Ron Artest, the 30-year-old, first-year starter with the Los Angeles Lakers, may yet prove to be a crucial piece of an improved championship puzzle.
But those who are counting on one of the league’s most explosive personalities to avoid controversy with his fifth NBA team may want to temper their expectations.
In a lengthy interview for the December 7 issue of Sporting News magazine, Artest—best known as the central figure in the infamous Malice at the Palace in 2004—bared all, including a startling admission that he drank alcohol during games as a member of the Chicago Bulls, for whom he played from 1999-2002.
“I used to drink Hennessy … at halftime,” Artest says in the interview, which hits newsstands this week. “I (kept it) in my locker. I’d just walk to the liquor store (near the stadium) and get it.”
Artest speaks openly in the interview on many other sensitive topics.