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Soap opera ideas for Ron Artest

Ron Artest Only in the world of Ron Artest could a possible appearance in a British soap opera factor into a decision to play overseas.

Most of the NBA players posturing about going overseas want money. Or an opt-out clause. Or additional endorsements. When Artest sets foot in the United Kingdom from Aug. 18-23 to speak with officials with the British Basketball League's Cheshire Jets about playing with the team during the NBA lockout, it's conceivable that they will discuss many business proposals. But as ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports, one of those possibilities involves the Jets helping Artest find a role on a British soap opera. 

Below the jump, I look at four popular British soap operas and how Ron Ron might fit in with the cast. 

"EastEnders": Since the show's debut Feb. 19, 1985, it has been one of the UK's highest-rated programs. It won Best Soap for four consecutive years. The show addresses plenty of social issues, giving Artest a platform to discuss something he's familiar with: mental-health issues. And the show has generated plenty of controversy surrounding episodes featuring domestic violence, rape and child abuse. Some may say that would not exactly help Artest's image, but he strongly believes in addressing sensitive issues openly. 

"Coronation Street": It's the UK's longest-running soap, so there is no need for Artest to worry about financial security in case the NBA lockout lasts all season. This show will have him covered. Artest's chances of landing a spot here remain to be seen. The show has been criticized over the years for not featuring enough minorities in its depiction of working-class people in Manchester, England. 

"Hollyoaks": Artest needs to find a way to get on this show, for no other reason than being able to meet its cast. As far as his role goes, most of the characters in this show are students at Hollyoaks Community College, so he might appear to be that middle-aged guy who can't escape the college scene. Then again, when hasn't it been funny to see Artest in awkward situations? 

"Emmerdale": Since the show expanded from focusing primarily on the Sugden family to include residents of the fictional village of Beckindale, "Emmerdale" continues to add characters. That should make it fairly easy for the show to fit in Artest somewhere. Those wanting to see Artest make people laugh, however, will be disappointed. The show is well known for its characters experiencing disasters. 

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-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest goes for the steal against Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki in the first half of Game 1 of the team's playoff series May 2, 2011, at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times 

 
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