- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Lakers’ Artest to announce winner of ring raffle
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ron Artest has absolutely no regrets about giving away his Los Angeles Lakers championship ring to boost mental health awareness. In fact, it just encourages him to go out and get another ring.
Artest plans to announce the winner of the charity raffle for his ring Saturday night at a club across the street from Staples Center, where the Lakers host the Miami Heat in the NBA’s Christmas showcase.
“It’s a good feeling, because it got a lot of publicity, and that’s cool,” Artest said before taking on LeBron James. “I’m glad we can start over now and do some more work with charities.”
Artest came up with the idea to give away his first NBA title ring after putting a spotlight on mental health by thanking his psychiatrist after Game 7 of the Lakers‘ triumph over Boston last June. While some laughed at another stunt by one of the NBA’s biggest characters, Artest’s candid declaration sparked an interest in normalizing mental health care, which snowballed into this unique charitable gift.
“I’m so anxious to get out at it again,” Artest said. “I get more fuel, I burn it all up. I’m motivated.”
Although he doesn’t yet know the final figures, Artest’s raffle has raised well over $500,000 for his Xcel University charity, which will work with high-risk youth on mental health issues. Artest said he already wrote his first check from the proceeds to the charity.
Artest sounds overwhelmed by the support, praising everyone from his teammates to the Lakers‘ fan base for participating in the raffle. Even Lakers coach Phil Jackson says he bought a few tickets, praising Artest’s strategy to funnel the money directly into a charity rather than through intermediaries.
The Lakers‘ rings from the franchise’s 16th championship contain a piece of the ball used in Game 7 against the Boston Celtics. The ring also has a circumference of 16 oversized white diamonds representing the Lakers‘ titles, along with two championship trophies made of 16-karat gold. On one side of the ring is a three-dimensional likeness of the player receiving it.
Artest hasn’t satisfied his taste for unorthodox gestures of charity: He also recently said he would like to donate a huge chunk of his $6.79 million salary for next season to mental health charities.
That desire might be a bit tougher to fulfill in today’s economy, however. Artest said Saturday that his only Christmas wish was for “a tax break directly from Obama” because of the high cost of his lifestyle with his wife and children.
“Unfortunately, diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” Artest said.
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow