Artest gives $18,000 in tickets to fan

LOS ANGELES -- Ron Artest has used his Twitter account in a variety of attention-grabbing ways, even infamously posting on his account earlier in the playoffs that Lakers coach Phil Jackson should "shut his yapper."

On Thursday, Artest opened up his wallet and plopped down $18,000 on two courtside seats for Game 1 of the NBA Finals and gave the tickets away to a fan who tweeted him.

"In the season I've been giving away a lot of tickets," Artest said. "I've been buying tickets and giving them away to fans, but it was championship time and I though the fans deserved to sit courtside."

Artest also has used the social media device this season to show off his flamboyant hairstyles before unveiling them at a game and also to organize games of touch football on the beach.

"Ninety-eight percent of people in L.A. don't go see a Lakers game," Artest said. "So, when I'm giving my two tickets that are up in the 10th row, they're extremely happy about those, if they're courtside, [they must be so happy that] I don't know if they're going to make it home tonight.

"I'm sure they were happy. Nine thousand dollars for a ticket . . . I don't know what happened to the $5,400 per ticket when I was here last year [as a spectator in the Western Conference finals]. I'm not happy about that, I was thinking about selling them [for more] when I bought them."

Artest was asked if he planned on buying courtside seats for a lucky fan for Game 2 out of superstition because the Lakers won Game 1 in convincing fashion, 102-89.

"No," Artest said. "That is it."