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Ron Artest jokingly advises Times Lakers blogger to declare for the NBA Draft

Artest_300 Somehow the conversation steered from Blake Griffin's athletic ability to my NBA draft prospects.

But that's what happens when you talk to Ron Artest. You never know what direction the conversation will veer.

An innocent conversation started about Griffin's penchant for highlight-reel plays, a topic that led Artest last month to joke, "I hope he dunks on me." This time, that topic led to a discussion about Griffin's athleticism and how he played multiple sports growing up, including football, before solely focusing on basketball after his freshman year of high school. Artest, who has stated multiple times he'd like to play in the NFL and box whenever he retires, offered a campaign speech he might want to reiterate should he decide one day seek to oversee the President's Council on Physical Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

"He could definitely be a football player, easily," Artest said of Griffin. "We are so stuck on you play in this sport and that's it in America or anywhere in the world. You can do whatever you want to do, I believe. I want to start that trend. I'm too old, but I can still try. The younger athlete, they should try everything. You can be whatever you want to be."

Then Artest cast his eyes on me.

"You can be a reporter and a football player," Artest argued.

"I couldn't be, though," I answered. "I'm pretty skinny."

Couldn't really argue with that, so Artest pitched an alternative.

"You could put your name in the NBA draft," he said.

"I'm a horrible basketball player," I replied.

"You could put your name in the NBA draft."

"Nobody would pick me, though."

"I know," Artest countered, "but you could put your name in the draft."

Figuring Artest didn't see the video featuring The Times' Melissa Rohlin and I playing pick-up basketball at Venice Beach -- where I lacked any quickness, athleticism or jumping ability -- I gave Artest a brief rundown of what happened. Artest still remained unconvinced.

"Yeah, but you could try out," he argued. "That's the thing. You could try out."

I have a feeling that a Laker tryout would go something like this: Kobe Bryant blows past me within a single breath. Artest knocks me to the floor. And the likes of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown posterize me. But if Artest says I have a shot, maybe, just maybe I'll put my mind to it.

Hmm, let me think about that. . . .

--Mark Medina

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Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest collides with Nets power forward Kris Humphries in Friday night's 100-88 victory over New Jersey at Staples Center. One can only imagine what would happen if Artest ran into Lakers blogger Mark Medina, whose about 60 percent the size of Humphries. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (16)

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I want to try out for the NBA!

Holy cow!

Mark Medina has just declared himself for the NBA Draft!

This is earth-shattering! And brilliant!

What better way to get inside information than to become a professional NBA player?


What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


wesjoe- that is also one of my favorite movies scenes, although I admit it never made the slightest bit of sense ot me. Orion is a constellation, yes? the stars have no actual proximity to each other, they only form a pattern when viewed from a single location?

eh, i'm sure i missed something.

There really should be a social custom that says if you're able-bodied and yet you have ZERO athleticism then you are banned from critiquing athletes on a public platform :)

The 4th quarter of the Bulls/Miami game has been great... 04.4 secs remaining, Bulls up by 2, fouled on a rebound, Brewer makes one of two. Miami in-bounds, needs a trey and... Wade misses badly... Bulls win! BullS win!!

And just so you know, I haven't changed my Lakers stripes but I will cheer anyone against Miami. Anyone.


I'm with Ron Ron. You should go for it like these two "ballers". Check out how they actually applied for the draft. One of them was listed on various websites as entering the draft.


I'm with Ron Ron. You should go for it like these two "ballers".

Posted by: LRob | January 15, 2011 at 07:40 PM

Um have you guys not seen mm's game?
He's more like these 2 guys. This is where he belongs.

And just so you know, I haven't changed my Lakers stripes but I will cheer anyone against Miami. Anyone.

Posted by: dave m | January 15, 2011 at 07:38 PM

Dave-'re Justa Hater.


You've heard of the sixth man, you could be the 66th man! :D

Extensor - Haha I'll gladly be one of the practice dummies - when it comes to His Royal Smugness, I'm definitely Justa Hater, haha.

Hey MM- I need to come out to LA and you and me can run some pick up games and do some individual shooting drills to prepare you for the draft!

C'mon Dave appreciate the King and his GREATNESS, you're a witness to the GIFTED ONE. Bron will probably end up with more RINGS then KOBE, starting this YEAR.

actually what ron is saying isn't that crazy there was an athlete in the 1920's named Jim Thorpe who professionally played in football, baseball and basketball.
growing up in the '70's it wasn't uncommon to have athletes who were lettermen in football, track, basketball and baseball. Now it seems kids are forced to pick one sport and specialize in it to increase their chances to become a professional athlete.

Talk about about a basketball fantasy camp dream come true!

Most of us would kill for a chance to get posterized and blown by the likes of any of the Lakers! lol For my money however, I always wanted to play against Shaq in his prime and see how big and dominating he really was on the court. I covered a couple of guys who had the same wieght, but never the same quickness. Bill Brundage, Cliff Branch back in the day gave me a lesson on NFL size and quickness...but nobiody like Shaq or Kobe!



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