Who Does Ron Artest Think He Is Without Basketball?
You have to hand it to Ron Artest. This guy really just gets under the skins of many NBA fans. Mr. Artest, exactly who do you think you were prior to your basketball career and when you throw it all away, exactly who do you think you'll be after basketball? It's time to grow up and make your fans, what few of them you have left, proud again. Don't you think?
He's graced the covers of some of the biggest magazines on the newsstands today. Don't you know that the executives of Penthouse, Sports Illustrated and GQ all sold large amounts of magazines just because Artest doesn't know how to behave? When you think about it, it really is disturbing, especially when you visit his website. He boasts about providing the funds for 6 college scholarships and naturally, he is very active with children through his charities, summer camps and general love for children. And why wouldn't he love children? He certainly can relate to them, right down to the temper tantrums.
In the day where celebrities act like drunkards strung out on drugs in night clubs while divorcing their parents, the general public should demand more from athletes and frankly so should the commissioners who slap them on the wrists with a fat fine and send them to the bench. As commissioner David Stern sternly impressed upon the media in 2004 after the infamous Artest incident, "The line is drawn," Stern said as he referred to the suspension of players for the Indiana Pacers after Artest fought his way into a suspension which carried some of the heaviest of fines. Yes, David, the line was drawn and the chaos has continued but don't feel too bad, it's the norm among professional sports.
In fact, professionals are making such a name for themselves acting out with little self-control that even the college players are getting in on the act. This year in College Football, baby Vick really made his big brother proud when he stomped the leg of another player. He didn't learn this behavior from big brother but he may be under the false assumption that bad behavior is a special prerequisite for making 'a go of being a pro'. And we won't talk about the asinine behavior of T.O. By the way, is he still around?
To add insult to injury, its people like Artest that REALLY needed the break that the NBA gave not only him but his entire family. Artest, now too big for himself has all but forgotten his most humble beginnings. He grew up with two brothers and six sisters, and from his own accounts in his auto-biography on his website, he tells of living in the projects of New York City. Less than seven years ago, he was drafted by the Bulls and a few short years later signed a multi-million dollar deal for a basketball lifestyle brand and gained the kind of money most only dream about. And yes, Artest, considering you started out in the projects, this NBA stuff has been fairly lucrative for you, wouldn't you agree?
Still, in 2004, Artest commanded $6,158,000.00 in salary, but because he apparently has lost the need for money, he lost over 4.9 million because of suspensions. And true, he probably doesn't need the money now but some other well deserving athlete did. Someone who would have been glad to sign autographs, shake hands, smile and do what they are paid to do which is play ball and please crowds.
What's more, when professional players, like Artest, get by with a bad attitude once, they continue to revel in it. For instance, way before Ron Artest became a notorious bad guy, he had another scuffle. Two years prior to his fight on the courts with NBA fans, he grabbed a camera from a television station's crew and destroyed it after a defeat to the Knicks.
Recently, his tantrum hurt only his own plans when he decided he wanted to go to Sacramento and then he didn't want to go, and then he did and then he didn't. In fact, Artest did go because he was made to go, just like a child is made to do something. Here's an innovative idea for the powers that be in professional sports, if you are going to hire oversized kids to play in an adult game, why not send them to a behavioral psychologist before turning them loose on the general public?
On his website Artest says of his time with one of his teams, "At times I felt like I had to lead more...like Michael Jordan." Well darling, I can tell you, you are no Michael Jordan. No, Michael Jordan knew how to act like a gentleman and he knew how fortunate he was. Michael Jordan appreciated what the NBA delivered to him and his family and he never disrespected his game. I really wish Ron Artest, given your talent, were a little more like Mike. And I'm sure your fans do too.
Sadly, I was a huge Ron Artest fan and I cheered him on from my home computer and television. However, with his attitude and the mounting chips on his shoulder, I fear he is at the beginning of the end of his career. However, the housing projects of Sacramento will welcome him back to his similar humble beginnings should he decide to stay there when basketball is no longer an option.
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