This is where is all began for Ron Artest. The brawl at Detroit's Palace of Auburn Hills (which also known for it's first ever WNBA brawl Sparks vs Shock) placed a label on Ron that he has been unable to shake some 5yrs later. Since this unfortunate incident has happened, Ron has played on two other teams, Sacramento and Houston. Now he is playing for the world champion Los Angeles Lakers, and most are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for this team to implode, simply because it has added Artest. I want everyone to take a closer look into what people and who people think Ron Artest is...then ask yourself if what you have seen, really who you think he is?
I posted the video above so that people can go back and look at what really took place on that unfortunate evening 5yrs ago. After watching it, where was the backlash for Ben Wallace, who intiated everything. Emotions truly began to run high after he took exception of that foul by Artest, which looking back was really not that hard of a foul, considering some of the things we have seen in the NBA. My goodness who remembers the clothesline McHale gave Rambis, or more recently when Raja Bell clothesline Kobe, and their was none of this type of behavior that followed. But more importantly what did Ron Artest do: he backed away, allowed the refs to do their job, and laid down on the scorers table, Ben Wallace threw a towel at him, he did nothing, fans were shouting obscenities, he did nothing, then out of no where he gets hit with a bottle and beer is thrown all over him. Understand, none of us know how we will react in these situations, we hope that we would make the right decision, but who knows. So Ron held it all in, through Ben Wallace antics, and snaps and let's loose when he gets hit in the head with a bottle, by a fan. We all know the rest of the story. But does that incident make Ron Artest a thug? A hoodlum? An enigma?
Then their is this Ron Artest. Singing Karoke with his friends...having a ball on twitter. Interacting with the fans as only he can. He is so open about everything from his upbringing to his marriage, and subsequent divorce. He is all over the world doing rap concerts, and now he is as they he said, "hoodalizing espn" is their a greater personality in the league...maybe Shaquille O'neal, but overall the guy has been giving a bum rap.
Their are countless videos on youtube from this year since he has joined twitter, where he has given out his phone number and asked the fans to call him, and he talks to them. He gave the fans a email, that he answers questions from. I know I know u saying, it's all just for show. I beg to differ, because one thing is for sure, he really could care less about what people think about him, if you are not in his inner circle.
Ron is simply PASSIONATE about what he does. He has been playing this game (basketball) most of his life, and you can see it in his HEAD most of the time...lol. He simply wears his heart on his sleeve. He has no problem adapting to his surroundings, it's when people continue to remind him of where he came or who he use to be, is when the problem arise. Ron has shown since then that he is able to handle his composure in crucial times...like last season playoffs versus the Lakers, when he was elbowed by Kobe Bryant, the did not swing out on Kobe, he did however make sure that Kobe knew he wasn't going to take that. To me that's great playoff basketball. Yet, that outburst piled the label of "thug" on him even more.
I will end this by saying The Enigma that is Ron Artest, every sports team needs to have. Every championship basketball team that I have seen, has at least one "passionate" player on their team. It's that person who is willing to kick up dust, make the hard foul, get a technical, trash talk, maybe even provoke the star player on the other team in order to get them out of their game. This player does whatever it takes to win. The Celtics have Kevin Garnett, The Heat has Dwayne Wade, the Bulls had Dennis Rodman, even the Nuggets have J.R. Smith, and now the Lakers have two: Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest. So where Kobe may have been the most hated Laker by opponents, enter courtside left Ron Artest to take all that pressure off of Kobe Bryant. Every opponent, no matter what they say, were praying that this duo would never happen. Now it's here, and NBA be warned...we have found "Peat" he is wearing #37 purple and gold. Welcome to the Lakers Ron Artest.