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Monday, June 21, 2010

Redemption in basketball: Ron Artest

Ron Artest has not been a model citizen, or a model NBA basketball player, throughout his career.

Most notoriously, he was a major contributor to the downfall of the Indiana Pacers, by going into the stands after a fan in a notorious (and rare) many-person brawl in a game with the Detroit Pistons. Artest was handed a long suspension, and lost millions of dollars. He was, at least publicly, supported by the Pacers organization, but he demanded to be traded, and was so traded. The Pacers have not been much of a team since. This year, Artest was acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers, principally for his defensive tenacity, which has been his outstanding characteristic. However, in the final game of this year's championship series, Artest also proved that he can score, pretty much keeping the Lakers in the game until help arrived, and the Lakers eked out a win, and the championship.

Artest not only showed poise and good sense on the court, but he used the after-game interview to apologize to the Pacers organization, and to individuals from that organization, for his behavior, and he thanked God for the opportunity he had been given.

I've never been a big Ron Artest fan, but that changed, at least for now, even though I was pulling for the Celtics. Redeeming an individual is more important than a team championship.

Thanks for reading.


Tim Jones said...

I was not a big Artest fan either until I heard his words at the end. God has a way of changing rocks into gems! Thanks Martin

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

I'm not particularly an NBA fan - - - never pay attention until the championship games.

However, I DO remember that infamous Pacers/Pistons game in Detroit. Have thought of the Pacers as the "Brawlers" since.

While I did watch the end of the Lakers/Celtics game on Thursday night, I switched the TV off as soon as it was over and MISSED Artests comments. I'm sorry now that I did - - - but thank you for making me aware of them, and for giving him this "shout out" here.

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

PS - - - for some reason, unknown even to myself, I was pulling for the Lakers.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Tim Jones and Keetha.

I pray that Artest was sincere when he said that.

I'm not sure that ABC carried the after-game comments. I read them in on-line news outlets (one of them is a link in my post.)