If the lockout threatens the regular season then you can count Ron Artest as another stateside baller looking to play professionally in Europe. In fact, if it comes to that juncture and Ron Ron makes the trip across the pond then he won’t be playing as Artest he’ll officially be Metta World Peace.
David Bauman, Ron’s agent, has been busy debunking myths of where exactly his client plans on playing. First it was an internet rumor reporting Artest would be playing in Finland of all places. Most recently he had to do a little damage control as his client expressed a dire to play in England.
“I told him, ‘Ron, the league over there is not strong enough to really give you the competition that you want. Even though that makes sense from a (convenience standpoint), it doesn’t make sense from a basketball perspective.”
The ‘convenience’ angle Bauman refers to is a movie being shot in England that Ron could be participating in. One stop shopping. Smile for the camera during the day then destroy some British ballers at night. But that is the Artest angle. Bauman is doing his best to talk his client out of that option.
“England is probably the 10th or 12th best league in Europe. That isn’t going to make sense. If we do Europe, it’s going to be Israel, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Italy or maybe France. … When we spoke about the lockout, Ron said, ‘Find me the best teams.’ “
As more and more NBA players explore their overseas options the more the league must realize this lockout is poised to do some irreparable harm. Marginal players might not ever comeback. Superstar players run the risk of coming back injured. Meanwhile rookies are being lost in the shuffle all together.
Welcome to the world of modern hoops. This is what the bed the NBA lockout has made. You know the rest.