We bring this picture to you of Ron Artest — soon to be Metta World Peace, but we’re not there yet — preparing for his stint on Dancing With The Stars. It’s via The Lakers Nation twitter account.
We bring it to you without comment because: 1) I of the white man’s overbite dancing style should mock nobody’s else’s dancing; 2) I have never watched DWTS so maybe preparing wearing white socks is the norm. Maybe performing in white sox is the norm, although I tend to doubt that.
At least Artest is doing this for a good cause. The show starts Sept. 19.
With the lockout having deprived the NBA world of summer league and a proper free agency period, fringe stories have all but taken over the scene. The overseas inklings of any relevant NBA player have become news, and while that’s certainly pertinent information if the lockout ends up costing the league games, it’s not exactly the same as the NBA-shifting domestic player movement that could go on in a typical off-season.
Instead, the news cycle has been filled with Ron Artest to the brim. He’s provided headline fodder in almost every capacity, with his latest being an out-and-out guarantee that L.A. will win the 2012 championship. Via Mark Medina of the L.A. Times:
[The Lakers’ 2010 title celebration] may all feel like a distant memory considering how the Lakers ended the 2011 postseason with a four-game sweep to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals. But Artest guaranteed to ESPN Los Angeles’ Stephen A. Smith in a 40-minute interview Wednesday that the Lakers will again pop the champagne bottles after winning the 2012 NBA title. Assuming there’s a season of course.
“Win it all,” Artest said when asked what will the Lakers do in the 2011-2012 season. “Win the whole thing. That’s a guarantee.”
The guaranteed victory is kind of a big deal in sports, but largely because such comments are deemed to be “bulletin board material,” for opposing clubs or representative of some kind of hubris. This particular instance is neither, really; Artest’s guarantee is far too early to be relevant to any NBA opponent, and more indicative of Ron being Ron than any real overconfidence. If you put a microphone in front of Ron Artest, he will say things. Some will be silly, most will be earnest, and a few will be surprisingly wise. This is undoubtedly the former, but not really telling of anything save that Artest likes his team and their chances. Which, y’know, he should, considering that the Lakers are still a stacked club with a legitimate shot at the 2012 crown — should the lockout allow such a thing to even exist.
Does this surprise to you at all?
Ron Artest was talking about his name change to Metta World Peace with with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN radio (as reported by Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles) and he asked what we’ve all been wondering: What exactly motivated this move?
Turns out, we can blame Chad Ochocinco. Just like we can for all the world’s ills.
When Ocho did it, I was like, ‘That’s kind of dope. I want to change my name,'” Artest said. “But then I was like, ‘I’m not going to do it because that just don’t make sense.'”
Apparently somewhere along the line, that started to make sense. So his first name will be Metta — he says it means friendship and kindness — and his last name will be World Peace.
Well, it will be once a judge signs off on it. That was supposed to happen last week but it got held up because Artest treats his parking tickets like I did when I was in college.
“It comes down to the parking tickets. I don’t know how to pay a parking ticket. I’ve never paid a parking ticket in my life,” Artest told Stephen A. Smith on 710 ESPNLA Wednesday night.
“There’s so much fine print,” Artest continued. “I just get them and throw them in my glove compartment.”
That last sentence is just very Artest. Actually, this whole thing is very Artest.
Just like doing Dancing with the Stars. Or tearing up at Celine Dion.