Once the lockout hit, Ron Artest had a chance to get in to comedy, a career move that seems to have paid off. That led to him getting movie offers and sitcom offers and a whole host of other things that make sense because he is Ron Artest. People know that he’s loony, he lives in Los Angeles and he’s made a name for himself as a guy who will do anything for a laugh. If ever there were an NBA guy who could become a media superstar during a lockout, it’s Ron Artest.

Well, Linas Kleiza is no Ron Artest. But that doesn’t mean he’s not going to try his hand at acting now that he has the free time. From MiroSport:

26-year-old Toronto Raptors forward Linas Kleiza, who cannot play basketball at the moment due to leg injury, will play himself in the new Lithuanian TV series about teenagers’ social problems, Lithuanian media reports.

“It is a pleasure to be with partners and producers like Rolandas Skaisgirys and TV3. We have prepared a lot of great social projects. There is a lot of problems with children; people are running away from this country because there is a lack of leaders. What we have to do? We have to be proud that we are Lithuanians, and not only if we talk about basketball.” Kleiza said.

Lithuanian basketball star will perform in only few serious. Kleiza has admitted that starring on TV is difficult for him but if it will be necessary, Kleiza will learn all texts by heart. “It is a chance to try an other career, ” Kleiza said. “My work is stopped, therefore there is a wish to start something new. I hope everything will be fine.”

OK, so I guess Linas Kleiza is going to star as Linas Kleiza on Lithuania’s version of “DeGrassi.” Why not? Like he says, he can’t work, so he might as well act. I look forward to his emergence as a Downy-soft rapper after his stint on Lithuanian television. (Sample line: “Big-headed in Vilnius / Arvydas / Klizzy Kleiz been rollin’ on ‘em / Car streetus.”)

But seriously, if Lithuanian teens need guidance and Linas Kleiza playing Linas Kleiza is going to help, then that’s awesome. I’m not an expert in Lithuanian culture, so I can’t really speak on the subject, but I can definitely see how people would be proud of a guy who has made it to the top of the world in his profession. If it takes appearing on a socially conscious television show to make that happen, go for it. At the very least, we’ll get our hands on some great YouTube clips.