Through suspensions and injuries, Ron Artest has missed, on average, 18 games per year during his 12-year NBA career. This makes it all the more interesting that Artest expects to play 82 games next year, despite speculation that there may be a lockout. In a report from ESPN L.A.‘s Arash Markazi, Artest says:
“I don’t think there’s going to be a long lockout,” Artest said Sunday night. “I don’t think we’re going to miss any games. I think there’s going to be some negotiations but I see us playing in October. I think [NBA commissioner] Mr. [David] Stern and [NBA Players Association director] Mr. [Billy] Hunter will resolve it. I think they’re going to learn from the NFL lockout. America isn’t America without sports. You wouldn’t want to be the guy who messed up sports.”
Artest has a full schedule again this summer, as he will be hosting the “Ron Artest Ultimate Comedy Tour” with stops in New York and Los Angeles. The multi-faceted defensive stopper for the Lakers spent last offseason raising awareness of mental health issues, garnering him the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.