What a week! There was the Ron Artest court date that led to the Ron Artest absence last Thursday in Phoenix, and then there was me sitting on a plane in Sacramento on Friday night thinking the drama was in the past. Boy, was I wrong.
When I landed, I did the normal routine – turn back on the cell phone and see what I missed while out of touch in the clouds. Just one e-mail popped up, but it was plenty. An editor from hiphopgame.com had sent a message, informing me of the exclusive breaking news that Artest was considering retirement.
The news, of course, was eventually everywhere, even though that’s not apparently how Artest wanted it. He told Stephen A. Smith on ESPN radio that he didn’t think his musings would be for public consumption, acted like this whole thing was supposed to stay under wraps. But according to the editor of the Web site where Artest writes a journal, he only sort of wanted the news out there.
Yet “sort of” is a tough thing to pull off in this Internet age, tougher still when the people breaking the news bend over backward to inform the mainstream media, and Artest himself sends unsolicited text messages to most of his teammates with the same information.
“Ron wanted the news out there, but I don’t think he wanted it everywhere,” hiphopgame editor Brian Kayser wrote in an e-mail. “I would have never run the news piece on the site if he didn’t want it up because that would reflect poorly on me.”
“I really wanted the journals to reach the sports audience,” he continued when I pointed out that the The Bee – and likely other major media outlets – was about as “everywhere” as it gets. “I think they’ve been great for Ron, too, because he has a forum to express himself without the censorship.”
Confused? Me too. For obvious reasons, I’m not buying the fact that he didn’t want it out there. Now why he wanted it out there, only Ron knows. Was this a way to drive traffic to a niche Web site and his journals – a publicity stunt like the time he asked for time off in Indiana to promote his music? Or maybe it was Artest going public with the notion that no measure is too drastic when it comes to fixing his recent troubles and his family life? Or maybe, as his latest journal seems to indicate, it’s the case of a man who can’t help but offer his life up for public consumption despite the claims that he’s done with the spotlight.
“I broke the news on HipHopGame about possibly retiring from basketball,” he wrote in the journal. “That was not a publicity stunt to get attention. That was exactly how I was feeling that night. The next day I was really leaning towards retirement because I wanted to be by my family more.”
And tomorrow? What a week!
-- Sam Amick
News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.
March 28, 2007