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Ron-Ron, Nicotine Patches and Joe Davidson

Lots of people are talking about Ron Artest's crazy quote from last night about losing and cigarette addiction. Here's the quote Joe Davidson uses in The Bee:

"It's like when you smoke cigarettes, you got to take that nicotine patch and break that habit," Artest explained. "We've got a habit of losing right now, (and) it can become a real bad habit. It wasn't hard for Snoop Dogg to stop smoking marijuana."

Great stuff. Oh, except that the last sentence is incorrect and Davidson leaves the absolutely funniest line out.

Via the audio link to Artest's comment provided at the end of Davidson's story, here's what Ron-Ron said:

"It's like when you smoke cigarettes, you got to take that nicotine patch and break that habit. We've got a habit of losing right now, you know, and we've got to get, like, a nicotine winning patch,'cause, you know, we got to break that habit of losing, 'cause it could become a habit. So we're working hard, we're working hard trying to break that habit, you know? It wasn't easy for Snoop Dogg to stop smoking marijuana. So we've got to keep on trying."

It's unconscionable that Davidson left out the "nicotine winning patch" bit. Absolutely irresponsible to the readers of The Sacramento Bee. You're going to keep that nugget from us, Joe Davidson? Damn you and your misused power!

Phil Miller of The Salt Lake Tribune has the "nicotine winning patch" quote in his notes column, but leaves out the sweet Snoop Dogg-marijuana quip.

So give credit to Davidson there, right? Well, except that he got that quote wrong by a word.

In the audio clip, Artest says it wasn't easy for Dee-oh-double-gee to quit toking. In the paper, Davidson quotes Artest as saying it was easy for Snoop to quit. Hrm.

Also, I never hear Artest call the habit "real bad" in the clip, and certainly not in that sentence.

So, does Joe record the player post-game interviews and never listen to them again? Or does the audio come from someone else, meaning Davidson's own notes were unreliable?

This is pretty minor - in fact, it's very minor. And I don't like savaging guys who by all indications are very nice people (never heard a bad word about the guy himself).

But damn. The world is watching Artest in Sacramento. Rise to the occasion.

Update [2006-2-6 17:21:24 by TZ]: Via e-mail, Davidson confirmed that he included the "nicotine winning patch" line in his original story, but an editor took it out to conserve space. This means we shall now direct our anger at the copy desk. Burn, line editors, burn!