Path to Redemption? Ron Artest Raffling Off Lakers Championship Ring

Ron Artest is actually going through with what many thought was an idle promise to raffle off his championship ring and donate the proceeds to charity.

Artest is doing something that actually impresses me.

To put that in context, let's get something out of the way immediately.

I don't like Ron Artest.

Nothing that follows is even remotely connected to is abilities on the court. I have almost no respect for him as a human being.

I have not liked Ron Artest since his freshman year at St. John's.

I don't like the man who admitted getting drunk before games as a Chicago Bull.

I don't like the man who smashed a $100,000 TV camera at Madison Square Garden.

I don't like the man who publicly asked his coach for a month off from the Pacers early in the 2004-05 season to promote a music album he had produced.

I really don't like the man who acted like a complete punk in an altercation with Ben Wallace, and ended up charging into the stands like a deranged lunatic at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

The man who, after returning from a year-long suspension, publicly requested a trade from the Pacers since he didn't think playing for coach Rick Carlisle could maximize his potential to be a star, is someone deserving of contempt.

How one player's actions can so completely destroy a franchise is sickening. Artest is that player. His role in the destruction of the Indiana Pacers should not be forgotten by anyone who wants to embrace the lovable Ron-Ron after this past season.

I won't even mention his arrest for domestic violence in 2007, or that the Kings, so desperate to be rid of this madman, gave him to the Rockets for essentially nothing (sorry, Bobby Jackson, but it's true).

He is a loose cannon, and a thug. He is also likely crazy.

Anyone who saw that touching, but sad, rambling rant of a press conference Artest conducted after the Lakers won the 2009-10 championship knows that...

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