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Tuesday is Ron Artest Day in Las Vegas… we couldn’t make that up.

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UPDATE 8:01 pm: ESPNLA’s Dave McMenamin tweeted Artest’s comments on receiving the key to the city.

Ron Artest on being presented w/ the key to the city in Las Vegas tonight: “I’ll probably walk into everybody’s homes. I got the key, so…”

“I’m going to Floyd Mayweather’s house first, put on some of his jewelery”

5:46 pm: Ron Artest — he of the no more alcholol or other party mood enhancers — has his own day in the place best known for those things:

Tuesday is Ron Artest Day in Las Vegas. Officially.

Crack all the jokes you want — “free Hennessey during half time of the Lakers game tomorrow” — this is in honor of Artest’s philanthropic work. Kevin Ding of the OC Register has your answers on what Artest has doe:

Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Wolfson was set to honor Artest for his work with Xcel University, his program that works with community centers and schools to identify high-risk students and give students an incentive toward a healthy lifestyle. Artest has also been supporting The Mental Health in Schools Act, which will be reintroduced into Congress in February during the 2011 legislative session and would provide $200 million in grant funding to schools nationwide to hire on-site mental health professionals to work with students suffering from mental-health issues.

It’s a well deserved honor for Artest. There are guys that do charity work and make sure a camera crew tags along, then there are guys who just do it because it matters to them. Artest is in the latter category. He publicizes a lot of things, but rarely his work in the community.

The ceremony took place at the Mirage Hotel — not so coincidentally a Lakers sponsor. And a place with a lot of Hennessey in the house. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Report: Matt Barnes texted friend that he beat up Derek Fisher, spat in wife’s face

Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook
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Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes reportedly attacked Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating his estranged wife, Gloria Govan.

New details are emerging, and they cast Barnes in an even worse light.

Ian Mohr of the New York Post:

Sources told The Post that Barnes became incensed when his 6-year-old twin sons, Carter and Isaiah, called to tell him that Fisher was at the house.

Following the dust-up, Barnes, 35, texted a pal that he had not only assaulted Fisher, 41, but also took revenge on Govan, one source said.

“I kicked his ass from the back yard to the front room, and spit in her face,” the text read, according to the source.

If this becomes a criminal case, Barnes’ text could incriminate him.

In the court of public opinion, the presence of Barnes’ children and his spitting in his wife’s face make this even more disturbing.

Unfortunately, not everyone views it that way. Too many are laughing off the incident.

Albert Burneko of Deadspin had the best take I’ve seen on this situation:

When an accused domestic abuser shows up uninvited at a family party to—as a source put it to the New York Post—“beat the shit” out of someone for the offense of dating his ex, that is not a wacky character up to zany shenanigans. It is not reality TV melodrama or a cartoon or celebrities being silly. It is the behavior of a dangerous misogynist lunatic. It is an act of violent aggression. It is a man forcefully asserting personal property rights over a woman’s home, body, and life. It differs from what Ray Rice did in that elevator by degree, not by kind, and not by all that much.

I suggest reading it in full.