Not since Dennis Rodman had Phil Jackson had to deal with a player like Ron Artest.
Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace aka Metta Sandiford-Artest was a crucial piece in the Lakers title run in 2010 as he proved to a feisty 6-foot-6 swingman to help the Lakers defend their 2009 title.
When he got to the Lakers, Artest did not make a good first impression. During one of his first practice sessions, the former Defensive Player of the Year winner talked so much smack toward Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant that head coach Phil Jackson had to step in to stop it.
“One day in practice I just disrupted the whole practice because I didn’t want them to think, Metta’s on this team, he don’t got a ring, we got a ring, he just gotta come in with the ultimate respect,” said World Peace, whose Houston Rockets team lost to the Lakers in the 2009 playoffs. “It was still a lot of respect, but I had to — I just wanted to compete. I just got finished losing against these guys.”
He talked trash to Bryant and to Jackson, behaving as if he was an opponent, not a teammate. Eventually Jackson tried to defuse the situation.
“Ronny, that’s enough,” he said.
Artest and Kobe got into it plenty of times just the season before:
He eventually proved himself on and off the court.