Have any rappers reached out to congratulate you?
I haven’t really spoken to any rappers yet, except my cousin Capone. I just spoke to a lot of people from my neighborhood and they can’t wait for me to come home. We’re going to have one last celebration in the hood than I can get back to working out already [laughs].
Your psychologist was next to receive a shout out, why?
She was the one who helped me get through tough times. My whole team, not only my basketball team, but my manager, publicist, assistant, to my co-manager and co-assistant are so important to my success. You need good people around you. But my psychologist was the one who helped me focus on accomplishing what I wanted which was winning a ring. She taught me how to tune everything out because I lost confidence in myself over the last couple years. And she was the one who put that confidence back in me.
How long have you been seeing her for?
Two years, but even before that I was seeing a psychologist. You got to find the right people to help you win. I was so zoned in during game seven. I kept hearing her say “Ron, what’s important to you? Ron, what’s important to you?” That’s all it is.
It seems like you really owe her a lot…
Yea, when it comes down to my career I’m not trying to be the best on my team because Kobe is the best in the world. But outside of my teammates I want to be the best. I still feel like my teammates are better than me. So it’s like how do you balance that without going against the team? How do I stay confident? And that’s been a problem of mine throughout the whole year. I don’t want to be one of those talented basketball players that doesn’t win because they try to do everything themselves. I need my team. They all helped and encouraged me.
After that, the rumors began to circulate that you were unstable and possibly on different medications, is there any truth to that?
Man… look yea I see a psychologist but for only one reason and that’s to win championships. I don’t see one for any other reason. I never got a DUI, or got caught smoking Marijuana or any of that crazy stuff, so when people want to start rumors about me being on any medication or drugs, it’s just crazy to me. I look at it like this, 'Jesus was stoned, there’s no reason I can’t be stoned.' I’m definitely not better than Jesus. I’m not better than Martin Luther King and he was hosed down. I’m not better than nobody, so if people want to put me though mental or physical abuse or whatever else might come my way I have no other choice but to deal with it. I don’t care. It’s just talk.
You really get thrown under the bus a lot in the media. Do you think the NBA treats you unfairly?
Well, here’s an example…I’ve been trying to get a try out for the Olympics for three years now and they always deny me. They won’t even let me try out with no reason given at all. So when Kobe steps in, and says he’s not going to play or Dwayne Wade in my defense, I leave it alone. I still don’t trip though. I mean I’m the best defensive player in my position, I deserve to least try out for the Olympics, don’t you think? But still I keep it moving.
During your post game press conference, you could barely keep your composure. What was going through your mind at that time?
I just felt like I contributed to the most important basketball game in history. Game seven… Lakers vs. Boston, the two most celebrated franchises in the history of basketball. And I was in the eye of the storm when everyone was doubting me, and I was relaxed the whole time. While the outside world was going crazy saying, 'Ron Artest can’t play he’s just a thug' and all that. I still felt like I controlled that whole situation. Nobody can write anything bad now.
Let’s talk about this “Champions” record, did you really record it a year ago?
Yea, I recorded it last June. Because before I even won I just felt like a champion in life. The song came out so dope and I wanted to put it out right away. But Polow the Don and Interscope were telling me to wait until I win the championship. And I was just thinking dumb like 'Nah nah, put it out now.' It's bugged out [that] most of the things I wrote in the song came true in game seven. Yo, “Champions” has been my biggest song to date!
Who would you want to get on the remix?