27th February 08:07
Artest wants to remind you his album is coming on 11-23-04
Artest, his steely eyes focused on basketball, was reinstated Friday after
the two-game benching that had sparked a tragicomic controversy this week.
On Tuesday, he asked Pacers Coach Rick Carlisle for a month off from the
game in part because his body ached and he was burdened by his fledgling
"Nobody got hurt in this whole situation, nobody was physically hurt," he
"You go out there and play basketball - you don't really worry about the
media attention," he said. "In my case it was a little different because I'm
trying to promote my group, I'm trying to get my group out there because the
album's coming out."
He reminded his listeners that the album he is promoting for the hip-hop
group Allure is coming out Nov. 23. But Allure, of course, is not the group
on which the Pacers want Artest to focus.
Last summer, he began concentrating more on his music career, according to
the agent Mark Bartlestein.
Bartlestein said he urged Artest not to get too involved in the music
industry or to let his focus waver from basketball.
"I care a lot about the guy and I felt that, to have a career in the N.B.A.,
he needed to devote all of his time and energy, for his financial
well-being, to basketball," Bartlestein said. "Ron disagreed."
The two have split amicably.
Artest's record label, TruWarier, is taken from his Rucker Park nickname,
though Artest altered the spelling and meaning.
His Web site explains: "A TruWarier now is any individual with the ultimate
determination to accomplish anything."