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What are the criteria for getting your own reality series again? Be rich and at times foolish with money? Check. Crazy? Check. Controversial? Check. Not be self conscious about details of your life being made public? Check.
Move over Lamar Odom and the Kardashians, there is a new, bruising forward on the reality television scene. Artest has struck a deal with E1 Entertainment and Tijuana Entertainment to produce and star in a new show called “They Call Me Crazy.” Artest was just crazy enough to make sure he got producer credit.
As if there wasn’t enough drama in the way the Lakers have played recently.
"I'm really excited to have the opportunity to invite people into my world to see the real me, and show them there are many more sides to the Ron Artest they see on the basketball court," Artest said in a statement.
"This show will allow me to share my experiences with others, and hopefully people can learn from the mistakes I've made," he added.
E1 Entertainment are the people working with Gene Simmons of KISS to do a children’s show. Got to give them points for creativity. That show could either be the new Yo Gabba Gabba, or send children into therapy for years.
Artest makes a perfect reality show focus because he may be the least self-conscious athlete out there. While just a couple lockers down Lamar Odom will not do a post-game interview until he has all his stylish clothes on and is looking right, Artest does his with a towel loosely draped over him and his feet in a bucket of ice. He’s done post-game live television interviews -- cropped from the chest up -- wearing a shirt but nothing below the waist. He is genuinely unconcerned about all this, or what you think of him.
Artest’s life should be interesting to document. Just this year he went on a national television show in his underwear and went to China with artist Shin Shin (who just happens to be beautiful and a little out there as well). Of course, there is plenty to mine if the producers want to bring up the Malice in the Palace again. And you can be sure that they want to bring it up again. And again. Part of the aim of the show is Artest making amends for past transgressions.
It wouldn’t hurt if he committed a new one or two.
Plus, Artest the hip-hop artist can use this to leverage his indie label, Tru Warrior records, and get word out about his other passion. E1 has a music division and is already trying to do a reality show and new album for Faith Evans.
Just what the Lakers needed, more entertainment reporters and cameras around. Not a problem, though, the team has looked so focused on the court lately… oh wait, that’s right. They’ve been a mess. Well, all the better for the cameras.