ROUND-THE-CLOCK PURPLE AND GOLD
Ron Artest to donate part of his salary to mental health charities
December 9, 2010 | 4:05 pm
Lakers forward Ron Artest is saving up his money and waiting until July 1, 2011 to figure out what to do with it.
But this isn’t because of a possible NBA lockout. That’s the date he’ll decide how much of his $6.79-million salary he plans to donate to charities benefiting mental health awareness.
“The lockout has nothing to do with it,” Artest said before the Lakers’ 87-86 victory Wednesday over the Clippers. “It’s just the season. I already got enough publicity off the ring. It’s time to focus on the season.”
Artest is referring to his current charitable effort where he’s raffling off his 2010 championship ring through his website, where he says bidding has reached about $500,000. He also had a party following the Lakers’ game at the L.A. Live’s Conga Room to raise money for the effort, and plans to announce the winner Christmas morning. He acknowledged the large number of fans who expressed genuine concern for raffling his ring away, including his wife, but Artest said she had no problem with donating a portion of his salary.
“We lost $7 million before, unfortunately,” Artest said, referring to the money he lost for his 86-game suspension in 2004 for his involvement in the Malice at the Palace. “But at least it’s going toward something good.”
Just when it’s hard to conceive how Artest can top himself, he somehow does. We’re not talking about