Not at all for his skill at basketball, or for the fact that he is by far my favorite Laker, but for the fact that he might be the most awesome person on the planet right now.
I heard a story from my wife that he worked at Circuit City, WHILE in the NBA, to get a discount. So, I looked it up, and he has done a number of things that are, well, just GREAT!
Artest has been a subject of frequent controversy. In a December 2009 Sporting News interview, Artest admitted that he had led a "wild" lifestyle as a young player, and that he drank Hennessy cognac in the locker room at halftime when he was playing for the Chicago Bulls at the beginning of his NBA career. During his rookie season in Chicago, he was criticized for applying for a job at Circuit Cityin order to get an employee discount. He once attended a practice with the Indiana Pacers in a bath robe. He was suspended for two games in the early 2004–05 season by Pacers coach Rick Carlisle after he allegedly asked for a month off because he was tired from promoting an R&B album for the group Allure on his production label. Artest had also been suspended for three games in 2003 for destroying a television camera at Madison Square Garden, and for four games for a confrontation with Miami Heat coach Pat Riley in 2003. He has also been suspended several times for flagrant fouls. Artest was also involved in the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawlin 2004.All of this, and they don't even mention his time in a race-car on Rodeo in Beverly hills.