The NBA is undoubtedly the world's most prestigious and competitive basketball league. With that in mind, one must be tough to stay in the league -- something Metta Sandiford-Artest, formerly Metta World Peace and Ron Artest had always epitomized during his playing years.
Like any other known NBA bruisers, Metta’s ruggedness was also honed in the streets, in one of the tough neighborhoods in New York to be exact. While that fact is something a professional basketball player should not really be so proud of, Metta is neither shying away from telling everyone about it nor bragging about it. Instead, the 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year often tries to lift the lid on the subject in the most sensible way possible.
A dark past
Whenever we talk about Metta World Peace or Ron Artest, we mostly remember the fights and the dirty plays. A lazy comment would imply that it’s only proper because he was from the streets. But according to the man himself, it was just partly correct.
Apparently, the menacing character stuck in Metta World Peace’s legacy was a byproduct of a dark past that stemmed from the traumas of a broken home.
“I had a mother and father up to the age of 13. Then they separated, and things started to go south for me emotionally,” World Peace told GQ in 2019.
It is what it is, but it’s not what you think
Having witnessed his parents part ways, the young and devastated Metta found some sort of comfort in the streets. But as expected, he admitted that “drugs, violence, fighting, all type of things like that” indeed “became normal” to him. And he’s not denying being accustomed to it one bit.
“Everything people said was true,” World Peace confessed. “I'm from the streets, I'm from the hood. There's no misconception.”
For World Peace, he learned to accept his tough upbringing. So people should do the same thing too.
“It's just about accepting… I love where I'm from,” he continued. “You walk around your neighborhood, and you're not afraid—you should be, but you’re not. If somebody gets shot today, it's like, ‘All right, he got shot today. It was fucked up, but we'll move on.’ That's not normal, man. No kid should have to go through that. So when you ask, ‘Is there a misunderstanding?’ No, there's no misunderstanding. You've just got to accept where we're from.”
Metta’s truthfulness about his life is commendable. However, the sad reality is people will always have something to say about these NBA stars no matter how much they try to shed light on the things they’ve done.