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Posted: Thursday June 3, 2010 8:18PM ; Updated: Thursday June 3, 2010 9:07PM

Artest treats fan to courtside seating for opener

By Ian Thomsen, SI.com

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NBA Team Page

Ron Artest used to buy tickets to attend the NBA Finals. Now that he's finally playing at this time of the year, he is still spending nonetheless at the box office.

Artest spent $18,000 Wednesday on a pair of courtside seats to Game 1, which were drawn out of an 'electric hat' by a Los Angeles radio station and awarded to a contest participant.

"Most of my fans can't afford the ticket prices to come to any of the games, let alone the Finals,'' said Artest. "I wanted to treat a fan to something they would normally never have access to, so they could feel like one of the stars for the night. I feel like just a regular person at the end of the day, and I wanted to be able to share my first Finals experience with one of my regular fans."

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