by Tommy Gimler
Changing his name to Metta World Peace hasn’t changed a thing. Ron Artest is exactly who we thought he was: a thug, a loose cannon, and an asshole.
It has been eight years since Ron Artest became a household name after dashing into the crowd at The Palace in Auburn Hills and throwing haymakers on a fan after a beer was thrown in his direction. Never mind the fact that Artest was pummeling the wrong guy because even if he was hitting the correct fan that launched the cup of suds at him, it was inexcusable for Artest to be in the seats in the first place.
Fast forward to yesterday’s Lakers/Thunder game. Oklahoma City is one of the most exciting teams in the NBA, and with three games left, they have a chance to be the number one seed in the west. Not only do they have two young stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but they also have the best sixth man in the league in James Harden.
With less than two minutes to play in the first half and the Lakers down by three, Artest dunks the ball to cut the lead to one. Keep in mind that there is still another half of basketball to be played when Artest gives himself a “Marky Mark in Fear“ chest pound, celebrating like he just sent the Lakers into the NBA finals. And then this:
After the game, Artest said, “I got really emotional and excited and it was unfortunate that James had to get hit with an unintentional elbow.”
What a load of shit. Replays clearly show that Artest had made contact with Harden before he threw the elbow. And after you make contact with another player, any hard elbow to the head that follows is one that has a purpose. I understand that he was excited about actually scoring a meaningful basket for the first time in a few years, but that elbow to Harden was intentional.
Do you know what I do when I’m caught up in the emotion on the dance floor, shucking and jiving to the latest track from Pitbull, and I bump into somebody else? I move away from that person and continue shaking my ass. I sure as shit don’t throw an elbow to the back of their head because the song Fuego is just so damn hot I can’t control myself.
If for some reason, you still think Artest’s elbow to the back of Harden’s dome was unintentional, then how do you explain him squaring off against the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka mere seconds after his “unintentional” elbow? Ibaka had this to say after the game:
“I saw it happened and it was a very hard hit. That’s the first I’ve seen anything like that happen live. I was surprised. I went up to him to ask him why he did that and he wanted to fight me too. I don’t know what he was thinking. I have no idea.”
So, Artest throws an elbow that was unintentional, but now he wants to fight other players? That doesn’t make sense. Nothing with Ron Artest does, and that’s the problem. If this guy hasn’t learned by now that being a thug doesn’t have a place in the NBA, he never will. If he wants to be ghetto, then he should go join the And1 tour.
While other members of the media are calling for suspensions ranging from three to ten games, I think David Stern needs to ban Ron Artest for life. The NBA will survive without Ron Artest. The fact that there wasn’t a zero-tolerance policy placed on him after he missed 86 games following the “Malace in the Palace” is ridiculous. Artest himself said in 2008, “I’m still ghetto. That’s not going to change. I’m never going to change my culture.” And, what happened yesterday was ghetto…