Skip to comments.Today Show: Delusional Artest Fails to Apologize, Says "It's Time to Move On"
Posted on 11/23/2004 4:59:48 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
Today scored a major exclusive this morning with the first TV interview of NBA player Ron Artest, who as FReepers who've spent the last week on the other side of the moon might not know, has been suspended for the remainder of the season for charging into the stands and attacking fans.
This is a case in which mere words, even a verbatim transcript, would be insufficient to fully convey the full flavor of the interview.
In a follow-up interview, NBA Players' Union head Billy Hunter acknowledged to Katie that Artest was "not very articulate."
But that does not begin to convey the situation. It is not simply that Artest is incapable of clearly expressing his thoughts. It's that his thoughts are so deeply detached from reality. I can only conclude that he suffers from a significant learning disability, a severe psychological disorder, or more likely, some combination of the two.
For in all his words and emotions, it was clear that Artest has absolutely no concept of the gravity of the situation or of his role in it.
You'll find below highlights of the interview, conducted by Matt Lauer, but I again stress their inability to fully describe just how detached from reality was Artest.
Let's begin by observing that he never apologized. The closest he came was at the beginning of the interview when he said "I wish it never happened, it wasn't good for anyone." But wishing something hadn't happened is, of course, a million miles from accepting responsibility for the fact that it did, and from apologizing to those who have been harmed or offended.
Artest then stated that NBA Commissioner "David Stern has been good to me but I don't think the number of games of the suspension [73 - the remainder of the season] is fair."
Why does Artest think the length of the suspension is unfair? Because "I want to help the league improve its image." Right. Just the person anyone would choose as its image-makeover expert - Ron Artest.
Far from admitting that he has become, in the wake of Dennis Rodman's retirement, the #1 face of everything that is wrong with the NBA, Artest tried to portray himself as some kind of good-will ambassador. "I've been working real hard and putting forth a number of positive things."
Artest then actually held up the CD he has been working to produce, the one for which he announced last week that he wanted to take a couple months off from his team to devote himself to. "It's about love," said Artest of the CD.
Artest then tried to make light of his past suspensions for violent behavior. In one of those cases, he had smashed a TV camera while leaving the court. "I need that camera. I paid $100,000 for it [in fines] and didn't get a piece of it." Apparently he thought that humor was the appropriate emotion for the day.
Artest then boasted of the fact that "I never harmed anyone." Makes you wonder what he was trying to do when he was throwing haymakers at fans in the stands?
Asked to explain why he went into the stands, Artest statede: "I was frustrated. The tape speaks for itself."
He continued, describing the situation when he was lying on a table at courtside and was hit by a cup of beer: "It was just like 'wow, a cup and a beer,' it almost hit my eye. It was like 'wow.'"
Lauer: "Did it pop into your mind that 'I've crossed a line'?"
Revealing the extent of his self-delusion, Artest replied:
"I think I'm pretty disciplined. You can answer the questions from the tape."
The camera then zoomed in on the t-shirt he was wearing. It bore the legend "tru warier" [sic] with a crouched basketball player forming the letter 'a'. I wonder which PR genius suggested he go on the show wearing that, or did this flow from Artest's own brilliant mind?
As to what should be the reaction to the incident, Artest, in the depths of his delusion, advised: "I think we just move on. Things happen and you just move on."
Lauer: "What would you say to kids who saw the incident?"
Artest: "They saw disrespect from the crowd and reaction from a frustrated player. I would tell them that sometimes things happen and you just have to move on."
Throughout the interview, Artest wore a smile and a "what-me-worry?" expression. He clearly had no clue as to the seriousness of his actions or the implications for himself or his profession.
Then it was on to Katie's interview of NBA union head Billy Hunter, a former player himself. It seemed clear that, off camera, Hunter had been horrified by what Artest said and how he expressed himself.
Katie tried to call him on it, saying "I watched you during the interview." But Hunter would not admit to what his true reaction had been. Instead, he claimed that Artest had apologized. Katie called him on it: "is that what you heard?"
Backtracking somewhat, Hunter then acknowledged that "obviously he's not very articulate." Hunter asserted that the punishment was "a bit excessive. He should have been required to attend anger management and allowed to come back after the All Star break."
Katie jumped: "But isn't he already in anger management?"
Hunter: "Not really, he's gone through it in the past but not in it now."
It was clear that Katie was shocked and disturbed by what Artest said and how he said it. There was a sense that she and Matt were embarrassed by what they had witnessed.
In any case, the image clearly emerges of a Ron Artest with only the flimsiest connection to reality. A suspension of a year is not long enough if, as is apparently the case, he has no concept gravity of the situation.
The interview was a disaster for the NBA and for Artest personally, and offered a revealing and troubling insight into the problems of our society at large.
Today Show ping.
the NBA? whats that?
man I wish hockey would come back...at least when hockey players fight each other, they connect with some of the punches :)
Mark my words: within 5 years Artest will kill someone.
But, at what point, did Matt and Katie blame the incident on a "culture of violence" precipitated by Bush's invasion of Iraq?
Rush was right yesterday when he stated the gang mentality has pervaded the NBA, Artest proved it with that interview. He doesn't believe anything's going to happen to him. He probably thinks this is his opportunity to get his rap album together. Sad thing is it will get more sales due to this stunt.
I think Artest and any player who went into the stands to attack a fan should be banned from the NBA.
Last night on FNC during the 8:00 hour there was a panel of guys discussing the bad behavior in sports. Some NBA player a few weeks ago (didn't catch his name) had his salary reduced from $14m to $10m and the player said, and I quote: "I can't feed my family on $10m."
These guys are divorced from reality and the panel was disturbed by both ridiculous statements like the above and the out of control violent behavior of athletes.
Ron Artest is a racially inept criminal who is a clearly a danger to society and the people in it...
But let us not forget, he play basketball.
After a few days of hindsight along with your report of this morning, it seems to me that David Stern should step down.
Why? He allowed things to get this far in the NBA AND he allowed this idiot to be interviewed without adequate preparation.
Suspension is not enough. He should be banned from the NBA. Until the NBA stops hiring street thugs to "play" basketball, they'll have a problem.
BTW, what was Katie wearing?
"These guys are divorced from reality and the panel was disturbed by both ridiculous statements like the above and the out of control violent behavior of "BLACK" athletes".
There, now it's more accurate...
Yeah...he was very jolly and upbeat on the Today show ....holding up his music CD about 5 times and smiling from ear to ear. Anyone who pays to watch sports these days is nuts IMHO.
Apparently, just like a Liberal, the most damning thing we can do to Mr. Artest is quote him.
There's a world of difference between two enforcers fighting on the ice and a player running into the stands and fighting fans.
works for me....
havent watched it since Jordan retired the first time....
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.