Artest's comedy tour hits New York
The stage at Carolines on Broadway is used to seeing the biggest names in comedy, but on Saturday night it hosted a different kind of star, as the comedy tour of Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest hit his hometown.
Artest, who was born and raised in New York's Queensbridge projects, took the stage shortly after 8 p.m. local time. He worked the soldout crowd for a few minutes, introduced each of the three standup comedians who performed during the show, and then was the final act.
"It's fun, you know?" Artest told the New York Post. "I get a chance to be out here with some good comics and have some fun, and I get a chance to be home.
"You never know what your calling is. ... I've done a bunch of rap shows, and now I'm doing some comedy shows."
Artest said the show went much better than his first show last week in Los Angeles, and that he was enjoying the experience. He said the tour also is scheduled to make stops in the Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom, among other places.
"I don't have any endorsements, so I make my own endorsements," he said. "Usually I do rap shows for maybe $5,000 or $10,000, but the comedy shows are kind of cool. I'm getting some good money, and I'm doing more comedy shows than the rap shows."
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Artest said he was not holding his breath in regards to resuming his day job with the Lakers anytime soon, now that the NBA owners have locked out the players, and confirmed a recent report that he is going to play a preseason game or two for a professional team in Finland.
The 31-year-old also said he would be interested in playing in the United Kingdom if the lockout stretches into the season, and that many players would follow the lead of New Jersey Nets star Deron Williams and head overseas if there isn't an NBA season.
"A lot of guys will. ... They have to try to do something," Artest said. "You work so hard, since you were a kid, to play ball, and now not to get paid, you're not prepared for that."