Caught in the Web: Ron Artest to receive key to the city in Las Vegas
--Mark it on your calendars. Today is "Ron Artest Day" in Las Vegas where he will be given the keys to the city today at 4 p.m. in a ceremony hosted by Mayor Oscar Goodman at the Mirage Hotel, according to a press release from "it" Girl Public Relations. Artest is honored for his work with Xcel University, which works with community centers and schools to identify high-risk students. Artest is also involved with The Mental Health in Schools Act, which plans to be reintroduced to Congress in February during the 2011 legislative session and would provide $200 million in grant funding involving mental health issues.
As hilarious as it may sound for Artest to receive the keys to Las Vegas, the event surely honors a worthy cause.
--The Times' Broderick Turner details Derek Fisher's off-season routine.
--The Times' John Scheibe gives the "Once Brothers" documentary rave reviews.
--NBA.com's David Aldridge reports a team executive told him the Lakers' signing of Steve Blake represented the best free-agent acquisition.
--NBA.com's Steve Aschburner lists the 1971-72 Lakers squad as his favorite team.
--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr ranks the Lakers' best all-time centers.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky previews the Lakers' preseason schedule.
--Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin jokes that Artest's decision to stay sober may ruin his rap career.
--USA Today's Mike Snider talks to Michael Jordan, who says Kobe Bryant will finish in the Top 10 list of NBA guards.
--Lakers forward Lamar Odom busts a few moves in the video below, originally posted by Silver Screen and Roll's theshmoes
--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford explains why Phil Jackson cut practice short on Monday.
--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen predicts something that won't sit well with Lakers fans: "Let's say there will be a hard cap on salaries after this season. That means the league is probably going to have to break up the flagship rosters of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat."
--The Associated Press' Joseph Wilson highlights Bryant's contention that Ricky Rubio appears NBA-ready.
--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark profiles Lakers forward Pau Gasol.
--Forum Blue and Gold's Jeff Skibiski explains how the Lakers' injuries are affecting their preseason.
Reader Comment of the Day: "While Ron has erased many, if not all, of the concerns fans had about him, Lamar has demonstrated that his marriage to Khloe Kardashian, being in a reality show, his affinity to candy, and playing for Team USA, have not been distractions. Rather, they may have contributed to developing the character, maturity, and responsibility that Odom has exhibited so far. Phil and his teammates have recognized that, and are rewarding Lamar with a greater leadership role. His focused approach to this season will pay huge dividends on the court." -- Laker J
Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest is introduced at Eastmont Intermediate School, where he spoke to students about the mental health issues he has dealt with since age 13. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times