Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was a seven-hit wonder, but Ron Artest’s tribute to the pop star turned out to be a one-year wonder.
Ron Artest will be switching to No. 15 next season, the number he wore at St. John’s in college and his first three seasons in the NBA, according to Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register. Artest actually put in the request late last season.
When he came to the Lakers, Artest said he chose No. 37 as a tribute to the late pop star Jackson, whose “Thriller” was atop the Billboard charts for 37 weeks and spawned seven top-10 singles.
Artest has worn six numbers in his NBA career (15, 23, 91, 93, 96 and 37).
This move is actually a little Kobe-like — Bryant switched from 8 to 24 as part of an image makeover, but he also wore 24 in high school. This is a move back to a number from Artest’s roots. How long that lasts is anybody’s guess.
If you believe there is a difference between being dunked on and being dunked around, this definitely falls in the latter category.
Still, it’s an impressive move by Toronto’s Anthony Bennett to make the move and dunk around Lakers’ big man Robert Upshaw during the Raptors’ 105-97 preseason win over the Lakers Thursday night.
Bennett only had four points, but Kyle Lowry had another impressive preseason outing with 25. He has looked sharp. Julius Randle had 17 for the Lakers on 7-of-10 shooting.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.