If you’ve been following new Laker Ron Artest on Twitter (@96TruwarierQB), you already know a bit about his journey through China, thanks to tweets about his rap concerts (“Just did another show in Shenyang, China”) and shoe appearances (“Stay tuned to my Ron Artest shoe coming soon”).
Thinking that a more detailed description of his trip would be of interest, we contacted Team Artest to get the rundown:
- Artest was scheduled to leave the country of roughly 1.3 billion people on July 29, but is having such a great time that he extended his stay until August 8 so he can visit more cities.
- L.A.’s new forward performed at Vic’s nightclub in Beijing, an event that was attended by Jason Kidd, Dikembe Mutombo and Donell Jackson and can be seen on YouTube.
- At Shenyang’s (in Northern China) Happy Family Mall, a four-floor open-air mall that had roughly 20,000 people in attendance, Artest and Jackson had a shooting contest on stage with two fans, spoke to the crowd and then Artest performed his “Champions” song.
- On Tuesday (July 28), Artest and his people were in Quanzhou, where the PEAK shoe company headquarters are located (Artest’s Lakers teammate Sasha Vujacic shares the same company, and the Slovenian was in China as well). Artest toured the factory and facilities, and then played hoops with two local teams at an arena. Prior to greeting some kids, Artest was presented with a certificate of “Master Teacher” to “acknowledge his years of basketball skills and mastery” (Anytime you can be called a “Master Teacher,” it’s probably a good day).
- The trip will continue to Hong Kong for a press conference for Artest and Kidd, after which Artest plans on going back to Beijing, Shanghai and a couple more cities to do more promotional tours.
Team Artest has photos from the trip, including pics of Artest wearing traditional Chinese clothing, that we’ll get upon the trek’s conclusion.