Ex-Lakers Star Ron Artest Says He 'Sparked a Blunt' to Celebrate LA's Title Win

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest gestures after they won Game 1 of the NBA basketball finals against the Boston Celtics, Thursday, June 3, 2010, in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Former Los Angeles Lakers star Metta Sandiford-Artest, formerly known as Ron Artest, said he "sparked a blunt" to celebrate the franchise winning its 17th NBA championship Sunday night.

Sandiford-Artest told Mark Medina of USA Today in an interview released Thursday he was so happy the Lakers won the title that it felt like he was part of the team.

"I was just home and sparked a blunt," he said. "I was partying the whole day by myself with two or three close friends. We sparked—I don't even know—maybe 10 blunts. We had a great time. I deserved it. The Lakers won. It was crazy. It felt like I won."

The 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, who won a championship with the Lakers in 2010, added the outcome "wasn't surprising" because LeBron James was "destined" to win a title in L.A., but that didn't take away from the excitement of the Game 6 win over the Miami Heat to close out the series.

"I try not to indulge like I used to when I could go out," Sandiford-Artest told Medina. "But I had a really good time in the house."

Sandiford-Artest, who's also used the names Metta World Peace and The Panda's Friend, retired from the NBA in 2017 followed a second stint with the Lakers.

The 40-year-old New York City native spent the 2017-18 season as a player development coach with the South Bay Lakers, the organization's G League affiliate, and has also played in the BIG3 basketball league.

He changed his last name to Sandiford-Artest after marrying his wife, Maya Sandiford.