Artest’s Welcome Worn Out In Indy

By Stephen C. Smith Sr.
Updated: December 13, 2005

TEXAS—When comedic genius Richard Pryor said, “everyone carries around his own monsters,” he must have been thinking of Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest.

Don’t get it twisted though – in our own way, we’re all tortured souls motivated by God knows what. But we normal workaday folks have the added benefit of not having to live our lives in a fishbowl.

Not like that’s any excuse though.

Artest should probably wear a sign that says, “please don’t interview me” when he’s out in public because microphones, tape recorders and television cameras have become his worst enemies.

After the Indiana Pacers organization spent the better part of last season standing up for him after the melee in the Motor City, Artest doesn’t want time off this time.

He wants out.

“I still think my past haunts me here,” Artest told the Indianapolis Star. “I think somewhere else I’m starting fresh. I’m coming in with baggage, but people already know about it and how I’m going to be.”

Last year, he said didn’t know the meaning of the word, “integrity” and this certainly makes that clear.

It makes you wonder sometimes if Dennis Rodman isn’t somewhere in the shadows whispering suggestions to him because, much like the Worm, Artest is now much more renowned for his questionable behavior off the court than his unquestioned talent on it.

Hey, maybe both he and Terrell Owens are the valedictorian and salutatorian – you decide which is which – of the most recent class at the Rodman School for Socially Maladjusted Professional Athletes.

But, I digress.

Even if the Pacers grant him his request and then ship him off to a hoops wasteland like Atlanta, Portland or Oklahoma City/New Orleans, his exile there won’t last long.

His age (26), plus his 20 points and five rebounds a night ensures somebody will view him as the missing piece to their championship puzzle for the foreseeable future – just as Rodman was when he left Detroit after the 1993 season.

Eventually though, the Worm wore out his welcome in the NBA.

Unfortunately, so will Ron Artest.