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GMGB President Master P signs the legendary Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace to his New Orleans Gato

Ron Artest steps on the scene as the leagues first signed player for the GMGB league...if its a "Tru Warier" they want then they have the right guy. This is yet another brilliant move that the leagues new President Master P has orchestrated. Artest a.k.a Metta World Peace has many nicknames , but "Tru Warier" is probably one of his most fitting. When you grow up in a neighborhood like Artest, sometimes being a "warrior" is the only option you have.

In the 1990's , growing up in QueensBridge Housing Projects, Queens, NY was an obstacle itself. The violence, drugs, and prostitution were just things people in QueensBridge had to deal with on a daily basis. In the 90's you had rap artists that hailed from the same Project buildings as Artest such as Nas and Mobb Deep and if you wanted the inside scoop on what it was like growing up there , all you had to do was watch one of their music videos or listen to their albums. The neighborhood already had their entertainment "stars" , but now they were looking for their next big "sports" star . Without having to look any further, Artest appeared on the NYC basketball scene and man was it explosive! It was difficult for him to escape the spotlight way before he was even drafted to the NBA. From being a basketball star at LaSalle Academy , to becoming a hoops standout at St.Johns University his skills on the court landed him with the Chicago Bulls as a first round draft pick in the 1999 NBA Draft .

But throughout his NBA career , his skill at times would be overshadowed by his "bad boy" image. "Explosive" or "Crazy" is how some have described Artest and ones he lived up to for awhile. One in particular that I can remember was that infamous game against the Detroit Pistons , where things got a little "chippy" and then the next thing you know a huge brawl broke out in the stands. It was Ron's explosive behavior that helped spark and fuel that brawl in Detroit which is now known as "The Malice in the Palace". But since then Artest has found many ways to change his image and all for the better. All it took was a phone call from the Los Angeles Lakers , and the grass started to look much greener on the other side.

Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson knew a thing or two about coaching multiple ego's after all he coached one of the most "interesting" players that the NBA has ever seen , Dennis Rodman. So coaching Ron would be no big deal for Phil Jackson , and it came with much success. Artest finally got that championship ring he always wanted while playing for the Lakers and the new image he sought for finally became a reality. He became aggressively active and involved in his community and developed organizations reaching those mostly impoverished youth. Playing professionally overseas opened his eyes to a newly found importance and sense of urgency in helping others and because of it Artest is well liked in many different countries as much as people love him in the United States. When Artest suits up to play in the GMGB(Global Mixed Gender Basketball) league for Master P's "New Orleans Gators" I'm most positive he will receive a huge standing ovation. He brings toughness, popularity , and an outstanding personality to the league. Ron Artest will be the trailblazing figure for other ex- NBA Players to join rank in this brand new league. Partnering up with Master P is a match made in heaven because most basketball players and Rap artists usually co-exist pretty well together and what better place to breaking new ground and barriers than to bring together the dynamics of both entertainment and sports. This new league will be the arena where dreams collide and the possibilities are endless.

This connection usually stems from the fact that most NBA Players want to be Rap Stars , and most Rap Stars have "hoop dreams" as well. Ron Artest himself pursued a rap career while playing in the NBA, and Master P pursued an NBA career while he was a Rap Star. The similarities between these two men are strikingly evident in both their upbringings and journeys in their professional paths and one that will no doubtedly be a torch for so many coming into this league. I believe Artest joining the league is a "win-win" situation for both him and Master P.

For Master P it means that not only will his team get better because of his recruiting epic and elite players, but his league because of its uniqueness will grow quickly into one of the greatest franchise movements ever. More people will come out to enjoy the game knowing that someone such as Ron Artest and others like him will be on the court competing to see who is the best. And while this could rightfully so be his last go around playing professional basketball what better place to end it than the GMGB League. He gets to still play the game that he loves , and he also gets to shape a new culture and mindset of uniting great male and female athletes. While Artest has many different names that he goes by, he will always be seen as "Tru Warrier" because its what defines his character best, and that's what it takes to be apart of the GMGB League...

Written by Fredric "Moses of Media" Bowers edited by: Fredrica Bryant


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