Earlier this week, I reached out to Metta World Peace’s brother Daniel Artest, asking if I could ask him a few questions, and he kindly agreed. Daniel Artest is a former basketball player himself, having played some college and semi-pro ball until 2012. Born 3 years to the day after his eccentric All-Star brother, Artest is certainly an outspoken character himself. But he is definitely down to earth. As Daniel puts it in his twitter bio, he is “just a man with an unlimited iPhone data plan and an opinion.” After doing this interview, I can conclude that the two apples fell approximately 3 inches from each other. Here is what Daniel Artest had to say in his interview with New York Knicks Memes.
Tommy, New York Knicks Memes: Hi, Mr. Artest. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview with New York Knicks Memes. Let’s start with the name. Your brother recently changed his name from “Ron Artest” to “Metta World Peace”. Was it just for fun? Does he expect his family members to refer to him as “Metta”? Does he expect people who work for him to refer to him as “Mr. World Peace”?
Daniel Artest, Metta’s Brother: He doesn’t mind being called “Ron” in public. I call him “Ron”. People who work for him calls him “Metta”. I guess it depends on the person.
Tommy: Growing up with “Ron”, one of the most outgoing guys in the league, what was that like?
Artest: Growing up with Ron was just your average brother relationship but we rarely got into disagreements. I just followed him to his basketball games back then. He had a name hooping and I looked up to that. Even to this day I look up to my brother.
Tommy: As we know, you played a bit of ball yourself. How close were your pickup games with Ron? Did you ever win?
Artest: Ron was physical but we both can say I was the more physical one. I won my fair share of games. I was really good at basketball before I got hurt. I can still play now. Just can’t jump as high.
Tommy: Was he as physical in the backyard as he is on the NBA court?
Artest: We are from Queensbridge. We had no backyard man. We hood!!!
Tommy: You guys were all born in New York, and Ron grew up a Knicks fan. Emotionally, what was the experience like for him and for the family when the Knicks passed on him in the 1999 NBA Draft, one pick before he was taken by Chicago?
Artest: I was 16 years old at the time. I wasn’t thinking about what team he got picked up by. We as a family was just happy he was in that fortunate position to live his dream.
Tommy: Things did work out in the end. Ron is a Knick now. Did you all see this coming once he was let go by the Lakers? What does it mean for Ron and the family for him to be playing his home games a subway ride away from where he grew up as a kid? Other than location, what were the other factors in his decision to join the Knicks?
Artest: I honestly thought the Clippers was the team he was going to end up with. Me personally as a Spurs fan… I tried and failed to get him to San Antonio. I guess the NYC factor was the main factor. And he wants to [beat] Miami to get that title.
Tommy: Going back to the earlier days of his career, Ron let his explosive nature get the best of him at times, most notably on November 19, 2004. How much of a setback was the brawl for Ron… how tough was it for him to overcome the consequences of his actions that night?
Artest: I figured you was going to ask about the brawl. I praised Ron for his actions. At the end of the day. NBA or not… You are human. If you threw something in my face… I’m sure I’d react the same way. People, especially media, makes it seem like just because you make millions you’re supposed to deal with actions of jerk fans like John Green. I bet if I threw juice in David Stern face… He would probably attack me too. I’d beat his ass though. [Laughs]
Tommy: It is clear that Ron has changed since he jumped into the stands. Aside from one incident a couple years ago, he has learned to harness his energy and toughness and use them to become a dominant defensive player in the NBA, while keeping his emotions under control. What did Ron have to do to turn things around?
Artest: I’m proud of his change, but I miss the edge he played with. Not saying he’s soft now… But players aren’t as scared as they used to be. I want that Ron back.
Tommy: Ron finally won an NBA championship in 2010 with the Lakers… he even hit the series-clinching shot. Obviously, winning a title is the main goal for any athlete. What did it mean for you when your brother became an NBA champion?
Artest: It was cool. As a fan you are happy when your team win a championship but to experience it firsthand and being around Ron during the ups and downs… I was overcome with emotion. I’m glad he can say he’s a champion.
Tommy: What do you see Ron doing for the Knicks this season? Obviously, his prime years are a bit behind him, but he has shown that he can still be a very impactful player, especially on defense. What do you see his role being on the team? What do you see the Knicks as a whole doing this season?
Artest: Ron will do the little things that makes a big difference. He may not score 20-30 points no more but y’all Knicks fans will understand his left hand. I won’t explain it. You’ll have to see for yourself.
Tommy: What is the craziest Ron story you have that you think you are allowed to tell us?
Artest: I wasn’t cleared to tell that story. [Laughs]. But other than that. Ron really didn’t have crazy moments. That’s just media blowing things up.
Tommy: Thank you for your time, Mr. Artest.