Metta World Peace is not the same guy from The Malice at the Palace.
You remember, it was Nov. 19, 2004, the then Ron Artest had fouled Ben Wallace hard, shoving ensued but nothing out of the ordinary had gone on, so Artest did the very Artest thing of laying on the scorer’s table to wait for everything to blow over. Then a fan threw and hit him with a drink, Artest went into the crowd to find him and quickly huge black eye for the league broke out. Fans fighting players is never a good thing.
(Side note, the best thing I may have ever read about it was Jonathan Abrams oral history at Grantland.)
For some fans that will always be the image of Artest, but the man who is now Metta World Peace is a more mature person. He’s not sitting around watching “Downton Abbey” and reading the New Yorker, but he’s matured. He has a much broader worldview.
And he’s an author of more than children’s literature. He wrote a book about the entire Malice at the Palace. That’s what he said in a Q&A with the New York Post (which also covers some interesting ground about his upbringing and how that impacted him as a person).
Q: The Malice at the Palace.
A: I wrote a book about it, son. I think I’m gonna wait to talk about it. But I wrote a book about that whole experience….
Q: Do you think it affected your reputation?
A: Maybe like 500,000 people still talk about it, or a million people. But the other 6.9 billion people in the world, I think they got other things to worry about, you know — from the economy, to Middle East problems, to starvation in some countries, to girl trafficking in some countries, to gang violence. There’s so many other problems in the world.
Well he’s right, rice farmers in rural Thailand do not care about the Malice at the Palace. He’s right that even something relatively serious like this still happened at a sporting event and should be kept in some context because of that. Still, how he phrases it gives you an idea into his mindset.
I’m still curious about the book, his view of the events and how he looks back at it all now. We all look back on things from 10 years ago we regret, World Peace’s was just on a much, much more public stage.