Ron Artest’s Last Shot?

Artest mug

Monday’s mugshot

I really wanted to believe Ron Artest. When I sat down with him for an ESPN feature last fall, I wanted to believe that he’d refocused his combustibility on basketball and his family – and his music. He put on a pretty good show in Champaign, Ill. And backstage he was chilled, gregarious and accommodating as our crew shot his every move.

Maybe it was too much to ask.

On Monday, Artest was arrested at his five-acre estate on suspicion of domestic violence and using force or violence to prevent his victim from reporting a crime after he allegedly slapping a woman at his home in suburban Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee confirmed that the victim was Artest’s wife, Kimsha.

He was released after posting a $50,000 bond. Arraignment is March 22.

The Kings’ next game is Thursday – against the Pacers. Yet another reminder that God has a sense of humor. The team suspended him indefinitely, pending further details.

On Tuesday, a Placar County Sherriff’s report revealed some details: “Victim sustained visible trauma after being repeatedly grabbed by Artest and pushed to the floor,” it read. “Artest then slapped victim’s face (and) by use of force prevented victim from leaving.”

There is never an excuse to hit a woman. If Artest is charged, it will be difficult for the Kings – or any NBA team – to keep him, even in our innocent-until-guilty culture. If he’s found guilty, the NBA could void his contract.

Let me repeat: There is never an excuse to hit a woman.

A Sacramento police spokesman said five 911 calls had been placed from Artest’s house since Aug. 29.

When police arrived, Artest was sitting calmly outside his home. There was a three-year-old girl inside – presumably, one of his three children. No excuse.

Husband and Wife, Wife and Son, during happier times…


6 thoughts on “Ron Artest’s Last Shot?

  1. gzino says:

    Sad. Very sad. Of course for the victims as well. Hope it isn’t as bad as it seems. I remember temporarily disowning my Knicks for passing on Artest in the draft. Feeling even worse about it when he took his game to the next level in Indiana. But it has been a painful fall from there. Let’s hope he lands on his feet and brings himself as a person to the next level the way he once did for his game.

  2. Juan says:

    The 911 tapes on this incident are out and they’re not good.

    I wonder if this is his last shot in the league. He’s a talented ballplayer, but seems to have worn out his welcome in every place he’s played.

    He played the “I’m misunderstood” card for awhile and got away with it. Now the totality of the evidence makes it appear that the man has some serious mental issues.

    Have GMs around the league tired of him , to the point that they are unwilling to put a NBA All-Defensive Team guy on the floor? I got a feeling that they may have.

    Does he become Roy Tarpley and become an incredibly talented player with demons (albeit different ones) and play in Europe?

  3. Juan says:

    Innocent until proven guilty culture? I really have seen this constitution mandate get eroded over the last few years by popular culture/media.

    OJ was convicted before trial by many people/pundits who felt a need to opine without understanding any of the evidence against the Juice.

    Secret tribunals in Gtmo, stripped down Rules of Evidence in these military courts… this is all suggetive of erosion of innocence until proven guilty principles.

    It’s a constitutional requirement, rather than any cultural mandate/belief. I think it’s pretty important principle to maintain.

    Otherwise we live in a scary, Kafka-esque society.

    Unfortunately, I think innocence until proven guilty is a principle applied to certain people and for certain crimes and does not apply to others and their crimes.

    This principle, sadly, seems to be applied only to white folks, and not for people of color.

  4. I think when you’ve shown a violent trend, then people naturally lean toward the guilty. Artest has shown a violent trend, so yeah, I’m pretty sure he’s the fire to the smoke of the situation.

  5. Mark says:

    Clearly Ron needs some help to control his rage. The whole malice at the palace deal was different, that guy that through a drink at him deserved to get smacked! Hitting a woman however, is completely wrong and inexcusable.

    His career is far from over but, Musselman who has problems of his own with his DUI charge earlier this season, can’t control Artest. I think the only coaches that can handle Ron-Ron are Thomas, Jackson, Riley and that’s it. If he goes anywhere else, they are going to be in over their heads.

  6. Daryl says:

    We are such a star struck society. We cater to the talented and the gifted, without regards to character. Although Ron Artest is a gifted professional basketball player, he has proven time and time again, that he is in dire need of emotional and mental healing. Talent and character are not synonomous.

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