You can’t rule out anything when it comes to Ron Artest rumors.
From changing his name to Metta World Peace to seeking soap opera work in London, nothing is off limits when you take that bizarre ride to the Artest side. In fact, the more mundane and tame the rumor is the less likely it is to be actual.
Mark Medina, one of the lucky souls to survive the L.A. Times chopping block, confirms the latest Ron rumblings. Artest is in deed planning on playing in England should the lockout last into the regular season. The British League tips off in September but Artest won’t be there until November. That’s because Ron Ron plans on catching some run in Finland first.
Rumored long ago, Artest’s agent denied his client had any interest in Finnish hoops.
Whatever the case the fact that Ron wants to play in two of the more…um…less competitive leagues in the world is irrelevant. How he chose to play in said countries is where the real story is.
On Finland, Ron offers his explanation.
“One reason I want to go to Finland is it’s the cleanest country in the world. It’s the cleanest country in the world. I want to experience that. I’m amazed by that. … That’s the future. I think I want to come back to America with that experience. I want to tell everyone my experience about how they’re treating the Earth. It’s very important to me.”
Then how he came to select England is even more Artestian.
“It all came from Twitter. I looked to see where I can play at. I had Glasgow Rocks [of the British Basketball League], they were Twittering me. Then I had the Jets. I just thought it was cool that this professional team is trying to get me. I thought it was fun and cool to experience. The opportunity for me seemed fun in getting the chance to play in the U.K. and entertain the fans.”
One thing we know for sure is that Ron certainly didn’t select his overseas options based on money. The English club is reported to be offering him between $1500 and $2500 a month. The last time Artest played ball for pennies he was at St. John’s. Of course the Cheshire Jets have offered to help Ron further expand his global profile. Be on the lookout for a 6’7”, 260-lb soap opera star in England. If you think that’s a stretch then just ask Ron how serious he is of being a daytime actor.
“I went on Jimmy Kimmel in my underwear, so, of course I would do a soap opera.”
Naturally the concern relates to just how focused Artest truly is given all his extra activities. As much as I’d love for Ron Ron to spend every waking second to help get another banner hung in Staples the reality is he’s out of work for the foreseeable future. With the way the NBA’s labor negotiations are going it looks more like Artest will be playing in Iceland or Swaziland before there’s an agreement struck.
All that being said Artest is just taking advantage of the opportunities that come his way. I’d like to believe his days of postponing his basketball career to promote a rap album that went plastic are over. Ron knows where his bread is buttered and I have no doubt he’ll be ready to go if and when the NBA season starts. Hopefully he’ll be someplace where there are enough flights available he can make it to Los Angeles in a timely manner.