L.A. Times: It was just like the old days, when the Lakers were winning championships and reporters crowded around players to soak in the latest update on Shaq vs. Kobe.
But in this season’s first chapter of a Ron Artest controversy, there was no mud-slinging. No hint or allegation that the media was at fault. No finger-pointing at other players.
Artest basically confirmed that he drank too much alcohol earlier in his NBA career, backing up his statements in a Sporting News story Wednesday that he sometimes consumed Hennessy cognac during halftime while playing for the Chicago Bulls.
“The whole purpose of the testimony was to share problematic times in my life with the youth,” Artest said Thursday. “There’s a lot of kids out there right now that’s going through the same things I was going through and they’re able to relate.”
In an eight-minute interview Thursday that was ultimately cut short by a Lakers official, Artest didn’t go into further detail about his locker-room drinking with the Bulls, though he did discuss other parts of his past, particularly his hard-charging lifestyle as an NBA athlete.
“It almost drove my family apart, but luckily my wife took me back,” he said. “I feel real relaxed and free and sober. I feel great.”