NEW YORK -- Leave it to Metta World Peace, the Artest formerly known as Ron, to weigh in on the Jeremy Lin phenomenon in ways that make you laugh, scratch your head and wonder if the world is about to end.
World Peace and Linsanity colliding at Madison Square Garden may simply be too much for the atmosphere to handle.
I never do this, because rarely are all the quotes worth your time. But A) I want to watch the game, and B) all the quotes are amazing, bizarre and will make for enjoyable reading during timeouts. But only during timeouts, as the Knicks' Linsation has nine of their first 13 points as New York leads the Lakers 13-4 as I type this in the first quarter.
Here ya go. Pay special attention to Artest's -- I mean, World Peace's -- fashion advice toward the end, when he suggests a new haircut and shades and says, "You're Jeremy Lin, for godsakes."
Q: Your impressions of Lin.
A: I was like, 'Wow, he had 25 in one game and everybody was going crazy.' New York media, you know? And then it happened two more times and I was like, 'Oh, yeah, it’s good. It’s good.' … Looking from the outside in, everybody’s pretty happy for him. It’s good to see something special for the first time. It’s kind of like when Yao came in and when Toni Kukoc came and everybody was talking about how he was Michael Jordan overseas. It’s good to see something for the first time. And he’s doing it without his two star players.
Q: Who were the Knicks' point guards when you started watching them?
A: (Charlie) Ward, (Derek) Harper, those old rugged guys, real basketball. This is like play-play basketball now. I miss the Harpers. They put that forearm on you and you can’t go nowhere. That’s New York City. That’s hard-nose. I miss that. I miss that. You can’t do that with these soft, cotton candy players. They cry all the time. Babies. Cotton candy.
Q: How good can he be?
A: He still has to play some New York City street ball to break himself in. He has to like go to Hunter College and Rucker and Kingdome and then he would be a real New York City insanity, or whatever you said.
Q: What do you think about all the attention he's getting on Twitter?
A: I think it’s good because it’s a first. It’s the first time. It’s just not normal to see an Asian-American in the NBA, and he’s the first. (Actually, he's the fourth. But who's counting.) And it’s great because Asian-Americans play a whole lot of basketball throughout America. You see it all the time. How many Asian-Americans do you see playing basketball in the street who actually want to play in the NBA? I’m assuming there’s a lot of them. And he did what it takes to play, and he’s a role model. Good in school, he’s a role model all the way around.
Q: What did you know about him before?
A: I know he used to miss layups on the fast break in Golden State. I know he used to turn the ball over at half court. He was trying to find himself. He was the first Asian-American to play (again, the fourth), he must’ve had a lot of pressure on him. He was pretty good. He was athletic. You saw that, but it wasn’t converted to his game. But now he’s playing ball now. He’s showing why he’s a good player. If he had that Ron Artest in his prime defense on him, that would've been a problem. That would've been a major problem. I don’t even think Metta World Peace wants to see that.
Q: Did the Lakers talk about him in the locker room?
A: Do we talk about him? Yeah, we talk about him. We think he needs a better haircut. I don’t like that style. You’re in New York, the fashion capital. Change your haircut, OK? You’re a star now. Wear some shades. Shades, OK? Put down the nerdy Harvard book glasses. Put on some black shades, OK? With some leather pants. Change your style. Fashion.
Q: Do you wear leather pants?
A: No, I won’t wear them, but he should wear leather pants. He’s the type of guy who should wear leather pants, some nice shoes and change his fashion. You’re Jeremy Lin, for godsakes. You know what I’m saying? You know? Put down that law book, stop reading the New York Times and start reading the Daily News. Newsday, that’s the one. I like that one because there’s always color in that one. What else? Wall Street Journal. Get some swag. You’re in New York City. Put your hat to the back, too. Put your hat on backwards. Come to practice with your pants sagging and just tell them, 'I don’t feel like practicing.' Practice? You know? Practice? And wear an Iverson jersey. You know? Come to practice with a cigar. Lit. 'I’m Jeremy Lin.' You know? He should change. We're all excited to play tonight. It’s like the first time for everybody. Everybody’s excited. Kobe’s excited. He wants to get 50. He wants to welcome Jeremy Lin to his new level."
And this concludes this episode of, "I never thought I'd type that and post it online."
Enjoy the game.