Ron Artest Fails Preseason Geography Test


September 22, 2009

Ron Artest is an elite basketball player who will unquestionably help the Lakers on the court. If the Lakers find themselves in a quiz bowl, however, they may want to leave Artest behind.

The Lakers' newest forward appeared Monday at an event in San Diego to promote an exhibition game between the Lakers and Nuggets at the San Diego Sports Arena, and while he showed enthusiasm for his new team, he also showed that he may need to spend some time studying maps of his new state.

"I didn't realize how far L.A.'s tentacles, or whatever you want to call them, extend, all the way to San Diego," he told The Associated Press. "I thought I was going to be getting some Golden State Warrior fans, because I didn't know where I was at. Most of the fans are Lakers fans, so that's great."

It should be noted that San Diego lies approximately 120 miles south of L.A., while the Golden State Warriors play their games in Oakland — roughly 360 miles north of Los Angeles. That's something that Artest made sure to make clear he knew nothing about.

"I'm learning a lot of different ways of California. Is this Southern California?" he said. "It never rains in Southern California, huh? I'm turning into a Southern California guy. I'm happy to be a Southern Californian, or whatever you want to call it."

Still, Artest showed he did know a thing or two about the sports scene in San Diego. Well, sort of.

"I'm also here to say that next year I'll be trying out for the San Diego Chargers," he joked, "so I look forward to that. Hopefully, I can play some baseball. Is there a baseball team here?"

At that point, Artest was told not only was there a baseball team but that he was wearing a San Diego Padres hat.

"I know I'm wearing the hat," he said. "I just love the SD. The logo looks great. I didn't realize there was a baseball team in San Diego."

Fortunately for the Lakers (and Californians in general), Artest does know how to play basketball, and the goal of repeating as champions is something he's looking forward to with great anticipation.

"They won last year, and I'm the new addition," he said. "The fans expect to repeat. Everybody in L.A. expects a second ring. And if we don't, then, yeah, they should point it right at me, throwing tomatoes and everything."

If you're looking to throw tomatoes at him, though, it might be tough to find him — even he doesn't know where he is sometimes.

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