Los Angeles Lakers fans weren’t the only ones surprised by the team’s offseason signing of Ron Artest. According to an NBA.com survey, the league’s general managers consider the Artest signing the most surprising move of the offseason, beating out Vince Carter being traded to the Orlando Magic.
The general managers, who could not vote for players or coaches on their team, voted Artest the toughest player in the league, taking 42 percent of the vote.
Next toughest? Kobe Bryant of the Lakers with 25 percent of the vote.
The Lakers predictably fared well in the survey, being picked as the team most likely to win the NBA title in 2009-10. Bryant was No. 2 (behind LeBron James) in the most valuable player voting and first among players the general managers would want taking the last shot with a game on the line. Phil Jackson was named the league’s best coach, unseating last season’s winner, Gregg Popovich of San Antonio.
The Washington Wizards were named the most-improved team, ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers.