Skip to main content

"They gave me half the dosage my dad was getting" - Metta Sandiford-Artest revealed the Chicago Bulls made him take medicine for his mental health

Having witnessed Artest's troubles, the Bulls tried to prevent the worst from happening
Metta Sandiford-Artest's only 'issue' with Ben Wallace had nothing to do with Malice at the Palace: 'Ben took that one'

Metta Sandiford-Artest

To this day, many still view Metta Sandiford-Artest, formerly Ron Artest, as a bad boy. Some even think he's borderline mentally unstable. However, only a few were aware of the extent of his mental health problems that he carried on until he made it to the NBA. The Chicago Bulls, the team that drafted Sandiford-Artest in 1999, were among them, so they made him undergo medication on the team's watch.

The Bulls wanted to ensure Ron was okay

According to Sandiford-Artest, he and his family began counseling when he was 13 years old to cope with the trauma caused by his parent's separation. During some background checking, Metta, who was Ron at the time, divulged the medical history of his family.

As expected, it became somewhat of a chip on Artest's shoulder. And when he started getting into trouble on the court, the Bulls, having noticed his potential as a player, tried to prevent the worse. The team resorted to making him take medicine just like his father.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

"I was getting in a lot of trouble in Chicago [after I was drafted by the Bulls]. I was doing crazy sh*t," Sandiford-Artest told GQ in 2019. "[The team] asked, 'Is anybody in your family on medication?' I said, 'My dad.' Then they gave me half the dosage my dad was getting. But I couldn't do it. The first time I took the medicine, it made me feel really awkward, and I never took it again. They were like, 'Did you take your medicine today.' I was like, 'Yeah, I took my medicine.' I just threw that sh*t in the toilet, man. I ain't taking that sh*t. I couldn't deal with it."

Getting back on track

After a few years of dealing with his mental health dilemma, Artest, as well as the Bulls, learned through diagnosis that it was depression. No matter what Sandiford-Artest did, it seemed like trouble had its way of coming into him. But the good thing was, the man wanted to get better.

"Back in those days, you think alcohol or marijuana can help," Sandiford-Artest reflected. "Instead of having an occasional drink, you're doing it as a therapeutic thing. If you're drinking, thinking that's going to solve a problem, you're making it 20 times worse. For me, getting my first check, it highlighted how I was really feeling. It was spent on things to suppress certain feelings. Going out, clubbing, drinking."

By the time Sandiford-Artest won a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers, he was already being treated by a psychologist. Regardless of the details of his case, Metta was still discriminated against by the public. He was ruthlessly branded as crazy. At first, Sandiford-Artest was mad about it until he stopped caring about what people think.

He stressed, "I got tired of worrying about it. I just didn't care anymore."

Boston Celtics guard Dennis Johnson in action at the Boston Garden

“His act of kindness enabled me to keep that job” - A motivational speaker shares a heartwarming Dennis Johnson story

After working odd jobs as a teenager, carrying two heavy jugs was probably no big deal for Johnson.

NFL legend Shannon Sharpe, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, former NBA player Stephen Jackson

“LeBron ain’t gonna run up and fight nobody for you. Keep that in mind” - Stephen Jackson warns Shannon Sharpe about his relationship with LeBron James

James said that he’s got Sharpe’s back just as much as the analyst has his but Jackson doesn't believe this is the case.


"Mess with Stockton and you mess with me" - Karl Malone on what John Stockton meant to him

The connection between Karl Malone and John Stockton goes beyond basketball


"Let's see what this guy did in his career" — Why Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn't initially impressed with Jason Kidd

The NBA was heading toward the positionless ball during Jason Kidd's time in Milwaukee. The point guard knew that Giannis Antetokounmpo was the ace up in his sleeves.

January 31, 2023; Jamal Murray interviewed by TNT broadcaster Chris Haynes after the Denver Nuggets beat the New Orleans Pelicans at Ball Arena

"Winning a championship!" - Jamal Murray talks about Denver Nuggets' ultimate goal while praising Nikola Jokic

Jamal Murray has had long process of recovery after his ACL injury, but he is back on track, and ready to help the team win a championship.

Detroit Pistons guard Joe Dumars (4)/Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley (34)

“Give me that sh*t, Joe!” - When Charles Barkley stopped Joe Dumars from dunking in traffic again

While hardly a defensive menace, Chuck did enough to dissuade Dumars from trying to posterize opponents again.

Shaquille O'Neal, AKA DJ Diesel/Tracy McGrady attends The NYC Point Gods Premiere

“You’re getting soft, come on T-Mac” - Shaquille O’Neal’s response to Tracy McGrady after he told him he was going to get his tattoos removed

When McGrady admitted that he’s in the process of removing the ink he got at a young age, the 4-time champion joked around and called T-Mac soft for doing such a thing.


“He’s the worst rotation player in the league” - JJ Redick reveals harsh yet honest feelings after he saw Draymond Green playing in sophomore year

Former NBA Player turned analyst JJ Redick revealed honest feelings on witnessing Draymond Green play in his sophomore year in the NBA