Your Black World reports
Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award this week. His teammate, Lamar Odom, was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year.
"I think it's great recognition that the NBA sees what I've been doing outside of basketball," Artest said. "I'm definitely grateful for the award.
"It's something that's not on people's minds as far as me getting a citizenship award, but it was something that I wanted and I'm definitely happy I got it."
The award is a surprise, given that Artest once received the longest suspension in NBA history. In 2004, Artest went into the stands and attacked some fans who were throwing things at him.
"I feel like I've been doing a lot of work over the years, a lot of charity work, just giving back to the communities," Artest said. "This award ranks up there with Defensive Player of the Year, to me, as one of the most important individual awards I've ever gotten."
Artest says that the award was something that he’d always hoped he could win.
"I don't think it would have happened a couple years ago. But it was something I always wanted, kind of under the covers, people not knowing the whole Ron Artest, but just a part," Artest said. "But you've got to have good timing. You have to be in the right place at the right time. Things have to happen, and it worked out perfectly for me at this point where I'm at in my career right now."
To almost no one’s surprise, Artest won the award for bringing awareness to mental health issues. He even thanked his therapist publicly after winning the title for the Lakers a year ago. In one of many acts of charity, Artest raffled off his 2010 championship ring for $650,000 and then donated the money to various mental health organizations.
Congratulation’s Ron, we’re proud of you. At Your Black World, we believe that black men deserve second chances.
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