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Ron Artest says he’ll donate half his salary to mental health awareness

Dec 8, 2010, 1:17 PM EDT


When Ron Artest commits, when he believes in something, he never goes in halfway. Whether it was partying in his younger days to his more mature commitment to the Lakers last season, Artest doesn’t hold back. He goes all in.

Now his passion is getting out the word about mental health awareness. Counseling has changed his life, he wants others to know it’s okay to seek help, to reduce the stigma.

And he is putting his money where his mouth is, donating at least half of his salary next season to the cause, he told’s Scott Howard Cooper. He is set to make $6.8 million, by the way.

“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?”

Well, this would certainly be a nice write off, but that’s not why he is doing it.

This would be in addition to the raffle of his championship ring he earned last season, with the money again going to the same cause. A cause heightened by his high-profile gestures.

  1. hnirobert3 - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    He’s crazy to do that. *rimshot*

  2. frankvzappa - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    Ron, thanks for helping get out the word about trying to drug the half the population that isnt already medicated into sedation with pharmaceuticals and fluoride

    • bstmusic1 - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:42 PM

      @frankvzappa: ummm, your agenda is not reflective of the story. The story mentions counseling – not drugs, not fluoride. Speaking of mental health, your paranoia is showing, frankvzappa.

      I’ve been very critical of Ron Ron in the past, but here’s a guy who just wants to help people. Way to go, Ron.

  3. gnyj85 - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    This is a good man…how many players you know would donate half, or more of their salary to help other people? (A lot of mental health issues are treated without drugs by the way). These dudes are making millions playing a game that most of us love to do when we’re not working. Hopefully some other players realize this and take a page out of Artest’s book of life.

  4. kmc33 - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    The people who posted the first 2 comments, could also take a page or 2 out of Artest’s book. I believe he is donating part of his salary, and already donated his Championship ring to help people, like myself, in putting up with people like frankvzappa, who clearly chose to talk out of the wrong end. I am by far no Lakers fan, but I applaud Artest for going above and beyond in helping out a cause he feels so strongly about.

  5. jhorton83 - Dec 9, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    As absurd as it sounds, it really wouldn’t surprise me at all if he did donate half his salary to this. Then again, nothing Ron Artest does surprises me at this point. As Bill Simmons once noted, if Ron Artest showed up to a game riding a horse naked, it really wouldn’t surprise anyone.

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