Maybe Ron Artest(notes) is just misunderstood. Or maybe he's even crazier than we can even imagine. Without spending any time drinking Hennessy at halftime with him, there's really no way we can know. And since most of us aren't NBA players, we'll never get to spend that quality time with him. That's a tough pill to swallow.
However, there are about 20 guys who get to spend lots and lots of time with the NBA's poster child for weirdness. They should have a pretty good idea of just what he's like. And considering he's been around the NBA for four decades, Phil Jackson would know better than anyone. So just how bizarre is Ron Artest, Phil?
"He's a naïve, innocent lamb," Jackson said. "I think he's mistaken in a lot of ways, put in the same category as Dennis Rodman. There couldn't be a bigger disparity between people."
A lamb? Ron Artest is a lamb? Mr. Run-in-the-crowd-throwing-punches is a cute, cuddly baby sheep? Does not compute.
I'm not a professor of sheep husbandry, so I can't be 100% positive of validity of this comparison. That being said, I have never seen a sheep set up its own photoshoot, throw a shoe, or choose its uniform number based on the album "Thriller." Then again, I've never lived in New Zealand — this kind of stuff could be happening in the sheep farming community all the time for all I know.
Hey, if Kobe Bryant is a gazelle, I'm willing to buy Ron Artest as a lamb. But I'm going to need animal comparisons for the rest of the Lakers as well. Sasha Vujacic(notes) is obviously a meerkat, but after that your guess is as good as mine.