90041178AB014_SUNS_LAKERS

Alright, we all know the infamous and very disturbing Tiger Woods saga. There is no need to repeat or even go into details. If you don’t know the story, just Google it. There are hundreds of articles to choose from (and no, that’s not an exaggeration).

Many athletes have come to Tiger’s defense, mainly to defend him from the press. However, very few have actually written an open letter to him. Until, our very own Ron Artest did.

Now, I’ll admit it off the bat, when I first learned that Ron Artest was joining the Lakers, I wasn’t thrilled. His stats are pretty decent, averaging 40% from the field and 70% when he’s at the free-throw line. There’s not a doubt he’s a great player and would be a valuable asset to any team. He’s a strong defender and it’s almost a guarantee there will be a few blocked shots when an opponent is trying to score against him.

But Ron, as great as he is, does come with some baggage. I’m not talking about a few suitcases. I’m talking a Boeing 747 loaded with baggage. His reputation for being combative and difficult have plagued him, both on the court and off. Oh, let us not forget the very infamous 2004 Pacers-Pistons game. Probably the first time in history where one went to basketball game and a boxing match broke out.

Anyone who has followed Ron Artest throughout his career like I have, knows the man has had his share of problems. His recent admission doesn’t make things better, either. I guess he can blame it on the a-a-a-alcohol.

I immediately thought of how much trouble he was going to cause Phil Jackson, Kobe and others. Let’s face it, the Lakers are a close-knit team and there isn’t any room for egos. Either you’re down with the Purple and Gold, or you need to find another team. Point blank.

So how does this relate to the real-life “As the World Turns” drama concerning Tiger Woods? Ron wrote an open letter to the athlete. Ron admitted his past mistakes and faults. He admitted that he had done some things that weren’t great and cost him some opportunities. But he also admitted something profound: he’s a changed man. He learned from his past and hopes to have a better present and future. He wants to be a better person, father, and athlete. He wants people to see that he’s a bad boy reformed.

I’m glad to hear that. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing a “Where Are They Now?” special on him.

Ron’s open letter to Tiger may or may not get read by the golfer. But that wasn’t the point. Ron needed to clear his head and soul. He might have needed to convince other people that what he had done was mainly in his past and just that.

I know Ron has won me over. Has he won you over?

  • TOUCHING_MYSELF

    Ron Ron is easily my new favorite celebrity! In an age where it seems like people are just saying and/or doing things for a publicity stunt, Ron Ron is a breath of fresh air, where he’s saying and doing things off the cuff. It’s all genuine and it’s ALL GOOD!

    He’s an open book now and whatever’s on his mind, is gonna be in your face or ears. He does seem like that he’s changed and matured. It’s great to see him being so available the fans and revamping his image.

    I hope that Artest gets to make up for opportunities lost. I’d like to see him in more print ads and commercials. There’s not that many more likable athletes out there than him right now!

    GO RON RON GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://myspace.com/3wyshes 3 wyshes

    RON RON FOR PRESIDENT LOL.

    Naw but for real he is a good dude. He has spent millions on giving back to fans and the community. He is just a product of his environment and also an attention freak and for now it hasnt been an issue so i dont care.

  • lakerman1

    Its good when someone like Ron can turn his life around and try to reach out so that others may not make the same mistakes. In my book he has become a very likeable person. You can see by his game on the court that he has put his ego aside and only wants to be an asset to this team ( like his recent comment on another blog on how he needs to take fewer shots to get an excellent player like Pau more involved ). You probably will never see him as a pitchman because he does not fit the Persona most advertisers are looking for which is sad because we all know how that sometimes is the exact opposite of who some Athletes really are. My biggest hope is that he gets a ring at the end of the year because he deserves it. So yes he has definitely won me over because i am not a person who is easily fooled.

  • lakerman1

    Also to be Honest i respect Ron more then Kobe. Don’t get me wrong the Lakers have a tougher task without him. It just that sometimes Kobe comes off a bit arrogant and i do see that in Ron so far. I can see myself being friends with Ron but never Kobe.

    • lakerman1

      I meant i do not see that in Ron so far. LOL

      • Green Flannel

        kobe is ALL about the lakers, basketball, and winning. if you donf fit in that persona, or help him be successful in any of these areas, he would NEVER be any of our friends. (well if you knew him before the NBA)

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    really arrogant?
    like asking hakeem to teach him ?
    that would be arrogant?
    mmmmm

  • observor

    lakerman, kobe doesnt want 2 be your friend.

    this article is meaningless because it just talks about how this guy didnt like ron artest and all this ron artest coming out stuff is really claning his image. espn has had better articles on Ron then this….
    I love Ron and was excited when we got him because he has this cutthoat approach 2 the basketball game…but please stop talking about his change just talk about his basketball not his personality….the media has absoulutly nothing 2 talk about so they bring up stuff like this and make a story out of it.
    This is exactly why Tiger Wood’s situation is bigger than the war overseas, which i think is more important than a regular mans life story, but since hes famous lets make money off of him

  • Purple&Gold Girl

    I like Ron but I would love to be friends with Kobe. His public persona over the last few years was built from all the damage he did to himself because of Colorado, along with Phil’s kick with his book and Shaq’s antics. Most people don’t come back from the stuff he’s been through. Adversity either makes you or breaks you. I wouldn’t have liked to have been friends with him before his life tests as I agree he was arrogant. However, life has a way of humbling you and I think Kobe has grown from his experiences. I think dude would be very cool to hang out with. But then again I like hanging with grown ups and Ron is more the young crazy type dude who’s down for anything. Back in the day that would have been cool! Now not so much.

  • Go – Lakers

    I dont know about Kobe being arrogant he is just confident and he knows that everyone wants a peace of him so he has a wall at times to keep himself from people that will take advantage of him.
    As far as Artest he is a good dude. I think the Laker camp gets him and he is a perfect fit for us.

    • WifelovesLuke

      Kobe is not and has never been “arogant” but that’s what non competitive people resort to saying when they look at people who have accomplished more in a few years of life than they will ever accomplish. He was arrogant because he was a cocky kid out of high school? Give me a break. To compete at the highest level in any form of life, you have to have a certain amount of swagger. The people who get it…..get it. The rest just say how arrogant those other people are.

      1-2-3 Ring!!!

      • kobe-wan kenobi

        amen

      • Green Flannel

        agree 99% only because it’s not so much swagger rather than confidence. other than that i agree ( i am a competitive guy so I would sort of understand the level he competes every night) like he said on that Lopez show he talks a lot of ish!

  • sep08

    I really like Ron as a new addition, he fits in great with the team and he brings a sense of toughness to the lakers that we lacked before. He had many problems before but it seems like he has changed alot and matured as a person. As for tiger he is a great golfer and hope that he comes back to the sport, but I would not call him a good role model, he is simply an idiot. He is stupid for having 2 kids, one of them is only 10 months old and a beautiful Swedish model as a wife but he has to go and have an affair, and not just with 1 person, but at least 3 people that have come forward. His wife is apparently leaving him in the next few days and who can blame her. Tiger as a golfer is great but as a Dad and Husband he has been a failure. He should not be looked upon as a role model right now, maybe if he changes like Ron did he can be looked upon as a role model in the future.
    Kobe had similar problems, but he cleaned up his act and was able to patch things up. He also didnt have affairs over a long period of time liek Tiger and I think thats why his wife accepted him back.

  • BleedsPurpsNGold

    Dude.. RonRon Wrote that Open letter because he felt that Tiger Woods was poorly treated by the media. He’s trying to reach out to Tiger by showing his past and how he has changed, but I dont think that letter was about himself. If U follow Ron on twitter U would know.. He doesn’t like what the media is doing to Tiger..

  • Grammar Patrol

    Great, great read. Quality post, which comes rare among the TLN staff.

    • http://facebook.com/jaimeq Jaime Quintanilla

      Thanks, I guess.