Ron Artest: “I Don't Remember”

Ron Artest doesn't believe all the theories about how he got his concussion. Not that he remembers what happened.

Ron Artest knows there are almost as many theories as to how he actually got his concussion as there are theories about the shooter on the grassy knoll. Not a lot of Lakers fans believe his version of events.

Artest knows that and shrugs. He’d like to know what happened, too.

Artest, who had missed the last three Lakers games since his concussion, spoke with the media Tuesday and told his story: He was carrying Christmas gifts up the concrete steps to his Beverly Hills home, and that is pretty much the last thing he remembers. He slipped, fell and hit his head, leading to a concussion. He thinks that is what happened, he doesn’t really remember.

His wife found him a couple minutes later, alone and passed out. Artest said at first he didn’t recognize her, and that it took more than an hour for him to get his senses back. Of course, despite being in a mental fog he did text Kobe.

Pressed for details, Artest said, “I don’t remember” like he was Ronald Regan at the Iran/Contra hearing. He said it at least 15 times. It was his mantra.

The jokes are out there about him drinking Hennessy or wearing only his underwear (as he did on Jimmy Kimmel Live) or about 100 other variants off of Artest’s history of, well, “interesting” behavior. It’s that history combined with a history of athletes lying about how they got injuries — remember Vladimir Radmanovic said he fell crossing the street before it came out he had been snowboarding when he broke his arm — that has fans skeptical.

Artest can’t dissuade them, and he’s not trying. He honestly seems to have no idea how it happened. And he doesn't really care what they think, anyway.

His head has cleared so Artest is going to go through a strenuous workout today (Wednesday) and if there are no complications he should be cleared to play New Year’s Day against Sacramento. He has been missed, the Lakers defense without his physical presence on the wing has been weakened, and the Lakers lack of defense has led the team into a mini-swoon (going 2-2 in their last four games is a swoon for the Lakers).

Getting Artest back starts to set things right. And they will need his head, in whatever condition it is in, for the two-thirds of the season that remain.

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