I guess continue to win by 30 and get up by 30 and win by 20 and have fun doing that."
Question: Before the game, Ron, Phil said he thought you might work out tomorrow and then possibly play on Friday. Is that possible for you, to work out tomorrow and play on Friday?
"He probably knows more than me because with the doctors, trainers and the head coach knowing everything and they have me coming in, I'm sure they have their own schedule so he probably knows more than me right now.
"Not going to be a basketball workout. Will just be on a treadmill, just to get his heart rate up."
Question: Ron, was this inside your house or outside your house?
"It happened on the outside."
Question: When you get these examinations from the neurologist, can you describe what the examinations have been like?
"He said I'm getting better. It's just testing the reaction ... holding the one-two finger thing [in front of my eyes] ... all that type of stuff and making sure I remember words. The first day was bad. The morning I woke up I went to see the neurologist and I couldn't remember much, but it's been better he said."
Question: Ron, did the doctor say you were lucky because it could have been worse?
"No, we didn't talk about that. We didn't talk about that, but I'm assuming ... I'm assuming, you know ... I'm assuming it could have been ... I'm just happy it's not worse."
Question: When do you get dizzy?
"It depends if I lay down, wake up. Right when I wake up and you know if I'm leaning too much in one direction ... Sometimes it's just better that I just sit down rather than lay down sometimes."
Question: Ron, did it impact your appetite the last few days?
"I've been OK. That's symptom but it has not been one of mine. I'm eating fine. No headaches, which is surprising. I had a headache for a couple minutes, but, no bad headaches. Mainly I've just been a little bit woozy."
Question: Did they give you a CAT scan and what did the CAT scan show?
"Yes, that was great. The CAT scan and the MRI came back negative."
Question: About how long after the game was the incident?
"Immediately. However long it takes me to get home."
Question: So you literally hadn't been inside your house at all this was just coming down stairs ...
"The only time I remember going into my house was when I went to ... I don't even know how I made it in the house, honestly. I just went in there and I was so ... out of it."
Question: What's the last thing you do remember?
"Um ... the first thing I remember is just standing up somehow. I stood up. But I don't remember falling down. I just remember standing up. I do remember the first hit though. The first impact of that hit was ... I can't even remember the feel almost because of how hard I fell. The hurt was ... it's weird."
Question: Are there stairs leading up to your house? Can you just describe where you were located?
"There are stairs as you walk up, but the stairs really didn't have to do with anything. It was really concrete."
Question: So you were walking up the stairs, not down?
Question: So, did you slip backwards then?
"I can't really remember really much about that. I think I could have fell down a whole staircase and not gotten as hurt. The concrete was the main part."
Question: Have you been in touch with your teammates a lot during this absence?
"Yes, the first person I called was them. That's the first thing, when I came back to my senses a little bit. That's the first people I called because I didn't know where I was. I called Kobe ... I texted Kobe and I texted Lamar and I texted Jordan and Shannon and I just told them that I can't remember nothing and I'm going to the hospital."
Question: You acknowledged when you came here that everyone was saying, 'Oh, we're waiting for the Ron Artest distractions, something's going to happen.' When this happened, even with it being an accident, were you concerned with that it could get turned into that at all?
"I'll leave that up to public opinion. I don't want to answer that."
Question: Ron, how many stitches do you have in your head and in your elbow?
"Um ... I haven't even really seen it so I don't know. I think the doctors know. Maybe the trainers know ... I just know they're in the back of my head."
Question: Ron, have you ever had a concussion before at any level?
"No. No, this is the first time."
Question: So you don't know if you slipped going down the stairs or if you went up and fell backwards?
"I couldn't remember half of the stuff that happened so, I'm just happy to..."
Question: You were outside the house, going in right?
"We got to go back to the video tape. Give him a tape so he can answer all his questions."