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Metta World Peace Gets Candid About ‘Career-Altering’ Trade From Bulls to Pacers

Tonoy Sengupta

Metta World Peace Gets Candid About ‘Career-Altering’ Trade From Bulls to Pacers

When it comes to outlandish stories from the NBA, not many can compete with Metta World Peace, whether it be on, or off the court. Given the nature of his tales, the player often can’t help but launch himself into a fit of laughter. However, what he revealed most recently didn’t bring forth the same reaction from him.In fact, the former Indiana Pacer admitted that even the great Reggie Miller tried his best to help him to no avail.

Appearing on a recent episode of ‘Podcast P with Paul George’, the man formerly known as Ron Artest spoke about how he was traded to the Indiana Pacers from the Chicago Bulls. Initially speaking positively about the move, he said, “I didn’t realize they [the Chicago Bulls were tanking so that just weighed on me… When I got traded to Indiana, it felt new. We had the chance to go to the playoffs”

Unfortunately for the former NBA player, he was also going through quite a few personal issues at the time. And to add insult to injury, his being traded even made him believe that he was messing his career up, putting a lot of strain on his mind.

With Metta World Peace involved in an existential crisis of sorts, the player admitted that he made no effort to connect with his teammates, saying, “I was still in my head. I was coming to practice, I’m putting that work in, executing, that’s what I’ve been doing my whole career, playing team ball… But at the same time, my first year, I wasn’t getting in no trouble, but I was super introverted.”

Arenas then spoke about how his teammates attempted to get him involved, but he did nothing more than shirk them off to be alone.

“[They were saying] ‘Yo, we going out, let’s get some lunch!’ Nah, I’m just going to go back to my room, you know what I mean? Just go back to my room and deal with what I got to deal with? In my head and stuff like that, as a young player.”

Artest would then talk about how he didn’t realize that alcohol was a ‘depressant’, causing the then-young man to even drink it when he was alone, something that only added to his problems.

Later on in the show, the host revealed that Reggie Miller had once said his biggest regret was not being able to integrate Artest into the team. With a slightly more somber tone, Artest explained that it wasn’t the Pacers legend’s fault.

“I was going through too much… I never even had plates in my house”

It is only natural for a young athlete to feel so badly down in the dumps after experiencing the first major setback of their professional life. After all, Metta World Peace couldn’t stop wondering when he’d be traded away like nothing more than a nameless product again.

However, little did he know, he was up for quite a successful stint in Indiana.

Metta World Peace had a great time in Indiana… aside from one night

Metta World Peace elevated his game massively during his time with the Indiana Pacers, even going as far as winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2004. By then, he had even garnered a reputation for himself as arguably the best defender in the NBA something that only fueled his passion for the sport.

However, with all that emotion there also come downsides. And Artest’s was a little incident called ‘Malice at the Palace’.

During the NBA’s most infamous royal rumble, fans and players alike were seen brawling in the middle of an NBA game, something that was seen as a massive blotch on the NBA’s image.

As one might expect, the league took swift action to make sure the right measures were taken to prevent this kind of incident again. Consequently, for his part, Artest was handed an 86-game suspension, something that has not been matched by an NBA player since.

So, while Artest can now look back at his time in Indiana with a massive smile on his face, there are also going to be incidents sprinkled in there that he likely hopes to forget.

Post Edited By:Sameen Nawathe

About the author

Tonoy Sengupta

Tonoy Sengupta


Tonoy Sengupta is a Senior Editor at The SportsRush. Coming from an athletically inclined family, he has been surrounded by sports ever since he was 4 years old. But, while initially pouring all his time into Football (soccer), at 14, Tonoy discovered basketball through the countless highlights of Stephen Curry humiliating players from Curry Land. And just like that, a fiery passion for the game was ignited within Tonoy. And soon after, he decided to become a student of journalism, graduating in 2022, and choosing sports as his area of interest. Today, you can find him spending 99% of his time browsing through every type of content on every team in the NBA, before uncorking everything he has found to the world. In the 1% he isn't doing this, you can find him playing Basketball, Football, Volleyball, or practically any other sport he has had the opportunity to learn.

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