From the looks of things, it's only a matter of time before Ron Artest is asked to appear on Sesame Street. We're a wee bit late on this, but fortunately TrueHoop was paying close attention to Artest's first day of mandatory community service yesterday, which was part of his punishment for the 2004 Auburn Hills Brawl with the Pistons while he was a member of the Pacers. At a panel on black empowerment at the Judge Mathis Community Center in Detroit, Artest was, um, not exactly contrite. "Someone started trouble and I ended it," Artest told about 50 children. "I would always encourage you to protect yourself but in certain situations, if you can avoid them, avoid them." NeedForSheed has video of the event, in which Artest also said that he has "made some mistakes in life, like selling cocaine at the age of 13." (We were detassling corn).
Aside from the fact that we're surprised there is such as thing as a "Judge Mathis Community Center," we're also astonished that Artest is talking to kids without an NBA representative, or David Stern himself, standing within arm's length ready with a sock and some masking tape.