The Lakers were the best team in the Association last season. So, why would they take a risk and sign the personality of Ron Artest? Because Ron has a greater calling than basketball people! He has daydreams of hitting the big screen, doing some acting, saving cats from a burning building. The Lakers, for that reason or another, have always had a fascination with Ron-Ron but it appeared the match would never happen. When the 24-year-old Trevor Ariza became a free agent, everyone assumed the Lakers would find a way to lock him up. I’m not sure if LA pursued Artest while they were still negotiating with Ariza, or if Ron-Ron was their second choice. We’ll never know, will we? Guess we’re not that important. Ron Artest joined The Carmichael Dave Show on KHTK in Sacramento to discuss how the Yao injury killed his chances of signing with Houston, if he got paid enough (reported 3-year, $18 M), and his possible acting career.
Why did you not sign with Houston?
“What happened was, my agent told me they offered me a one-year deal and I’m like, ‘Hey, let’s get moving, let’s go somewhere else,’ ’cause that one-year deal wasn’t gonna be good enough. The Rockets, to their credit, did offer me an extension earlier in the season. They did offer me an extension, it was probably for nine a year or something like that, but you know, after the season of being with the Rockets, I know I would have got more.”
What were the results of Yao’s injury?
“When he got hurt, it messed up my whole plan, so to speak, cause I was supposed to be re-signing and playing with Yao, and Tracy, and Shane, and everybody, and getting a much better deal. But, when Yao got hurt, it was nothing I could do – it just put me in a bad situation.”
Did you get paid enough?
“People ask me about the money, I’m like, ‘Listen, first of all, I’m still getting paid. When I was in the hood, I was maybe getting like 50 cents a day. I’m still getting millions, maybe not the 90 you guys want. It’s still money. And also, I get a chance to possibly do movies, and acting, and TV shows, and all those opportunities that come with it. All that’s gonna come from winning.”