Ron Artest, self-proclaimed bad boy and up-and-coming rap failure, won’t be back to the arena—at least not the basketball arena—for the rest of the season. Blame the Piston’s fans, blame Artest, blame Ben Wallace—hell, blame Kobe Bryant’s accuser, but the traditionally sacred non-contact agreement between NBA fans and players has been thoroughly tainted and transformed this time. Leave your foam fingers at home and make sure to sneak in your empty 40-ounce bottles because it’s every fan for himself now. Yes, the NBA is finally embracing its streetball, thug warfare roots, and young ticket-holders everywhere secretly love every potential violent minute of it.

We sent our chief investigative reporter, Mike Forest (aka Beech), all the way from East Lansing, MI to Indianapolis, IN to speak with Ron Artest, who was on-hand at a local music store signing autographs with his label’s new R&B group, Allure.

Beech: Ron, we all saw what happened…from like, 30 angles. I felt like I was watching an interactive porn DVD. The point is, why did you punch the shit out of that guy?

Ben Wallace expresses regret for not cheating on his wife in Colorado.

Ron: He fucking disrespected me. Ain’t nobody gonna do that to me. I’m Ron Motherfucking Artest baby. I got an image to create.

Beech: What was going through your head at that moment, Ron?

Ron: I don’t remember exactly. I remember I was mad. It was like a hundred racist bees attacking my head and buzzing so loud I couldn’t hear nothing else except “BBBBBBBZZZZZZZZZZ!!”

Beech: A buzz?

Ron: Yeah, a buzz. A loud buzz. Pure white noise.

Beech: But it was just one little beer, Ron. Couldn’t you have let it slide?

Ron: Hell naw. I did what any oppressed minority millionaire off his meds would do. You got something against people with money? You don't have money problems?

Beech: I have plenty of money problems, Ron, trust me. Let’s get back to the brawl. Why did you proceed to punch another fan in the face when you came back onto the court?

Ron: Yo, Tater Tot was wearin’ a Pistons jersey! I thought that nigga was Ben Wallace!

Beech: Hmm, right…Ben Wallace minus 3 feet in height, 10 inches of hair, plus 30 cheeseburgers a day. It seems like the defensive player of the year is getting a little too defensive. What are you trying to compensate for?

Ron: Ron Artest don’t have to compensate for nothin’. Sometimes even a defender has to get on the offensive.

Beech: So that’s what you’re calling it: “Getting on the offensive?”

Ron: Are you deaf bitch? Don’t make me body slam that dude next to you and then find out it was you.

Beech: Is it true that you will be releasing an R&B album and that you tried to take time off of your already-platinum day job to promote it? I mean, that’s like me taking a break from writing for PIC to pursue coloring books…

Regretfully, David Stern was forced to use file photos for the NBA mugshots. Artest was sentenced to watch the rest of the season from his HD Plasma TV.

Ron: Coloring books are the shit, man, but it isn't exactly true that I asked for a break to do my producing thing. I been workin’ on a little sumpin’ sumpin’ on my days off, but I just do it for the music. You gotta peep my group Allure though. They off the hook.

Beech: I downloaded them the other day, Ron, and I have to tell you: they sound terrible.

Ron: Motherfucker! You downloaded that shit? These ladies got bills to pay! You know how expensive extensions and ass implants are?!!

[Ron charges Mike and punches him in the face. Mike comes to several minutes later, lying broken in a pool of blood. His jaw will need reconstructive surgery, but nothing a few NBA dollars won’t heal. He did his best to continue the interview anyway.]

Beech: The name of your record label is “Truwarier Records.” Is it true that you are illiterate?

Ron: Please don't patronize me, Mike. We've all been to college. I think we can handle this like any two civil adults with serious anger management issues here.

Beech: Moving on…. On your website, you say that your album is “highly anticipated.” Did someone explain to you what these two words mean when combined?

Ron: Yeah. People all over the world been waitin’ for my shit to drop like a right hand to the face. But I’m not making any money off of this.

Beech: How confounding. Are you donating the proceeds to charity?

Ron: 3% of after-tax profits [approximately $27,000 in debt compounding at an annual 12% interest rate] will go to the Reggie Miller Starvation Fund so I don’t have to pass to a goddamn
Ethiopian ghoul anymore.

Beech: A very worthy cause indeed. Where are the rest of the profits go—oooh, I get it. Right, the love of the music. Well, is there anything else you want to say to your fans?

Ron: Am I gonna have to punch you in the jaw again?

Beech: Right, no apologies. Probably a safe bet.

Ron: Aight then, see you in the cheap seats pussy. Peace.

Peace indeed, Ron. Peace, love, happiness and the occasional violent outburst. Long live the game.

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