If someone would have asked me 10 months ago where I’d be in October, the answer would be simple.
Whether at the Kings practice facility, or Arco Arena, the beginning of the NBA season would dictate my presence near all things basketball.
Things have changed, though, and I’m sitting crib-side instead of courtside these days, spending a few weeks doing daddy duty with the arrival of a first-born baby for my wife and I. It’s precious time, especially since the time will quickly come (Oct. 20) when saying goodnight will often come via web-cam from thousands of miles away and all matters of Artest & Co. will dominate my days.
Which is not to say I’m completely disconnected. Artest’s publicist recently sent a copy of his new CD, “My World,” to my home. I figured I’d give it a listen out of curiosity and just in case Ron pulled an Allen Iverson and dropped a “40 bars” sort of song that would grab headlines and create controversy. I found only comical coincidence, though, when I noticed that one of his tracks held the name of our newborn son, even spelled the same way – Ryder, as in low rider. And suddenly, I’m changing diapers while bobbing my head, with Artest’s voice in there somewhere (scary thought, huh?) singing “Ryder, Ryder…And all my ladies say…Ryder, Ryder…And all my fellas sing…Ryyyyyder.”
Speaking of scary, Artest’s CD comes out on Oct. 31, a Halloween debut on the eve of Kings regular season.
The team has much to determine between now and then, namely who starts at power forward (because it clearly matters to both Kenny Thomas and Shareef Abdur-Rahim) and whose name is called first behind Brad Miller. Loren Woods looked to be that guy until Kings prez Geoff Petrie signed Maurice Taylor, who is said to be versatile enough to play power forward and center.