METTA World Peace needed to win a championship ring so his career wasn't defined only by one angry moment in Detroit
Before he could get it with the Los Angeles Lakers, though, World Peace had to half his mind . The therapy had to come first in the form of Ron Artest was to make it to Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.
"I would not have been able to deal with the adversity. I would have been ejected, "World Peace said about the therapy that finally helped lift him out of the dark places he always seemed to frequent. "I would probably have gotten into a fight or done something stupid. I don't think the old Ron Artest would have been ready for that final."
The old Ron Artest, of course, was best known for going into the stands in 2004 in Detroit to battle fans in what became known as "Malice at the Palace." He was a hard-nosed defensive specialist who brought playground grudges from the housing projects in Queens onto the court, often with bad consequences.
champion so thankful for his awakening that he raffled off his championship ring to help mental health causes. he asked. "I don't wear jewelry anyway."
On the eve of this year's NBA Finals, World Peace is, well, at peace with himself. The 39-year-old lives happily retired in Southern California, working with developing players and developing his business interests
He is also the subject of a new documentary being broadcast by Showtime during Mental Health Awareness Month for a reason. The documentary, which airs Friday at 10 pm EDT, Artest's rise from a playground player in the projects to perhaps the most wanted player in the NBA and, finally, to his championship season alongside Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles
It's a raw look at a raw subject, though for the most part is sympathetic to World Peace and his issues. It is also a story with a happy ending, although one that World Peace wasn't all that fully satisfied.
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"For me, I don't really care how people look at me , "he said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. "I'm happy with my daily routine and enjoying life. I'm not looking for any feedback or publicity or to build my image."
Unlike some documentaries that use D-list celebs to recount what people might have thought, the makers of "Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story" go right to the sources who were involved in his life – and to World Peace himself – to tell his remarkable story.
And most of them are there, beginning with his father, Ron, who recounts one-on-one with his son in a 10-degree weather on the courts at the dangerous Queensbridge housing project. The elder Artest made up a rule that layups were at all costs, the perfect training ground for a style that would carry Artest through a rough-and-tumble 17-year NBA career.
Continue reading below ↓  But it's the interviews with former teammate Jermaine O'Neal that resonate the most. While World Peace has tried to make amends with those in his past, he and O'Neal are trying to figure out how to repair a relationship that was fractured because O'Neal believes World Peace broke up in Indiana Pacers team that had the potential to win multiple NBA titles in the early 2000's.
"He does consider me a friend but even when he didn't consider me a friend I considered him a friend," World Peace said. "Because he was a friend to me. I wasn't a friend to him."
A good part of the documentary – which was produced by Bleacher Report – revolves around the November 2004 game in Detroit, where the defending champion Pistons took a beating at home from the up-and-coming pacers – and then started the real beatings.
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Artest remains unapologetic for going into the stands after a diet Coke landed on his chest following a brawl that was precipitated by a hard foul World Peace made on Piston's center Ben Wallace in the final seconds of the game. He would later reach out to the man who threw the drink, though for some reason he was not in the stands to beat up after mistaken belief he was the culprit.
A livid NBA commissioner David Stern suspended remainder of the season – which costs him $ 5 million in salary – and the NBA changes its rules and policies to prevent future altercations. But while in Sacramento in 2008 finally started making it into the man he wanted to be.
He sees some or himself in Golden State's Draymond Green, with one big difference. Green plays hard and with passion, too, but unlike world knows how to set limits and stay in control.
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And for that World Peace does have some regrets. I said, "You can go back in time, I can always have a vision of myself, how it would have been if I could have had that type of attitude," he said.
Like Green, though, World Peace can say he is an NBA champion, something he helped ensure by taking a pass from Bryant with one minute left and sinking a 3-pointer that helped seal the Game 7 win against the Celtics.
court interview afterward
He thanked his therapist.