Metta World Peace’s dream of hooping in the UK during the NBA lockout may go unrealized, his agent tells the LA Times: “Though Artest declared his intention to The Times two weeks ago that he’s ‘definitely going to play’ for the British Basketball League’s Cheshire Jets, his agent, David Bauman, said the team hasn’t offered Artest insurance, which poses a ‘major problem’ and would prevent the Lakers forward from joining the team. ‘It’s still on the table,’ Bauman said Tuesday in a phone interview. ‘But again, this insurance thing is a significant and a serious obstacle for any of the NBA players.’ Artest has a three-year, $21.8-million deal remaining with the Lakers. Without insurance, Artest could risk his contract becoming void should he suffer an injury with another team during the NBA lockout. That issue, said Bauman, also partly explains why Artest postponed his trip to the U.K. to speak with Jets officials, hold a news conference, mingle with fans and, in his words, ‘make sure it’s a good fit.’ Tweeted Artest: ‘Uk Sorry I couldn’t make it this week Can’t wait to meet the JETS!!!!’ Meanwhile, Jets director Pete Hawkins told the Cheshire Chronicle last week that the deal isn’t dead, saying: ‘The next few days we need to work really hard. Insurance was always an issue from the outset, but we are still trying hard to ensure Ron has the protection he needs to play.'”
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