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Artest upset about being benched

INDIANAPOLIS -- It took only one exhibition game for new
Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle to have something to talk about with Ron Artest.

Artest, suspended for 12 games for bad behavior or flagrant
fouls last season, was whistled midway through the third quarter of
Wednesday's game against Chicago.

The call came when Artest acted like he was going to hand the
ball to referee Scott Foster and then snatched it back.

Carlisle quickly pulled Artest from the game.

Artest didn't immediately join his teammates on the bench,
deciding to sit in a seat on the end line nearest the Pacers bench.
He later rejoined them and during a timeout went to midcourt and
apologized to Foster.

Artest, who averaged 15.5 points last season and was runner-up
for the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award, was kept on the
bench until the fourth quarter and expressed his unhappiness with
his new coach in the locker room.

"Obviously coach Carlisle and the referee have never seen
anything like that in their life. He gave me a tech and coach took
me out," he said.

"If I'm going to be taken out for stuff like that I'd rather
not be in the game," Artest said. "I'd rather be with another
team. I apologized to the ref and it was that simple. That's all it
was."

Carlisle said Thursday he had talked with Artest and was moving
forward. However, remarks by Artest indicated he wasn't sure he can
play under Carlisle, the former Detroit Pistons coach hired last
month to replace Isiah Thomas.

"We just got started," Artest said. "You can't really make
judgments fast. You have to wait and see what happens."

Asked whether he was concerned how Carlisle and team president
Larry Bird viewed the incident, Artest said he couldn't care less.

"Nothing happened," he said. "I'm not the first one to get a
technical foul."

Bird said Thursday that Artest could not be a distraction to the
team.

"The coach has got to deal with that," Bird said. "I've dealt
with it over the years. I've played with players that were unhappy.
The one thing we want here is for our players to be happy. If they
don't want to be here, you've got to do something."

Carlisle said he and Artest had talked about Wednesday's
technical foul.

"We addressed what we needed to address and it is time to move
on," Carlisle said. "I think we have an understanding of what's
expected and it is a moving forward situation."