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Friday, May 6, 2016

Struck Strikes Out: Your test, my test, Artest

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

If anyone out there thinks Ron Artest, the National Basketball Association's most reviled player, won't shatter the psyche and future of his new team, the Sacramento Kings, I've got a blow-up doll to sell you that looks, smells, feels, purrs and kisses exactly like Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova combined.

If you've followed the recent news that has dominated the national media for a week or two, Artest was traded Wednesday by the Indiana Pacers to the Kings for player Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento coach Rick Adelman's sanity, and a boatload of psychiatrists to be named later.

To say that Artest and Terrell Owens are clones is like saying Hershey Bars are chocolate, ice cream is cold, and the Kings' owners - the Maloof brothers - are crazy for even considering bringing Artest to their team.

The centerpiece and instigator of the infamous NBA brawl in the crowd in Detroit last year, Artest pleaded for forgiveness and acceptance this season from the Pacers organization and players, and publicly promised he had seen the light and would be a good boy the rest of his life.

However, out of the blue last month he shockingly asked the Pacers to trade him. As he alienated teammate after teammate with his spiteful attitude, he was finally suspended with pay for conduct detrimental to the team, and the Pacers brass began searching for a team to trade him to.

The most troubling aspect of Artest's phony gig lies in the fact that this troubled talent just doesn't get it. All those who rally to his cause and persistently defend him also do not get it - that Ron Artest is simply an arrogant, spoiled, dishonest, pampered, over-paid professional athlete with a raging sense of entitlement, who sticks his tongue out at you behind your back and keeps his fingers crossed every time he answers a question.

His despicable behavior in going into the crowd in Detroit stemmed not from some fool throwing a beer at him, but from his cheap-shot on the Piston's muscular and menacing Ben Wallace, who then publicly punked him in their brief Skirmish that started it all.

Artest's need to then rectify the fact that millions of television viewers and that large Detroit crowd saw him cower, run and hide (to the scorer's table) in fear of the powerful Wallace still wanting a piece of him, caused him to go into the stands. That is, after Wallace was safely subdued by teammates and coaches.

Artest then charged into the stands and picked out the smallest white guy he could find to punch out in a lame effort to re-establish his self-perceived reputation as an NBA tough guy.

All things being equal, Ron Artest is a sniveling coward who simply acts like a tough guy when he knows protection (referees, teammates) is around, or the opponent indeed weaker.

Like Owens, he's all about "Me" and nothing else really matters, as the unfortunate Kings will soon find out as their season and bright future spiral out of control, thanks to the toxicity and mental shortcomings Ron Artest brings to the locker room and everyday life.

From now on, let's call them the Sacrificial Kings.

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