Ron Artest: The Los Angeles Laker Now Making Headlines for the Right Reasons

Yesterday, Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers was announced as the 2010-11 recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.

Almost four years ago, the same man was sentenced to 20 days in prison.

His arrest a result of domestic abuse.

The media made no small light of the fact Artest's five-year deal with the Lakers was without conventional wisdom.

The man had baggage.

There was the infamous Pacers–Pistons brawl.

A half-time drinking incident.

A long list of legal troubles.

But for all his previous indiscretions, Artest to appears to have found a niche in the advocacy of mental health issues.

Initially, I was sceptical.

Perhaps the NBA had too conveniently overlooked Artest's subsequent lack of prudence.

Artest had damaged the brand.

And some suggest the NBA are still trying to repair that damage.

On the surface, it appears a stopgap resistance to the minority causing David Stern and fellow board members headaches.

But regardless of whether Artest is a deserving winner of such recognition, the Lakers' forward is finally making headlines for the right reasons.

Most players are only remembered for what they do on the court.

Sometimes we forget that they are only human after all.

No doubt Ron Artest's primary focus right now is to help Kobe Bryant and the Lakers to an historic three-peat.

Put in perspective, conquering Artest's personal battles carries far greater weight.

Kudos to your Mr Artest.

Let it never be too late for redemption.

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