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.