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Original Issue

Just My Type

The Interview


After one season in Houston, the 29-year-old free agent signed a five-year, $33 million deal with the Lakers—his fifth NBA team

Dan Patrick: Is your new coach, Phil Jackson, a tough guy to get to know?

Ron Artest: There's a little bit of an adjustment, but for the most part it's a veteran group, so it's kind of easy. I'm the only new guy.

DP: How does it feel to put on that Lakers uniform?

RA: Great. Just the history behind it. At my [introductory] press conference I was like, Man, I can't wait to put on the jersey.

DP: Who picked your number?

RA: Actually, one of my fans said to use 37—that's how many weeks Michael Jackson was at No. 1 with Thriller. So I used that number. It was kind of cool.

DP: Can you sing Michael Jackson songs?

RA: I try when I'm alone in the shower. But when I'm out in public, I won't sing a Michael Jackson song. That's my daughter's favorite artist—she's only six.

DP: Your daughter probably has a better chance of hitting those high notes than you.

RA: Yeah, a much better chance.

DP: What about wearing a sequined glove during warmups?

RA: Oh, man, that would be cool. I don't think Mr. Stern would allow that.

DP: Did you seriously consider playing in Greece this season?

RA: That was one of my first options. I really wanted to go. I was in Greece about seven years ago, I've got a couple friends out there, I like the culture, and I kind of grew attached to Greece.

DP: Can't you go there on vacation and still play in the NBA?

RA: Yeah, but basketball is so global now, and it would be cool to play [there]. My top teams were Greece, Detroit and, of course, Houston. I didn't think L.A. wanted me. And I was waiting for [Pacers president] Larry Bird to call. I still love Larry.

DP: You were looking at Detroit?

RA: At first I thought it was important that I play in Detroit because of what happened [when Artest went into the stands and fought with Pistons fans in 2004, resulting in a 73-game suspension]. It would be a message to the youth out there. And Detroit was interested. At that point I didn't know where I was going until my agent said the Lakers called. I said, "What did they want?" He said, "They want you on their team." And I said, "O.K., let's go."

DP: That was it?

RA: They could have gotten me for a dollar if they really wanted to.

DP: Mark Cuban said he was glad you went to L.A.

RA: Well, he should be worried about the other teams [in the West], because it's not just the Lakers who are good. Even if he's happy I went there and thinks I'm going to be a negative, [it's not going to be] easy for Dallas to get past San Antonio and Denver and Portland. There are a lot more problems than Ron Artest. It's funny—they called.

DP: Wait. Dallas called?

RA: It was an option. But that's all I've got to say about that.

DP: How confident are you that the Lakers will win a championship?

RA: Every team I've played on, I've said we'll win. I'm always confident. I could play with three old ladies and I'd assume I'm going to win.

Thanks, Bro

Every Friday, Bengals QB Carson Palmer and his kid brother Jordan, his backup in Cincinnati, have a competition in which they try to throw footballs into a trash can. The winner gets to make the loser do something stupid. Carson recently forced his brother to wear a tight T-shirt and skinny jeans on a road trip (above). "He looked fantastic," Carson told me. "Jordan is extremely competitive, but when he has to pay up on a bet, he pays up."

He's the Boss

Think NFL players aren't into fantasy football? I asked Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew how he was going to spend his bye week. He said he had to watch games and follow players on his fantasy team. Jones-Drew recently went so far as to call one of his players, Bears running back Matt Forte, after a bad game. "I said, 'You've got to [do better], otherwise I'm going to waive you,'" said Jones-Drew. "We don't want that."

Line of the week

Actor and Notre Dame fanatic Vince Vaughn is a guy's guy, but when it comes to crying at movies, he feels it's O.K. to let the waterworks run in certain situations: "You get the green light when it comes to Rudy."

Now Hear This

Listen to the podcasts at

1. Adam Sandler discusses going to games with Jack Nicholson.

2. Texas coach Mack Brown talks about the BCS standings.

THE FINE PRINT: Forty-seven-year-old Chris Chelios signed with the AHL's Chicago Wolves. He's eligible for preboarding in the penalty box.