Cheshire Jets are disappointed to confirm that after weeks of negotiations, NBA legend Ron Artest “Metta World Peace” will not be flying to the UK this weekend to hold talks about playing for the club during the NBA lockout.
Ron recently posted on his Twitter page: “Uk Sorry I couldn't make it this week Can't wait to meet the JETS!!!!
Ron and his team were scheduled to fly into Manchester on the 19th of August to meet The Jets, see Chester and work with the club to raise the profile of basketball in the UK. However despite extensive and lengthy discussions between the Jets and Ron’s lawyers, agreement could not be reached by the two organisations over certain aspects of the proposed playing contract. As a result, it has been mutually agreed to delay Ron’s scheduled visit with the intent on both sides to still make the deal happen in the near future.
The Jets, who play in the British Basketball League, first contacted the 33 million dollar LA Lakers star after he tweeted about his desire to play abroad during the NBA lockout.
The “Lockout” is an ongoing dispute between NBA team owners and the NBA Players Association, who are unable to reach a new collective bargaining agreement over wage structures. As no agreement has been reached, NBA team owners have “locked out” players from participating in the NBA until an agreement has been reached. This may ultimately result in a delay to the 11/12 NBA season, thus presenting the opportunity for Ron to play for the jets.
Jets Director Peter Hawkins added:
“We are of course extremely disappointed not to be able to welcome Ron to the UK this weekend. Both teams have worked really hard to make this happen and we are still hopeful that we can do something together.”
The Jets will continue to work hard towards finalizing a deal that will see Ron play for the team, if only for a small number of games when the 2011/12 season commences on the 2nd of October. However according to FIBA rules Artest would have to return to the Lakers once the NBA lockout ends.
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