Metta World Peace (@MettaWorld37) (aka Metta Sandiford-Artest, aka Ron Artest) is a former NBA All-Star, author of No Malice: My Life in Basketball or: How a Kid from Queensbridge Survived the Streets, the Brawls, and Himself to Become an NBA Champion, and host of the Mettaphorically Speaking podcast.
What We Discuss with Metta World Peace:
- How did Ron Artest become Metta World Peace, what were some of the considered alternatives, and why did he later change his name to Metta Sandiford-Artest?
- Growing up with anger management problems that arguably culminated in the infamous Malice at the Palace Pacers–Pistons brawl, how does Metta positively channel his passion these days?
- Why Metta chose to work a part-time job at Circuit City after practice while pulling in a million dollars a year (albeit before taxes) for the Chicago Bulls.
- Why Metta made a point to thank his shrink when he was playing for the Lakers and they won the 2010 championship.
- How Metta has advocated for mental health awareness by donating a portion of his NBA salary and auctioning off his 2010 championship ring.
- And much more…
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Metta World Peace (aka Metta Sandiford-Artest, aka Ron Artest) may seem like an odd moniker for an NBA player who was once known for taking out his anger management issues on other players and fans alike (arguably culminating in the infamous Malice at the Palace Pacers–Pistons brawl), but it’s an odd world.
In this episode, Metta joins us to discuss how he’s turned things around to channel all of that rage and passion into more positive endeavors, ways he’s put his money where his mouth is while advocating for mental health awareness, and why you should check out his podcast (on which our very own Jordan Harbinger has appeared): Mettaphorically Speaking. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Miss the show we did with Dennis Rodman — one of the greatest rebounders ever to play professional basketball? Catch up here with episode 258: Dennis Rodman | The Worm Is Back!
Thanks, Metta World Peace!
If you enjoyed this session with Metta World Peace, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Mettaphorically Speaking
- No Malice: My Life in Basketball or: How a Kid from Queensbridge Survived the Streets, the Brawls, and Himself to Become an NBA Champion by Metta World Peace and Ryan Dempsey | Amazon
- Metta World Peace | Website
- Metta World Peace | Twitter
- Metta World Peace | Instagram
- Metta World Peace | YouTube
- Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story | Showtime
- Untold: Malice at the Palace | Netflix
- Jordan Harbinger on the Art of Networking | Mettaphorically Speaking
- What is Metta Meditation? | Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
- Welcome to the Queensbridge Housing Projects | NYC Hoods
- Lamar Odom | Wikipedia
- Lloyd Daniels | Wikipedia
- Rod Strickland | Instagram
- Player Dies in Stabbing at Basketball Game | The New York Times
- The Queensbridge Kings Story | Von Vitto
- Metta Sandiford-Artest Really Worked at Circuit City When He Was a Rookie | Fansided
- Metta World Peace’s Craziest Moments Post-Malice at the Palace | ClutchPoints
- Kobe Bryant | Dissecting the Mamba Mentality | Jordan Harbinger
- Ron Artest 2010 NBA Finals Post-Championship Interview | ESPN
- Metta World Peace Thanks Jesus Christ That He Still Has His Teeth | Los Angeles Times
- Metta World Peace Just Auctioned His NBA Championship Ring to Donate Over $100,000 to New York Charities | Business Insider
- Stephen Curry | Twitter
600: Metta World Peace | Mettaphorically Speaking
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to our sponsor Glenfiddich single malt scotch whisky. You've heard me talking about Glenfiddich lately and their highly recognizable stag icon, that's on, well, half the clothes I own now, and the show art we have here. They've got that new body of work that aims to challenge the traditional notions, commonly portrayed in culture, of what it means to be wealthy and live a life of riches. Glenfiddich believes that beyond the material, a life of wealth and riches is about family, community, values, fulfilling work. These are the values that led Glenfiddich to become the world's leading single malt scotch whisky. This week's guest Metta World Peace exemplifies these values, but he didn't always. You'll find out why later on in the episode. More from our partners at Glenfiddich coming up later in the show.
[00:00:37] Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:40] Metta World Peace: One time, you know, I had an issue where somebody was trying to bully me. I got so mad. I went to my room. I'm scared and I brought out some scissors. And I was like, okay, you know, I'm just going to go right in front of the crew. And I was by myself with some scissors. I just sat right there. I'm just ready to go. I'm kind of like, what else am I going to do? I'm new to this. But that's the thing about being around our neighborhood, you don't know what somebody is going through. Even though you'd be seeing me go outside, we see you chilling, laughing. It seems like we're all going through the same things, but we're not. I'm not having a good day today. You know what I mean? So it was the wrong person to bully today because it's not even going to have me if we don't fight.
[00:01:16] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with people at the top of their game, astronauts and entrepreneurs, spies and psychologists, even the occasional Emmy nominated comedian, Russian spy, or a music mogul. Each episode turns our guests' wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better critical thinker.
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[00:02:06] Metta World Peace, formerly Ron Artest, the Malice at the Palace, is here on the show today. The Malice at the Palace, this is an incident a while ago where players actually attacked fans in the stands after an on-court incident. If you watch any sports, which I don't, but I mean, it was hard to avoid this news. It made international news because it was kind of insane. Metta later missed 86 games, which is the longest suspension for an on-court incident in NBA history.
[00:02:31] Today, he's not only got a different name, but a very different outlook on life and especially on mental health. And we'll be exploring what it's like to have your worst self on public display and what it's like to try and turn around a lifetime of negative programming. This is an interesting conversation, even if you're not an NBA fan, most of y'all know, I'm allergic to sports myself. It's just rare to get an inside, look at the life of somebody with this type of upbringing and public profile. And I'm grateful we got to do it.
[00:02:57] And if you're wondering how I managed to book all the great authors, thinkers, and creators and athletes every single week here on the show, it's because of my network. I'm teaching you how to build your network for free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Most of the people you see on the show, they subscribe and contribute to the course as well. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong.
[00:03:17] Now, here's Metta World Peace.
[00:03:20] You started off as Ron Artest, right? And you changed your name to Metta World Peace in 2011. Now, Metta Sandiford-Artest in 2020. So why the change to world peace of all things?
[00:03:32] Metta World Peace: It took a while.
[00:03:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:03:34] Metta World Peace: So I always tell people when Chad Johnson changed his name, I thought that was cool. And when you play in sports, you always need something to activate you. So it's not the same old routine. I said, you know what, I'm going to change my name too. So in two thousands, I think, seven or eight, I was going to change it to so-hood and I was going to change it at the Queensbridge—
[00:03:54] Jordan Harbinger: So-hood?
[00:03:55] Metta World Peace: Yeah, like get off on the streets.
[00:03:56] Jordan Harbinger: Dang.
[00:03:57] Metta World Peace: So I'm going to change it to so-hood. And then every year I kept evolving to different things. I was really interested in like myself and learning more about myself. Kind of sounds like—
[00:04:08] Jordan Harbinger: Sounds a little narcissistic.
[00:04:10] Metta World Peace: It does, right?
[00:04:10] Jordan Harbinger: The way you say it, but I get it.
[00:04:12] Metta World Peace: But I wanted to learn more.
[00:04:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:04:13] Metta World Peace: So then when you get to 2011, it's like, okay, I was really into meditation at this time. So then Metta came from about, we looked at about a thousand names, maybe 500 names.
[00:04:23] Jordan Harbinger: Who's we?
[00:04:24] Metta World Peace: Me and my partner.
[00:04:25] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, okay.
[00:04:26] Metta World Peace: He's just looking at different names from Hindi from the Hindi culture. And it was all Buddhist names. And then we kind of narrowed it down. We got to Metta, but we didn't have a last name. So initially it was going to be a Buddhist last name, but I didn't want two Buddhist names. I didn't want a first name and last name. So then the world peace literally like one of the first things that popped into my head, I'm like, well, Metta World Peace. This sounds really kind, this sounds kind of cool. All right, cool. Let's just do it.
[00:04:53] Jordan Harbinger: Did you legally change it?
[00:04:55] Metta World Peace: Yeah.
[00:04:55] Jordan Harbinger: You had to, right? in order to get it on the jersey.
[00:04:57] Metta World Peace: Right, in order to get it on the jersey, you had to legally change it.
[00:05:00] Jordan Harbinger: I guess people can hate Ron Artest, but nobody can be like, "I hate World Peace." So you have that going for you.
[00:05:05] Metta World Peace: Yeah. I wouldn't care either way, honestly, but yeah.
[00:05:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It makes it harder for people to say bad things about public. If your name is World Peace, and then you change it back from World Peace and I don't know, is World Peace just too unattainable these days? Or what you just gave up on world peace?
[00:05:20] Metta World Peace: No, I got married.
[00:05:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:05:22] Metta World Peace: I got married. And then, my wife's last name is Sandiford and then we just both took each other's original last name.
[00:05:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's very like 2021 of you to take her last name and vice versa.
[00:05:33] Metta World Peace: Right. It was cool. I thought it was great. I was kind of, didn't want to change the World Peace.
[00:05:38] Jordan Harbinger: You didn't want to change it?
[00:05:40] Metta World Peace: Not initially but you know—
[00:05:42] Jordan Harbinger: Was she like, "Come on, man."
[00:05:44] Metta World Peace: Yeah. Amazingly.
[00:05:46] Jordan Harbinger: I knew it. I knew she was like, "I am not going to be—? What's her first name?
[00:05:49] Metta World Peace: Maya.
[00:05:50] Jordan Harbinger: "I'm not going to be Maya World Peace. I'm just not doing it." Yeah. She's like, "That's fine. When you're a basketball player and you're getting media attention. From me, I'm just going to have to explain that to everyone.
[00:05:58] Metta World Peace: Everyone, all the time.
[00:05:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And then when you have kids — do you have kids with your current?
[00:06:03] Metta World Peace: No, not yet.
[00:06:04] Jordan Harbinger: Not yet. So then their last name would be World Peace. She's like, "I'm not doing that."
[00:06:07] Metta World Peace: That's a lot of pressure to be in the airport, "World Peace, please report."
[00:06:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's even extra confusing. And then people are like, "That can't be the name.
[00:06:15] Metta World Peace: They always say that when I'm on a call with the bank. "Who's name on the account?" I'd say, "Metta World Peace." "Who's speaking?" "No, we need to speak to the person who owns the account." Sometimes they'd be like, "I said, we need to speak to the person that owns the account." I say, "Excuse me, my name is Metta World Peace. This is me. Can we move on already?"
[00:06:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Are you like, "Dude, Google it, man. I'm a person that you probably would have heard of," but half the time you're talking to somebody who's like living in another country and they're like, "I don't watch basketball. Just tell me your name or hang up."
[00:06:44] Metta World Peace: It's such a unique name. Sometimes you'll get people saying, "Is this the Metta World Peace?" I'm like, "Yes. There's only one and that's me."
[00:06:50] Jordan Harbinger: There's only one. Yeah, exactly. We talked about this a little bit on your show, but you know, for the sake of my audience, you grew up in, would you say it's, if I say it's the projects, is that offensive or is that what it's called?
[00:07:01] Metta World Peace: No.
[00:07:01] Jordan Harbinger: It's not offensive. Okay. So you grew up in the projects.
[00:07:03] Metta World Peace: Yeah.
[00:07:03] Jordan Harbinger: Queensbridge, like rough area, what was that like as a kid? You know, we did touch on this a little bit before when we spoke off air, but I think a lot of people don't understand what that means to grow up like that.
[00:07:14] Metta World Peace: It meant like growing up in a project, it means opportunities to get involved in drugs, to get involved in violence, to get involved — New York City wasn't its gangs now in the city. But when we grew up, it wasn't a gang. It was like, you have some close friends when you move with that five or you move with that 20, not even 20, you move like five or seven real close people. It was never, it wasn't no gangs, you know? And then you have opportunities to enter certain cliques if you wanted to. And then you had the opportunity to go to school and learn something that could get you to, hopefully, go to college.
[00:07:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:07:50] Metta World Peace: And we ain't talking about Harvard, we talking about community college. And then sometimes you might meet someone that might want to sponsor you. "Hey, maybe you can stay on track and go to Harvard, go to temple." But that was very rare. So those are all the opportunities you had. I mean, then you also have opportunities to build a family, but then some of the downfalls was, you don't know how to raise a family. Right?
[00:08:10] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:08:11] Metta World Peace: There's a lot of that stuff happening. How do you raise a family under so much pressure?
[00:08:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You had your first kid at 16, right?
[00:08:18] Metta World Peace: I was 16.
[00:08:20] Jordan Harbinger: I heard you say you planned that.
[00:08:21] Metta World Peace: Yeah.
[00:08:22] Jordan Harbinger: So that was on purpose.
[00:08:23] Metta World Peace: I always wanted to have a baby at 13.
[00:08:26] Jordan Harbinger: That's so early. Did you not think, "Ooh, this is a little bit early. Maybe I can't do that."
[00:08:29] Metta World Peace: Because my whole family is like that. One of my sisters have eight kids. The other one that has four, another one has three. My brother has four. My other brother has five. Then I have four. Then my mom has eight.
[00:08:46] Jordan Harbinger: You should know that one.
[00:08:48] Metta World Peace: Yeah. But two of them were my cousins. We took them out. We took them out of the hospital.
[00:08:52] Jordan Harbinger: Oh okay, I got it.
[00:08:53] Metta World Peace: We took two of them home with us.
[00:08:55] Jordan Harbinger: That makes sense.
[00:08:55] Metta World Peace: And then one of my nephews had five babies. So that's just natural in my family to have babies without thinking about how are you going to raise these babies, how are you going to support these babies.
[00:09:06] Jordan Harbinger: Good thing, you went into the NBA because I would imagine there's a lot of people like, "So we need to borrow something so he can go to school and stay out of trouble." I mean, did they come to you for that sometimes?
[00:09:15] Metta World Peace: When I first made it, yeah, that's what you do. You take care of your family.
[00:09:17] Jordan Harbinger: Absolutely.
[00:09:18] Metta World Peace: So what do you need? Okay. I got you. Don't worry about it. I had such a big family where I had to eventually restrategize how I help my family.
[00:09:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Otherwise, everybody's going to go broke even if you do make 50 million.
[00:09:30] Metta World Peace: Yeah. It's not healthy to just give money.
[00:09:33] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:09:33] Metta World Peace: It's never healthy to just give money as much as you want to give, you always want to give like an experience or you want to give some education. It goes away for them.
[00:09:42] Jordan Harbinger: Otherwise people just end up with flat screen TVs and Xbox and maybe some food. And then it's back to calling you on your phone.
[00:09:48] Metta World Peace: Absolutely.
[00:09:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:09:49] Metta World Peace: That was a big mistake I made because you know, I was like — hey, all my nieces and nephews get gifts. Everybody would be going to Toys "R" Us, everybody versus, "Well, I'm going to get you a math book. I'm going to send you to private school. I'm going to get you a tutor. Oh, you're 18. We're going to get you into a trade school," versus nobody gets a gift, no gifts.
[00:10:10] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yeah.
[00:10:11] Metta World Peace: No gifts, just makes progress. I think that would have been better, but I was young. I was 19 when I made it to the NBA.
[00:10:17] Jordan Harbinger: God, 19 — I was so irresponsible at that age. I imagine you probably also were at that age.
[00:10:23] Metta World Peace: I was very responsible. Like there were times where I was said, "Okay, I'm going to—"
[00:10:26] Jordan Harbinger: I didn't have a kid yeah, that's true.
[00:10:28] Metta World Peace: You know, I had a kid, I have two kids. My second kid, I was at 18. And then my third kid, I was at 20.
[00:10:32] Jordan Harbinger: Unbelievable.
[00:10:33] Metta World Peace: And my fourth kid, I was at 22.
[00:10:35] Jordan Harbinger: So they're all adults.
[00:10:36] Metta World Peace: Yeah, adults, in college. Everybody's in college.
[00:10:38] Jordan Harbinger: That's crazy to me. We're like the same age and I have a two and a half year old and a baby on the way. That's how different our — that's how staggered our kids are. Like how different our situation in life is right now in terms of having kids.
[00:10:49] Metta World Peace: Yeah.
[00:10:50] Jordan Harbinger: So you grew up rough, I know. And I have you quoted as saying, "I played basketball, so I wouldn't fall into selling guns or drugs. I played, so I wouldn't go to jail.
[00:10:58] Metta World Peace: Yeah, for sure. Because you know, it's easy to make some money. It was a lot of times that people in my neighborhood that was getting in trouble, just like, "Give me money, you know, just so I don't do nothing."
[00:11:09] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[00:11:10] Metta World Peace: Yeah. Like a lot of my friends, I got a real bond with a lot of people. They would give me money just to make sure I don't get in trouble.
[00:11:17] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, they would give you money just to keep you from doing stupid stuff.
[00:11:20] Metta World Peace: Yeah, even a dollar, I go buy a 50-cent bag of chips and I'm happy for a couple hours. We're outside all day. There's nothing else to do. We play basketball, we sit outside on the bench, then you dibble and dabble and get out of trouble. You get in trouble, you know, different types of trouble. And then you can keep getting in trouble or you can go back to the court and then you go play some football. Then you go to your friend's house. Then it's like, okay, what type of trouble am I going to get into today? You know, what level of trouble am I going to get into? Some people stay at a high level of trouble. And, you know, I was always right under the mid level.
[00:11:54] Jordan Harbinger: What does that mean then?
[00:11:55] Metta World Peace: That means like, you know, maybe a fight. I did flirt with selling drugs a couple of times, flirted with robbing a couple of times.
[00:12:05] Jordan Harbinger: When you say robbing, is that like breaking into someone's car?
[00:12:08] Metta World Peace: Well, you always think about these things, any options available, where are we going. When your friends are doing things, I'm going, I'm going to just take this money today. I'm going to rob this guy. And you're like, "Okay, I'm not going to do that one on the menu, but I'll go steal some food or I'll go to the store and take something from the store, right? You know, there's always options.
[00:12:25] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man. It seems like it's really easy then to go from taking a bag of chips from the store and then your friends are like, "Yo, this guy, he's got a lot of money. Let's break into his car. I know he's got a gun in there. We can sell it." And they're like, "Okay," like you don't think about it then suddenly you realize you just robbed a drug dealer and now you're in trouble.
[00:12:41] Metta World Peace: Yeah. The last time I took something out, we took food from a store. I felt really bad. We took food from someone. I think I was like 13. We thought we were just going to take the food and go. So we take the food and then this person was following us. He was pissed.
[00:12:58] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. Yeah.
[00:12:59] Metta World Peace: Right. Followed me and my boy. We're really young. They were older. We were taller and bigger, but they were definitely men. So they just followed us back into the neighborhood. We literally had to go upstairs, even though it was home and he just came out to our neighborhood and didn't do anything. But we were like, "Oh wow, this dude is following us back to the neighborhood," pissed, you know, just like delivering food. And that was the last time I said, I'm not doing, I'm not going, I'm not doing this anymore. No way. That would escalate.
[00:13:28] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah. I mean, if he had caught you before you got home, possibly something bad will happen.
[00:13:32] Metta World Peace: It would have been a fight. It would've been bad. They would have been like, "Oh, what happened?" "Well, we took the food."
[00:13:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:13:39] Metta World Peace: Then the first time I sold drugs was the last time, well, I dibble and dabble a little bit.
[00:13:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I heard that you learned how to cook crack growing up. Is that true?
[00:13:47] Metta World Peace: Oh yeah. I learned that about maybe 12 or 13.
[00:13:50] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, that's crazy. You realize that's kind of crazy, right?
[00:13:52] Metta World Peace: When I look back at it, it's crazy. There were times where I remember police would be knocking on the door. My mom got mad at me on Facebook one time, because she was like, "My boy wasn't showing no crack," but you know, when you got outside, your parents, they don't know what to do.
[00:14:06] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Do you think she knew and was just being—?
[00:14:08] Metta World Peace: No way. I would've got my butt torn.
[00:14:12] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. So she wasn't like—
[00:14:13] Metta World Peace: No way.
[00:14:14] Jordan Harbinger: —I'm going to turn a blind eye. She was like—
[00:14:16] Metta World Peace: Oh, no way. I would have got my butt torn if she would've found out.
[00:14:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Is your mom still around?
[00:14:22] Metta World Peace: Yeah, she's still around.
[00:14:22] Jordan Harbinger: So do you think, does she know about this now?
[00:14:27] Metta World Peace: I mean, I've rapped about it, I've talked about it.
[00:14:29] Jordan Harbinger: But I mean, when your parents listen to your rap, it's like that's amazing.
[00:14:31] Metta World Peace: Her nieces, her nephews, you know, she knows what my family knows.
[00:14:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:14:35] Metta World Peace: She knows what they were doing.
[00:14:37] Jordan Harbinger: I'm with you, man. I don't think my mom would have stood for that. So you started playing basketball on the suggestion of a counselor who saw that you had, what? Like an anger management problem at school.
[00:14:46] Metta World Peace: That's not why I was playing basketball.
[00:14:47] Jordan Harbinger: No?
[00:14:47] Metta World Peace: I was playing basketball. I started at eight. I got really good about — I got better at nine, nine and a half. 10, 11, 12, I was playing all the time, so I just kept getting better. But then, I always had anger problems, when I was young.
[00:15:01] Jordan Harbinger: Even as a kid?
[00:15:02] Metta World Peace: Yeah. Since, since, since. You know, I got suspended from preschool.
[00:15:07] Jordan Harbinger: You got suspended at preschool. How do you ever get suspended at preschool?
[00:15:10] Metta World Peace: Kindergarten, fighting, kindergarten, first grade. Every year I was in school, I got suspended for fighting.
[00:15:17] Jordan Harbinger: Did you get suspended every season of the NBA or not?
[00:15:20] Metta World Peace: Not every — oh, maybe every season. Maybe every season. Maybe every season in NBA, I got suspended once.
[00:15:24] Jordan Harbinger: Gotcha. Okay. So this is a theme.
[00:15:26] Metta World Peace: Maybe not, maybe not the end of my career.
[00:15:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, progress.
[00:15:30] Metta World Peace: Then I go to a Catholic school. I get suspended from Catholic school. I go to ninth grade. I'm in Catholic school now.
[00:15:35] Jordan Harbinger: They don't stand for that.
[00:15:36] Metta World Peace: I got suspended in Catholic school.
[00:15:38] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my god.
[00:15:39] Metta World Peace: I got suspended one time in Catholic school, ninth grade. Then that was it. Then at one time in college that nobody knew about.
[00:15:44] Jordan Harbinger: Always for fighting?
[00:15:46] Metta World Peace: Everything was for fighting.
[00:15:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. So, okay, so where did you get the idea to fight all the time? Like he must've been angry for a reason, right?
[00:15:52] Metta World Peace: Well, you got to survive because even though you're bigger, people will try to test you.
[00:15:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:15:59] Metta World Peace: So it has to be a point in time where somebody has to know, if you test me, you got a chance to get really hurt. You know what I'm saying? So most of the time I'm fighting, like one guy skipped me in front of a lunch line and I went to work on him.
[00:16:13] Jordan Harbinger: But that's not normal, right? Like, you know that now.
[00:16:15] Metta World Peace: It's not normal. All they did was skip me. One guy made fun of me. It was never like, I'm just going to go and just punch.
[00:16:22] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, punch in random.
[00:16:23] Metta World Peace: It was always like, because somebody did something really small. And I just took it to the next level. But it was just because growing up as a kid, we're just playing tag and you're having fun, and then people pick, pick, pick, and then it's like, okay. At what point in time you're going to stand for yourself. So then in my mind, I said, "Always stand up for yourself. Never let anyone bully you again. Never let one pick on you." So it was like I was always ready to go.
[00:16:47] Jordan Harbinger: Do you still get enraged if somebody cuts you off on the highway?
[00:16:52] Metta World Peace: No, I'm too old to be even thinking about that.
[00:16:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:16:56] Metta World Peace: I think, you know, but most of my passions and aggressions are, it goes towards things I love, like I want to be successful at something. So I'll put all that I got in me into something like, I want to be successful at. You know what I'm saying? That's more than that.
[00:17:13] Jordan Harbinger: That makes sense. And pardon me for dwelling on this. But a lot of people put in passion, but they don't hit people or beat people up or get in trouble or get suspended or things like that, so I'm wondering, did your parents fight at all growing up? Like, were you seeing a lot of that?
[00:17:27] Metta World Peace: I'm seeing this in the streets. Oh,my parents did fight some time, but it was a little of both. It was a little bit of both, but in the streets, I mean, the street is different. I mean, you could roll with a click or you roll by yourself. There's a different type of person you're going to be. You know what I'm saying? Even though you could choose to ride out with people, but sometimes if you get too deeply involved, you win.
[00:17:48] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:17:49] Metta World Peace: So you got to somehow build your own personal army, just you.
[00:17:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:17:54] Metta World Peace: And you got to be ready to go, go out for yourself. And that's the type of, you know, I have friends, but I was always like, I'm going to protect myself.
[00:18:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. This sounds like, I mean, it sounds like something you evolve when you grow up in Queensbridge or a place like that. Like you don't just go, "I'm going to let that roll off my back," because that's a bad reputation to be the person who doesn't ever fight back.
[00:18:15] Metta World Peace: Yeah. You need to be. Too many times, too many times, but you know, at one time, you know, I had an issue with somebody trying to bully me. I got so mad. I went in my room upstairs, I brought out some scissors and I was like, okay, I'm just going to go right in front of the crew. And I was by myself with some scissors. I just sat right there. I was ready to go. And I'm like, what else am I going to do? I'm new to this, but now I'm like, I want them. You know what I'm saying? But the thing was like — that's the thing about being in neighborhoods, you don't know what somebody is going through. Even though we see you go outside, we see you chilling, laughing, but you don't know what that person is going to and it seems like we're all going through the same things, but we're not. You know what I'm saying? We're not going through the same thing. Today, I'm not having a good day today. You know what I mean? So I'm the wrong person to bully today.
[00:19:03] Jordan Harbinger: No, that makes sense.
[00:19:04] Metta World Peace: It's not even going to happen if we're going to fight.
[00:19:06] Jordan Harbinger: So you almost stabbed somebody with scissors?
[00:19:08] Metta World Peace: Well, it didn't get that far.
[00:19:10] Jordan Harbinger: Right. But it's like, was that the plan or were you just like—?
[00:19:13] Metta World Peace: The plan was to go, the plan was let's rock.
[00:19:17] Jordan Harbinger: How different your life would have been if you had done some of the things that you even just thought about doing as a kid?
[00:19:22] Metta World Peace: Yeah, I was very aware too, so I was aware, I mean, so many times during these situations, especially where I'm from. So many times some of the greatest basketball players in my neighborhood was in situations. And I'm talking about NBA players, like pro skill level.
[00:19:44] Jordan Harbinger: You grew up near Lamar Odom, right?
[00:19:46] Metta World Peace: 15, 20 minutes away with no driving.
[00:19:48] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:19:48] Metta World Peace: We had a guy named [Ken Ito] played with Lloyd Daniels and Rod Strickland in Oak Hill Academy, where Carmelo went. I tell you, this type of level of talent, he gets shot. He could be shot in the groin. It's terrible.
[00:20:00] Jordan Harbinger: That's awful.
[00:20:02] Metta World Peace: You know what I'm saying? Lloyd Newton, in Long Island City, he gets stabbed in the heart in a high school game, dead.
[00:20:08] Jordan Harbinger: Is he the one who got killed on the court?
[00:20:10] Metta World Peace: Lloyd Newton, yeah.
[00:20:11] Jordan Harbinger: That's awful.
[00:20:11] Metta World Peace: Everybody should remember his name. He's a great guy.
[00:20:13] Jordan Harbinger: He got killed with a broken table leg, right?
[00:20:16] Metta World Peace: Yeah. My buddy, Lakey is doing a documentary on Queensbridge and he's in that documentary. You got to learn more about him. It's called Queensbridge Kings. And you'll learn more about Lloyd. We idolized Lloyd, but this is the type of thing that it's like, "What's happening?" This 12-year-old, it was just like, "What the hell is happening? How do you navigate this life?" You know what I'm saying? Like, so now it's like, "Okay, yo, just be ready."
[00:20:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:20:44] Metta World Peace: Just be ready to go.
[00:20:46] Jordan Harbinger: So you took that mindset onto the court, of course, because why wouldn't you, that's how you grew up. I mean it arguably didn't serve you so well, some of the time, right? I mean, you ended up, well, we'll get to this, but one of the things that you are well known for is things like the Malice at the Palace, which is probably not something that you consider one of your finest moments, right?
[00:21:05] Metta World Peace: It's a moment. I don't really care about it, honestly.
[00:21:08] Jordan Harbinger: Well, it's been a while. I mean, you're friends with a guy, it's a whole thing now. Like, it's been so long, but there's a lot of, it's interesting to hear that you sort of made peace with that. So you're 22 years old and said — and this is just sort of based on my research, so correct me where it's wrong because of course, nobody has the insight to your bank account — but you're 22 and you get a $42-million contract extension after going from Indiana to Chicago. So you're 22 years old, you're looking at $42 million, but you already had a bunch probably because you're already three years into the NBA. So you say, "I actually panicked," why?
[00:21:42] Metta World Peace: Well, it wasn't that I really panicked, it was like, I just was like, when I signed that big deal, well, big deal for, it's a big deal.
[00:21:49] Jordan Harbinger: That's a big deal for anybody.
[00:21:50] Metta World Peace: It's a big deal. It was not in comparison to my talent, no, but like to what type of person that my talent level was, they were getting 10, 12 at that time. But it was a big deal.
[00:22:02] Jordan Harbinger: $42 million at age 22 is good literally for anyone—
[00:22:06] Metta World Peace: For anyone.
[00:22:07] Jordan Harbinger: No one in the world is going to go, "That's a rip off," right? I mean, yes—
[00:22:10] Metta World Peace: NBA players will say that's a rip off.
[00:22:12] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[00:22:12] Metta World Peace: Of course.
[00:22:13] Jordan Harbinger: I guess that makes sense. Why wouldn't you?
[00:22:15] Metta World Peace: NBA players will say that's a rip off, but now when you think about life here, I was like, you know, this is crazy. Never in my wildest dreams, you know? And I was like, "Wow, I'm able to take care of my family. I'm able to do a lot of different things." And then meanwhile, I get suspended the first year into the contract.
[00:22:31] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man.
[00:22:32] Metta World Peace: You know, the first year of the contract, I'm like, "Good Lord."
[00:22:35] Jordan Harbinger: So when you get suspended, I take it, you just don't get paid for—
[00:22:38] Metta World Peace: You don't get paid. They just don't send you a check.
[00:22:40] Jordan Harbinger: That's the whole point of the satisfaction. Yeah. Otherwise nobody would care, right?
[00:22:42] Metta World Peace: Yeah.
[00:22:44] Jordan Harbinger: Why did you say I actually panicked? What was that all about then?
[00:22:47] Metta World Peace: I think I did say that, you know, my answer has changed from time to time, but I think what happened was I was like, "Goddamn, what the f*ck, what do you do with this money?"
[00:22:55] Jordan Harbinger: That's a little intimidating.
[00:22:56] Metta World Peace: What the hell do you do, man?
[00:22:58] Jordan Harbinger: What do you do with it?
[00:22:59] Metta World Peace: I never really prepared to have $42 million.
[00:23:01] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:23:02] Metta World Peace: Which is 21 after tax but—
[00:23:05] Jordan Harbinger: It's funny that you just knew that right away. Because you were like, "Wait a minute. I only got half. What happened? Hey man, can I have a conversation about taxes?" You had like a nervous breakdown though at age 21, you said you had to pull over to the side of the road. This is my, maybe before you had signed, but you said, "I'm trying to escape something." What is that?
[00:23:23] Metta World Peace: Now, I know what the breakdown was. So at that point, I was 21. I was in the league and I knew I was approaching contract time. So that was on my mind. Then I also was young and in the streets, trying to figure out, "What are you going to do? Are you going to be in these streets? Are you going to be playing basketball?" So that was something that I was juggling with a little bit, and then I'm not really addressing suppressed issues. So then what will really happen with the alcohol, because I think I wasn't drinking that much alcohol. I think those issues I have would have literally been—
[00:23:58] Jordan Harbinger: So you were drinking a bunch as well?
[00:23:59] Metta World Peace: I was drinking a ton.
[00:24:01] Jordan Harbinger: Even during the NBA? That seems like a hard thing to do.
[00:24:04] Metta World Peace: No, it's easy because I mean, I'm in shape and I work hard and I can go through any amount of pain. So feeling tired is not a thing to do.
[00:24:12] Jordan Harbinger: Being hung over during practice—
[00:24:13] Metta World Peace: Being hungover is not a thing. There were a couple of times where I was totally drunk at practice.
[00:24:19] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[00:24:20] Metta World Peace: For sure.
[00:24:21] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, wow.
[00:24:21] Metta World Peace: Totally drunk.
[00:24:22] Jordan Harbinger: Your coach must've been like, "Yo—"
[00:24:23] Metta World Peace: Oh, he smelled the alcohol.
[00:24:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:24:26] Metta World Peace: Reeking of alcohol.
[00:24:27] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man.
[00:24:28] Metta World Peace: But I'm coming in, I'm sweating it out as I go, and I'm sweating it out midway through practices all out and I'm here, and I'm here and we're working and I'm putting in work. But with that being said, when you talk about the alcohol part, yeah, you can sweat it out. It's depressing, right? Like alcohol, right? That's a downer. It's a downer. So as alcohol being a downer, you're going to feel it down, right? So the alcohol is not making anything better.
[00:24:54] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Okay. I see what you're saying.
[00:24:56] Metta World Peace: I'm drinking alcohol every day to say, "You know what? I'm not going to worry about any problems. I'm not worried about no issues. I'm just going to drink some alcohol. And oh, I feel so good. Let's go out," but you didn't solve nothing.
[00:25:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You're just postponing your problem. But when you're 21, 22, you're not really thinking about that.
[00:25:11] Metta World Peace: You're not thinking about that, but it's a major problem, major problems for me.
[00:25:17] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Metta World Peace. We'll be right back.
[00:25:22] This episode is sponsored in part by GiveDirectly. GiveDirectly is a 501C3. That means non-profit and tax deductible, people. They're a top rated charity organization founded 13 years ago. They let you send money directly to people living in extreme poverty. And I'm talking about those living on less than a 1.90 a day, which blows my mind that there are people living on under two bucks a day. So you can uplift someone out of poverty for like a dollar a day. The unconditional cash donation has been shown to increase school enrollment and entrepreneurship, decreased skipped, or missed meals, illness, depression. It cuts domestic violence down by a third. Imagine doing all that for a freaking dollar a day. And if you're wondering how much of your cash is actually getting to the people in need, GiveDirectly is run really efficiently. They're able to get 90 cents of every dollar. You donate directly to a person living in extreme poverty. I looked him up on Charity Navigator and GiveWell. They're highly rated. You can give with confidence. They're not spending your money on freaking branded socks for the office staff. In the last decade, GiveDirectly has delivered over $500 million to over a million recipients across 10 countries. Make an impact on someone's life this holiday season. I'm doing it. I think you all should do it. Visit givedirectly.org/jordan and your first gift will be matched up to a thousand dollars. Givedirectly.org/jordan. Have your first gift to be matched up to a thousand dollars.
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[00:28:09] Now back to Metta World Peace.
[00:28:13] So after this is going on or during, while this is going on, you're drinking, you're trying to balance basketball and drinking, you went to play for the Bulls. You're 22, you're making $42 million or whatever, and you get a part time job at Circuit City. What is going on there?
[00:28:26] Metta World Peace: When I got drafted to the Bulls, and then I was 19 years old, I got a part-time job at Circuit City.
[00:28:31] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:28:31] Metta World Peace: So when I first got drafted, I'll always want it to work. You know what I'm saying? I was wanting to work—
[00:28:36] Jordan Harbinger: Like not play professional sports necessarily, but also have a regular job.
[00:28:40] Metta World Peace: It's work. I thought it was really good that I did it, honestly. And I did it because after practice I just go into the streets, doing whatever. And it's just like, I got to have something else to do.
[00:28:54] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, so you were worried you were going to get in trouble.
[00:28:56] Metta World Peace: For sure. I needed something else to do because I was just like, I'll do anything,
[00:29:01] Jordan Harbinger: So you're — but you're playing for the Bulls and you're working at Circuit City in like, is it like in the city of Chicago?
[00:29:08] Metta World Peace: It was in our next stop practice facility.
[00:29:10] Jordan Harbinger: So people had to come in and be like, "You kind of look like Ron Artest."
[00:29:13] Metta World Peace: Yeah, that was it.
[00:29:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:29:15] Metta World Peace: That was it.
[00:29:15] Jordan Harbinger: Did that cause a disruption? Or were you like, "Nah, I hear that all the time."
[00:29:18] Metta World Peace: No, no, no. I say, "Yeah." I'm 19 years old. "Yes, that's me. Do you want a TV, man? Like, TV here. This is a great TV. This is a VCR. Like this is DVDs. Do you want some DVDs? The DVD such is right here."
[00:29:31] Jordan Harbinger: Did word travel that Ron Artest is also selling TVs at Circuit City?
[00:29:35] Metta World Peace: It did travel.
[00:29:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:29:37] Metta World Peace: For sure, it travelled.
[00:29:38] Jordan Harbinger: You said, "When I have time, I get into trouble." So that explains why you got the job. But when you said that — I had to rewind a few times because another interviewer had asked you why you got a job at Circuit City and you literally said, and I thought this has to be, it was, you said, "I wanted the discount."
[00:29:51] Metta World Peace: Oh, the discounts, oh for sure, yeah.
[00:29:54] Jordan Harbinger: Do you realize you're earning like $42 million—?
[00:29:56] Metta World Peace: So this is when I was making a million, which is 500,000 of tax, actually that's a little bit more to 500,000, but no, this is when I got my first contract.
[00:30:04] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:30:05] Metta World Peace: So then I got my first contract.
[00:30:06] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, so you're making a million-plus dollars a year.
[00:30:09] Metta World Peace: Yeah.
[00:30:09] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Fine. 500,000 after taxes, which is like what a surgeon makes at a hospital. And you're like, "But I need the discount."
[00:30:15] Metta World Peace: I mean, the discount was incredible and you got to think about it, I'm taking care of my family.
[00:30:19] Jordan Harbinger: That's true. Yeah.
[00:30:20] Metta World Peace: So I can't just buy anything I want—
[00:30:24] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:30:24] Metta World Peace: —at this point in time. So when you're at 19 and you got this much money, you think this is the most money in the world.
[00:30:30] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:30:30] Metta World Peace: By the way—
[00:30:30] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:30:31] Metta World Peace: It's literally not, right?
[00:30:33] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:30:33] Metta World Peace: So for me, I'm like, oh wow, I'm rich.
[00:30:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:30:36] Metta World Peace: But I'm like, why am I worried about something that costs $5,000 if I'm really that rich.
[00:30:41] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:30:41] Metta World Peace: I'm looking at the numbers and the money is leaving the account. So in my mind, I'm just like, I need this discount. You know what I'm saying?
[00:30:48] Jordan Harbinger: Do they not limit how many things you can buy with your discount? I guess they figure you probably also don't know have—
[00:30:55] Metta World Peace: Yeah. I bought DVDs when it was hot.
[00:30:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yep.
[00:30:58] Metta World Peace: I bought a stereo system for my apartment. And I was paying maybe 3,000 a month. I bought a stereo system from my apartment. I bought, for my car, I think I bought a stereo system for my car. That was what I've mainly bought.
[00:31:13] Jordan Harbinger: That's really funny. You eventually had to leave because I think that the league said, "Hey man, it's not good for you."
[00:31:18] Metta World Peace: It wasn't the league. Jerry Krause was like, "Why are you working at Circus City?"
[00:31:24] Jordan Harbinger: Like, "I don't want to get arrested," but did you tell him, "I don't want to get in trouble"?
[00:31:28] Metta World Peace: No, no. I didn't say anything. I just say that I'm not going, I can't go back. But the general manager at Circuit City was incredibly nice. He said, "You really want to work?" I said, "Yeah, I'd like to work here." And he just gave me the papers and hired me.
[00:31:41] Jordan Harbinger: I'm sure he thought that you were messing with him at some point.
[00:31:44] Metta World Peace: I mean, he kind of, the first but he's a great guy. He gave me the papers and—
[00:31:48] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:31:48] Metta World Peace: Great guy, right?
[00:31:49] Jordan Harbinger: I'm surprised. Hey, if you had still been there, maybe they wouldn't have gone out of business with all the money you were throwing back into the company. All right, peace, Circuit City, man.
[00:31:58] Metta World Peace: I know.
[00:31:58] Jordan Harbinger: That's got to be a first for an NBA player to have a part-time job doing retail sales.
[00:32:02] Metta World Peace: Some people will still go to college.
[00:32:04] Jordan Harbinger: That's true but—
[00:32:05] Metta World Peace: It's different.
[00:32:06] Jordan Harbinger: That's different than being like, "I want to sell Britney Spears' CDs."
[00:32:09] Metta World Peace: Some people should.
[00:32:10] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Well, I think you're probably right.
[00:32:12] Metta World Peace: If you like a G League player making 35,000—
[00:32:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:32:17] Metta World Peace: —maybe you shouldn't go work at Circuit City.
[00:32:19] Jordan Harbinger: Did you think maybe the NBA would go away and it was good that you had a job? Was there any sort of like, "This is my backup plan?"
[00:32:24] Metta World Peace: Like I said, I was always in between streets, education and ball.
[00:32:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:32:29] Metta World Peace: So when I was 13, I said I wanted to be a junior high school math teacher. That was my goal to make 35,000. I knew 35,000 would be enough to give us something, to eat some food. And I'll be a math teacher and perfect. I don't need to be in the streets.
[00:32:43] Jordan Harbinger: No guns, no drugs.
[00:32:44] Metta World Peace: Yeah, I'm good. So that's when I started taking math real serious. Then when I became better at basketball, I was, oh, well I got a chance to go pro. But then when I was first going to college, my major was architecture. I went to Notre Dame, St. John's, Miami of Ohio, Miami University, and Providence. Those are five schools—
[00:33:02] Jordan Harbinger: Those are good schools. And architecture was a really, really tough major for people who don't know.
[00:33:07] Metta World Peace: It's really tough.
[00:33:08] Jordan Harbinger: Really. It's almost like trying to go to a doctor or something like that, or a lawyer.
[00:33:11] Metta World Peace: It's really tough. Miami had a great architect program. Notre Dame had a great architect program and they were ready to support what I wanted. I said, "Listen, I'm not a great student, but I'm going to put in work." But then the other school, St John's didn't have a great program. Providence didn't have a great program. And the Miami of Ohio didn't have a great program.
[00:33:30] Jordan Harbinger: For architecture?
[00:33:30] Metta World Peace: For architecture. So then I picked Miami,, to go to Miami, but then the day when I was picking, I had a change of heart. I went to St. John's.
[00:33:39] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, okay. Yeah.
[00:33:40] Metta World Peace: Then I went to St. John's—
[00:33:41] Jordan Harbinger: I mean you have to choose basketball over architecture if you get a chance to go pro in the NBA, there's no architect that makes as much as—
[00:33:47] Metta World Peace: But they actually put me in an engineering school. They put me in engineering school, my first semester. I'm like, oh yeah. I'm like, okay, cool. I'm going to go to an engineering school.
[00:33:53] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:33:54] Metta World Peace: But practice was at 5:45 a.m. So it was really hard to do that and so I just dropped it.
[00:34:00] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, that's a lot of work, man, as you know. You say that you got the part-time job because if you have time, you get in trouble. But then I read, "Look, he's drinking Hennessy cognac in the locker room at halftime while with the Bulls." During games?
[00:34:13] Metta World Peace: I did that like maybe twice.
[00:34:14] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Because that tells me you don't need a lot of time to get into trouble. Like you're there in halftime, like—
[00:34:20] Metta World Peace: Twice. Yeah, it was at one time, I was just like, whatever, with this NBA stuff — you know what? I think for me, I never had a chance to pause and just reflect, and really just assess the problems. I thought it was huge problem, which was very small problems when I look back at it.
[00:34:40] Jordan Harbinger: That's interesting. So little problems kind of sound like they overwhelmed you a little bit at that age.
[00:34:45] Metta World Peace: I just didn't want no issues. I want it clean. I want it easy. I want the easy way. Then when any little thing happens, I just couldn't really just get over it.
[00:34:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:34:55] Metta World Peace: I just drink and I just drink.
[00:34:56] Jordan Harbinger: You had some antics that made the news, right? Not just the fighting and stuff, but there's a — in February 2004, you wore a bathrobe over your practice uniform to a Pacers practice as a symbolic reminder to take it easy, which I honestly, that idea has legs? I'm going to start podcasting in a bathrobe, but like some of these antics going out to Jimmy Kimmel in your boxer shirts, like what's going on here? What was that for attention?
[00:35:17] Metta World Peace: That's life.
[00:35:18] Jordan Harbinger: What do you mean that's life? There's a lot of people that go on TV that are fully clothed.
[00:35:22] Metta World Peace: You know what I'm saying?
[00:35:24] Jordan Harbinger: No, I don't know what you're saying at all.
[00:35:25] Metta World Peace: Going on boxes, who cares?
[00:35:27] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. That's the thing — well, first of all, thanks for wearing pants to this interview.
[00:35:31] Metta World Peace: Well, I mean, I just felt like, "Hey, who cares?" Jimmy is great, by the way. I was like, you know, you put on your boxers, you go on TV, people would take model pictures on billboards in their boxers, but it's just like, it's a scene, right? When I'm in my robe, I was just like, I didn't feel like wearing a suit that day. I didn't want to wear a suit. I want to be in my robes. So I just wore my robe. I was in bed, but going into a meeting. This is my mind. Now it's not the right way to approach it. I'm not saying I approached it the right way, but I'm saying in my mind, I'm just like, I don't need a suit to tell people that we're going to win a title. Like this is it, we're going to win a title. All right, see you guys later.
[00:36:05] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, you can understand why people might go, "Is he okay," right? Like that was probably—
[00:36:09] Metta World Peace: Everybody was in a suit. I was in the robe.
[00:36:11] Jordan Harbinger: Or like you show up on Jimmy Kimmel in your boxers, which by the way people loved and it was a funny clip, but it was almost like, "Does he know that this is funny?"
[00:36:18] Metta World Peace: I was really great shape also.
[00:36:19] Jordan Harbinger: You were in good shape.
[00:36:20] Metta World Peace: So that was more than the other things. I was in such good shape.
[00:36:24] Jordan Harbinger: Probably a lot of women were like, "Oh, let me pay attention to this guy." Was that part of it?
[00:36:28] Metta World Peace: That wasn't part of it.
[00:36:29] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:36:29] Metta World Peace: I didn't work out for women. I worked out for me.
[00:36:31] Jordan Harbinger: Good for you.
[00:36:32] Metta World Peace: You know what I'm saying? I'll work out for me. I mean, when you, in your prime, it was like, oh my goodness. Yeah. Do y'all see this world?
[00:36:39] Jordan Harbinger: Well, look, man, you got the most out of life when it came to the media, I think. But I wonder what it was like or what it is? Like because your life for a while, not for always, but for a while, was based on some of your worst moments or one of your worst moments, especially Malice at the Palace, which happened in front of millions of people. For people who don't know, there was like all this craziness going on, you ended up going to the stands and hitting a fan. Well, you hit the wrong guy, but the guy who you didn't hit—
[00:37:06] Metta World Peace: It wasn't the wrong guy. It was actually the right guy.
[00:37:07] Jordan Harbinger: It was the right guy. Oh, okay, the story is that it was a wrong guy.
[00:37:10] Metta World Peace: Yeah, there's a bunch of stories out.
[00:37:11] Jordan Harbinger: There's a bunch, it's hard to get it straight.
[00:37:12] Metta World Peace: Well, the guy who I hit, he bet John $50.
[00:37:16] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, you got that guy. All right. So they were both horrible. Yeah. But like, you know, that made international news, millions of people saw it. I think we can agree it's not one of your finest moments. Right? And you elbowed James Harden in the head in a separate incident, he got a concussion. There's just a lot of — by the way, if any of my questions get on your nerves, just know that getting punched in the face live on a show might be the big break I need — but like, what I'm getting at here is what's going on in your head during those days, you mentioned that you had trouble sort of like dealing with anger, obviously that's the case, but what goes through your head? Is it just blank at that point?
[00:37:50] Metta World Peace: Not really. I mean, the brawl was, that was simple. Somebody hit me.
[00:37:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:37:54] Metta World Peace: That's like a simple solution to a problem. Like if someone throws something at you, you just don't let somebody throw something at you. But it was me, it was painted as he was stressed and he was depressed, it's still painted as that. But when you look at it frame by frame, you can never paint someone in a light where if someone hits them, then they hit someone back that the person I hit the person back is under mental pressure. You know what I'm saying?
[00:38:25] Jordan Harbinger: Well, yeah, of course. I mean, it's called self-defense if it happens right here.
[00:38:28] Metta World Peace: It's called self defense everywhere.
[00:38:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:38:30] Metta World Peace: I mean, when you're in such a big profession and big industry, you know, sports, sports profession, big industry. So from that perspective, it's not right here, right?
[00:38:42] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Well also, if the person's trying to get away or they're no longer a threat, you're not supposed to go after them. That's sort of the exception to that. But why were you so unable to process that kind of anger? I mean, you were laying on the scoring table to try and process everything.
[00:38:54] Metta World Peace: It happened quick.
[00:38:54] Jordan Harbinger: It happened quick.
[00:38:55] Metta World Peace: I got hit and then I reacted. It wasn't processing nothing. It was just—
[00:39:00] Jordan Harbinger: Like a gut reaction.
[00:39:01] Metta World Peace: I mean, if someone gets punched, I don't think, if somebody got punched in the face, I don't think they take five minutes to think about it.
[00:39:07] Jordan Harbinger: Generally not, but a lot of people would run away—
[00:39:09] Metta World Peace: Never.
[00:39:10] Jordan Harbinger: Like I would run away.
[00:39:11] Metta World Peace: Yeah. I mean, that's you, right? And if I got to put you on face, I'm not going to sit there and just be like, "Okay, I just got punched in my face. What should I do? Oh, by the way, I got to go to the store to pick up groceries. Do I attack? Oh I got to make a phone call." No. It's like, "I just got punched in my face. Who the hell did it?" That's it, that's life. That's human nature.
[00:39:27] Jordan Harbinger: You got hit with a Diet Coke.
[00:39:29] Metta World Peace: No, it was a beer.
[00:39:29] Jordan Harbinger: A beer. Okay. Yeah, that's right. It was a beer. No, I saw the video. I mean, we'll post the video in the show notes. People who are in that situation would be really pissed.
[00:39:38] Metta World Peace: Yes. That's not like — that's just a moment. That's just life.
[00:39:41] Jordan Harbinger: Were you that way off the court as well?
[00:39:43] Metta World Peace: Off the court, I mean, off the court, my life is kind of different from a home court.
[00:39:48] Jordan Harbinger: But did you get in fights off the- court as well, at that time?
[00:39:50] Metta World Peace: I've never gotten into a fight off the court in the NBA, but I was playing professionally.
[00:39:54] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, like, let's say that game ends, you go to a bar, someone steps on you—
[00:39:57] Metta World Peace: I've never got into a fight while I was playing in NBA off the court.
[00:40:01] Jordan Harbinger: Really? Okay. So this was mostly only during the games that we saw this sort of aggressive behavior.
[00:40:06] Metta World Peace: Yeah.
[00:40:06] Jordan Harbinger: Huh? I've heard you say you were intimidated—
[00:40:08] Metta World Peace: Yeah, I've never got in a fight off the court in NBA.
[00:40:10] Jordan Harbinger: No. Okay. Interesting.
[00:40:11] Metta World Peace: I haven't gotten in a fight, well, I guess in high school, not even high school, like a real—
[00:40:16] Jordan Harbinger: Huh?
[00:40:16] Metta World Peace: Besides like on the court, really aggressive, but I haven't gotten to a fight off the court at all.
[00:40:22] Jordan Harbinger: I've heard you say you were intimidated by some of the other players. I can't remember who it was. Maybe like, you know what, I'm drawing a blank. You were intimidated by some of the other star players. So you had to be kind of mean and overly aggressive.
[00:40:33] Metta World Peace: No, it wasn't that. I used to play against some intimidating players before the NBA.
[00:40:37] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. Okay.
[00:40:38] Metta World Peace: And then when I was going to the NBA, like these guys are big. So I'm like, in my mind, in order to survive, you got to be ready to fight. You know what I'm saying? And if you watch the '80s and '90s and the '70s, guys were fighting. I grew up under the Knicks era. So in my mind, I'm going to be ready for this, especially when I got there, I'm like, I'll be ready for this type of basketball.
[00:41:00] Jordan Harbinger: You said, "I wish I was Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, but I'm not. I have a lot of emotions going through me." I think you were probably talking about emotional management, not necessarily basketball.
[00:41:09] Metta World Peace: Basketball skills.
[00:41:09] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, you were talking about basketball skills.
[00:41:10] Metta World Peace: My goals would be to be the best. My goal was never to be like second. Some people's goals are to be the best and they actually become the best. Some people's goals are to be the best and they don't become the best. My goal was to be the best.
[00:41:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I mean, that's a champion attitude.
[00:41:24] Metta World Peace: That's it.
[00:41:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:41:25] Metta World Peace: And still to this day, it's hard for me to come down from that type of mindset. You know what I'm saying?
[00:41:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:41:32] Metta World Peace: With the exception of I'm okay with not being the best because I did my career, the stats are what it is and I'm okay with that. But then I still know, when I was a kid, at one point in time, I wanted to be the best, right? I still have that in me.
[00:41:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Well, sort of like overachiever or competitive in any way.
[00:41:52] Metta World Peace: Competitive, competitive.
[00:41:54] Jordan Harbinger: Do you have that with like podcasting? Now that you have your own.
[00:41:56] Metta World Peace: Oh, I don't have that with podcast. Podcasting is fine. I'm not trying to be the number one podcast.
[00:42:01] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Good. I'm just checking.
[00:42:03] Metta World Peace: I just want to have, I just like to talk.
[00:42:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:42:05] Metta World Peace: I just love to talk about interesting things, totally.
[00:42:08] Jordan Harbinger: Well, you're in a good industry for that. So you get a sports doctor to help you relax.
[00:42:13] Do you think that if you had better emotional management back then you could have achieved more as a player?
[00:42:18] Metta World Peace: Oh, for sure. I achieved a ton as a player.
[00:42:20] Jordan Harbinger: You did.
[00:42:21] Metta World Peace: I would have achieved, I would have doubled that up. For sure, I doubled it up.
[00:42:25] Jordan Harbinger: So instead of just staying out of trouble, you could have gone beyond what you had gone, beyond what you've done.
[00:42:30] Metta World Peace: I mean, when you talk about the numbers of the awards, I have about — so Defensive Player of the Year, and I love talking about these because I'm so grateful, by the way, of these accolades, but Defense Player of the Year, All-Star, 1st Team All-Defense, 1st Team All-Defense, 2nd Team, 2nd Team, 3rd Team All-NBA Champion, and I think that's it. So then now you take away the brawl year, that was going to be another All-Star. Another All-Team All-Defense, another All-Team NBA, that's 11. Another potentially Defense Player of the Year award, so that's 12. And then you go to the next year, now the next year I got suspended from the Pacers now. Okay. Keep that in mind. So then detrimental to the team. So then that's another, so that's 12. That's another All-Star, that's 13. That's another All-Defensive Team, maybe a All-Defense Player of the Year, maybe, right?
[00:43:20] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah.
[00:43:21] Metta World Peace: That's 15. And then I was traded and then I was kind of floating on other teams, but let's just say I stayed in Indiana. So that's, at least two more All-Stars, at least one more All-NBA Team, right? So you're talking about another 12 awards. That's not counting like 2009, 2010 when I was in my prime.
[00:43:44] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:43:45] Metta World Peace: So who knows? You know what I'm saying?
[00:43:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:43:47] Metta World Peace: So I particularly have only had a third.
[00:43:49] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, really? Oh yeah. It's interesting. So in your head you have like a path where you didn't make all those sort of mistakes in another path—
[00:43:56] Metta World Peace: For sure, and I'm fine with that. In my career, I'm so happy with shoulda woulda coulda, because this is a real shoulda woulda coulda. And let me tell you something. I feel really good about it. I feel really, I'm really happy that I have what I have, and I'm really happy. Just always thinking about, I could have had another award. I finished sixth in MVP voting the year before I got suspended. That could have been an MVP. I always wanted to get him VP. I didn't get it, but you want to know something. I'm okay with that.
[00:44:24] Jordan Harbinger: Well, you have no other choice, but to be okay.
[00:44:26] Metta World Peace: Well, I did get rid of all my words.
[00:44:31] Jordan Harbinger: I know that you got rid of all that, and you even sold one of your rings. And we'll talk about that in a bit, but I'm wondering—
[00:44:37] Metta World Peace: I'm not good with it.
[00:44:39] Jordan Harbinger: You did get the sports doctor to sort of help you handle stress differently or help handle—
[00:44:43] Metta World Peace: Sports therapy.
[00:44:44] Jordan Harbinger: Sports therapy to handle the anger differently. Do you think a lot of players need the help that you sought and the help you got, but maybe they were afraid to ask for it?
[00:44:52] Metta World Peace: I mean, if you look at the history of sports, let's say the NBA, look in the history of the NBA players and it's undocumented problems.
[00:45:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:45:01] Metta World Peace: So with those documented problems, I think, you know, I wonder if sports therapy could really help.
[00:45:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:45:07] Metta World Peace: And I wonder if these players actually looked, searched sports therapy. I love sports therapy.
[00:45:12] Jordan Harbinger: A lot of the people that I interview on this show will say things like, "Man, if they knew how to handle—" I interviewed a famous mobster. And he said, "If they knew how to handle the learning disabilities, when I was a kid, I would never have joined the mob." And he's a mob hitman. You know, you're saying, "Hey, this is what I probably would have done. If I had been able to control my anger more." It's just interesting to see mental health become a focus of people as they get older, especially people who have achieved a lot.
[00:45:35] Metta World Peace: Mental health is a hot topic and in a very lucrative industry.
[00:45:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:45:40] Metta World Peace: So I think the non-lucrative industry and the most important part of mental health is at the foundation and that the foundation is the family, right? So the stronger the family, the less likely someone is going to grow with mental health issues, because you always have your dad and your mom to always go back to and get that real advice.
[00:45:58] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:45:59] Metta World Peace: Get that real love, that real advice, that came from your mom. It came from your dad and not everybody has that. So with that being said — then you have things that pile up, which turns into depression, turns into anxiety. Then it's so much, it turns into an illness. It turns not even an illness, before the illness, it turns into, you might need some medication to suppress. Then from suppression, you either born with a chemical imbalance or you're going to develop a mental illness because there's just so much going on in your brain. You know, so I think the foundation is the most important piece that I like to kind of talk about.
[00:46:38] Jordan Harbinger: Everyone talks about how nice you are now, which is kind of a plot twist, isn't it? From back in the day, you felt like you had to hate your opponent to play ball, everyone from the fans to the camera man, to other players. I've heard you say something along those lines.
[00:46:50] Metta World Peace: For sure.
[00:46:51] Jordan Harbinger: That's more like a boxing mentality though.
[00:46:53] Metta World Peace: Yeah. When I went into arena, I just, I normally did not like anyone, but it's just crazy because like I was so competitive. I don't even know that I was competitive. I think I was just so over the top crazy competitive.
[00:47:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it was like irrational levels.
[00:47:08] Metta World Peace: For sure.
[00:47:09] Jordan Harbinger: Because Kobe is competitive, but you don't see—
[00:47:11] Metta World Peace: Right, he's not as irrational.
[00:47:12] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:47:13] Metta World Peace: Yeah, for sure. I was very irrational. I'm going to look that up, make it in context, but I've never put it like that, but it was unnecessary competitive.
[00:47:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:47:24] Metta World Peace: I'm in practice and I'm just so hungry. I see the 11th player on a bench, the 13th player, trying to make the rest of, I just want to demolish them. I don't want to give them a shot. I'm in there taking the ball from these kids, that's trying to make a team. Because my team worked harder than every single person that touched this floor. Why? Because I was in survival mode. Then when I get into the game, it's the same thing when I'm in a game, the same thing when I'm on practice.
[00:47:54] I'll be at practice, one time in practice, Rick Carlisle, he said, "Ron, slow down, slow down. Today, we're only going 20 percent, 20 percent," screaming at the top of his lungs. And I'm like, all right, the next thing, boom, boom, boom, boom. Fast, everything hustle, hustle, hustle, rebound, box out, attack. Like in practice, he said, "I told you to slow down. I told you to slow down. Stop." And I was just like, "Oh my God, I need to get 100 percent today."
[00:48:27] Jordan Harbinger: Do you think you were insecure? Is that why you did that?
[00:48:30] Metta World Peace: I probably was unsecured. Oh, for sure. I think so. And I don't know if that's why. Everything adds up, right?
[00:48:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:48:35] Metta World Peace: I just thought that if I don't work hard, then I feel like it's over. That's what I feel like now. I felt like if I don't go hard, it was something I couldn't get over. I was really where I felt very — what would you call it? Not even unprepared, scared, sort of. Like if I didn't give a hundred percent today. When I would lose, I don't know, I think I was scared of losing.
[00:48:57] Jordan Harbinger: Because did you feel like it meant something about you if you lost?
[00:49:00] Metta World Peace: Yeah, if I lose, I could handle it as you can see. So most of my issues, if you do the math, came after the loss.
[00:49:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, you've said that you're a sore loser. And that you're right. A lot of the big sort of negative events were from the lost.
[00:49:13] Metta World Peace: With the exception of the brawl, which I didn't start, we were winning. So I was okay. But when you look at the Knicks incident, when I was with Indiana, when I broke the camera, that was after the loss. We got like at one time when I was with Indiana, I just threw over a bunch of stuff, broke pictures in the locker room. After a loss with Chicago, I broke pictures, threw them off the wall, maybe Michael Jordan's pictures. Take it off the wall. We get into the plane, we lose against Dallas. I took the food and threw all the food on the floor, everybody's food, threw them on the floor. That's how I was everytime I lost. Even in practice, I would get so mad and I thought like this was healthy, but then it's like, okay, practice is over. So imagine this I'm so pissed off after losses, practice is over and I just can't get over it.
[00:50:01] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man.
[00:50:01] Metta World Peace: So I'm just, I'm thinking about this for tomorrow, all day.
[00:50:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's no way to live though, right?
[00:50:08] Metta World Peace: There's no way to live.
[00:50:09] Jordan Harbinger: It's no way to live. It's funny to think back on that. Probably although people were probably pissed, you threw all the food on the floor. They're all hungry after the game, and they're like, "We lose. Now, I can't even eat."
[00:50:17] Metta World Peace: I did that once, maybe once or twice, but, and then when I spoke to my therapist, we spoke about basically stop wanting to be the best, like be okay with second place. I needed balance. You know what I'm saying? So at the point in my career, I took away all that stuff that made me great. I just, I had to tone it down, had to tone it down. So some games we will lose, I had to go home happy, that I had to go home happy.
[00:50:43] Jordan Harbinger: That's tough.
[00:50:44] Metta World Peace: Very tough.
[00:50:46] Jordan Harbinger: It's easier to win.
[00:50:48] Metta World Peace: Very tough.
[00:50:51] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Metta World Peace. We'll be right back.
[00:50:56] This episode is sponsored in part by Cuts Clothing. Thank goodness work attire has changed. The days of wearing uncomfortable business attire are now officially over for the most part. Now you can wear Cuts Clothing re-imagined work clothes like they're elevated classic tee from business meetings to casual nights out. And I think that means Zoom calls. I've spotted elite athletes, entrepreneurs, and recording artists in Cuts Clothing's only shorts worth wearing. I highly recommend Cuts' signature buttery, soft custom engineered Pyca pro tri-blend tee, which I can wear from being on camera to working out in the garage.
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[00:51:43] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Purple Mattress. There are lots of gimmicks that promise a great night's sleep. It doesn't matter what kind of toppers there are or how heavy a blanket might be. That's lipstick on a pig, man. If you're sleeping on a terrible mattress, your sleep will be terrible. Trust me, I slept on a freaking bean bag for years. It was not great on the back. It really is that simple. That's why I recommend you try out a Purple Mattress. Only Purple Mattresses have the gel flex grid. It's as fancy as it sounds. It's a super stretchy ultra squishy material. Those are technical terms. It adapts and flexes around pressure points. It doesn't retain heat. Also bounces back as you move and shift, so you never have that I'm stuck feeling people get with memory foam. We love our Purple Harmony Pillow, which also has the gel flex grid. It's been amazingly supportive while cushioning my head, my delicate little head, no matter how I sleep. Try Purple Mattress risk-free with free shipping and return.
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[00:52:53] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored in part by Glenfiddich. Glenfiddich breaks from the single malt scotch whisky norm, and helps redefine what it means to be rich. It's easy these days to get bogged down in material success when the currency of the new rich is getting more time and enjoyment out of what we've already got. Metta, as you've heard on the show here. He's a bit of a wild card, this guy, right? He had a lot of emotional instability. He grew up in a rough area. He made probably like a hundred million bucks at one point or at least half of that, and clearly went off the rails. But now he is an advocate for not only getting back on the rails, but staying on the rails. And I think that's admirable, you know, to wear some of the most embarrassing and unpleasant events in your life, on your sleeve so that other people can take lessons from it. That is kind of a boss move. And I got to hand it to him for coming on the show and being that vulnerable like that. And I think it really does show that he doesn't necessarily value ego as much as he values these sorts of teachable moments and good for him for that. Honestly, I got to hand it to him. Thanks as well to Glenfiddich for making these types of shows possible.
[00:53:57] Jen Harbinger: Skillfully crafted, enjoy responsibly Glenfiddich 2021 imported by William Grant and sons Inc, New York, New York.
[00:54:04] Jordan Harbinger: Now for the rest of my conversation with Metta World Peace.
[00:54:09] So you win the 2010 championship.
[00:54:10] Metta World Peace: Yeah.
[00:54:11] Jordan Harbinger: You think it's sweet, you know, the confetti's coming down, you're wearing the hat with the jerseys. You're still sweating, they put the hat on you or whatever. You thank your shrink. You said, "Thanks to my doctor who helped me relax," something along those lines. Not a lot of people shout out their shrink during the presscon after a championship. But it does take strength to sort of wear the most vulnerable part, or even the most damaged part of yourself on your sleeve. So I'll give you props for that. I think a lot of people were like, wow, you know?
[00:54:38] Metta World Peace: A lot of people said, "You're crazy." I'm like the last thing on my mind was worrying about what people were saying. I'm like, "Y'all got to be out of your mind." If you're going to think I'm feeling insecure about this moment, this win was incredible.
[00:54:49] Jordan Harbinger: It's also like, you're kind of past that, right? Like, I don't think it's a secret that you had — I think most people give you credit for getting treatment.
[00:54:56] Metta World Peace: It was credible. You know what's incredible about it? So I got a ton of hard, I worked hard. I work hard enough where I'm prepared but sometimes in big moments, I was worried about too much. Like I was worried about the winning, I'm worried about winning. I'm not present. If you're in the moment, you're not thinking about winning, you're thinking about what are you going to do right now.
[00:55:14] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:55:15] Metta World Peace: That's going to get you to win.
[00:55:16] Jordan Harbinger: I see.
[00:55:17] Metta World Peace: So I was never present.
[00:55:18] Jordan Harbinger: You would never — I see, so you were thinking about the win or the loss and it was taking you out of the game.
[00:55:22] Metta World Peace: It's too much for the last two years, working would hurt. If you looked at my series against the Lakers, before I got to the Lakers, everything was going in the way. I was shooting the ball average of 20, 22 or 25, something like that, playing a solo. And look when I got to the Lakers, I wasn't worried about that. Even when I hit that big shot, I wasn't just celebrating but it was like all these tools that she gave me.
[00:55:45] Jordan Harbinger: Were you ever afraid during your career that therapy, medication might hurt your game because you think it maybe gave you an edge to be angry?
[00:55:52] Metta World Peace: I never took medication during my career.
[00:55:54] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:55:55] Metta World Peace: And even when I thanked my psychiatrist on national TV, she was a psychologist. She texts me after. She said, "Great job. Thank you. But did you know that I'm not a psychiatrist?" I said, "Oh, I thought you were a psychiatrist." She said, "No, I'm a psychologist." "Oh, okay."
[00:56:09] Jordan Harbinger: What's the difference between the two?
[00:56:11] Metta World Peace: At that point in time, I've never ever thought about what's the difference.
[00:56:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Most people don't know that there is a difference.
[00:56:16] Metta World Peace: But I thought it was a great statement because it showed people. I thought it might've been even a bigger statement. I think it's kind of hard to—
[00:56:23] Jordan Harbinger: Did she ever recommend, I mean, she can't prescribe medication, but did anybody ever give you medication or recommend medication?
[00:56:29] Metta World Peace: No. Early in my career, early in my career, yeah, but when I started to get diagnosed, it was diagnosed a ton and I didn't take medication.
[00:56:37] Jordan Harbinger: What did they diagnose?
[00:56:38] Metta World Peace: Anger management, depression.
[00:56:40] Jordan Harbinger: Depression, okay.
[00:56:43] Metta World Peace: Well, actually, it wasn't. It was really, it was for sure depression and anxiety, for sure. But that was, yeah, that was pretty much it. So then I started to do a lot of therapy over the years.
[00:56:54] Jordan Harbinger: Well, you are a man of contradictions, right? You're crazy aggressive and fighting on the court. Then you changed your last name to World Peace. You had to give up a pet dog because of various neglect. And then you end up in a PETA ad representing like the love to animal.
[00:57:07] Metta World Peace: It was crazy. So I like PETA. I don't have no issues with PETA.
[00:57:11] Jordan Harbinger: You were in the commercial with PETA.
[00:57:12] Metta World Peace: But what happened was, so in Indiana, I spent about 125,000 on basically a barn for my dogs. So I built this barn for my dog.
[00:57:24] Jordan Harbinger: A giant doghouse.
[00:57:26] Metta World Peace: Giant dog house, right. And I had gates around my property. So when I told the guy to build the gate, I said, "Hey, I want to let my dog out." So I need you to build these gates in the grass and I paid for it, right? So then he builds it my neighbors saying your dog is coming out and you don't come out. Then one of my dogs got hit by a tractor trailer. My little puppy got run over by a tractor trailer and my other puppy got hit by a tractor trailer, right? This is what's happening. And I called the guy and said, "You got to fix this man. This is ridiculous. My dogs are dying out on the street. And I got this big property. I had saved the dog from humane society, and I get really passionate about it. I don't have dogs anymore because I lost too many dogs. I lost maybe three or four dogs. I have 20 dogs.
[00:58:13] Jordan Harbinger: 20 dogs. Most people in the NBA collect cars and stuff. You're collecting dogs.
[00:58:18] Metta World Peace: I would save them from the Humane Society before they get put down. So I would just take them in when I can. And then this group, "Dog killer, dog killer, dog killer." So when that happened, I was in court. They showed up in court. In my mind, I wanted to say, "Get the f*ck out of here. I wanted to curse these people out so bad.
[00:58:35] Jordan Harbinger: Because you're like "I'm saving dogs, not killing them."
[00:58:37] Metta World Peace: I didn't even care about saving dogs. I'm just like, I just wanted to curse them out because I'm like, "Please get away from me right now."
[00:58:42] Jordan Harbinger: They're getting on your last nerve.
[00:58:43] Metta World Peace: They're on my last nerve. So I moved to Sacramento. It was crazy when I was in Dallas, Indiana. When that happened, I moved to Sacramento. I bring my dogs with me. Once again, I built a kennel. I said, you know, I'm spending money, "Please do this the right way. I don't want my dogs to get a house." I had a big Great Dane. I'm on the road. I got a call from my neighbor, "Your Great Dane just got hit by a tractor trailer."
[00:59:08] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my god.
[00:59:10] Metta World Peace: Every bone is damn near broken. Are you kidding me?
[00:59:15] Jordan Harbinger: That's terrible.
[00:59:16] Metta World Peace: Oh my goodness. It was the worst time of my life. It was so bad. At that point, I said, I'm not doing no more dogs. I'm not getting dogs. It was terrible. I was like guys built the damn fence the right way.
[00:59:27] Jordan Harbinger: That was crazy to me.
[00:59:28] Metta World Peace: It was really tough. So I don't have no more days. I'm so like traumatized from my experience. So I gave all my dogs back to different people, humane society, but that's kind of a story with the dogs and I had to eat that.
[00:59:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:59:41] Metta World Peace: That's really sad, really sad, really, really sad.
[00:59:43] Jordan Harbinger: Tell me about your focus on mental health and what you're doing here. What do you hope to achieve? Why is it so important to you?
[00:59:49] Metta World Peace: Mental health is very important. Well, to me personally, before I came out. And then everyone was like, you did something really great. That was not the plan. I did not know that was going to happen. But for me personally, it's important because like one, I could pay for therapy. Marriage counseling, parenting class, I was doing all type of therapy, but some people can't afford that. So how can you empower people to be able to afford mental health services? So that's like something that's really important to me. Then two, at the foundation, when you look at somebody like me, other people, other athletes, or anybody just in general, a lot of business people will be going through it.
[01:00:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:00:27] Metta World Peace: A lot of business people go through it. So when you look at that, it's like, how did you grow up so the foundation, I was like, the foundation is the most important piece. So now what we did was change the mission statement from Artest University, my father wants to focus on mental health. We changed it to teaching the importance on parents and partnerships to little kids, because the kids are learning how to treat women with more respect. They learn how to treat women like hoes and bees. Right? Well, if you treat them like hose and bees and you make a baby with that person, you got this picture in your mind that to disrespect them, well, what are you going to do when you have a baby and you marry them, right? And then what is that baby going to do when you're going through these arguments and baby is just sitting there watching.
[01:01:10] Jordan Harbinger: Right. So you're trying to focus on the family.
[01:01:12] Metta World Peace: I'm trying to focus on the family, I think that's the most important piece. I think that's the most important piece and it's still mental health because if you have you empowered a family early, or if you can give them some tools to get through adversity. You know, what about a time when that point comes where it's either stick it out or get divorced? These parents that have been together 35 years, I'm sure they had these moments. Yeah. I'm sure they had these moments, you know, where it was divorced time and they stuck it out. 40 years together and it looks beautiful. I'm sure they had the issues. How do you get to that point? Like, what's the reference point? How do you make it that far? And then all their children got married and they lived together for 20 years and other kids, 15. It's beautiful.
[01:01:55] Jordan Harbinger: It creates a pattern for the rest of the family. Yeah. And it sounds like you didn't grow up necessarily with that.
[01:02:01] Metta World Peace: I did initially, so my parents were together. We went to church every Sunday. I grew up like that, but then they separated at 13, but then before that time it was like different things. They were going through, as a parent. I only have to tell the story at a time, but I think it's important that people know because they were going through things and we see this stuff.
[01:02:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I know your dad was kind of a hard guy to live with, to say the least.
[01:02:23] Metta World Peace: Both.
[01:02:24] Jordan Harbinger: Both parents were.
[01:02:26] Metta World Peace: Great, and then it was hard.
[01:02:27] Jordan Harbinger: Well, yeah, of course, it's mixed, but yeah, you know, he was a boxer and kind of like a rough he's a little bit rough on you when you were young as well.
[01:02:33] Metta World Peace: It was great. The roughness on me was like, he just maybe knew I can deal with it. It was incredible. But you know, from that perspective, I think the family, like you got to understand that the kids watch. And that's why I took a parenting class. I'm like listen—
[01:02:49] Jordan Harbinger: You took a parenting class?
[01:02:50] Metta World Peace: For sure, when I was in 2007. I was doing three therapy sessions, back to back, anger management, marriage counseling, and parenting class.
[01:02:58] Jordan Harbinger: Good for you. Good for you.
[01:02:59] Metta World Peace: I was trying to figure it out.
[01:03:00] Jordan Harbinger: You're attacking the problem.
[01:03:01] Metta World Peace: Trying to figure it out.
[01:03:02] Jordan Harbinger: So you donated a bunch of your NBA salary from the 2011-2012 season toward mental health awareness charities. You auctioned off your championship ring, donated the proceeds to various mental health charities nationwide. That's a real commitment. That's not like going on a PSA commercial and being like mental health, hashtag whatever.
[01:03:19] Metta World Peace: Yeah. I feel like, you know, like I said, I'm a passionate guy, right?
[01:03:22] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:03:23] Metta World Peace: In my mind, I'm like, we're going to do a 501(c)(3). We're going to raise so much money for people, that was in my mind. But when I realized it was so difficult, I thought it was going to be easy. Like, you see, I'm really passionate about that. You see people need help.
[01:03:36] Jordan Harbinger: Everybody gave me a million dollars.
[01:03:37] Metta World Peace: Everybody gets a million dollar—
[01:03:38] Jordan Harbinger: With ring.
[01:03:39] Metta World Peace: It's not that easy.
[01:03:41] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:03:42] Metta World Peace: That was more like, let's start. Let's just do it. Okay. We got the ring, we did this. I call this rapid runoff. Let's start. Let's get this process started. Let's not wait anymore. And that was what it was.
[01:03:53] Jordan Harbinger: Do you ever watch older videos of any interviews of yourself or anything like that? And just kind of wonder what's going on. I'm asking because there's clips on YouTube of a reporter asking if she should call you Ron or Metta. And you said, and I'm paraphrasing, "Wasn't Jesus really smart for designing humans. So they lose their baby teeth when they're children, instead of adults, because adults would look really weird with baby teeth." Like, do you ever watch that and go, "What the hell was I thinking?"
[01:04:15] Metta World Peace: That was funny, by the way.
[01:04:16] Jordan Harbinger: It was funny, but also I'm kind of like, "Are you okay, man?"
[01:04:19] Metta World Peace: So at that point in time, I was doing standup comedy.
[01:04:22] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[01:04:22] Metta World Peace: I really love comedy. I'm not in that mode anymore. But so when I was doing all these sound bites on television, it was to really get the attention of people.
[01:04:32] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[01:04:34] Metta World Peace: I used the media, I used the NBA media to often get attention because I always wanted to be an entertainer. The problem was I was getting in trouble. I was on TV for things I didn't want to be on TV for.
[01:04:44] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:04:44] Metta World Peace: I want to be on TV before even doing music or making somebody laugh, making a joke, maybe coming on with a funny hat, you know, stuff like that. So I use often like that type of stuff, I actually went on comedy tour.
[01:04:57] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, interesting.
[01:04:58] Metta World Peace: I actually went on improv. They signed me to a contest.
[01:05:01] Jordan Harbinger: I did see a little bit of that.
[01:05:02] Metta World Peace: I did stand up comedy.
[01:05:04] Jordan Harbinger: That makes more sense because if you don't know that and you see these videos, you kind of think, "Am I watching this guy have like a breakdown right now? Or just the beginning of like a mental health crisis?" because that's not a normal reply to that question.
[01:05:17] Metta World Peace: It got picked up so much.
[01:05:19] Jordan Harbinger: It did
[01:05:19] Metta World Peace: It got millions of views at that point in time.
[01:05:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:05:22] Metta World Peace: You know what I'm saying? And people were laughing. A lot of people in LA, a small group, people knew I was doing comedy.
[01:05:27] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[01:05:28] Metta World Peace: You know what I'm saying? So then people started booking me for these shows and I stopped doing it because comedy is hard.
[01:05:34] Jordan Harbinger: Comedy is hard. It's all about skill. Yeah.
[01:05:37] Metta World Peace: It's really hard, man.
[01:05:38] Jordan Harbinger: Very difficult. Yeah, it's a different set of skills. It might look easy when somebody is just up there performing.
[01:05:43] Metta World Peace: I really love it, but it's really hard.
[01:05:45] Jordan Harbinger: Like anything.
[01:05:46] Metta World Peace: Yeah.
[01:05:47] Jordan Harbinger: You learned a lot from Kobe Bryant about how to manage yourself on the court, basketball skills. But also you mentioned that you were almost mentored by him with business skills and things for retirement. How do you know who to trust in your life when it comes to business money and things like that? Because a lot of people want to take advantage of guys in your position.
[01:06:04] Metta World Peace: I would say some people might, some people would like to genuinely see you be successful. Let's just talk about it from an athlete's perspective. I think the more educated you are early, the better decisions you can make. You know, like I said, I wasn't really focused on like economics honestly, early in my career, so I had an agent. I had great agents. So sometimes you can get a great agent and they could just advise you. I had great agents, great managers which I'm very fortunate.
[01:06:29] Jordan Harbinger: But you got lucky, not everybody does. Some people get robbed blind, right?
[01:06:33] Metta World Peace: Some people do it, but then also the flip side, having a good agent and a good manager. It doesn't always align with your career. I'm not sure if you had this, but you want to do something and then somebody else says, "No, let's do this."
[01:06:44] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:06:45] Metta World Peace: For your business career, for your creative, your entrepreneurial spirit.
[01:06:48] Jordan Harbinger: They probably tried to keep you away from doing comedy, right?
[01:06:51] Metta World Peace: Well, maybe, I don't know.
[01:06:54] Jordan Harbinger: I mean it's hard. They probably wanted you to focus. I would imagine paying the bills.
[01:06:58] Metta World Peace: But I was really intrigued with how athletes, I was an athlete. How do you really take your control over your stuff? So like when I was retiring, I was going for my series 7.
[01:07:08] Jordan Harbinger: You went for your series 7.
[01:07:09] Metta World Peace: Yeah. When I retired, I was going to do one of four things because I say, whatever you're going to do, I'm going to do it full time and I'm all in. So I was going to either rap full time and really learn how to do it. I was going to get my series 7 which I study for, coach, NBA coach, which I did some stuff there, or the digital marketing.
[01:07:30] Jordan Harbinger: Digital marketing.
[01:07:31] Metta World Peace: But I went back to college. I went to UCLA and I did everything and I said, what do I have to endurance for? What keeps me happy? And when I was at UCLA at school, I was up late studying and I really loved it. I really got into it.
[01:07:46] Jordan Harbinger: So what are you doing now? What pays the bills or is it just you're near your investments from your NBA cash?
[01:07:50] Metta World Peace: A couple of things, you know, so I've worked with digital marketing companies, digital agencies, we build some brands together. This is one of our brands, Buttercloth. We started this.
[01:08:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it looks nice.
[01:08:02] Metta World Peace: We got with this company when it was early stages. Now, this company is doing 10 million in revenue this year, like really growing. I got a couple other companies and digitally from this, from the digital marketing world that I'm working with, I got a percentage in. Then I have a business management company. It's not a big company, but we got some boxes that, you know, a couple of boxes that, you know, we do taxes. I don't necessarily do that part. I started the company I invested in the company, but it's pretty cool. I like it. Keeps me around sports. We got some basketball players. We got some, we had a baseball player, don't have him anymore. It's really cool. Now that company is spinning out an agency. I'm just kind of advising them. And I got equity in the company. I really like it. And I've been learning a lot from these young players.
[01:08:49] Jordan Harbinger: It sounds like you still are interested in learning and growing and moving forward. Like you're not just retired and watching Netflix and going on trips.
[01:08:56] Metta World Peace: No, not, not at all. I mean, I'm just grateful. I'm just really grateful for the NBA and basketball because I don't know if I could have been doing like what I'm doing now if it wasn't for the NBA.
[01:09:07] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah. You're probably right. Do you think the NBA is too soft now?
[01:09:12] Metta World Peace: It's back. That's what I would say. So I got the league in '99. That was the '90s era was unbelievably aggressive, 2000 through 2005, still aggressive, but the NBA was cracking down on certain things. 2005, 2010. You know, it's still aggressive, but not like the '90s ejections suspensions for anything fighting then from like 2013 to 2016, 17 soft. Not the players, the rules.
[01:09:45] Jordan Harbinger: Oh the rules. Okay.
[01:09:46] Metta World Peace: The rules, not the players, the rules are soft. And then from about 17, 18 to now, it's back. It's very physical.
[01:09:53] Jordan Harbinger: It's back.
[01:09:54] Metta World Peace: I love it.
[01:09:54] Jordan Harbinger: Do you think someone like Steph Curry would have been as much of a star in your era?
[01:09:58] Metta World Peace: I think he would have been a star in any era. I don't think he would have hit eight threes because you can hold, but he would have been a superstar. He wouldn't have been hitting as many threes. In the '80s and '90s, you can't risk missing some shots because it's not there any possessions.
[01:10:16] Jordan Harbinger: Got it. Metta, thank you so much, man. This has been a really interesting interview and you know, it's hard to know what to expect from you. Keep people guessing. I'll give you that.
[01:10:24] Metta World Peace: Absolutely.
[01:10:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I appreciate it, man. Thank you very much.
[01:10:27] Metta World Peace: Thank you.
[01:10:29] Jordan Harbinger: If you're looking for another episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show to sink your teeth into here's a trailer with Dennis Rodman, one of the greatest rebounders ever to play professional basketball with five NBA championships under his belt and who is just as well known for his off-court antics and stints, an author, an actor, a reality star, a wrestler, and an unofficial diplomat to North Korea.
[01:10:51] Dennis Rodman: There's a lot of stories I can tell you. I got a lot of stories. I could tell you all about a lot of things.
[01:10:56] Jordan Harbinger: I know your dad who had bounced, I guess, when you were three, showed up to a game once.
[01:11:01] Dennis Rodman: I was coming in. I was a little late. I was like five minutes late for practice. I was finally getting to the gate and this black guy ran up to my truck. He's knocking on my window. I said, "What do you want, man?" "You know, I just want to tell you, Dennis, I'm your father." I said, "Great." I said, "You're going to have to wait. I'm late for practice.
[01:11:15] Jordan Harbinger: Did you even believe him?
[01:11:16] Dennis Rodman: No, he's just another fan. He's trying to be cute.
[01:11:18] Jordan Harbinger: There's this incident where you go to the court in Detroit and you're getting to the parking lot with his gun in your lap, and then you just fall asleep.
[01:11:26] Dennis Rodman: I didn't like being famous.
[01:11:27] Jordan Harbinger: You didn't like it.
[01:11:28] Dennis Rodman: I didn't like it. So I just drove over there with a gun and just sat there and put it in my lap. It was loaded, decided to turn on the radio and it was Pearl Jam playing. And I fell asleep. I think I'm a superhuman because of what has transpired in my life to now. What I'm thinking if I dive out of a plane, no parachute, look up to God and hope that he catches me. I want to see my life flash in front of me. What do you think? Is there somebody to catch me? And I'm thinking about that. I've been thinking about it for a long time, just jumping off a plane, no parachute, and just dive out, and watch my life flash in front of me. What did I do wrong? How can I fix this? How can I be happy? Somebody catch me.
[01:12:07] Jordan Harbinger: For more from Dennis Rodman, including marrying himself, the pros and cons of fame and risky birthday toast to Kim Jong-un in North Korea, check out episode 258 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:12:20] Man, people come back from injuries. People come back from a little bit of a rut. People come back from a lot of things, but not many people come back from what looks a little bit like crazy. So props to him for that really, and to come back and then wear the whole journey and the whole thing on your sleeves, so to speak, so you can help others in the same situation. I actually find that really admirable. But hey, he's used to discomfort. He was on dancing with the stars and he was the worst answer of the season. So that's only because I wasn't there to take that honor. I'm pretty sure, but really, truly props to him for coming on and being so open about all of this. I don't think everyone would do that.
[01:12:54] Links to all things, Metta World Peace will be on the website in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com. Please use our website links if you buy books from guests and things like that. Metta doesn't have a book for sale, but you know, a lot of the guests on the show do. So this goes for every guest you hear. It does help support the show when you use those links. And yes, they work for Audible as well. And yes, they work in other countries. Transcripts are in the show notes. There's a video of this interview going up on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or you're welcome to connect with me on LinkedIn as well.
[01:13:25] I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using the same system, software, and tiny habits that I use every single day. That's our Six-Minute Networking course. And that course is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig the well before you get thirsty. Most of the guests on the show, they subscribe and contribute to this course. So come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong.
[01:13:46] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who's a huge NBA fan, or just going through a rough time and wonders what it's like on the other side, share this episode with them. Hopefully, you find something great in every episode of this show. Please share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next.
[01:14:22] This episode is also sponsored in part by Chinet. Chinet is a people-focused brand disguised as a premium disposable tableware brand. Chinet prides themselves on being part of authentic human connections and playing an important role in togetherness. They've been a part of American culture for over 90 years, providing durable plates, cups, cutlery, napkins, and table covers. Chinet is the go-to brand for cookouts, holidays, birthdays, game nights, baby showers, and more. Chinet brand believes not only that everyone should have a place around the table, but that everyone should be welcomed with open arms and a full cup. Chinet Classic, Chinet Crystal, and Chinet Comfort products are all made in the USA with at least 80 percent recycled materials. Chinet brands products can handle anything from the sauciest ribs to the most generous slices of cake. Made to be a microwave safe and leftovers' best friend. Easy cleanup, environmentally conscious. Great for the upcoming holiday gatherings and perfect for all of life's get-togethers. Visit mychinet.com to find out more.
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