“Win it all,” Artest said when asked what will the Lakers do in the 2011-2012 season. “Win the whole thing.Â That’s a guarantee.”
Yep, that’s Metta World Peace, nÃ© Ron Artest, guaranteeing a Los Angeles Lakers championship for the 2012 season. As Mike Medina points out, such a guarantee is fraught with peril. Firstly,the Lakers found themselves swept out of the 2nd Round of the playoffs last season. The team can be championship caliber, but it can just as easily be dismissed by a conference foe. Secondly, there may not even be an NBA season to win in 2012.
Those quibbles aside, the Player Formerly Known As Ron Artest is nonetheless giving just another in a long line of presumptuous guarantees and pronouncements by colorful NBA talents. Here are some others worth remembering…
[NOTE: None of the following guarantees were ever made and are purely the figment of my imagination]
World B. Free guarantees liberty and justice for all
In December 1981, Lloyd Free legally changed his name to World B. Free as a sign of his dedication to free all of humanity from the shackles of fear, want and bigotry. 1982 proves to be a disaster for Free’s campaign. War breaks out between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the Falkland Islands demonstrating mankind’s cavernous depravity as the islands are nothing more than barren, frigid sheep-breeding rocks. Meanwhile, Lebanon erupts into an orgy of violence as a civil war entangles neighboring states. To cap off the sad procession, Time Magazine abandons all hope for humanity by declaring the computer to be the “Man of the Year”.
Distraught over his failure, World B. delves ever deeper into his obsession with growing a half-fro despite every conceivable fashion dictate to the contrary.
Larry Brown guarantees to “play the right way”
Legendary basketball coach Larry Brown once was a solid point guard in the ABA. Appearing thrice in ABA All-Star Games, Brown took home the MVP for the 1968 exhibition and won a title as a member of the Oakland Oaks in 1969. Brown led the league in assists twice as well. Seemingly he had fulfilled his pledge to “play the right way”, but there was a sizable chink in his armor.
Larry just couldn’t stop turning the ball over. He led the ABA in turnovers twice with over 4.3 per game. By his final season in 1972, he’d gained some semblance of control over the problem, but the psychological damage had been done. Larry’s own failure to “play the right way” for all those seasons led him to become an unbearable, domineering presence to all future PGs he coached.
Nick Young guarantees to have the lowest assists per 36 min. ever for a SG
Donning an afro reminiscent of the ABA’s halcyon years, Nick Young has also channeled that league’s spirit by running and gunning. In fact, he’s taken the gunning portion to the extreme. Young has guaranteed that under no circumstances will he pass the ball intending to set up a teammate for a basket no matter how easy. Averaging a healthy 19.7 points per 36 minutes but a paltry 1.3Â assists, Young effectively made good on his promise last year. This is insanely low even for a shot-first black hole. Glen Rice for example had a career average of 2.2 assists per 36 min. and he was 4x the marksman that Young is.
Yinka Dare guarantees the finest one-game performance of the 1994-95 season
David Robinson. Hakeem Olajuwon. Shaquille O’Neal. Patrick Ewing. These are the titans of the post that 7’0″, 265 pound Yinka Dare was seeking to unseat when in a fit of Cassius Clay styled bravado he proclaimed that he would float like a Nigerian fruit bat and sting like a Sonoran centipede. On Armistice Day, 1994, the New Jersey Nets unleashed Dare’s fury upon the Washington Bullets. For three minutes, Dare delivered two personal fouls, a turnover, one defensive rebound and a missed shot.
Having made his point, Dare asked out of the game and declared he had nothing left to prove for the season. Indeed, if he could torment an over-the-hill Kevin Duckworth, what else was there left of Dare to prove?