Insurance issue arises for Ron Artest

Ron Artest may want to play for the British Basketball League's Cheshire Jets, but his agent said the team hasn't offered the Lakers forward any insurance, according to the Los Angeles Times.

That poses a "major problem," said David Bauman, according to the paper. "(The deal is) still on the table. But again, this insurance thing is a significant and a serious obstacle for any of the NBA players."

A lack of insurance could prevent Artest from joining the team overseas. Bauman said the insurance issue partially explains why Artest didn't meet with Jets officials this week, the paper reports.

Tweeted Artest: "Uk Sorry I couldn't make it this week Can't wait to meet the JETS!!!!"

Without insurance from the Jets, Artest runs the risk of his NBA contract becoming void if he sustains an injury. He has three years and $21.8 million remaining on his Lakers contract.

"I'm not going to lie to anybody," Bauman said, according to the paper. "Ron fully intends to play for the Jets. Once all the information trickled in and we had a good pow-wow and it was very apparent there was a $21-million risk to agreeing to a deal like this, that's when we started to slow things down a little bit."

Jets director Pete Hawkins is still working "really hard" to bring Artest over.

"Insurance was always an issue from the outset, but we are still trying hard to ensure Ron has the protection he needs to play," he told the Cheshire Chronicle.