Some men are born to be leaders, others are bred to lead, and a handful pull themselves up by their own bootstraps through hard work and dedication. And then there’s Ron Artest. Ron is an enigma, surrounded by a paradox, wrapped up in a non sequitur, and covered with bleached blonde hair with something shaved into it. Ron recently achieved something few basketball players ever will: winning the NBA championship, and the ring that comes with it, which he will no doubt melt down to create a spare set of keys for his garage.
But anyone who knows Ron knows that he had a long road to travel before making it big. He had to work on his offensive game, overcome struggles to click with his coaches, and occasionally choke a bitch. His story should be used as inspiration for anyone who thinks that a bad hand in life means you have to quit—and that crazy people can’t be role models.
Remember kids, if you can’t do your job well while you’re drunk, don’t bother working at all. Born in Queens, New York, Ron Artest was raised in the Queensbridge Projects. He played college ball at St. John’s University but gained his fame from being a streetball favorite. So far, this story also applies to about 80% of NBA players; what sets Ron apart is some of the crazy shit he experienced while growing up. During a nighttime basketball game on the street, Ron witnessed an urban version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ll let Ron explain: "They broke a leg from a table and they threw it. It went right through his heart and he died right on the court." If you think that quote sounds like something from a memoir, you’d be wrong. That was actually the response Artest gave when asked if he was used to playing rough basketball. Ron calmly explained that the NBA isn’t rough, and used the former example to back that up. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, while most of us were worried about finishing English assignments, Ron was playing witness to the most awesome gruesome crimes ever to take place over a game of 21.
After finally making it into the NBA, Ron was drafted by the iconic Chicago Bulls, where he started most of the season, put up about 13 points a game, and played for three years. That alone is not impressive, until you take into account that he was drunk for most of that time. Seriously. It wasn’t until years later that he admitted to the press that he regularly drank cognac during halftime while playing for the Bulls. So remember kids, if you can’t do your job well while you’re drunk, don’t bother working at all.
After being traded to the Indiana Pacers, Ron put up career-high numbers while forming some solid chemistry with his team and helping the Pacers compete for a playoff spot in the East. He also made a name for himself by showing up to practice in nothing but a bathrobe and asking his coach for a month off because he was tired from promoting his R&B album. But that wasn’t crazy enough for Ron Artest. No, he had to turn it up a notch, which he did by unleashing his retard-strength upon the citizens of Detroit. After a fan threw a cup at Artest during a timeout, he proceeded to charge into the stands and clobber everyone in his line of sight (presumably while yelling "RON SMASH!" at the top of his lungs). Keep in mind that Ron was a golden glove boxer when he lived in New York and most of the people assaulted were regular Joes who made the mistake of going to a game featuring a Detroit team (that should teach them).
After being suspended for a year by the league, tarnishing the image of a national sport, and destroying the Pacers’ franchise that could have been, any other person would’ve called it quits and retired right then and there. Instead, Ron chose to play for three more teams while staying relatively controversy-free and summoning his inner crazy for the powers of good, not evil. What made Ron change his ways so dramatically in a year? His psychiatrist, who he made sure to thank after winning the championship trophy.
So while you’re bitching about homework, getting up early for class, or finding a job, just remember that Ron Artest saw someone get murdered in cold blood by a table leg, beat up an entire row of grown men in Detroit, and still went on to win a World Championship…and could probably solve any of your problems while he’s drunk.