Ron Artest has enjoyed an incredible image makeover in the past year, going from the spark of Malice at the Palace and a complete loose cannon to one of more thoughtful, charitable players in the NBA. Winning a championship helped, but raising mental health awareness and auctioning his Lakers' title ring for charity certainly push the agenda. As he turns out, he wasn't a clueless thug all along. Just a misunderstood man who made some mistakes.
Consider it a great heap of redemption, then, that Artest is one of four candidates for the 2011 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.
The Professional Basketball Writers Association nominated Ron-Ron, Kyle Korver, Dwight Howard and Marcus Camby for the honor. Samuel Dalembert, who raised millions of dollars and spent countless hours organizing and participating in aid delivery after Haiti's devastating earthquake last year, won the 2010 award. All four candidates are worthy, even if Ron's redemption story sticks out.