After earning the championship he chased for 11 years, Ron Artest is ready to try his luck in the NFL.
The always-controversial forward told CBS that if he is still athletic enough after his 2013-14 campaign with the Lakers, he would like to try his luck in the country's most popular league.
"God willing, after my NBA career, God willing I'm still athletic enough — which I'm trying to take care of my body as best as possible and be prepared for this day, for this tryout of an NFL team," Artest said. "It's a fantasy of mine. It's an opportunity because I'm athletic. So if that fantasy can be fulfilled, and if it's something that can really be reached as far as a goal, I'm going for it."
Artest is now 31 years old and will be 33 by the end of his current contract. That's pretty old for an NFL player, unless his name is Brett Favre.
The interview also touched on the auctioning of his championship ring, which coincides with his personal battle against mental illness. He also said that he worries about meeting ex-teammate Jermaine O'Neal in the NBA Finals, saying he feels like a "coward" in the presence of Pacers teammates after the infamous brawl. Artest also opened up about his struggles with alcohol, admitting he used to drink at halftime during his rookie season with the Bulls.
"I do sip occasionally," Artest, who's had struggles with alcohol in his past, said. "But the impressive thing for me is, I don't even want a drink sometimes. … During the season and during August and during training camp, I try to stay away from it. And the more I stayed away from it, the more I'd forget that I actually want to drink."
The winner of Artest's championship ring will be announced on Christmas day, before the Lakers and Heat tip off.
The full interview can be seen on CBSSports.com later this week.