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.
“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.