Ron Artest, aka Metta World Peace, joined Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles in the latest episode of the Knuckleheads podcast for The Players’ Tribune. The episode featured many anecdotes from his career, including the unfortunate incident with MJ.
Michael Jordan was working on his second comeback. He would organize pick-up games during the offseason, where some of the most up-and-coming players in the league would come and play. This way, Jordan would put his ability to the test and see if he can still play at the highest level.
Artest said these games were often much tougher than NBA games. He was nineteen years old, and this was the first time he met Jordan.
“Michael is posting me up, and you can’t let MJ get the ball, at this point he’s the best player in the league. I broke his ribs, he averaged 25 points, he would have been averaging 35… he was out three months… he was cooking everybody.”
“I was denying Jordan, and he was grabbing me, he would hold you, I tried to get in front of him to deny, cause you can’t let him catch it and I broke his ribs by mistake.”
Ron Ron went on to say how he was depressed and didn’t leave his room for two days after the incident because he had injured his idol. He later talked to MJ about the incident and Jordan told him not to worry about it.