Sports Sideshow: Alcoholic Artest

If there’s anyone who’s a stranger to controversy in professional sports, it’s Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest. Let’s be real here. He’s been a model of discipline and good behavior for the duration of his career. You know, besides that time he jumped into the stands in Detroit and started fighting fans and was suspended for 73 games which amounted to the rest of the 2004-05 season.

Now comes another mind-blowing admission from Artest, the latest in an odyssey of misadventures. When he first broke into the league with the Chicago Bulls, a team he played for from 1999 to 2002, Artest drank booze during games. Stay classy, my friend.

“I used to drink Hennessy … at halftime,” Artest told the Sporting News. “I (kept it) in my locker. I’d just walk to the liquor store (near the stadium) and get it.”

Well, that explains why he was falling down, sleeping on the bench and vomiting on mascots all the time. Seriously, though, how did no one notice this? There must be people that were aware of Artest’s obvious drinking problems.

Artest is shooting a career-low 54.2 percent from the foul line this year. Hmm. I wonder what’s throwing off his concentration?