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Ron Artest Nominated for Citizenship Award by Basketball Writers

Ron Artest, everyone’s favorite crazy man, was one of four players nominated for the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship award. Go ahead and file this story under phrases you never imagined could have been true five years ago.

Yes, the same Ron Artest who was a big part of the Malice at the Palace, who bailed out on his teammates in Indiana to promote his rap album, and who used to drink liquor at halftime of games, is actually up for a good guy award. The crazy thing is Artest actually is a highly deserving nominee after changing his ways.

Ron Ron started seeing a psychiatrist who helped him overcome many mental issues, and he even shouted out his doctor after winning the finals. He’s become a citizen of the people, showing up at fraternity events and other community events. He frequently gives tickets away to fans and even treated a couple to front row seats to Game 1 of the Finals last year.

Perhaps nothing displays Artest’s kind heart, generous soul, and selfless nature than his decision to raffle off his championship ring — something for which he worked his whole life — to raise money for mental health charity. Most players would keep the memento to commemorate the landmark achievement, but Artest decided to use it as an opportunity to enhance other people’s lives.

Ron is a changed man and should win this award in a landslide. Outside of his occasional crazy relapses, he has been a model citizen from whom many players can learn.

Oh yeah, Dwight Howard, Kyle Korver, and Marcus Camby will be the runners-up are the other nominees.

Dominique Wilkins Punch Video Shows Him Giving Rashan Michel a Black Eye

Dominique Wilkins was made out to be the victim in a fan attack that took place following the Hawks-Magic game Wednesday night, but it turns out he was anything but innocent. As we wrote late Wednesday evening, the Human Highlight Film was attacked by Rashan Michel, a former NBA referee who says he’s owed around $13,000 by Nique for unpaid suits. We were dying to get video of the incident and figured there had to be one, and of course the crack staff at TMZ hunted it down. Here’s what they caught, courtesy of Black Sports Online:

Friends, that is what they call a stiff right hand. No surprise it resulted in this heavy black eye for Michel:

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Kobe Bryant Smart Car Commercial (Video)

Kobe Bryant sure has come a long way since the days of Eagle, Colorado when he became an untouchable figure in the world of endorsement deals. Since then, he’s left Adidas for Nike and developed an entire Black Mamba brand, even starring in a mini-movie for the swoosh. Recently he’s done commercials for Guitar Hero and he did an ad for Turkish Airlines that caused a rift within the Armenian community. Hopefully Kobe’s latest effort, a commercial for Smart Car in China, will go over with less controversy. Here’s a video of Kobe’s Smart Car commercial as seen at The Lakers Nation:

Who knew that Kobe could be such an effective pitchman? Although he does do one thing really well — play the role of the killer.

Former Referee Rashan Michel Attacked Dominique Wilkins Over Unpaid Suits

Former Atlanta Hawks nine-time All-Star Dominique Wilkins was attacked following the Hawks-Magic game in Atlanta Wednesday night by former referee Rashan Michel.

We’re not joking.

Michel reportedly told police he went after Nique because he was owed money for suits purchased several years ago. Anyone who’s seen Dominique dress knows he can’t owe him more than 50 or 60 bucks, as BSO comically noted.

The best part of the story is that “Nique landed three solid blows on his alleged attacker, who swung at Nique but didn’t land anything solid” according to a tweet by Sekou Smith. The next step is getting video of this incident. How is it possible not to have a clip from the Human Highlight Reel? This has to beat any dunk he ever accomplished, right?

As for Michel, he reffed 54 NBA games from ’97-’98 and according to his Covers profile, he seemed to have low-scoring games. He’s also reffed 49 college games in his career according to Stat Sheet. Most notably, Michel is also now 0-1 in his unofficial boxing career.

John Wall Ejected After Punching Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Wizards point guard John Wall was ejected in the second quarter of Washington’s game with the Heat. It was very uncharacteristic of him, but after seeing the way his skirmish unfolded, it’s not surprising that he lost his cool. Check out this video of John Wall punching Big Z, courtesy of Ben Golliver at CBS:

The first elbow from Z could have passed for accidental, but after the second one it seemed intentional. I understand why Wall got upset, but he has to be more composed than that and realize that he’s only hurting his team by getting tossed from a game. Big Z for Wall? Miami will take that trade any day.

Chris Bosh Called Rupaul Look-alike by Cavs Broadcaster Austin Carr

Former long-time Cavaliers player and current TV analyst Austin Carr must have had shared pregame notes with Shaquille O’Neal, because he referenced one of the Diesel’s lines mid-telecast on Tuesday night. During the second quarter of the Cavs-Heat game, Carr called Chris Bosh a Rupaul look-alike. Check out this video via Ben Golliver:

The hate for Clevelanders towards LeBron James and the Heat was already evident by the time Carr got personal with that reference. Not only was it a two-year-old reference, but it was also pretty unprofessional. I know Carr’s broadcasting for his local audience in Cleveland, but he should have realized he was also being televised on NBA TV for a much larger audience that might have taken offense to the name-calling.

Regardless, this latest offense joins the growing list for which Chris Bosh has made headlines either intentionally or unintentionally. The list includes:

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LeBron James Skips Player Intros to Avoid Boos in Cleveland (UPDATE)

LeBron James 1, Cleveland 0. All the Cavs fans who bought tickets to Tuesday night’s game so they could boo LeBron James missed out on a golden opportunity because of a smart move by the former MVP. Rather than subject himself to a poor reception, LeBron remained in the locker room during player introductions to avoid the boos. Check out the video:

With the type of anti-LeBron posters the fans had made, why would he want to expose himself to that? What recourse do the fans have if LeBron stays in the locker room for that part? None, and that’s why it was smart. Just check out some of these anti-LeBron signs:

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