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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers’ Ron Artest guarantees 2012 title, credits Chad Ochocinco as inspiration for name change

09.02.11 at 7:45 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY FRIDAY:
MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

SATURDAY:
MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

SUNDAY:
MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Lakers guard Ron Artest continues to make headlines while the NBA is stuck in a lockout. In an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Artest guaranteed the Lakers will win the 2012 NBA title. “Win it all,” he said he asked how his team will do. “Win the whole thing. That’s a guarantee.”

Artest, recently named to the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars,” wasn’t as confident about being successful on the dance floor. “That’s going to be a problem,” he acknowledged.

Artest also said that new Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco inspired him to change his name to Metta World Peace. “When Ocho did it, I was like, ‘That’s kind of dope,’ I want to change my name,” Artest said.

Artest’s petition to change his name was put on hold due to unpaid parking tickets. Said Artest: “I don’t know how to pay a parking ticket. I’ve never paid a parking ticket in my life. There’s so much fine print. I just get them and throw them in my glove compartment.”

♦ Former ESPN writer Bruce Feldman left the company for CBS and finally is speaking about his situation with the sports media giant after being silenced for his involvement with former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach. Feldman said ESPN was well aware he was writing “Swing Your Sword” with Leach, who is suing ESPN. Yet, ESPN still chose to limit Feldman’s workload and keep him from attending events related to his job covering college football. After being offered a one-year contract extension instead of the three years he expected, Feldman departed for CBS. “There’s more to the sports world than ESPN,” Feldman said, adding that he could no longer trust his former employers.

Replied ESPN in a statement: “We have significant disagreements with his account. Beyond that, we aren’t commenting.”

♦ The Louisville (Ohio) High School football team was penalized for excessive celebration because two players pointed toward the sky after a go-ahead touchdown with 1:15 remaining in their game against Walsh Jesuit this week. The players were paying tribute to a 16-year-old teammate who died the previous week in a car accident. Following the penalty, assessed on the kickoff, Walsh Jesuit took advantage of the better field position and was able to get into position to kick a 29-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. “We have good kids here,” Louisville coach John DeMarco said. “It wasn’t taunting or anything like that, it was celebrating one of their friends.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Sept. 2, 2001, with Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina one strike away from a perfect game, which Red Sox pinch-hitter singled to center field?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This is a career-saving place for me to come. I had no idea it would be like this, but it’s unbelievable. I wish I kind of I took [a look at the Patriots] two years ago and came here.” — New Patriots defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, after making his preseason debut Thursday night vs. the Giants

STAT OF THE DAY: 51 — Foul balls hit by the Yankees Thursday night, part of the reason Red Sox starter Jon Lester lasted only five innings and the game took four hours, 21 minutes to complete

‘NET RESULTS: Tennessee’s Summit High School is fielding a football team for the first time ever. The opening play was memorable. (Summit went on to lose to Clarksville Northwest, 34-12.)

A Rams fan gets emotional after quarterback Sam Bradford signs her “Marry me Bradford” sign.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Carl Everett

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Sam Gooden of the Impressions turns 72 Friday.

Read More: Bruce Feldman, Chad Ochocinco, John DeMarco, Metta World Peace Print  |  Email  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It