Ron Artest: Finalist for NBA Citizenship Award

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Ron Artest has been named a finalist for the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship award. The award is given each year to an NBA figure who shows “outstanding service and dedication to the community.”

As it is commonly known, Ron Artest raffled off his 2010 championship ring to mental health awareness. Artest has even said he will donate part of his salary next season to the cause.

According to the LA Times, he has also promoted the Mental Health in Schools Act, which plans to be reintroduced to Congress in February during the 2011 legislative session and would provide $200 million in grant funding involving mental health issues.

The J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1974–75 NBA season to a player, coach, or trainer. It is the oldest citizenship and community service award in the NBA and is named in honor of James Walter Kennedy, the second commissioner (then president) of the NBA, who served from 1963 to 1975.

The winner is selected by the Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA). Ron is currently a finalist with Orlando’s Dwight Howard, Portland’s Marcus Camby, and Philadelphia’s Kyle Korver. Only two Lakers have won the award in its history. (Michael Cooper won it in 1985-86, and Magic Johnson in 1991-92)

David Brickley is a columnist for LakerNation.com and the host of Voice of the Nation, the most listened to Lakers podcast on the web. Find him on Twitter.