With Great Britain in the midst of a national crisis, Metta World Peace may just be coming to save the day. That's right, the man also known as Ron Artest has announced his intentions to sign with the Cheshire Jets of British Basketball League (BBL), according to Tuesday reports from the Los Angeles Times.
Artest is the latest in a long line of NBA players to announce their overseas winter plans should the NBA lockout cause the cancellation of all or part of the 2011-2012 season, as is expected. The 31-year-old declared the news Tuesday afternoon with an elated tweet that featured 23 collective exclamation points and a photo of a fan holding a Jets jersey emblazoned with "World Peace".
To set things straight, the BBL is not very good. In fact it's very bad. It's so bad that Jets director Pete Hawkins agreed with Artest's agent, David Bauman's, claim that it is the "the 10th or 12th best league in Europe".
So in other words, Artest instantly becomes the best player in the BBL the moment he signs the contract, a fact that the 11-year veteran is likely aware of. But his goal is much simpler. He just wants to entertain.
"I'm just trying to have fun," Artest said. "If I go overseas, I want to be able to have fun with the fans and with the people. I don't want to be bored. I want to be somewhere where we can play ball and have fun. That's why I'm interested in the U.K., because I can really go there and make it a rap show. Just play ball, be crazy and entertain. I want to entertain."
Should the lockout end, Artest would be required to report back to the Los Angeles Lakers. He is signed to a three-year, $21-million contract with the franchise.
For more on Ron Artest's lockout plans and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers, check out Silver Screen and Roll.