Ron Artest, who once jumped into the stands and got suspended for a full season, and Dwight Howard, who currently leads the league in technical fouls, are both finalists for the Walter J. Kennedy Citizenship award. The award is given each year to an NBA figure who shows “outstanding service and dedication to the community.” Kyle Korver and Marcus Camby are the other two finalists for the award.
Artest has become a spokesman for mental health awareness, and auctioned off his NBA championship ring to pay for school psychiatry.
On Valentine’s day, Dwight Howard launched the D12 Foundation, whose stated goal is “to work with children’s organizations in establishing programs that will plant seeds of generosity, encourage education, support leadership, and inspire activity and health in the youth it reaches.”
Korver launched the Kyle Korver foundation, which reaches out to underprivileged youth in Philadelphia, Omaha, Salt Lake City, and Chicago.
Marcus Camby has been heavily involved with many charitable organizations throughout his 14-year NBA career.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.