Ringing in the new season
The Lakers begin their championship defense Tuesday night against Houston, but not without one final look at last season.
They'll receive their championship rings at 7:10 p.m., 20 minutes before tipoff against the Rockets, though it'll be only a temporary possession for one player.
Ron Artest still plans to give away his ring and will offer $2 raffle tickets later this week on his website, Ronartest.com, with a minimum purchase of five tickets.
"I was only disappointed because I heard the ring was going to be really big this year," Artest said. "I'm probably going to get a duplicate for my wife, but the original, the first one that we get as a team, is going up [for raffle]."
Artest went on to say that auctioning off the ring outweighed the benefit of keeping it. He plans on donating funds from the raffle to a pair of undisclosed mental-health causes.
TNT has exclusive rights to broadcast Tuesday night's game and plans to carry the ceremony live, with the pregame show starting at 7 p.m.
-- Mike Bresnahan
Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Coach Phil Jackson pose with the NBA championship trophy during media day. Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images