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Ron Artest Talks Game 7, Why He Sees A Psychologist, And Working With Dr. Dre

No stranger to controversy, LA Laker, Ron Artest continues maneuver his career to the beat of his own ball. Coming into the NBA about a decade ago, the proud Queensbridge native has consistently proved his athletic ability on the basketball court. However, his rough play, suspensions and admitted “wild behavior” early in his career have earned him a reputation as one of the NBA’s infamous bad boys. But with his first NBA championship title in place, Artest has become a hero of sorts to fans on both coasts.

From an unknown vacation spot, RonRon phoned into VIBE to discuss his surreal performance in game seven, his reasons for seeing a psychologist and working with Dr. Dre. Let the games begin. –Mikey Fresh

VIBE: Your publicist tells me your overseas somewhere, where exactly are you?
Ron: I’m still on vacation, man. I think deserve it—I mean I had the greatest season of my career. I’m actually on this small island near Puerto Rico. Keep it at that.

Congrats on finally winning an NBA Championship. Do you feel any different now?
Nah, I still feel like the same guy. I figure as long as I’m still living why not come up with some more challenges for myself. As long I’m able to still play basketball and my body is working for me—I have more goals to accomplish. God willing, I would love to get a couple more rings.

Is the actual championship ring everything you thought it would be? You’re not planning on taking it down to Jacob or anything… are you?
I didn’t even get mine yet. I’m never going to put it on though, being a Laker really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I’m giving one away to the fans in October and my wife is going to get the other ring. And that’s her yelling in the background because she heard me [laughs]. My career isn’t over, so I want to make sure I don’t take anything for granted. No seeing Jacob [laughs].


 

"Jesus was stoned, there's no reason I can't be stoned..."

 


What was most your most intense moment of Game 7?
The craziest moment was being down thirteen points and having doubt in my mind. I started thinking that it was a possibility we could lose. But just having that will to not give up is what made me a champion. As a team we all had to find a way to come together.

That last three you made shocked everybody. What do you think Phil Jackson would have said to you if you missed the shot?
He probably would of said, [Ron does his best Phil Jackson impersonation] “C’mon make a shot Ronny, make a shot!”

What about Kobe?
He would have been pissed off. There’s no denying that, but it’s just him wanting to win so bad and having that warrior spirit. He’s unreal, I don’t know how else to sum it up. His talent is unbelievable… Kobe’s not human.

The first thing you did after you won was shout out your hood. What do you think was happening back in Queensbridge after that?
Definitely a lot of bottle popping and furniture being broken [laughs]. I’m from the biggest neighborhood in the world, and I’m proud of that. And I know all my people in QB are too. Me winning is like the whole Queensbridge winning a championship. We’re going to have parade when I get back to New York. I haven’t even been home yet.

Have any rappers reached out to congratulate you? 


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LeBron James Sets Children's Book For Release This Summer

A man of many talents, LeBron James is adding author to his stacked resume. According to Entertainment Weekly, the three-time NBA champion joined literary forces with HarperCollins Publishers to create a children's book titled I PROMISE. The book will be released in August.

"Books have the ability to teach, inspire, and bring people together. That's why these books, and the opportunity to get children and parents reading together, mean so much to me," he said. "Most importantly, we wanted to make sure these stories are ones that every single kid can see themselves in. I PROMISE is powerful in that way and I can't wait for people to read it." On Instagram, James expounded upon his statement, hoping that the text will inspire its young readers and encourage the next game-changer.

"Man, the beauty of this is the process in how we got here," he wrote. "Never settling no matter the opportunities or chapters we add to this journey and now we get to share our promise and our story with kids and families everywhere. I can’t wait for everyone to read this, share this, feel empowered, and strive for greatness the same way my kids from Akron do every day." The book is illustrated by Nina Mata and will focus on giving back to communities and a reminder to always bet on yourself.

 

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Our own children’s book⁉️ What!! @ljfamfoundation @ipromiseschool Man, the beauty of this is the process in how we got here. Never settling no matter the opportunities or chapters we add to this journey and now we get to share our promise and our story with kids and families everywhere. I can’t wait for everyone to read this, share this, feel empowered, and strive for greatness the same way my kids from Akron do every day. 🙏🏾 Middle school edition next. 👀 👑 @harpercollins

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Feb 18, 2020 at 9:10am PST

EW also notes the book will be followed by "a middle-grade novel" in 2021. The news follows another feat for the pro-athlete off the hardwood. After opening a public elementary school in his home state of Ohio in 2018, James' self-titled foundation partnered with Kent State University to offer free tuition for four years to the school's first graduating class.

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Pop Smoke Dies At 20 After Home Invasion

On Wednesday morning (Feb. 19), it was reported that rising rapper Pop Smoke was fatally shot during a home invasion, TMZ reports. The incident occurred around 4:30 a.m. in Hollywood Hills, California.

Local law enforcement has launched a search for two male suspects who were seen fleeing the scene of the crime on foot. According to ABC Los Angeles, the residence where the murder occurred is located on the 2000 block of Hercules Drive. Pop Smoke was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Born Bashar Barakah Jackson, the 20-year-old was on the rise in the music world, breaking onto the scene with 2019's anthem "Welcome To The Party." The Brooklyn native received acclaim for his Meet The Woo project, having recently followed it up with Meet The Woo Vol. 2 mixtape, that debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. The "Dior" rapper also announced a "Meet The Woo Tour" that was slated to kick-off on March 2, beginning the ascent of a fulfilling career.

This story will be updated as more information is made public.

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Young Thug Tweets Message For Dwyane Wade’s 12-Year-Old Trans Daughter

Dwyane Wade supporting his 12-year-old child’s gender transition is apparently sending a few ripples through the rap world. Young Thug took to Twitter on Tuesday (Feb. 18) with a message for 12-year-old Zaya, whom he referred to as Wade’s “son.”

“All I wanna say to dwade son is ‘GOD DON’T MAKE MISTAKES’ but hey live your true self,” he wrote. Many people online were quick to check Thugger for his comments and for misgendering the child. He eventually deleted the post and tweeted, “You’re gods [sic] best creation.”

“The London” rapper has been known to proudly sport gender-bending fashions, which includes wearing a dress on the cover of his album No My Name Is Jeffery, but he’s not alone in his comments about Zaya. Boosie Badazz recorded a viral Instagram rant about Zaya’s transition that was mostly met with backlash.

Zaya who was born Zion, came out as trans to Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union. The NBA star and father of five opened up about the tween’s gender identity in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last week. “Me and my wife Gabrielle [Union] we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and proud allies as well,” said Wade.

“We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously so when our child comes home with a question, an issue, or anything, it’s our jobs as parents to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved.”

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