Ron Artest, known by the alter ego “Metta World Peace,” is a retired American professional basketball player with a fascinating journey. From his early life in the Queensbridge projects to his championship-winning days with the Los Angeles Lakers, Artest has left an indelible mark on the NBA. As of November 2023, his estimated net worth is $30 million.
Early Life and College
Born in Queens, New York, in 1979, Ron Artest played high school basketball at La Salle Academy in Manhattan. His college career at St. John’s University’s Red Storm showcased his talent, leading the team to an impressive record and an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Division 1 Tournament.
Bulls and Pacers Era
Selected by the Chicago Bulls in the 1999 NBA draft, Artest spent nearly three years with the team before being traded to the Indiana Pacers in 2002.
His time with the Pacers was marked by both outstanding performance on the court and frequent clashes, including the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl in 2004. This incident resulted in an 86-game suspension, the longest in NBA history for an on-court incident.
Kings and Rockets Stint
A trade to the Sacramento Kings in 2006 showcased Artest’s skills, but his aggressive behavior persisted. A move to the Houston Rockets in 2008 brought both success and ejections from games due to on-court outbursts.
Los Angeles Lakers Triumph
The peak of Artest’s career came with the Los Angeles Lakers, signing a $33 million, five-year deal in 2009. His crucial plays, including a game-winning buzzer-beater in the 2010 Western Conference Finals, contributed to the Lakers’ NBA championship victory against the Celtics.
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After leaving the Lakers, Artest, now adopting the name Metta World Peace, continued his basketball journey. He played for the New York Knicks, the Chinese Basketball Association’s Sichuan Blue Whales, and Italy’s Pallacanestro Cantù. A return to the Lakers in 2015 showcased his enduring passion for the game.
Beyond basketball, Artest explored various ventures. His TV appearances included “Dancing with the Stars,” “Figure it Out,” and “Key and Peele.” He also released a rap album titled “My World” in 2006, featuring guest artists like P. Diddy and Mike Jones.
Personal Life and Philanthropy
Artest’s personal life includes relationships, marriages, and fatherhood. Involved in charity work, he supported organizations like PETA.
Ron Artest’s basketball journey, marked by talent, controversies, and triumphs, culminated in a successful career with a net worth of $30 million. From his early struggles in Queens to becoming Metta World Peace, he remains a memorable figure in the basketball world, leaving a legacy both on and off the court.