Blog Entry

Artest to donate half his salary to mental health

Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:51 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 1:52 pm
Posted by Royce Young

I keep telling you guys, Ron Artest is awesome.

Over the summer, he pledged to sell his NBA championship ring in support of mental health awareness. And the ring is set to be sold on Christmas day. Artest has struggled with that during his career and saw how counseling had an incredibly positive impact on him. So naturally, he's doing his part to get the message out and raise awareness. And the ring's a pretty darn good start.

But Artest isn't done. No way. This isn't Ron Artest we're talking here. So on top of the ring, Artest told Scott Howard-Cooper of that he intends to donate half of his $6.79 million salary to mental health awareness.

“I’m definitely considering the whole thing,” Artest said. “Or maybe 60 percent.”

Although he may not finalize details until the summer, he called the plan “very serious. I’ve talked to my wife about it already. It’s a powerful message. The message is about the inspiration. That’s what I want, to inspire people. People will be like, ‘Wow. Why is he doing this? Oh, that’s why. Wow. We need to help educate.’ I didn’t come [to the Lakers] for the money. Obviously I could have gone somewhere else, even a lesser market. Pay less taxes. The taxes here are freaking killing me, you know what I’m saying?”

Yeah taxes are rough. But how about those tax cuts! (OK, not going there.) Clearly though, this isn't just about the tax break. It's about sending a message and one Artest is putting across pretty loudly.

Artest told Howard-Cooper he considered doing this in 2006-07, his first full season with the Kings, but his manager talked him out of it. But at that time, he didn't have a charity in mind. He just planned on donating the salary towards college and high school hoops scholarships. Artest said he was prepared at the time to move into an apartment with his family if money became a problem.

I don't know what else to say. Artest has undergone just about the wildest public relations transformation ever.  From the brawl at The Palace, to the NBA's bad boy, to now being such a charitable person that also does things like call radio shows and pretend to be Luis Scola. He's gone from hated to unbelievably endearing. Only Ron Artest.

Artest has come a long way in his NBA career. And he's putting his money where his mouth is to try and show it. Hats off to him.
Category: NBA

Since: Oct 5, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 1:09 pm

Artest to donate half his salary to mental health

Kudos to him!!! I know he has made mistakes in the past but the fact that he has gotten help for his issues and is giving back is quite commendable.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 9:52 am

Artest to donate half his salary to mental health

Glad to see he's realizing that what he is very fortunate. My hats off to him.

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2010 9:32 am

Artest to donate half his salary to mental health

Incredible story. But please do not do him the injustice of simply stating:
"Artest has undergone just about the wildest public relations transformation ever."
This comment is accurate, but readers may misinterpret it. Certainly, Artest has vastly improved the relationship he has with the public. However, the mere mention of "public relations" suggests that Ron's generosity may be motivated, in part, as a ploy to improve his public image. Thus, the reader's perception may be that Ron is disingenuous and selfish. In reality, Artest is being incredibly self-less.
Modern pro athletes are idolized to a dangerous extent. We mistake athletic achievement as an indication of strong morals and good character. Artest's generosity exemplifies the ability that is afforded to America's rich and famous to induce social change and lead others to contribute.
I have always loved Artest's actions on the court. His determination, team-first mentality, defensive commitment, and work ethic always shined above his glaring character flaws and infamous mistakes. But I am the minority, in this regard. No mention of Artest can be made without the immediate reminder of the "Brawl at the Palace." Being an avid NBA fan, I remember watching the game, live, and shuddering to think how this would affect Artest and Stephen Jackson. While I expected suspensions, and possibly even criminal charges, I could never have imagined how the event would completely transform Artest's public image. People stopped mentioning his work ethic and athleticism. The public was only interested in his temper.
When he won the championship, I was so proud of Ron. His "rock bottom" occurred at the same time as mine, so I see him as a kindred spirit, of sorts. He went to La Salle Academy in NYC; I went to La Salle College High School, outside Philly. Both of us were fortunate to have been taught by the Christian Brothers, a Catholic order of men who dedicate themselves to a life of helping and educating young people, particularly the less fortunate. For both of us, the personal redemption has come slowly and arduously. However, it has come. I was so happy for Ron that I didn't even mind Kobe winning another ring and absorbing all of the praise and ego-stroking. Kobe is Kobe.
Artest grabbed the microphone and thanked his psychologist. He was not ashamed to show that he has suffered from mental health troubles. He was willing to be a role-model.
Forget LeBron. I hope to have sons, someday. And I will tell them about the greatness of Ron Artest.
- Bob

Since: Feb 3, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2010 12:14 am

Artest to donate half his salary to mental health

Great stuff.  I'm a Bulls and Pacers fan, and I've followed Artest pretty closely over the years.  This is definitely his best moment.

Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:04 pm

Artest to donate half his salary to mental health

I'm not sure about the "driking" in the locker room, but he's clearly made and is still making a very admirable effort to realize his mistakes and try to better himself. It shows a lot about his character especially being such a public figure. I personally do believe in second chances and hope he delivers on his promises.

Since: Oct 30, 2010
Posted on: December 8, 2010 8:43 pm

Artest to donate half his salary to mental health

Remember a couple years back when Artest was driking in the locker room at halftime?  Well i dont relly care, he is a good athelete and yet he still has the "BAD BOY" legacy on his back.

Since: May 19, 2010
Posted on: December 8, 2010 7:28 pm

Artest to donate half his salary to mental health

Another reason to cheer for the Lakers Ron Artest.  It is truly amazing how far he has had to come just to work, much less play professional basketball in the NBA.  Go get them Ron. We know how genuine and caring you truly are. 

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2010 6:16 pm

Artest to donate half his salary to mental health

That's such a great thing to do. For so many people, they are told to 'suck it up' or 'tough it out' instead of dealing with the awful feelings of anxiety, depression, and psychosis. Hopefully, what Artest is doing will help educate people so they can make better decisions on their--and their loved ones'--mental health.

Since: Oct 9, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2010 5:11 pm

Artest to donate half his salary to mental health

non biased one-you are a douche bag

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2010 4:19 pm

Artest to donate half his salary to mental health


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