Wake up with the Celtics  and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
Ron Artest  is pretty confident the Lakers will repeat as NBA champions. He practically guaranteed it in a recent Tweet , claiming he’ll give away his second ring to whoever writes the best essay “on how we can make America better” (he’s already scheduled to auction off his 2009-10 championship ring to benefit mental-health causes).
Where does this competition rank in prestige among essay contests? It probably falls somewhere between the Ayn Rand Institute Essay Contest and the John F. Kennedy library’s Profile in Courage Essay Contest, right? Artest, after all, is the same guy who wrote such lyrical poetry as “Booty Wooty ” …
Now I might be quick to get a tech,
But I keep my girls in check,
Punch ’em in the neck
With the utmost respect.
Talk about making America a better place, huh? Hypocrisy at its finest.
MIAMI HEAT : CROWN THEIR A**ES
Members of the Heat aren’t ready to crown themselves the beasts of the East, yet, as many critics are prepared to do before the newlook Miami squad has stepped on an NBA floor for real. Perhaps a 90-73 preseason loss to the Spurs and Dwyane Wade ‘s sore hamstring were wakeup calls that championships don’t get delivered to the team with the best offseason moves. In fact, according to ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst , what the Heat are really looking for is a little 2008 Celtics “Ubuntu” magic of their own …
LeBron James : “Boston, Orlando and the Lakers are going to be ahead of us. We’re a little behind those teams.”
Udonis Haslem : “We’re still behind. Our goals that we set is to be the best but right now we’re behind Boston and Orlando.”
One thing’s for sure, though: Cleveland still hates LeBron. First of all, LeBron finally opened up  about his alleged elbow injury during last season’s playoff loss to the Celtics in a SLAM magazine article this week …
“It was pretty bad. It was something we couldn’t figure out exactly what it was. There was times where I couldn’t fully extend my elbow, and that’s my shooting arm. And I do a lot with my right hand [laughs] ‘¦ Close to the last week of the season it started hurting a little bit, and then it just got worse throughout the playoffs.”
Secondly, at least one man isn’t buying it. The Cleveland Leader’s Eugene McCormick took the former Cavalier to task … and then some …
“Amazing how that Florida sun must have just cured what seemed to be ‘bothering’ him here in Cleveland. Last time I checked or heard from my sources, though, the MRI’s never revealed any damage whatsoever.”
PAUL PIERCE’S COUSIN: “THE LIE”
VOTE TODAY … FOR THE CELTICS
The “Respect” advertisement  ‘ featuring Kevin Garnett  ‘ by Allen & Gerritsen was nominated for the “People’s Choice Award” at the 50th anniversary of the Hatch Awards, which recognizes New England’s best advertising and marketing. Voting  closed at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Speaking of Celtics advertisements, I enjoyed the NBA’s new campaign . Doc Rivers , Shaq and the rest of the Celtics are getting pretty big heads already this season. It’s kind of freaking me out, actually.