Ron Artest To Bring Michael Jackson Back To The Staples Center

noah | July 8, 2009 4:45 pm

Fiery forward (and musician in his own right) Ron Artest signed a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers last night, and while the deal’s important numbers to most people were probably 18,000,000 (the amount of dollars he’ll receive) and three (the number of seasons he signed for), I’m more intrigued by the digits he’ll wear on his jersey: 37. Why? No, it’s not a tribute to inaugural Mets manager Casey Stengel; apparently Artest wants to pay a nightly tribute to the number of weeks that Michael Jackson’s Thriller held the top spot on the album charts, thus extending the Jackson tributes at the Lakers’ homebase the Staples Center to at least the Lakers’ first home game this season. As far as I know, that’s the first time a player in any major sport has given his number over to someone else’s Billboard chart achievements, but I may be wrong on that point. (Chris?) Artest, Brown Sign Contracts [Inside The Lakers; HT Keeping Score At Home / CSTB]