View Full Version : Ron Artest to Auction of Ring for Charity

09-08-2010, 10:01 PM
Ron Artest said Wednesday that he plans on auctioning his championship ring for the benefit of a mental health charity without ever having worn it.

"You work so hard to get a ring, and now you have a chance to help more people than just yourself, instead of just satisfying yourself," he said.

"What's better than that? For me, this is very important." Say what you will about Artest, but he's made giant steps in reparing his image after 'the brawl.


I like it.. good on him...

09-08-2010, 10:04 PM

Artest finds purpose in tackling mental-health awareness

Posted Sep 8 2010 7:33PM
Ron Artest is promoting mental-health awareness.
That's it.
There is no punch line.
No big finish, no rim shot, no laugh track. Just the starting small forward of the two-time defending champions visiting a middle school Thursday in the Los Angeles suburb of Montebello to call for passage of federal legislation and encourage students to reach out to a health-care worker if they need.
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Artest is telling others to get help. Yeah, he knows. He knows he's asking for it. He knows every Internet comedian will jump on this with some crack, mostly behind the anonymity of a screen-name handle, of course. But he doesn't care because shining a light on an urgent topic is more important to him.
Here's how more important:
Artest finally won a title in June after 11 regular seasons of trying ... and now he's planning to sell the championship ring as a fundraiser to put more psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists in schools.
"I'm never going to put it on," he said.

Artest plans to soon announce details of what he hopes will become a worldwide auction, and he takes possession of the jewelry in an Oct. 26 pre-game ceremony before the Lakers open against the Rockets. It's an incredible gesture. But it's even more meaningful as a statement.

"You work so hard to get a ring, and now you have a chance to help more people than just yourself, instead of just satisfying yourself," he said. "What's better than that? For me, this is very important."

Artest will save lives. Maybe not directly from funds generated by the ring auction and maybe not specifically because of the appearance Thursday with Rep. Grace F. Napolitano, the co-chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus and author of the Mental Health in Schools Act the pair hopes will become federal legislation.

But a public figure of Artest's stature stepping forward and addressing his success with counseling will undoubtedly encourage others, of any age group, to seek help to avert a crisis.

Mental health is the most under-covered issue in college sports, and now Artest will be raising awareness for parents and students at an earlier age. (A prominent sports psychologist once estimated 20 to 25 athletes in Division I attempt suicide each year, an assessment others in the field have backed. Again: Just athletes, just Division I, each year.)

Experts who have studied the crisis have long said any attention on the topic will remove the stigma associated with emotional issues. To have a prominent person at the forefront, that would be too perfect.

At the podium in the interview room after the Lakers won the title, Artest thanked his psychologist, a shocking detour even by the considerable Ron-Ron standards. He plans to sell his championship ring as a fundraiser. He is going to schools. He is lending his support to promote work on the Hill.

Hello, prominent person.
"I'm older now, so I think it's about that time that I stop complaining about what people think about me, because it's more important than me, you know?" Artest said. "That whole thing (after the championship), I was thinking about it, in my brain I'm like, 'Am I really about to say this? On national TV?' But then the other part of me was like, 'It's bigger than you.

It's bigger than you. It's more about people that really need to hear this.'
"For five years, I've been wanting to do this psychology-type of assistance, but I never had an outlet where I could make a big impact, as far as where the most people could see it. It was always like maybe 10 or 20 people seeing what we were doing.

The idea came from when I was in Sacramento. I had marriage counseling. I also had anger management. It just made me think that counseling is not something generic. ...
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You can't just say, 'This guy needs help' and make it general or lose hope in that individual or just give them medicine and say, 'That will help the problem.' It takes a while to reach the problem. I've been through this first-hand. A lot of people made jokes about it on the Internet. It was kind of funny, though. A lot of people made jokes. 'Wow, Ron Artest is speaking on a mental-health act.' I'm like, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. At first, I was a little bit nervous when I first heard it. I was like, 'OK, here comes some backlash' and I was going to go hide and say I don't want to do it. But I'm like, 'Of course Ron Artest is doing it.' I've been through it first-hand. Who else better than Ron Artest to actually talk about his experiences and how therapy has helped him?"

Hundreds of conversations with Artest, and he's never sounded better. As with anything Artest, there is the requirement to leave open the possibility the moment will pass and things will turn not of this planet again, but something feels different about this time.

There is a focus and a guy talking about being able to do a lot of good. There is a ring about to go on the auction block. Just no punch line.

Scott Howard-Cooper has covered the NBA since 1988. You can e-mail him here (showardcooper@aol.com) and follow him on twitter (http://twitter.com/showardcooper).

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

09-08-2010, 10:12 PM
He should auction off a ride in the back seat of that car the cops pulled him over in too.

09-08-2010, 11:17 PM
I love it. I think this is a great move. What good is jewelry and material possesions? Well, this is what good it can be.
Sometimes Ron is a really cool dude.
He is like an undisciplined buddhist.

09-08-2010, 11:23 PM
Classy move. And it's not like he's being forced to do this either, he's not in financial trouble (that we know of) or anything like a lot of athletes who sell their memorabilia. Ron really just seems like a good dude who just didn't get/receive help soon enough.

09-08-2010, 11:38 PM
I've got mixed feelings on this one. Good to see that he's trying to deal with his problems now instead of blaming everybody else. I've underestimated the ways that "maturity" could help him out. On the surface, this is a great move for him. He says some really profound things in the article above and I'm proud of him for that.

On the other hand, he's so mentally unstable that there will come a time that he really regrets this decision. An NBA championship ring is not a material possession in that he didn't pay for it with something material. He acquired that ring by making contributions to a championship winning team and years from now I suspect that he'll regret not having that ring. Not because its a piece of jewlry but because it is the symbol of what his team accomplished.

If this were an actual "material possession", then I'm sure many members of PD would have already purchased one. God knows we seem to care more about our team's W-L record than some/ many? of the players.

In a bizarre way, one could also say he's showing just how little a championship means to him. And maybe that's the point - relative to getting some of the really ugly parts of his life straightened out, maybe winning an NBA championship wasn't such a difficult task. There are many more players with NBA championship rings than there are mental health professionals that can put "helped Ron Artest finally get it" on their resumes.

09-08-2010, 11:46 PM
I disagree CJ, the fact that the ring is coveted by so many people and other players makes it even more of a more important material possesion. He may regret it, but I don't think he is the kind of guy to pine over lost possessions.

Ron's infanmy has seemingly gotten to the point where when he does a charity drive he gets ridiculed or critiqued for it... /salute

09-08-2010, 11:55 PM
I disagree CJ, the fact that the ring is coveted by so many people and other players makes it even more of a more important material possesion. He may regret it, but I don't think he is the kind of guy to pine over lost possessions.

I agree that the scarcity of it makes it valuable. That's my day job, anyway. My point is that, regardless of the monetary value, he's completely disregarding the symbolic value of what he (especially) and his team accomplished.

Now, if he wins another one, then that's a different story. If he asked for my advise, I'd tell him this is a great thing to do with his second, third, fourth, etc. rings. But not the first one. Not with everything he had to overcome to win it. There will come a time when he needs to look at this ring as a reminder of the things he did to straighten out his life to the point where this was possible. Because he'll never "permanently" defeat his mental health demons and there will come a point in time that he's not on top of the world.

09-09-2010, 12:15 AM
Good for him. People don't need a ring to prove they're NBA champions, pride is enough. A ring is just materialistic