Wed Sep 02 11:45am EDT
I know I bitch and moan a lot about the sometimes-uneventful NBA off-season, but the truth is, there are a lot of things I love about it.
When the new Lakers' guard isn't busy crafting Michael Jackson tributes, chilling with his Hong Kong pop artist Shin Shin, taking your calls, or singing Celine Dion ballads into a Magic Mic, he talks. A lot. And, more often than not, it's to his good buddy Dave Carmichael — or is it Carmichael Dave? — on Sports 1140 KHTK in Sacramento.
Artest's latest rant (as transcribed by Tas Melas at Sports Radio Interviews): Talking about tracking down John Green — the Pistons' fan who threw beer on him years ago that started the infamous "Malice at the Palace" brawl — and becoming friends with him. Seriously.
(Note: If you don't like to read, you can listen to the audio here.)
"A long time ago, a year ago or something like that, I was looking for John Green, the guy who threw beer at me in Detroit. And, I was talking to Dave, and I'm like, 'Yo, we need to find this guy and interview him,' and my team, my personal business management team, they got real nervous, like, 'Don't do it. It's only gonna 'cause controversy ...'
So, after a couple years, I'm like, 'People would love to see me talk with John Green after all these years ...' It won't be crazy, it'll be historical, and it'll be something for people to understand when you fight with one another, you can always become friends, you don't have to hold a grudge for the remainder of your life ...
So, I found him, through my Twitter friends, I had a [tweet] saying, 'I need to find John Green's number. Anybody who can help me find John Green's number, I can take you to lunch.' So, one guy helped me find it ...
So, I called John Green's house and I say, 'Excuse me, ma'am, can I speak to John's please?'
She says, 'Who's this?'
I said, 'Ron.'
I said, 'Ron Artest.'
She says, 'No! You can't be serious ...'
Then, I spoke with John, and me and John spoke like we knew each other.
I said, 'Hey, John, what's up?'
He said, 'Hey, Ron, how you doing?'
It was like immediately we kinda vibed ... So people are gonna have a chance to see, we're actually gonna come on Dave's show and do a live interview for the world to hear, the first time Ron and John speak. It was a great conversation, all we were talking about was ways to reach out to inner-city kids and even suburban kids ..."
I remember reading a rumor (possibly on Artest's old Twitter account) about Ron and John settling their differences inside the WWE's squared ring. As hilarious as that would be to watch — "Oh no! That's Stone Cold Ben Wallace's(notes) music!" — I think a sit-down, face-to-face interview sends a much better "message" to the kids.