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A night out with Artest

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by Janis Carr, OC Register

ronartestsparksSparks game? What Sparks game?

On the court Tuesday, the WNBA Sparks were battling San Antonio for a playoff berth, coming from behind to clinch a spot.

In the stands, though, it was the Ron Artest show. Actually, it was more like a party.

The newest Laker invited fans via Twitter to join him at Tuesday’s Sparks game. He then randomly picked 24 Twitter followers, who sat and chatted with Artest during the fourth quarter.

“I like to have fun,” said, Artest, who couldn’t walk around Staples Center without fans chanting his name. “Everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve had fun.”

But not like this.

Since signing with the Lakers, Artest has used Twitter to reach out to L.A. fans, inviting them to breakfast, dinner or Sparks games via the social network. Last week, he joined a Filipino family for dinner and then did some karaoke with them in their living room. His rap rendition of “The Heart Will Go On” made its way to YouTube.

He then asked fans to join him for breakfast at a diner in Los Angeles, followed by plans to volunteer to walk dogs at a humane society and then to watch a Sparks game.

“It’s easy here,” Artest said. “I adjust to my environment and in small markets (Indiana, Sacramento where he previously played) things aren’t happening much. But in bigger markets like this, it’s easier. Everybody out here likes excitement and doing things.”

The excitement was evident around Staples Center on Tuesday as fans yelled out his name, rushed to get a closer look or fumbled with their cameras for a close-up shot of the Lakers guard. And he hasn’t even played a game yet.


Written by Symphony

September 10, 2009 at 8:08 pm

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