After Lamar Odom initially fouled JJ Barea in the back-court, Artest took it back to the streets and finished the diminutive point guard off with a forearm/punch to the face. Now everyone and their momma is screaming for Artest to be suspended for game 3 and they’ll likely get their wish.
I’m not disputing whether Artest should be suspended for game 3, I’m not even defending his actions, as you can see below, it was pretty flagrant foul. But I will defend Artest’s honor. Despite what you see below, Ron Artest is not the same guy sipping Henny in the locker-room at half-time and he’s not the same thug we saw running into the stands throwing haymakers at fans at the Palace of Aubrun Hills. Not even close.
In fact, this year Ron Artest was the recipient of the NBA’s Good Citizen Award also referred to as the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. Off the court, Ron Artest has worked tirelessly to bring attention to mental health issues and has worked extremely hard with his own personal therapist to resolve his own mental health issues. Artest has also been instrumental in donating funds to various charities and even considered donating half of his salary for this season to charity. Artest even raffled off his championship ring with the proceeds going to charity.
As gambling industry professionals, we know what it’s like to be hated on, we also are big supporters of giving back to those less fortunate or those in need through charities, so Artest is stand up in my book. So before people stand up and judge Ron Artest`s character based on a foul, they should take a look at themselves and what they’ve done to make this world a better place for others.
After that, they should consider that Ron Artest on the basketball court is a mad man. He plays with heart and fire. Sometimes when you’re that passionate, when you play that close to the edge, crazy shit can happen. We see it in the NHL, NFL and even in soccer all the time (Zidane), it just looks worse on the basketball court.
Don’t think for a second that when the Lakers picked up Artest before last season that they didn’t expect that at some point he would do something bat shit crazy on the court. That’s why they got him. He’s already helped them get one ring, so Lakers nation should give him a mulligan on this one.
You can’t get mad when your pet wolf kills the sheep.
And if no one else will take the unpopular opinion, then it’s my job to say that Ron Artest is the only Lakers player that went down with a fight last night, he’s the only one that went down swinging, even if it was dirty.
Hate him or love him, that’s the guy I’d want to go into a battle with any day.