From The New York Times:
Did you hear the one about the basketball player who wanted to try stand-up comedy? It’s not a joke, at least not to the Lakers’ Ron Artest, who will deal with another kind of rim shot when he hosts a comedy show called “Ron Artest: The Ultimate Comedy Tour” at Carolines on Broadway in New York on Friday. Artest, who has filed court papers to change his name to Metta World Peace, will headline a lineup that includes the comedians Brooklyn Mike Troy, Smokey, Cipha Sounds and Mark Viera.
Question: Why did you decide to become involved with comedy?
Answer: “I’m just hosting the show and having fun. Being a comic is very hard. But we do have great talent in the show.”
Q: Who is your favorite comedian?
A: “My favorite comedian of all time is Martin Lawrence.”
Q: Who is the funniest N.B.A. player you know?
A: “The funniest guy in the league is Lamar Odom. He can be an actor, but some people will never know that.”
Q: What other names did you consider before you decided on Metta World Peace?
A: “I considered One Love among some others.”
Q: Will you and the Lakers miss Phil Jackson?
A: “I only played for Coach Jackson for two years. Kobe [Bryant], Lamar, Luke [Walton] and the others had more of a connection with Phil. They had a 10-year run. But I wish I had a 10-year-run with Coach Jackson, too.”
Q: What do you think of your new coach, Mike Brown?
A: “He has a great defensive mind.”
Q: Did the Mavericks surprise you when they defeated Miami for the title?
A: “No. They were a real team. The best team always wins.”
Q: When their careers are over, who will be the better player, Kobe or LeBron James?
A: “It’s hard to say. LeBron has another eight years or so, so we’ll see.”
Q: You’re considered one of the best defensive players in the league. Who is the toughest player for you to guard?
A: “Richard Hamilton, because he’s always running around.”
Q: You’re from New York and starred at St. John’s. Do you hope to play for the Knicks someday?
A: “Maybe one day at the end of my career. But the dream is long gone, I think.”
Q: What do you think the Knicks need to do to win a title?
A: “They need more players.”