Over the past calendar year, Ron Artest has changed his public image from that of a no-good hoodlum to upstanding citizen. He's a tireless advocate for mental health awareness and even earned himself the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award this season.
It turns out he's changing lives even during completely normal nights out on the town, too. According to TMZ.com, Artest helped break up a fight on Hollywood Blvd. after a night of clubbing this last weekend (via EOB):
Artest had just left a club -- and was walking down Hollywood Blvd. when a woman and a man began to throw punches at each other RIGHT NEXT to the NBA superstar.
After some bobbing and weaving, 6'7", 260 pound Artest stepped in and quickly separated the two combatants. Once both fighters were restrained, Artest got into a waiting vehicle and went home.
TMZ spoke with Artest who told us, "Unfortunately there was a situation at the club and some people had too much to drink, and got unruly and aggressive. I tried to diffuse the situation. Some people just don't think clearly when they've had too much to drink -- it's an unfortunate reality. "
Wow, I can't believe that took place RIGHT NEXT to Artest. Pretty amazing. You can watch the video (along with some NSFW language) at the link above.
Congrats to Artest for handling the situation and also using the occasion to teach all the youngsters out there about handling their alcohol. This is exactly the kind of approach to life that has him in everyone's good graces.
Now, let's see him defuse a similar fight between Kobe Bryant and Mike Brown next season. That will be his greatest test of all.
- Ron Artest