Artest to announce winner of ring raffle
LOS ANGELES — Ron Artest has absolutely no regrets about giving away his Los Angeles Lakers championship ring to boost mental health awareness. In fact, it just encourages him to go out and get another ring.
Artest plans to announce the winner of the charity raffle for his ring Saturday night at a club across the street from Staples Center, where the Lakers hosted the Miami Heat in the NBA's Christmas showcase.
"It's a good feeling, because it got a lot of publicity, and that's cool," Artest said before taking on LeBron James. "I'm glad we can start over now and do some more work with charities." Artest came up with the idea to give away his first NBA title ring after putting a spotlight on mental health by thanking his psychiatrist after Game 7 of the Lakers' triumph over Boston last June. While some laughed at another stunt by one of the NBA's biggest characters, Artest's candid declaration sparked an interest in normalizing mental health care, which snowballed into this unique charitable gift.
And when he officially gives away the ring in a couple of weeks, Artest feels he'll be even more motivated to replace it with the Lakers, who are chasing their third consecutive title.
Wizards suspend 2 players for 1 game
WASHINGTON — The Washington Wizards suspended forward Andray Blatche and center JaVale McGee for one game Saturday for conduct detrimental to the team.
They will miss the team's game Sunday at San Antonio.
The Washington Post said on its website that Blatche and McGee were involved in an altercation outside an area club early Friday. The newspaper reported that two league sources said the players cursed at each other and exchanged punches. The Post said another source said police were called to break up the fight.
Steelers' rusher loses 100-yard game
PITTSBURGH — Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall has lost the extra yard he was incorrectly credited with Sunday against the Jets, costing him a 100-yard game.
The Elias Sports Bureau, the NFL's statisticians, deducted the yard Mendenhall was given on a 9-yard run to the Jets 26 in the second quarter. There was confusion when the chain crew accidentally began moving the yard markers, so referee Peter Morelli's crew placed the ball at the 25 and signaled a first down.
The Steelers' statisticians then credited Mendenhall with a 10-yard run. Elias changed it to a 9-yard gain and tacked the phantom yard onto a sack of Ben Roethlisberger on the following play.