Metta Sandiford-Artest won his lone NBA championship alongside the late Kobe Bryant in his very first season with the Los Angeles Lakers. And for those who didn't know, Sandiford-Artest, who was still Ron Artest at the time, personally made his unique pitch to play for LA to Bryant while he was alone in the shower after the Boston Celtics beat the Lakers in Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals. That's basically what Kobe said.
Fourteen years after the said shower conversation, Sandiford-Artest lifted the lid on the subject and provided us with some new, or rather clarifying, details.
According to Metta, regardless of how legitimate and vivid Bryant's recollection may seem, "that story got twisted." Based on his detailed version, it was more of him congratulating his friends and fellow NBA stars than a pitch to join the Lakers.
"That story got twisted," Artest explained on the "I Am Athlete" podcast. "I'mma tell you the story… They lose by 30, Game 6 against the Celtics in Boston. I'm at that game. I'm playing with the Sacramento Kings at the time, but Lamar [Odom] is playing, also. So I'm here to see Lamar and Kobe, one of my favorite players. Right?"
The truth about the shower story
Sandiford-Artest went on and said that he ran across then-Lakers head coach Phil Jackson and his assistant Brian Shaw. He asked the pair the same question, "where Kobe at?" And after roaming around the team's locker room some more, the 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year finally found Kobe. Contrary to what we were told, Metta said he never said anything about teaming up with Bryant for the championship. But yes, it did take place in a shower room.
"He was taking a shower, he's pissed," he recalled. "[he was the] Only one in the shower. He's like this. Shower this way [in his face], and I'm over here [behind him.] His head is down like, you know what I mean? Just lost by 30, you know what I mean? So I tapped him on the shoulder. He just turned around with the ice grill, right? Like this [makes a furious face]. He was shocked, like, 'What?'…I said, 'Yo man, I just wanted to tell you good game, man. I'm proud of you, man.' And I just left."
Too bad Bryant is no longer with us to share his thoughts about Sandiford-Artest's revelation. But whatever the truth is, what's irrefutable is that the pair once won a championship together and made history in LA.