Artest is used to some rough behavior on the court, including one incident in high school where he witnessed his friend and teammate, Lloyd Newton, die from getting the leg of a table thrown at and lodged into his back.
When growing up in these circumstances, getting rowdy (even if it is not right) is understandable.
What makes it even more understandable is Artest's mental health issues and his willingness to address them.
I am not an expert on mental health, but being in a mental asylum for about a month and a half, going to a psychologist about every week after that and listening to my dad, who is a psychiatrist, I am assuming from what I have read about Artest he is bipolar. I could not find this information on the internet, but let me tell you, if he is bipolar, it is no walk in the park.
Bipolar is often associated with ADD. The symptoms can be very similar and those with bipolar have ADD, too, about 50% of the time (I could not find a source for this, but I believe I read about it in one of my dad's psychiatric magazines.) This makes treating bipolar difficult for most, as missing medication is easy.
Some people, especially people who are athletes, will have quick and severe responses to missing medication because of high metabolism. One time, I started a fight with my friend Jon on the basketball court over something insignificant mainly because I had accidently missed my medications the morning before.
Basketball pumps up adrenaline and testorone, and if I can get into a fight with Jon so easily with an audience of one, imagine how hard Artest must fight to stay in control playing for money in an arena full of people.
Artest is also auctioning off his championship ring to raise money for mental health awareness and is giving away a lot of his salary this season to the same cause.
While we do not have to like Artest (Beat LA!), we should love him and forgive him like we would any other human being.
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