Ron Artest to be given key to Las Vegas

Updated: October 13, 2010, 10:57 AM ET
By Andy Kamenetzky | ESPNLosAngeles.com

For Ron Artest, the Los Angeles Lakers ' journey to Las Vegas isn't just about Wednesday's preseason game against the Sacramento Kings. He'll also be honored by Sin City.

Artest
Artest

The small forward will receive the key to the city in recognition of his work with Xcel University, and efforts to raise awareness about mental health issues. The ceremony, which will include the official naming of Oct. 12 as "Ron Artest Day," will be conducted by Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Wolfson Tuesday night at the Mirage Hotel.

"I've been doing a lot of charity things, and I think they kind of like it," explained a clearly humbled Artest at Tuesday's practice in El Segundo. "I was totally surprised. I heard something about it a couple of months ago and I was trying to give it to [Derek Fisher]. Fish could take my place or Kobe [Bryant] or somebody.

"That's what comes with winning and doing good things and being a Laker."

As a part of his philanthropic efforts, Artest recently announced he will auction off his 2009-10 NBA championship ring and donate the proceeds towards better mental health counseling in schools. His latest piece of memorabilia, however, will remain in house.

"No, I don't think I'm gonna auction off that key," explained Artest. "I know I can get another ring, but I don't think I can get another key."

Andy Kamenetzky is co-author of the Land O'Lakers blog on ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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