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Lakers Training Camp: The Reasoning Behind All The Uniform Numbers Of Ron Artest

For those that missed it today, NBA TV was in El Segundo today to broadcast three hours worth of Lakers' practice and interviews as part of their "Real Training Camp" series. In one of the interviews, Ron Artest went into glorious detail explaining all his uniform number choices in his basketball career:

  • Artest's father wore 51 in high school, so Ron switched the numbers and wore 15 in college at St. Johns, then wore it again in the NBA with both the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers.
  • He switched to 23 in 2002-2003 in honor of Michael Jordan.
  • He switched to 91 in 2004-2005 in honor of Dennis Rodman, which is fitting because this was the year of "The Malice at The Palace."
  • When Artest was traded to the Sacramento Kings, he changed to 93 because, as Artest explained, it represented the letter Q and an uppercase B, standing Queensbridge, the housing project in which he grew up.
  • So, naturally, when Artest was traded to the Houston Rockets, he wore 96 because it was a Q and a lower case b, again for Queensbridge.
  • Then, in perhaps his finest uniform number switch yet, Artest as a Los Angeles Laker last season chose 37 because that's how many weeks the album "Thriller" spent atop the Billboard charts. I can't think of a finer homage to Michael Jackson.
  • This season, Artest has gone back to old reliable, switching back to 15.

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