We’re at the point now where any story you told us about Ron Artest, no matter how WTF? it is, we’d probably just laugh and be like, “OK.”
The latest? Bill Simmons‘ column today drops this story, and might be right at the top of the most bizarre Ron-Ron antics we’ve heard about or seen for ourselves:
These anecdotes just bounce off people now. Artest is a benevolent crazy. Or so we think. Being around this nuttiness every day is a little different from merely hearing about the nuttiness in secondhand anecdotes. I know for a fact he routinely broke plays on offense and is still a handful behind the scenes, and the Rockets buried every 2008-09 story that would have made this patently clear. For instance, Artest routinely walked around in his underwear in public places: the Rockets’ team bus, hotels, you name it. People around the team barely flinched after a while. Before Game 7 of the Lakers series — only the biggest game of the entire season — they finally flinched.
Here’s what happened: Artest missed the first two team buses (the ones for players, coaches and team personnel) from Houston’s hotel to the Staples Center and barely made the third and final bus, which was reserved for business staff, sponsors and friends of the team. These stunned people watched Artest sprint to the bus right before it left, jump on and take one of the remaining seats … yes, wearing only his underwear. Owner Leslie Alexander happened to be sitting on the bus and witnessed the whole thing. And you wonder why the Houston Rockets didn’t make any effort whatsoever to bring back Artest.
We are laughing our asses off at the thought of Les Alexander’s face when Ron got on the bus in his tighties. Definitely a nice, priceless mix of shock, anger, embarrassment, bewilderment, etc.
Photo. Steve Hill