Hot Diggety Dog

I have a confession to make. I really like Ron Artest. For the most part, I'm glad he's on our team.

I have a love/hate relationship with him, much like that the city of San Francisco likely has for Barry Bonds. From my limited knowledge base, I've been told that Ron-Ron is a very nice guy who cares for his kids, and his play on the court, while a tad self-centered at times, is fun to watch - both on defense and offense. One need only look at TZ's video from the game against the Spurs to see who forced San Antonio to turn the ball over at the end of the game. Mr. Artest himself.

While Artest's on-court ability has largely never been questioned, he has a certain knack for controversy. Whether the Auburn Hills brawl, or CD shilling, or the domestic abuse charges, Ron-Ron stays in the headlines for things that have close to zero to do with basketball. That's why I was less than surprised to see that Artest himself had to weigh in on the Michael Vick death-spiral, only months after he made headlines for issues with the way he'd cared for his dogs.

From the AP Wire...

"I want to call him and support him, you know, be there for him," Artest said. "[He] lied and then came back and apologized to everybody, I felt that was classy. ... I was touched that he took full responsibility. I felt that was a real man. I know for a fact he'll come out a better person."

Seems to me, just after most of us had moved on from the charges that Artest had neglected Socks to the point of starvation, that aligning his name with that of Vick, a virtual pariah at this point, isn't the kind of association one should be looking for. It certainly doesn't make it look like Ron-Ron is a future candidate to run the local ASPCA. But that's our Ron-Ron, a man who marches to his own drummer, public perceptions be damned.

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