July 08, 2009
If Ken Griffey Jr.'s Michael Jackson tribute came off as cute, then Ron Artest's(notes) tribute to the fallen pop purveyor is coming off as a little strange. And kind of dorky. Very strange and dorky.
Because Ron Ron apparently owns a copy of the Guinness Book of World Records, he knows that Jackson's Thriller album stayed on top of the pop charts for exactly 37 weeks in the early 1980s. And because he just signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, he gets to choose a new number. And because Kareem, Wilt, Magic and Jerry West never wore the number 37, Artest chose the number 37.
As a tribute to Michael Jackson. By pointing out the number of weeks Thriller stayed at the top of the charts. Oh-kay.
Death is a pretty serious topic, and we don't mean to demean the loss of Jackson, or intimate that his death won't seem as shocking or relevant enough toward the end of Artest's five-year contract to necessitate he keep wearing number 37, but ... yeah, we're intimating that Jackson's death won't seem as shocking or relevant enough toward the end of Artest's five-year contract to necessitate he keep wearing number 37.
This is nothing new for Ron. He previously wore number six, for the amount of members in John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, 88 for the number of keys on Joe Sample's piano, and zero for the amount of Eagles albums I can listen to without wanting to throw things.
Actually, none of those facts are true. But Artest has worn 15, 23, 91, 93, and 96 over his career. 15, because that was his original number. 23, because that was Michael Jordan's number, and 91 as a tribute to Dennis Rodman.
He wore 93 and 96 because he's bat-dung crazy.
It should be noted that Ron has also released a musical tribute to Jackson that is completely and utterly unsafe for work.