Ron Artest: The Humanitarian

For his entire NBA career, Ron Artest has been “that guy”. That guy who admitted to drinking Hennessey before games; that guy who pulled down Paul Pierce’s shorts to keep him from getting open; that guy who applied for a job at Circuit City during his rookie year so that he could get an employee discount; that guy who jumped into the stands and attacked a fan; that guy who went on the Jimmy Kimmel Show in his boxers.

Many believe that he is crazy; others define him as an enigma. Whoever does is probably right; however, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, Ron has made his mistakes (some more drastic than others, but who hasn’t? Especially someone who was a multimillionaire before even turning 20), but he has paid for them, learned from them and ultimately become a better person because of them.

45385, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Thursday September 23 2010. LA Lakers' Ron Artest stops and poses outside of Premiere, the newest nightclub in Hollywood. The basketball star had a shot of the one the videographers's cameras before heading home. Photograph: Josephine Santos, PacificCoastNews.com

No matter what people say, Ron is still the same Ron that he was when he entered the league 11 years ago; now, he’s just letting everyone see his other side; which is a caring and composed person and player. That’s not to say he’s gone soft. That’s out of the question. Ron is ALWAYS going to be the toughest player on the floor who makes the opposition work for every point they score that night. He will always play the game with a sense of urgency and a competitive mindset that is only upped by his just as fierce teammate, Kobe Bryant. He will always make people laugh with his matchless and outrageous sense of humor. If he stopped doing any of those things, he simply would not be Ron Artest.

Although Ron’s career has been highlighted by some not-so-high movements, people need to remember that it doesn’t matter where you begin – only where you finish. And Ron-Ron is setting the tone to do so in spectacular fashion.

Next: Early Years and the “Malice at the Palace”

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