Skip to main content

Metta World Peace on his legacy as the best wing defender of all-time

Metta-World-Peace-Ron-Artest

When you hear the name Ron Artest/Metta World Peace/Metta Sandiford-Artest, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Malice in the Palace. Being the protagonist in NBA's most famous brawl, that fight marked his career. After that, Artest was labeled as a problematic character, and that reputation overshadowed facts - Metta is really good at basketball.

Even his defensive specialist status doesn't tell the whole story. In his prime, Artest was good for 20. His best season in Indiana, the one interrupted by the suspension, Artest was posting a 24.6/6.4/3.1. That's a helluva ballplayer right there. But Artest knew defense was his bread and butter, and he willingly sacrificed numbers to play on a competitive team. It was all about defense. 

In that area, he considered himself the best. Everyone has at least one weird matchup, a player they hate seeing coming up on the schedule. It doesn't have to be the best guy in the league, but somehow you can't figure him out. Sandiford-Artest didn't think that way. For him, there was no matchup he shied away from. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

“I would say I could guard anybody. I felt I was the best defender; I always felt like my defense was better than people's offense. No matter who I was up against, my job that night was to be better than you on defense. That's how I thought about my game. So I never really have a chance to say I didn't like to go against someone.” 

Metta Sandiford-Artest, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network

In Artest's eyes, the greater the player he stopped just made a more compelling case for him being one of the greatest wing defenders of all time. That's exactly what Metta thinks he is. Before he mentioned it, I have to admit I never gave much thought to that category. 

6-6, 260lb, fearless and ready to go up against anybody - Metta Sandiford-Artest would make my list for sure. You never completely stop guys like LeBron or Kobe. But if you want to slow them down and make them work 100% on every possession? You can't go wrong with Artest. 

Why Shaq sold his Auntie Anne’s business: Black people don’t like Pretzels

"I didn't want to be greatest" — Shaquille O'Neal on the sneaky reason why he didn't aim to be the GOAT during his playing days

Shaquille O'Neal planned on delivering the most arrogant speech ever if he passed Wilt Chamberlain in points.

Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Delonte West (13) tries to dribble around Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20)

"I didn't think it was going to be that steep" — Delonte West's honest thoughts on giving Gordon Hayward a wet willie

A closer look at the incident reveals Delonte West actually gave Gordon Hayward a dry willie.

TNT anchor Kenny Smith introduces Team Shaq general manager Shaquille O'Neal and Team Chuck general manager Charles Barkley

“I never feel in competition with those guys” - Kenny Smith reveals why he, Shaquille O’Neal, and Charles Barkley are a perfect fit on TV

Kenny Smith recently dived into why the brother hood between himself, Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley manifests itself on the big screen

February 9, 2019; Houston Rockets forward Kenneth Faried celebrates a play vs. Oklahoma City Thunder at Toyota Center

“I’m ready, I’m focused, I’m locked in” - Kenneth Faried eyeing NBA comeback

The Manimal has his sights set on a return to where it all started.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) controls the ball against Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga (00)/; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles against Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga (00)

“It was even tougher guarding Kyrie than guarding Ja” - Jonathan Kuminga compares the two star point guards

Irving lit up the Dubs for 38 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists in their latest bout.

NBA on TNT analyst and Fall of Famer Charles Barkley with New Orleans Pelicans star forward Zion Williamson

"He missed too many games” - Charles Barkley picks two guys who deserve All-Star starter nod over Zion Williamson

Despite missing significant time, Zion has still been a beast whenever he takes court for the Pelicans.

December 31, 2022; Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo reacts during the game against the Utah Jazz during the third quarter at Vivint Arena

“There are guys that shouldn’t even be on that list” - Bam Adebayo takes a massive dig at All-Star Fan Voting

Bam Adebayo was frustrated after he, along with his Miami Heat teammates, was snubbed in the 2023 All Star starters voting.