Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Keep calm and carry on: Ron Artest might be going to England

As it turns out, we might be wrong. Ron Artest(notes) might be playing basketball in England.

Mirrored with Friday's news that FIBA isn't going to contest any clashing contract agreements between the NBA and its wandering players, it appears that Ron Artest may be nearing a deal with the Cheshire Jets of the British Basketball League. Why the Cheshire Jets aren't named "the Cheshire Cats," I don't know. Why Artest is going to play in England, instead of some other, stronger international league, I don't know. Why I'm typing as if I'm writing for Eric Idle? Well, you know that answer.

Here's the incredibly British-sounding pull quote from the Chester Chronicle (via SBN):

The LA Lakers forward — one of the best players in world basketball — has been in negotiations for weeks with directors of the Chester-based club over appearing for them during the ongoing NBA 'lockout'.

America's top stars are banned from playing professionally in the States while the NBA and the players' union try to settle a pay dispute.

In a moment of opportunism earlier this month, Jets made an enquiry about luring Artest to the UK — and, incredibly, he is willing to come over and play for them.

Now the two parties have agreed to meet face-to-face to thrash out the finer details of what would surely be the biggest transfer coup in British basketball history.

Jets director Pete Hawkins said: "I spoke to Ron's representatives on Tuesday night. We have agreed the fundamentals of the deal and Ron is coming over (to England) in a few weeks.

(Take me with you, Ron. It's hot here, there's no basketball, and as the NBA scene's resident Anglophile, I can help you with all the words you haven't heard before. Also, 100 kmph is 62 miles an hour. Cheers.)

While Ron is far from "one of the best players in world basketball," his formidable strength should work wonders in a lesser league. England has its share of rabid basketball and NBA fans, but this squad is a bit of a step down in comparison to the sorts of outfits that other NBA veterans are jumping to.

That's our Ron, though. He may have just liked the team's name.

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