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After the Lakers, Ron Artest wants to play in the NFL

Nov 18, 2010, 12:59 PM EDT

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In NBA locker rooms filled with the long and lanky, Ron Artest stands out — he is thick and built like a weak side linebacker.

When he’s done with the Lakers, he’d like the chance to be one. That’s what he told CBSSports (as part of a wide ranging issue that touches on the raffle of his ring and more).

“God willing, after my NBA career, God willing I’m still athletic enough – which I’m trying to take care of my body as best as possible and be prepared for this day, for this tryout of an NFL team,” Artest said. “… It’s a fantasy of mine. It’s an opportunity because I’m athletic. So if that fantasy can be fulfilled, and if it’s something that can really be reached as far as a goal, I’m going for it.”

When Artest is done with his Lakers contract he will be at least 33, if he picks up the $7.7 million option year at the end you can make that 34. At that age he would enter an NFL tryout having not tackled anyone in pads — or taken a hit after he caught the ball — since high school.

But reality sucks, so lets ignore all that. If anyone has the mentality to pull it off, if anyone is going to stay in the condition needed, it’s Artest. And the good news? No technical fouls for looking funny at the ref in the NFL.

Maybe by the time his contract is over, Artest can play for the NLF team in Los Angeles… nah, a team in LA by then is even a bigger pipe dream than Artest in the NFL.

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