What is it with headcase basketball players wanting to play in the UK?
British basketball fans will remember that NBA legend Dennis Rodman once played three games for the Brighton Bears of the British Basketball League back in 2006. Yes, the same Dennis Rodman who won five championship rings with the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons and who found worldwide fame with his multicoloured hairstyles and penchant for cross-dressing.
The latest headcase linked with a move to the BBL (and, lets be honest, you need to have a few screws loose to want to play basketball in the UK) is, apparently, Ron Artest. Yes, the same Ron Artest who once famously started a riot during a Pistons vs Pacers game in November 2004 for which he received the longest suspension for an on-court altercation in NBA history.
Brighton was a logical temporary home for Dennis Rodman. After all, the city is famous for its cosmopolitan night life. As for Ron Artest, apparently he's shown an interest in playing for the Cheshire Jets. Personally, I can't imagine Ron Artest fitting in particularly well in Chester, Runcorn or Crewe but maybe it's all part of Artest's master plan to spread world peace? (Artest is attempting to legally change his name to 'Metta World Peace').
Jets director Pete Hawkins was quoted as saying "I spoke to Ron's representatives on Tuesday night. We have agreed the fundamentals of the deal and Ron is coming over (to England) in a few weeks".
Ron Artest is quite possibly crazy enough to consider choosing the BBL over other more well-established leagues. His earning potential is surely lower in the UK than in, say, Turkey, Italy or Spain. However, there's no doubting that his presence in the BBL would do wonders for the popularity of basketball in this country.
Just don't go throwing any beer at him.