Ron Artest has the best PR rep in the world.
It only took 6 years for Artest to go from the most hated to the most loved player in sports; if not most loved definitely most interesting. He went from Malice in the Palace to Metta World Peace. (Though it would have been funnier if it went Metta World Peace then Malice in the Palace… “World Peace is running into the stands, World Peace just punched a fan, World Peace is causing chaos, World Peace is a disgrace, oh the devastation, oh the irony!”)
Seriously there is nothing to not like about what Metta World Peace has been doing the last couple years, set aside your Lakers’ bias for a second. He was the reason the Lakers won Game 7 in the Finals, he had the best post game speech of all time, he sold his championship ring to raise over $700,000 for mental awareness, he appeared in local dodge ball games, got pulled over for driving race cars, and then changed his name to Metta World Peace. We forget his past mistakes for all the good he is doing now.
Recognizing and raising awareness for mental disorders has been PR gold! How can you hate someone who admits all his wrongs while acknowledging his mental instability, boastfully and thankfully acknowledges his psychological treatment, and dedicates his time and money to help troubled youth? Who would have ever thought of him as a role model?
We as humans love redemption stories (see Christopher Nolan films). World Peace has been the best redemption story in sports history. Take that Mike Vick!
Apparently now he is going to be playing ball in Finland through the lockout. I love it. I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble he gets into, what kind of interviews he does over there. Won’t it be cool to see World Peace on the jersey of the best player in the Finnish league? (I assume he will be the best. That is an ignorant statement—I know nothing about Finnish basketball). When the NBA lockout ends will World Peace be the best selling jersey? What cause will he donate the extra money he makes from the bonus jersey sales? World Peace?
Finland is actually a very peaceful country. It has been tied with Norway as the 2nd least corrupted country in the world, just behind Iceland. What better place for Metta World Peace to stay until the lockout ends?
I’m telling you, Ron Artest has the best PR in the world.
Devan Butler is our resident Lakers fan, and he wrote this article. He is a standup comedian who is preparing to get married next month in Southern California.