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Artest Making Nice in Indy

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Old friend, Ron Artest has been haning around Indy since the season finished. Reports of his workouts at the Pacers practice facilities have even spawned basesless rumors/fears that Ronnie may want to come back home, again, to play in Indiana. Monday afternoon he took some time to give back to the community and spread a positive message to kids at the Mary Riggs Community Center. Sounds like it was one of those 'do as I say, not as I do' type of inspirational messages.

Artest's spoke about the importance of education, family values and staying out of trouble. He was suspended in school every year from kindergarten to sixth grade and had to sit out the first 15 games his freshman year of high school because of poor grades. Artest held off all questions about basketball until the end.

"Outside of family and God, education is the most important thing," he told the campers. "... I still make mistakes, but rather than put my head down, I try to get better the next day."
Ronnie always professed a love of his home, neighbors, and the city of Indianapolis even while forcing a trade from the Pacers. At the time, I figured he was just trying to get out of town without doing any more damage. But in hindsight, the guy just isn't wired that way and was probably speaking from the heart. Maybe since the domestic issues he went through this year, Indy is a refuge to help him work through the problems.

Ah, it's always fun trying to analyze the thoughts and actions of Ron Ron. Was today's event straight PR? From the publicists point of view, no doubt. But Ronnie probably has a genuine desire to do right by the city and while he'll never be able to undo the damage he inflicted on the Pacers, bringing a little love to the kids at least let's him make a positive impact on the city.