Still jealous of Ben Wallace
Most NBA fans associate Malice at the Palace when Ben Wallace and Metta World Peace are mentioned in the same sentence. The incident that took place 17 years ago in a game between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons is still a memorable event because it really was a chaotic scene that would probably never happen in today's NBA. Even though multiple players were involved in the incident, the brawl is famous because of the altercation between Ben and Metta, who was called Ron Artest at the time. Obviously, fans got involved soon after, and the whole chaotic event turned into a complete nightmare for everyone involved and the NBA as well.
Now almost two decades after the incident, Artest met with Wallace at the Lakers game and took a photo together with the caption, "This duo would beat any duo. Ruled the 2000's on defense. It's not debatable". The fans were ecstatic seeing these two together in the same photo, and in an interview for Big Podcast with Shaq, Metta talked about his relationship with Wallace and why he is envious of him still to this day.
"It was wild because I never had an issue with Ben like people just say what they want. The only issue I had with Ben is that I feel like I got a couple of those words. That's it; I respect Ben. I enjoy the fact that somebody that loved defense so much is getting honored, and I also envy it because it's something I wanted. Like I wanted to be the best defender in the league. I wanted to be the best wing defender ever. So with that being said, I don't know Ben; I have no relationship with Ben. The only relationship I have that you know is the brawl thing."
They are cool with each other now
Metta also shared how the iconic photo came to life and that he initially didn't intend to take it, but his friend encouraged him to approach Ben and do it, which he finally did.
"But I was going to a Laker game anyway. I'm sitting in my seat. I'm like, man, what I don't feel like getting a picture with Ben right now. So I said, alright, cool, I walk down. I said, yo what's up, Ben? I'll take this picture with Ben. It was a good picture, though."
It's good to hear they buried their war hatchet, and it was interesting to hear Metta talk so openly about his respect for Ben Wallace and admit he is jealous of all the awards he got for his defense. Wallace was a 4-time DPOY and one of the best rebounders in his prime. On the other hand, Metta was always regarded as one of the best wing defenders in his generation, but he never had the same accolades as Wallace did, even though they both ended up with an NBA championship. Nevertheless, it's great to see both of them giving respect to each other, and just like Metta said, these two would be unstoppable if they played together on the same squad.