Ron Artest wants to play TE for the Jets

I must apologize to my readers.

Perhaps I imbibed too much eggnog last week and was enraptured by all those Burl Ives tunes, but amid all my Christmas mirth I missed one of the greatest stories of the year.

ArtestArtestVolatile basketball star Ron Artest announced he wants to play tight end for the New York Jets.

What could go wrong?

Artest was a guest on "Pardon the Interruption" two days before Christmas. He has been making the media rounds for mental health awareness. Insert your own Jets joke here.

Maybe there's room in the organization for someone with scandal experience. Artest, a 6-foot-7 Los Angeles Lakers forward, has been involved in many wacky incidents over the years, most infamously the 2004 brawl with fans in Detroit. Artest is the subject of a Toronto art exhibit that focuses on his history of outlandish behavior.

"PTI" co-host Tony Kornheiser asked how serious Artest is about the NFL.

"It's definitely an ambition," Artest said. "I think you only live once if I'm not mistaken. I wish I lived twice. So any time I have a chance to take advantage ... still being athletic enough, when you think about my dreams as a kid -- boxing, playing football -- you think about certain things. You think 'If I had the opportunity to play, why not take advantage of it? Why let it sit on the table?

"If there's a possibility, and if I do get a chance, you won't see Ron Artest saying 'Nah, I'll pass.' You'll see Ron Artest saying 'I wan to see if I can do it.' "

Artest turned 31 in November and hails from Queens. He's a longtime Jets fan.

"If I did get the opportunity I would not have a preference for a team because I'm not good enough where I can say I want to play for a particular team," Artest said. "But in a perfect world it would be the Jets, tight end for the Jets."

Basketball players sometimes make great tight ends. San Diego Chargers star Antonio Gates played basketball -- and no football -- at Kent State. Tony Gonzalez, a future Hall of Famer with the Atlanta Falcons, played college hoops.

The Jets experimented with Cleveland State power forward J'Nathan Bullock last year, but he couldn't make the team.

Last year, I examined what kind of football player Lebron James would've been had he gone that route. James was an All-Ohio receiver as high school sophomore, and some NFL observers quoted in the story projected him as a star tight end.