Well before he played a key role on the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2010 NBA Championship team as Metta World Peace, Ron Artest was an enthusiastic rookie selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 16th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft.
His time with the Bulls lasted less than three seasons before he was traded to the Indiana Pacers. He was solid during his time there on the court, averaging 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and two steals. Artest was named to the All-Rookie Second Team in 2000.
There were some issues at play as well, however. He came under scrutiny for applying for a job at Circuit City during his rookie season in order to get the employee discount. He would also admit years later that there were times when he would drink Hennessey during halftime of games.
Now retired and serving as a player development coach for the South Bay Lakers, World Peace completely understands his shortcomings. In an interview with Phil Thompson of the Chicago Tribune, World Peace chalked up his issues to youth and immaturity, and revealed he hoped to return to the Bulls organization:
“I kind of overwore my welcome. I was just too young at that time. I had tried to get back. It was a place where I wouldn’t have minded playing again, but sometimes it’s just too late.”
Many people, regardless of profession, look back on their younger days in disbelief at how they used to be. World Peace is no different as he is far more mature now than he was in his early 20s.
Now that he has retired, he can look back on those days and laugh at what he used to be. Luckily for World Peace, his time in Chicago should give him excellent experience in relating to similar young players as a coach.
WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERSNATION FORUM CLUB