Ron Artest: Winner of NBA’s 2010-11 Citizenship Award

Ron-Ron went from being one of the League’s most reviled players, to one of its true good guys (and a media darling.) It’s kind of incredible. From the OC Register: “Six and a half years since the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl, Ron Artest has won the NBA’s longest-running citizenship and community-service award. Artest was announced Tuesday as the 2010-11 winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, presented annually by the Pro Basketball Writers Association to one NBA player, coach or trainer for outstanding service away from the game. I will present the trophy to Artest on behalf of the PBWA just before tip-off of Game 5 of the Hornets-Lakers playoff series Tuesday night at Staples Center. Artest has generated tremendous exposure for mental-health counseling in schools with his speaking engagements, even appearing in front of members of Congress in Washington in February. He raffled the 2010 NBA championship ring won in his first season with the Lakers, and the ‘Win My Bling’ contest wound up in December with lifelong Lakers fans Raymond Mikhael of Hawthorne getting Artest’s ring — and Artest’s Xcel University charity getting more than $650,000. ‘Ron has such a passion for the issue, and has demonstrated such leadership he was a perfect choice for such a prestigious award,’ said Doug Smith of the Toronto Star and president of the PBWA. ‘His work embodies the kind of dedication to important causes that NBA players have become known for.'”