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?