Ron Artest(notes) loves Celine Dion. This is no internet rumor, nor some TV chat show pairing made to create tension. Ron Tweeted during a Dion concert he attended this weekend, and it may have been the most disappointing part of the NBA's lockout-induced non-offseason. Or, it may have been the coolest part of the NBA summer. Your call.
Ron Artest, TV's "Metta World Peace," came into the league during the 1999-00 season. A year later, I began covering NBA games as a 20-year old at the United Center in Chicago. We're about the same age, and I've always felt a kinship with the man who treated me well when he was with that terrible Bulls team, when we were both really boys pretending to be men at the professional level. We've both gone on to bigger and better things since then; but while there is an ABBA CD perched just inches from where I write this post, I refuse to call a visit to a Celine Dion show a "better thing" for Ron.
That said, he sure does have a way of making a trip to a Celine Dion concert seem charming. Let's look at his Tweets, from Saturday night.
(Via Kobe Beef, who pointed this out to us just hours after the concert.)
Typically, the response to someone coming clean about a fandom ("my nipples froze?") like this goes along the lines of a phrase like "I can't hate," followed with an admission of something that they've done along the same lines that would seem to be embarrassing to most observers. Like, for instance, the fact that I've paid to see Michael McDonald play live three different times in my life.
Celine Dion, a person who Phil Spector once congratulated for her "unending commitment to mediocrity," would seem to be a fireable offense in this regard. And yet Artest, full of charm and new names, somehow made it work. We won't be listening to Celine any time soon, but we can't hate.
[Some Celine Dion lyric that fits the situation], Ron. [Some Celine Dion lyric that fits the situation], indeed.