July 26, 2010
Back when the Rockets and Lakers exchanged Ron Artest(notes) and Trevor Ariza(notes), a lot of people wondered how Artest would fit in with Los Angeles. Not only were there worries for how his particular talents — defense, bumping people, dribbling a lot before shooting — would work on court, but also how he would hold up under the brighter lights that come from playing in a major media market.
Turns out there was nothing to worry about. Ron-Ron was a big part of the Lakers' second straight championship, and off the court has been an even better fit. Whether it be delightfully crazy postgame interviews, releasing not-bad rap songs or just generally being a benevolent weirdo, Artest has charmed all those fans he used to antagonize. In fact, he's charmed them to the point that they're even inviting him to play dodgeball with them. Thankfully, he said yes.
Yep, that's Ron Artest playing in a competitive dodgeball game and getting knocked out by a skinny fellow wearing long black tights. Could you have ever imagined reading that sentence five years ago? Doubtful. But with Ron Artest, anything you can come up with is on the table as something that he'd do. I mean, when a guy has thanked his psychiatrist in a postgame interview, is it really that surprising that he'd join a bunch of hipsters in a co-ed dodgeball game?
[Video flashback: Artest's hilarious interview after NBA Finals win]
But that really happened last week, as Artest joined a team called, and I'm not joking, "Zankou Chicken Presents: Great American Dodgeball Team" in a Melrose, Calif., dodgeball league. They play in the Melrose "A" Mazing League, so you know they're one of the best.
Unfortunately for Zankou Chicken, Ron Artest isn't quite as good at dodgeball as he is at basketball. Not only is he a pretty big target, he also has a surprisingly weak arm. Can't win 'em all, I guess. Of course, he does have the advantage that no one in their right mind would want to be the one who accidentally hits Artest in the face, letting lose an uncontrollable rage. It's almost like a force field of crazy.
(h/t You Been Blinded)
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