Ron Artest keeps things brief on talk show


Ron Artest took things to the edge -- if that’s possible when you consider the Lakers’ forward.

He stopped by the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show Monday night and entered dressed in checkered shorts and nothing else. He carried his clothes in his hands.

While doing his segment with Kimmel, Artest kept saying he should put his shirt on. But he never did. He did have Kimmel’s name shaved into the back of his head.

Before Tuesday night’s game against the Knicks, Artest was asked to explain his newest episode.

“I just thought it would be funny,” Artest said. “I’m a genius. I thought it would be fun.”

A story that came out this summer said Artest did a similar thing when he played for the Houston Rockets.

According to the report, Artest was late to the team bus headed to Staples Center for Game 7 against the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals. Artest was spotted in shorts and nothing else while running through the team’s hotel lobby in Marina del Rey. He had his pants and shirt in his hand as he ran to catch the bus.

When he went on with Kimmel, Artest said he was trying to think of something to do because he knew Kimmel would ask him about the story.

“I did about 50 pushups. I got pumped up,” Artest said. “I’m all sweaty. I gave him a big five and a hug and he was like, ‘Man, what are you doing?’ And I’ve been working on my muscle so I felt real confident taking my shirt off.

“I can’t do that on Oprah. [But] I’m going to go on with some briefs on Oprah.”

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said he didn’t see Artest on the show but admitted that his forward is “entertaining.”

“Definitely it takes a lot of moxie to go out there [like that],” Jackson said. “I hope he had his tighty-whities on underneath.”

Bynum and Olympics

Lakers center Andrew Bynum has had conversation with representatives for USA Basketball about playing for Team USA.

But Bynum said he’s not sure if he’ll have time because of his summer schedule.

Bynum said his agent, David Lee, spoke with Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball managing director, about participating with the team this summer at the training camp in August in Las Vegas in preparation for the World Championships.

Bynum, who entered Tuesday night’s game with eight double-doubles in points and rebounds, said he wanted to play in the Olympics.

“I do want to play eventually,” Bynum said. “But I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to because I have a lot of stuff to do in the summer and I want to make sure my body has recovered.”

Gasol underrated

In Jackson’s eyes, Pau Gasol, who has been on the All-Star team, is “underrated” among the NBA’s best big men.

Jackson said Gasol has the total package. He can pass, score with either hand, rebound, has a high basketball IQ, can post up and shoot from the outside.

“I think people really don’t know how good he is,” Jackson said. “I think a lot of people understand what he’s done for our team. But his overall game I think might be underappreciated.”