One day Ron Artest is changing his name to Metta WorldPeace, the next he’s agreeing to play basketball in Finland. Sounds like something made-up, I know, but it’s totally (probably) true. From anyone else, you’d think this was a hoax.

From BallinEurope:

“Finland’s top league Korisliiga will witness some serious NBA talent in September 2011, when Los Angeles Lakers forward/multipersonality Ron Artest will join league newcomer LoKoKo Loimaa.

“The 31-year old Artest has three years left in his Lakers contract, but that doesn’t seem to bother LoKoKo sports director Aleksi Valavuori, who backs up the rumor in Tuesday’s Ilta-Sanomat newspaper.

“We have sorted things out and I can happily confirm that Artest will arrive in Finland,” Valavuori states in the Ilta-Sanomat interview.

The news is confirmed by a Finnish newspaper that does not translate very well, but it seems legit, considering Artest was recruited by the same guy that got Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen to play in a couple games a few years back. Apparently he’s on a slow and steady quest to employ every Chicago Bull in the team’s history. Up next, Scott Burrell.

And really, why wouldn’t Ron Artest play basketball in Finland? If there’s a lockout, he’s got no contract, and this is easy money since he’ll probably only play in a handful of games. He’s in shape. He’d be playing basketball anyway. There’s really no reason why he shouldn’t play in Finland.

Plus, if he goes in September, he’ll be in and out before the six straight months of 24-hour darkness. This is a real win-win for Artest. Or, alternately, a Fin-Fin for WorldPeace.

Comments (4)

  1. i live in scandinavia, don’t mock our long winters lol, and lingberries are the business

  2. LOVE lingonberries. Clearly Ikea’s greatest invention.

  3. Ron who? that guy in the picture is Metta World Peace!

  4. Artest’s agent, David Bauman, confirmed those suspicions to the Los Angeles Times, calling the entire affair a “publicity stunt,” among other things:

    “I’m his agent and nothing has come across my desk,” Bauman said. “Although Ron has asked me to explore all options over in Europe in the event of a prolonged lockout, there are several legal and business considerations that have to be addressed. The biggest one involves insurance. None of those have been addressed and I don’t even know who this guy claiming to have an agreement is. Final thing is what if the league has a lockout for say two weeks and then end up getting a deal. It becomes a moot point.”

    Artest currently has a three-year, $21-million contract remaining with the Lakers, making the possibility to play overseas during a possible lockout even more difficult. NBA Commissioner David Stern has publicly maintained players are free to play overseas during a possible lockout, but International Basketball Federation rules require teams to honor contracts signed in other leagues.

    “The whole notion strikes me as a publicity stunt,” Bauman said. “Nothing has come across my desk. Ron has asked me to look into options in Europe, but certainly not with a small team in Finland.”

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