Ron Artest Interview!

December 22, 2009

The first time I met Ron Artest, it was after the “Malice at the Palace.” 

He was hosting a 3 on 3 basketball tournament in Detroit, Michigan back in August of 2006. At the time, I was just 17 years old and playing basketball heavily and I approached him for some defensive advice due to the fact that he won the Defensive Player of the Year Award back in the 2003-2004 season.

Rather than shunning me, he took me under his wing and gave me some great tips and drills to help improve at this skill and even let me showcase the drills in front of all the attendees. It was one of the happiest days of my life at the time and I always looked him different after that day. This is why when I approached Ron Artest on Sunday, December 21st at the Palace of Auburn Hills when the Pistons hosted the Lakers, I was confident that I would get an interview with him.

Artest was relatively loose as he chilled in the visitor’s locker room. He was draped in black and purple Lakers practice gear and lacing up his black, white and purple Peak sneakers, clowning with teammates, when I approached him for an interview.

SLAM: I heard that you were quoted a while ago as saying that you and Ben Wallace should go through a sparring session, can you elaborate on that for me (Laughs)

Ron Artest: It was just something funny, just something fun. I just think it would be fun, you know? nothing personal and I think it would raise a lot of money too for charity.

SLAM: So you’re serious about that, you would really wanna do that?

RA: If it’s fun enough! If it’s like enjoyable enough for the fans and ourselves to raise some money than why not?

SLAM: Are you a big boxing fan?

RA: Yeah, definitely.

SLAM: Who’s your favorite boxer?

RA: Manny (Pacquiao) and Floyd (Mayweather) right now. That’s everybody’s right now so that’s obvious.

SLAM: I know everybody’s been asking you about coming back to the Palace and playing against Ben in the Palace for one of the first times…how do you feel about that? Is it gonna be a lot of emotions?

RA: Oh, I didn’t play against Ben in the Palace yet? (looks in deep thought)

SLAM: I mean after playing with different teams and then coming back…

RA: Yeah I did. Hold on, I played in Indiana, came back (pauses)…got traded…then got traded to Sacramento. I missed one game…Ben (pauses)…I don’t know? Is this my first time?

SLAM: I’m not exactly sure…It should be one of them though…

RA: I don’t know, it don’t matter.

SLAM: You don’t really think about that coming back…

RA: Yeah (laughs)

SLAM: Do the fans usually heckle you when you come back?

RA: They used to heckled me a lot before when I came back. Detroit is Detroit, you know?

SLAM: I know you had to do a lot of community service after that (incident), do you feel like you connected with the fans more by doing those types of things? Do you feel like that made you look better to Detroit?

RA: I don’t care about looking better to anybody. I don’t care about what people think about me at all!

SLAM: The final question I have for you is how would you attack if y’all did have that sparring session?

RA: I don’t know, I would have to call Freddie Roach. I would have to go to Freddie Roach and then ask Freddie what should I do (laughs).

After this interview, I told Artest about our encounter back in the day and he remembered me after I told him the details. He couldnt believe how much I had grown as he asked me how old was I now, what was I doing, and other personal questions.  

On this night, he also torched the Pistons with 14 points, 6 steals, 9 nine assists, and 5 rebounds.


4 Responses to “Ron Artest Interview!”

  1. akeem Mitchell said

    Great interview. I have been following this your reporter for quite some time now, he just seems to keep growing with time. Keep working hard!

  2. Carlos Collins said

    Great story, this Eric Woodyard guy is going places ! !

  3. That’s awesome that he remembered you.

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