It has been a long time since Metta World Peace or Ron Artest at the time wore an Indiana Pacers jersey. The man formerly known as Artest is 10 years removed from his stint with the Pacers and recently reflected on his time with the team during an interview with Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
“I was amazing,” World Peace said. “My defense, my offense, they had never seen it. Not really. I was the last defensive player of the year here. I think I got the highest individual award here. They remember that, to have one of the best on your team. It’s going to be, somebody might surpass what I’ve done here. There were games when I was getting eight steals and 25 points. It was pretty cool. For me it was fun.”
It’s incredible to think about how much has changed for Metta since 2006. The veteran forward has changed his name, twice. “The Malice at the Palace” is a distant memory for most with the player and person we see today forever transformed as an advocate for mental health as well as a respected figure in the league.
World Peace has played for four different NBA teams since the incident in Detroit. He’s played in two other countries overseas and won an NBA title alongside Kobe Bryant of all people in 2010.
A remarkable journey to say the least with World Peace continuing to prove the doubters wrong making the Lakers roster two years running after seemingly having played his last game in the NBA with the New York Knicks in 2014.
With World Peace’s intention to play 20 years professionally, the one-time NBA champion will likely continue to surprise us as he’s proven time and time again that he won’t let anyone prevent him from achieving his goals.
On Tuesday night, World Peace and the Lakers will face the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with Los Angeles hoping to end a two-game skid.