Metta World Peace Interview with HoopsVibe
Fear Me Not: Metta World Peace wants to inspire your kids.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: From children’s books to NBA brawls and math quotes to mental health issues, Metta World Peace is one of a kind.
When Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) told me “Math is life” I knew I was in for an interesting interview. MWP is one of the NBA’s most controversial and misunderstood superstars and in this candid one-on-one chat he definitely did not disappoint. In today’s media blitz of sound bytes and thoughtless 140 character tweets, it is difficult for many analysts and fans to resolve the dichotomy between the MWP that charges into the stands to punch fans in the “Malice in the Palace” and the MWP that writes children’s stories to give back.
One thing MWP has never been accused of is insincerity. He is emotional. He is divisive. He is physical. And he is 100% authentic. Whether you see MWP as the honorable villain or the conflicted hero, you must see him as genuine.
HV: What was the motivation for your children’s book “Metta’s Bedtime Stories?”
MWP: I wanted my first one to be for kids. Something inspirational and encouraging.
HV: It sounds like you have a number of books scheduled. How many are you planning on writing?
MWP: I have a couple that I’ve been thinking about, but I wanted the first one to be for kids.
HV: How did you come up with the stories?
MWP: It was a collective effort. It took over a year to put it together, but it’s fun. It’s never been done before. My favorite is “Mud in my bed.” Kids think it’s funny. It’s gross, but funny. I just wanted to give something back to the kids.
HV: An NBA coach and legend you’re very familiar with, Phil Jackson, just came out with his own book “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success.” What are your thoughts on it?
MWP: I love Phil’s book. I think it comes from an honest place and has insight on how to be a champion and deal with different types of egos.
HV: In the book Phil says Michael Jordan is a better leader and defender than Kobe Bryant. What do you think?
MWP: It’s his opinion. You have to respect that. If anyone knows those two guys it’s Phil. Kobe’s so tough. You have to put him in that Jordan category.
HV: You are known as one of the toughest defenders in the league. Who is the best offensive player you struggle with defending right now?
MWP: It’d have to be Durant. You can’t block his shot.
HV: Everyone knows the Lakers struggled last year. Do you think the Lakers need Phil Jackson to come in and coach?
MWP: I’m really happy with D’Antoni. He’s done a great job.
HV: What are your expectations for next season? Can the Lakers make a serious run at a championship?
MWP: So much depends on training camp. We had a lot of guys injured and didn’t really have time to come together as a team. Training camp is where that can happen.
HV: Jason Kidd just got signed as the Brooklyn Nets new head coach. Do you see yourself coaching some day?
MWP: I definitely want to coach. I could see myself coaching in five to seven years.
HV: It might surprise some people to know you majored in mathematics at St. John’s University. What drew you to math?
MWP: It’s the finding a solution. I never look at the problem, always the solution. How to improve my game. How to improve my life. Math is life.
HV: Do you see yourself using math after basketball?
MWP: I’d love to teach math some day. I’d definitely like to do that.