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....
I think Katie might have been in a black skirt, but don't hold me to it. Contrary to some here who think I'm secretly infatuated with Katie, I usually pay more attention to what she says than what she wears - though of course I did focus, with glee, on the fact that she wore black on the morning after the election!
I kept thinking to myself...sure, this guy needs to get out and tell his story, but is he getting any guidance on this? Is anyone consulting him? Does he have someone to help him stabilize his image, or is he just winging it? This is not the time for him to take on the national MSM by himself--they will take every opportunity to eat him alive.
And he only gave Steven Jackson - another player who charged into the stands looking for fans to punch - a 30 game suspension. .....only 5 more games than a player (Jermaine O'Neal) who didn't go into the stands. Artest should've got 2 years and Jackson 1.
And yep, Stern is reaping what he has sewn. .....and then acting like he's surprised at it all.
Why do you think it will take that long? This guy is a time bomb waiting to go off, and at this point he has no one to blame but himself.
Boycott all professional sports!
The 'players' actually believe they are worth the rediculous salaries they are being paid and the fans are nothing more than money fountains to them.
They are fianally showing their contempt in the open by blaming the fans. This is just the latest incident to show how detached the players and owners are from reality.
End the money train for these spoiled punks.
I had the same reaction. I guess when you're young and immature (and possibly insane) have $20 million or so in the bank, you don't think you need to take advice from anyone.
Artest gave a good insight about a week ago, when he did an impromptu interview from his SUV as to why he had asked to take two months off from the team after only a few games: "I'm a man and I can do what I want."
Forget stabilizing his image. I think he needs to stabilize himself first.
Time for you to move on...punk!
Reminder to self.
Proof read before posting. :o)
I tend to agree that one year's suspension is not enough, but there is another way of looking at it as well. It's pretty much to the point that NBA Basketball has reached freak show status along with the Roller Derby and professional wrestling. Perhaps it should just be left alone so that those who are interested in such things can just enjoy it in peace.
You wouldn't ban the Bearded Lady or Lizard Head from the carnival side show just because they are sickening or grotesque. So why ban Artest and similar freaks from the NBA? After all, they are the ones fans lay down the money to go and look at-- at least the "fans" who remain interested in the cultural trainwreck that is the NBA.
Perhaps the true future of the NBA lies in obcenely promoted "grudge matches", half-time rap concerts, and the irrestible lure that a gun fight is always a strong possibility that will pack in the crowds and push TV ratings.
SheeeeMoFo...whazzat? Leme ax you summpin.... disandat, hamina hamina... dazwhutI'mtalkinbout. Wrrrd.
Probably why NBA players aren't "mike'd up", to hard to do subtitles.
Just caught the middle and end of the Artest interview with Matt Lauer... The transcript above does NOT reflect his actual words spoken, he used Ebonics liberally sprinkled, with "I seen" and "dey seen" etc. He said he was disrespected by the fans and the fight was their fault... Artest is an ignorant thug. G
Artest didn't use street slang. Each word was, in and of itself, intelligible. It's just that what he had to say was deeply detached from reality.
During the interview that POS held up his CD at least three times. It's clear his appearance was for self-promotion.
"Tru Warier" is the name or Ron Artest's record company. So he was getting a little free publicity with his peeps by wearing it on TV this morning. The music bizz is going to have to pay the bills for the next few months, so he is just building the business.
The sad thing is, he'll probably wind up selling so many records he'll make his NBA salary look like chump change.
Thanks for posting the photo. Any chance you could post another one where, thinking this was the appropriate moment to engage in commercial promotion, he holds up his CD?
That was Latrell Sprewell, who is famous for choking his former coach then claiming victimhood when the NBA suspended him for it. I quit watching these overpaid gangstas years ago.
Right into criminal court, sentenced, convicted...then move on to Sing Sing.
Maybe they'll let the clown play on the prison team?
Good reporting. I can only wonder why the players union, his attorney, his PR guy, and even David Stern would let him do this interview.
I didn't know, but kind of assumed, that True Warier had to do with his music. In any case, I'd expect you'd agree that only someone who has no clue about public relations, or doesn't care what society at large thinks of him, would have worn that shirt on this occasion.
This man, as well as the fans involved, should be arrested and charged.What if this were to happen at a concert, for example. If a fan threw something at the stage, and the performer attacked the fan(s), more than likely they would all be arrested. Maybe that is not a good example, but it was the first analogy that I could think of.
I saw two fans on TV last night. They had already retained infamous attorney Jeff Feiger (the guy who represented Kevorkian and later ran for governor of Michigan) and are filing suit.
Well, a million dollars doesn't go as far as it used to. :^)
Artest is in the wrong here and I agree with his year-long suspension. However, he has probably simply been passed along through the years since he is a basketball prodigy and never called accountable for anything along the way. Hard lesson for him to learn at this point. But he needs to learn it or I see even more desturctive behavior in the future.
This is yet another manifestation of the slow decline of civilized society.
We bitch and moan about the cost of college, then send meatheads like this to college on scholarships (scholarships ?), so they can drop out after two years to play pro ball (Basket or Football for that matter) so that the guys that finished school can pay through the nose to watch these dopes play while they worry about their jobs that are needed to pay off the loans for the education they put in the time for.
Cripes, whata country.
You're surely right. Also, I'd guess that the odds that Artest grew up in a stable home with two married parents = 0.
Obviously an immature, inarticulate, Narcissistic man-child (real rap "artist" material). Hope the criminal and civil charges, along with the year long suspension without pay hurt his dumb-ass to the max. Maybe THEN, he'll (and his ilk in professional basketball) finally learn something.
Artest has problems with connecting to reality?
Why would anyone be surprised? According to my kids, that is the 'Joaners' hallmark ('joaner' = thug).
I remember as a kid making a scrap book of photos I found in the paper and magazines of those heroes that played football in the mud and snow, sacrificing themselves for the love of a game. While they were not perfect, they did have an air of gentlemanliness off the field that contrasted so much with their obvious rugged character. Those were the men I tried to grow up to be like, and I will never forget Unitas, Lilly, Ditka, and their fellow sportsmen.
The NBA has made itself a haven for wannabe gangstas and is nothing but gutter trash now that I forbid my children to watch.
Artest should be made the poster-boy of what is wrong with proffessional sports.
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