Ron Artest has been a controversial player in the NBA ever since his brawl at a Pacers-Pistons game in 2004. First drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1999, Artest has become The Phantom of the NBA’s Opera, causing more mischief than one would expect to see in the Broadway musical of nearly the same name.The similarities between Artest and The Phantom’s eponymous musical continue, as Artest released his debut album in 2006, called “My World”. I list this as a similarity only because I’m sure his rap would interest me just about as much as The Phantom’s unending repetitive theme. Artest’s album, however, has produced some well-known songs such as “Haterz”, “Nasty North”, “Workin The People”, and “Hood Luv”. Oh yeah, and most notably, “La La Ladies” (How could I forget the ladies?).
The Phantom’s Malice at the Palace cost him a 73 game suspension, and after only sixteen games in the 2005-2006 season, Artest requested to be traded. He was put on the injured list, and after a month, was traded to the Sacramento Kings for Peja Stojakovic. There was (as expected with The Phantom) some controversy as rumors that his request to be traded were merely out of anger, and not meant to be taken seriously. While The Phantom would not deny the rumors, it was reported that he said he would play anywhere, and, that track 10 on his album “My World” did, in fact, describe how most listeners would rate his album. Artest continued playing with the Sacramento Kings through 2008, and is now with the Houston Rockets where he has continued to be a top defensive player.
As much as I like Artest, I wouldn’t mind seeing him traded for Rent’s Adam Pascal, thus, allowing our Phantom on Broadway, where he belongs.