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Ron Artest's move to the Cheshire Jets somehow gets weirder

The audacious efforts to land the services of NBA superstar Ron Artest have gained pace, with the English outfit beginning to hint at an array of unusual contract incentives.

Ron Artest: no wonder he's looking surprised.
Ron Artest: no wonder he's looking surprised.
Image: Tony Gutierrez/AP/Press Association Images

WHEN THE ATTEMPT of the British Basketball League’s Cheshire Jets to sign LA Laker Ron Artest for the duration of the NBA lockout came to light during the week, it was quickly dismissed as an obvious, if ingenious, publicity stunt.

Evidently, the Cheshire outfit don’t see it that way, and have set about tailoring a contract offer to the extra-financial needs of their transfer target.

Speaking to ESPN’s Marc Stein, club director Kevin Hawkins explained the Jets’ strategy:

“You’ll appreciate that we haven’t got the means to entice someone of Ron’s standing on financial grounds,” Hawkins said. “Our commitment is to help raise Ron’s profile in the UK in order to help him develop his music and movie career over here while playing basketball.”

One possibility, according to a source with knowledge of the Jets’ plans, is trying to find Artest a role on a British soap opera.

Metta World Peace’s segue from the NBA to Hollyoaks should be an effortless one.

While Artest’s publicist, Courtney Barnes, confirmed that his client would attend a meeting with the Jets’ management during an upcoming trip to the United Kingdom, the player himself went a step further, sounding hysterically enthusiastic (or sarcastic) on Twitter.

Quite where all this is leading is anyone’s guess. Should Artest decide to leave the United States in search of competitive basketball– itself by no means a given– the Jets will likely have to fend off wealthier suitors from China, Turkey, Spain, and even Greece.

Unlike the Cesc-Arcelona love triangle, though, look like a transfer saga with a little mileage left in it.

For more information read this story by Marc Stein at ESPN>

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