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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Who is Ronald William Artest, Jr.?

Who is Ronald William Artest, Jr.? The professional basketball world knows him as Ron Artest.  Artest is an American professional basketball player and rapper who is currently with the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA. Artest gained a reputation as one of the league's premier defenders as he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2004. He was a major participant in the Pacers–Pistons brawl and is known for his sometimes eccentric, outspoken behavior.

Biography

Artest was born November 13, 1979  and raised in the Queensbridge projects in Queens, New York. Artest has two younger brothers, Isaiah and Daniel.[1] He played high school basketball at La Salle Academy and college basketball at St. John's University from 1997–1999.[2][3] In 1999, he helped the Red Storm to the Elite Eight, losing to Ohio State in a classic game. He gained fame playing in some of New York City's high profile summer basketball tournaments at Nike Pro City, Hoops in the Sun at Orchard Beach, Bronx, New York and Dyckman Park at Washington Heights, earning himself nicknames such as Tru Warier[4] and The New World Order, a name he received from Randy Cruz (one of the co-founders of the Hoops In The Sun basketball league at Orchard Beach in the Bronx, New York).
As a teenager, he was teamed with Elton Brand of the Philadelphia 76ers and current teammate Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers on the same AAU team.[3]
Growing up in a rough neighborhood Artest claims he witnessed the murder of a fellow player on a basketball court. "It was so competitive, they broke a leg from a table and they threw it, it went right through his heart and he died right on the court. So I'm accustomed to playing basketball really rough."[5] The player Artest was speaking of was 19-year-old Lloyd Newton, who was stabbed in the back with a broken-off table leg during an altercation at a 1991 YMCA-sanctioned basketball tournament.[6]

Chicago Bulls

Artest was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 16th pick of the 1999 NBA Draft.[7][8]
Artest played a total of 175 games for the Bulls over 2-1/2 years, the bulk as a starter, during which time he averaged about 12.5 points and just over 4 rebounds per game. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in the 1999–2000 season.
Midway through the 2001–02 season, Artest was traded by Chicago to the Indiana Pacers along with Ron Mercer, Brad Miller, and Kevin Ollie, in exchange for Jalen Rose, Travis Best, Norman Richardson, and a 2nd round draft pick.[9]

 

 

Indiana Pacers

Following his trade to the Pacers, Artest had the best season of his professional career. During the 2003–04 season, he averaged 18.3 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, and 3.7 assists per game. Artest made the 2004 All-Star Game as a reserve and was named the Defensive Player of the Year. He wore three jersey numbers for the Pacers: 15, 23 and 91.


Pacers–Pistons brawl

On November 19, 2004, Artest was at the center of an altercation among players and fans during a game in Auburn Hills, Michigan between Artest's Pacers and the home team Detroit Pistons.
The brawl began when Artest fouled Pistons center Ben Wallace as Wallace was putting up a shot. Wallace, upset at being fouled hard when the game was effectively over (the Pacers led 97–82 with less than 50 seconds to go), responded by shoving Artest, leading to an altercation near the scorer's table. Artest walked to the sideline and lay down on the scorer's table. Reacting to Wallace throwing something at Artest, Pistons fan John Green threw a cup of Diet Coke[10] at Artest, hitting him. Artest jumped into the front-row seats and confronted a man he incorrectly believed to be responsible, which in turn erupted into a brawl between Pistons fans and several of the Pacers. Artest returned to the basketball court, and punched Pistons fan A.J. Shackleford, who was apparently taunting Artest verbally.[11] This fight resulted in the game being stopped with less than a minute remaining. Artest's teammates Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson were suspended indefinitely the day after the game, along with Wallace.
On November 21, the NBA suspended Artest for the rest of the regular season, plus any playoff games. All told, Artest missed 86 games (73 regular season games plus 13 playoff games), the longest suspension for an on-court incident in NBA history. Eight other players (four Pacers and four Pistons) received suspensions, without pay, which ranged from one to thirty games in length. Each of the Pacers players involved were levied fines and ordered to do community service. Several fans were also charged and were banned from attending Pistons games for life. Artest lost approximately $7 million in salary due to the suspension.

Aftermath and trade

Early in the 2005–06 season, Artest requested a trade from the Indiana Pacers and was put on the team's inactive roster. Artest's call for a trade created a rift between him and his teammates. "We felt betrayed, a little disrespected," teammate Jermaine O'Neal said. As for their basketball relationship, O'Neal said: "The business relationship is over. That's fact." Pacers president Larry Bird said he also felt "betrayed" and "disappointed."[12]
On January 24, 2006, reports from NBA sources confirmed that the Sacramento Kings had agreed to trade Peja Stojaković to the Pacers for Artest. However, before the trade could be completed, many press outlets reported that Artest had informed team management that he did not want to go to Sacramento. According to Artest's agent, his original trade request was only made because he was upset when he heard rumors that the Pacers were going to trade him to Sacramento for Stojaković early in the season. While not denying his agent's story, Artest did deny that he had rejected the trade to Sacramento, saying that he would play anywhere; hence, contradicting earlier press accounts stating Artest was holding up the trade. Given conflicting accounts, it is unclear why the trade was delayed, but it was nevertheless completed on January 25 and Artest was officially sent to the Kings for Stojaković.

Sacramento Kings

Though traded midseason to the Kings franchise, Artest quickly found his place on the team by providing some much needed defense.[13] Though many feared his abrasive personality would be a problem, he worked well with his teammates and then-coach Rick Adelman. Artest wore #93 for his jersey number with the Kings. After acquiring Artest in late January 2006, the team immediately went on a 14–5 run, the team's best run of the season. The Kings broke .500 and landed the eighth spot in the Western Conference. This prompted ESPN to declare that "Ron Artest has breathed new life in the Sacramento Kings and enhanced their chances of reaching the playoffs for the ninth straight year."[14] Fox Sports proclaimed, "Artest has Kings back in playoff hunt."[13]
He was suspended for Game 2 of the team's first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs following a flagrant foul (elbow to the head) on Manu Ginóbili. The Kings eventually were eliminated from the playoffs in six games.
After the playoffs, Artest offered to donate his entire salary to keep teammate Bonzi Wells with the team, who became a free agent after the 2005–06 NBA season. He even jokingly threatened to kill Wells if he did not re-sign with the Kings.[15] Wells was later picked up by the Houston Rockets and then traded to the New Orleans Hornets for former Sacramento Kings player Bobby Jackson. Artest also offered to donate his salary to retain the services of head coach Rick Adelman, whose contract expired after the same season. Adelman and the Kings did not agree on a contract extension so the two parted ways.

Houston Rockets

On July 29, 2008, it was reported that Artest was to be traded to the Houston Rockets along with Patrick Ewing, Jr. and Sean Singletary for Bobby Jackson, recently drafted forward Donté Greene, a 2009 first-round draft pick, and cash considerations.[16] The deal was made official on August 14, due to Greene's rookie contract signing on July 14.[17] In response to the trade, Yao Ming was generally positive, but jokingly said that "hopefully he's not fighting anymore and going after a guy in the stands." In response, Artest said, "This is Tracy (McGrady) and Yao's team, you know. I'm not going to take it personal. I understand what Yao said, but I'm still ghetto. That's not going to change. I'm never going to change my culture. Yao has played with a lot of black players, but I don't think he's ever played with a black player that really represents his culture as much as I represent my culture."[18]
Since then, Artest and Yao have exchanged extensive phone calls. Artest has also said, "Whatever Adelman needs me to do, whether that's come off the bench, sixth, seventh man, start, I don't even care. Whatever he needs me to do, I'm 100 percent sure it's going to work out."[19]
On October 30, 2008, Artest received his first technical as a Houston Rocket, as he raced towards a group of Dallas Mavericks players and then quickly went to Yao Ming who bumped Josh Howard after play stopped. Artest was trying to pull Ming away from the play and to the foul line, but contact was made with Maverick players. The TNT broadcast crew felt this technical was not warranted, and was based upon Artest's prior reputation as a feisty player in the league. In the playoffs, Artest helped the Rockets advance past the first round for the first time in 11 seasons.[20] In Game 2 of the second round against the Los Angeles Lakers, Artest, who was battling for rebounding position with Kobe Bryant, was elbowed in the neck by Bryant, which was later ruled to be a Type 1 flagrant foul. After being called for an offensive foul, Artest was indignant and proceeded to antagonize Bryant after the play, which eventually led to an ejection by Joe Crawford.[21] In Game 3, Artest was again ejected in the fourth quarter after a hard foul on Pau Gasol, who was attempting to dunk on a fast-break. It was determined the next day that the foul was not serious enough to warrant an ejection, and the flagrant foul was downgraded.[22]

Los Angeles Lakers


In July 2009, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Artest to a five-year deal worth about $33 million.[23][24][25] Artest chose the number 37 jersey, which he said was in honor of Michael Jackson. Jackson's Thriller album was at No. 1 on the charts for 37 straight weeks.[26]
In Game 5 of the 2010 Western Conference Finals, Artest hit a game-winning shot at the buzzer after grabbing a last second offensive rebound. He scored 25 points against the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 and went to the NBA Finals for the first time in his career. In the finals, the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics, four games to three. Artest scored 20 points in the clincher and sank the team's last field goal – a three-pointer late in the fourth quarter – to virtually seal the victory.[27] Afterwards, Lakers head coach Phil Jackson called Artest the most valuable player of Game 7 against the Celtics.[28][29] He won his first championship ring with the Lakers.
For the 2010–2011 season, Artest switched back to number 15, his college number at St. John’s and the first number he wore in his NBA career.[30]
On April 26, 2011, Artest won the NBA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.[31]

Career transactions

Endorsements and media presence



Artest currently endorses Chinese athletics brand Peak Sport Products along with former teammate Sasha Vujačić.
In April 2010, it was announced that Artest would help develop and produce his own reality show, They Call Me Crazy, in conjunction with E1 Entertainment and Tijuana Entertainment.[35]
On December 18, 2010, an art show honoring Ron Artest was held in Toronto, Canada. Entitled Lovable Badass, the show featured work by 30 Canadian and American artists, illustrators, painters and sculptors inspired by the athlete. Artest made a surprise appearance at the exhibition's opening night, commenting that “(the show) was definitely special. It was unexpected. Overwhelming.”[36]

Advocacy

In 2008, Artest appeared in a video promoting companion animal spaying and neutering for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals entitled "Have the balls to spay or neuter your dog."[37]
Artest has become involved in advocacy relating to mental health issues.[38] In December 2010, he announced that he would donate some or all of his salary for the 2011–2012 NBA season toward mental health awareness charities. Artest also auctioned off his 2009-10 championship ring and donated the proceeds to various mental health charities nationwide. [39]

Discography

Album Information
My World
  • Released: October 31, 2006
  • Label: Lightyear Records
  • Chart Positions: N/A
  • Last RIAA certification: N/A
  • Singles: N/A

Mixtapes

  • Ball'n (2011)

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

Year↓ Team↓ GP↓ GS↓ MPG↓ FG%↓ 3P%↓ FT%↓ RPG↓ APG↓ SPG↓ BPG↓ PPG↓
1999–00 Chicago 72 63 31.1 .407 .314 .674 4.3 2.8 1.6 .5 12.0
2000–01 Chicago 76 74 31.1 .401 .291 .750 3.9 3.0 2.0 .6 11.9
2001–02 Chicago 27 26 30.5 .433 .396 .628 4.9 2.9 2.8 .9 15.6
2001–02 Indiana 28 24 29.3 .411 .215 .733 5.0 1.8 2.4 .6 10.9
2002–03 Indiana 69 67 33.6 .428 .336 .736 5.2 2.9 2.3 .7 15.5
2003–04 Indiana 73 71 37.2 .421 .310 .733 5.3 3.7 2.1 .7 18.3
2004–05 Indiana 7 7 41.6 .496 .412 .922 6.4 3.1 1.7 .9 24.6
2005–06 Indiana 16 16 37.7 .460 .333 .612 4.9 2.2 2.6 .7 19.4
2005–06 Sacramento 40 40 40.1 .383 .302 .717 5.2 4.2 2.0 .8 16.9
2006–07 Sacramento 70 65 37.7 .440 .358 .740 6.5 3.4 2.1 .6 18.8
2007–08 Sacramento 57 54 38.1 .453 .380 .719 5.8 3.5 2.3 .7 20.5
2008–09 Houston 69 55 35.5 .401 .399 .748 5.2 3.3 1.5 .3 17.1
2009–10 L.A. Lakers 77 77 33.8 .414 .355 .688 4.3 3.0 1.4 .3 11.0
2010–11 L.A. Lakers 82 82 29.4 .397 .356 .676 3.3 2.1 1.5 .4 8.5
Career
763 721 34.1 .419 .345 .719 4.8 3.0 1.9 .6 14.8
All-Star
1 0 17.0 .600 .000 .500 3.0 3.0 1.0 .0 7.0

Playoffs

Year↓ Team↓ GP↓ GS↓ MPG↓ FG%↓ 3P%↓ FT%↓ RPG↓ APG↓ SPG↓ BPG↓ PPG↓
2001–02 Indiana 5 5 33.4 .407 .462 .692 6.0 3.2 2.6 .6 11.8
2002–03 Indiana 6 6 42.0 .389 .387 .800 5.8 2.2 2.5 1.0 19.0
2003–04 Indiana 15 15 38.9 .378 .288 .718 6.5 3.2 1.4 1.1 18.4
2005–06 Sacramento 5 5 39.6 .383 .333 .696 5.0 3.0 1.6 .8 17.4
2008–09 Houston 13 13 37.5 .394 .277 .714 4.3 4.2 1.1 .2 15.6
2009–10 L.A. Lakers 23 23 36.5 .398 .291 .579 4.0 2.1 1.5 .5 11.2
Career
67 67 37.7 .390 .306 .705 5.0 2.9 1.6 .7 14.9

Controversy

Artest has been a subject of frequent controversy. In a December 2009 Sporting News interview, Artest admitted that he had led a "wild" lifestyle as a young player, and that he drank Hennessy cognac in the locker room at halftime when he was playing for the Chicago Bulls at the beginning of his NBA career.[40] During his rookie season in Chicago, he was criticized for applying for a job at Circuit City in order to get an employee discount.[41][42] He once attended a practice with the Indiana Pacers in a bath robe.[43] He was suspended for two games in the early 2004–05 season by Pacers coach Rick Carlisle after he allegedly asked for a month off because he was tired from promoting an R&B album for the group Allure on his production label.[41] Artest had also been suspended for three games in 2003 for destroying a television camera at Madison Square Garden, and for four games for a confrontation with Miami Heat coach Pat Riley in 2003.[41] He has also been suspended several times for flagrant fouls.[41] Artest was also involved in the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl in 2004.

Legal troubles

According to a Placer County report obtained by the Sacramento Bee, on January 30, 2007, Animal Services officers issued a "pre-seizure" notice to Artest, on the suspicion that a dog at his home in Loomis was not getting adequate food. On February 5, officers returned and seized Socks, a female Great Dane, removing her into protective custody with a local veterinarian. The seizure cited a law that requires animal caretakers to "provide proper sustenance." Artest later sent an email to the Bee, writing "I'm glad to say all problems are solved now, and I'm looking forward to getting my dog back."[44] In March 2007, his dog was released under a foster care agreement after being treated for more than a month.[45] In April 2007, the Placer County District Attorney's Office announced that it would not file charges against Artest for the incident.[46] It also was reported by Placer County Animal Services and by Artest that he agreed to allow Socks to be adopted by a new owner.[46]
On March 5, 2007, Artest was arrested for domestic abuse, and excused from Sacramento Kings indefinitely by GM Geoff Petrie.[47] On March 10, Kings announced that Artest would return to the team, while his case was being reviewed by the Placer County District Attorney.[48] On May 3, he was sentenced to 20 days in jail and community service. Artest spent only 10 days in the jail, as the judge stayed 10 days of the sentence, and served the remainder in a work release program.[49] On July 14, 2007, the NBA suspended Artest for seven games at the beginning of the 2007–08 NBA season for his legal problems.[50]

 







 






 




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