I’ll never forget what I saw inside. Instead of crown molding, there were empty Hennessy bottles glued to his wall. There was dog crap everywhere, and where there wasn’t, there was either someone sleeping or evidence that someone had just slept there â€” a sleeping bag and pillow. There were guys all over the place. On the landing of the stairs. On the couch. Free-style rapping in the corner. (I can’t help but wonder if one of his stairwell dwellers, transplanted to Los Angeles, was the “box” Artest tripped over last month.) I engaged one for a few minutes as Ron went to change clothes. I asked if all the guys were from the “QB,” Queensbridge, the public housing development in New York where Artest grew up. The reply still sticks with me.
“Yeah,” he said. “We all are. We all made a deal when we were young. If one of us made it out, we’d take the rest with us. Ron made it out.”