In speaking of the importance of the award and the selection of Artest, Kathy Behrens, the NBA executive vice president for
social responsibility and player programs, told Psychiatric News, "NBA players recognize the unique position they are in to address important social issues close to their hearts. The players
nominated for the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, and certainly Ron, are representative of the extraordinary commitment
that our players have for being fully engaged in giving back to their community."