When rookie Ron Artest worked at Circuit City
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When rookie Ron Artest worked at Circuit City

He’s been an All-Star, a Defensive Player of the Year, and an NBA champion. He’s been called Ron Artest, Metta World Peace, Panda Friend, and now, Metta Ford-Peace. But the most interesting thing about his NBA career might be the fact that, during his rookie year, Ford-Peace was an employee of Circuit City.

I was bored, I was partying a little bit too much. I was trying to find ways to stay grounded. So one of the things I did was apply for a job at Circuit City.

Metta World Peace, Highly Questionable

With a salary of more than $1 million in 1999-2000, Artest applied for the job citing “NBA player” as his prior occupation and using then-Bulls general manager Jerry Krause’s name as a reference. Now we don’t know did the Bulls rookie forward have to go through the usual recruitment process, but we do know that he did get to wear a Circuit City uniform.

I got the job, 50 percent discounts, and things. I showed up one day. I worked, I helped out some customers.

Metta World Peace, Highly Questionable

Perhaps this is the way for young guys to deal with a huge injection of money they receive when they join the NBA. Because everything about being an NBA player is unusual. Doing something on a more ordinary note might be the way to keep your feet on the ground. Especially with some of these guys’ backgrounds and what they had to go through before getting into the league. That’s where Ford-Peace’s story sticks out.

I learned how to cook crack at the age of 13. That was something I’m not proud of, but it was something that was introduced to me at an early age.

Metta World Peace, Highly Questionable

Metta’s path into the NBA has obviously been tough. Going from such turbulent adolescence to becoming a million-dollar athlete and an independent individual is a hard transition to make. So it’s not hard to understand why he wanted to work at Circuit City, even just for a day. It was his escape into more ordinary reality, as he struggled to cope with a new one that was everything but ordinary.

And it helped him. So as I said, maybe this is the path for others to follow as well. You also get employee discounts. It’s a win-win situation any way you look at it.