Listen, I’ve been joking about dudes being crazy and all but this time I’m serious, Ron is nuts. I mean, we need to get this guy help not now, but right now. Actually, it should have happened years ago. Ron-Ron first came to prominence at St. John’s where he made his rep by playing college ball representing NYC. At that time, Ron was known as “intense” and “passionate” but this was just insanity that had not blossomed yet. But now..Oh, it’s on now. Dude is gone, he’s unreachable. Artest is DennisRodman2K.
It all came to a head that day in 2004. There were signs before that but this was truly his arrival. In the last minute of a certain win, Ron should not have even been in the game when for no good reason, Ben Wallace snapped and went after him. Showing more maturity than ever before, Ron did not fight Ben eventhough Artest has always liked to lay the smack down. Ron simply went to the sideline while the teams started pushing and shoving and in general “acting hard”. However, Ron-Ron is y’know “different” so he chose to lay down on the scorer’s table while this scrum was going on all around him. Next, a fan threw a cup of beer which defying gravity managed to fly (upright!) and land directly on Artest’s neck/chest as he lay down. (It happens at the 1:40 mark of this clip) Well, I don’t really think Ron did anything crazy here. I am sure half the guys out there would wanna beat the hell out of a guy who throws a beer at them. It just shows that Artest is not your typical millionaire athlete because they would think of the consequences and their endorsements before going into the crowd and beating up some dude. However, at this point, I still did not think Ron was clinically insane. It was only AFTER this that he really went muy loco. It was first evident in all the interviews he did after the brawl. In his first interview after, he was asked “Ron, you’ve been suspended for the entire season. You’ve lost millions of dollars and a chance at a championship. Is it safe to say that you will never go into the stands again?” Haha, this is a no-brainer and somehow he answered “Well, hopefully if you watched the brawl and everything, fans know better than to throw a beer at me now. I won’t go into the stands again because nobody is gonna throw stuff at me again.” So, the interviewer says “ARE YOU ACTUALLY TELLING ME THAT YOU WOULD GO INTO THE STANDS AGAIN IF A FAN THREW A BEER AT YOU AGAIN??” Ron replies “Well, nobody is gonna throw a beer at me. I think everybody learned not to do that.” Classic.
On his hiatus, Ron dedicated himself to his record label and becoming it’s flagship rapper. His passion consumed him and he came back the next season a little too hip-hop for his team’s liking. He even came back with the name of his label “Tru Warrior” etched into his head and he talked about how he came to realize that he was a better rapper than baller. The kicker was, after missing the entire previous season due to his suspension, Ron actually asked Larry Bird (his team president and not a hip-hop fan) if he could take a few months off during the season to pursue his rap career. Well, it was over when he started handing out copies of his CD to reporters and security guards at practice and before you could say “Don’t Quit Yer Day Job” the Pacers had suspended and traded Artest. The team decided that he was just a little too insane. The thing about Ron Artest is that he isn’t a bad guy. And, he really isn’t a good guy either. He’s just a real person. In today’s world, most athletes are so programmed and pathetically bland. They have publicists and assistants and never give you an honest answer. They are metrosexuals with lavish mansions and vanilla personalities. We never find out exactly who they are. Whatever you say about him, one can never say that Ron Artest was not himself. Maybe the point is that if everyone spoke honestly and followed their gut instincts, then we would all be considered crazy?