Ron Artest's Younger Brother Trying Out for Sun Kings
YAKIMA, Wash. - The Sun Kings don't put names on the back of their jerseys in training camp. If they did, it would be easy to spot the name "Artest." Still, Daniel Artest bears a likeness to his older brother - Ron Artest.
The elder Artest has been tabbed as one of the NBA's bad boys. Two years ago, the NBA suspended Artest for 73 games for his part in the infamous Pistons-Pacers brawl, the longest suspension ever handed down by the league.
But Daniel Artest has his own story. Unlike his older brother, Daniel hasn't signed a multi-million dollar NBA contract, he didn't go to a Division I college, and wasn't a New York City legend.
In fact, Daniel never even played high school ball.
"I grew up playing street ball all my life," says Artest, "I didn't play my first organized basketball until I was 22 years old."
Daniel, 24, started playing organized ball two years ago at Southern Nevada, a junior college in Las Vegas. He owes much of his development as a player to the coach at Southern Nevada, George Tarkanian, the son of former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian. But Daniel's stay in Vegas was short lived. He was kicked off the team.
"Just being an Artest," Daniel chuckles.
From Las Vegas, Daniel enrolled at Westchester Community College in New York state. He left school early and landed a spot with the ABA's Kentucky Colonels.
This offseason, Daniel had been working out with his brother Ron in Sacramento. A Timberwolves scout spotted him and after a few phone calls, Daniel was directed to Sun Kings camp.
Daniel says his game differs from his brother. Ron Artest is known for his defense (he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2004), Daniel prides himself on offense. But he say the two do share that Artest intensity.
"(Ron) goes over the edge sometimes, I go over the edge sometimes, you might see me kick a ball over the edge," says Artest.
Listed generously at 6-3, 200 lbs (Daniel says 6-5, 280 lbs is more accurate), Daniel's one of 11 players fighting for a spot on the Sun Kings. Training camp ends on November 30th. The season opener is December 1st. If Artest makes the team, he says his family plans to come out and support him in the opener.