Dan Patrick: “How did you break his ribs?”
Ron Artest: “He used to tell me to come back and play in the summer times because I competed so hard. That was an honor to get invited because he really wanted me to guard him… It was an accident. If you let Jordan get the ball, he’s going to score, so the only way to keep him from scoring is if you don’t let him get the ball. So I was denying him and my left hand went over his left shoulder and my right arm was positioned to move him out of the way and gain position. His left arm had me locked. I remember it clear as day because he’s one of my favorite players. So the referee calls the offensive foul on Jordan and I was just trying to fight to get in front of him. It was summertime and an open run with referees and it was great. Unfortunately I broke his ribs. I felt like he was going to average 35 that year because he was playing so well.” (Full Video Above)
Listen to former NBA champion Ron Artest, known now as ‘Metta World Peace’, describe to The Dan Patrick Show the notorious 2001 incident when he broke Michael Jordan’s ribs during a summer pick-up game.
At the time, Artest was 21 years old and a member of the Chicago Bulls about to start his third season in the league. Artest told Dan Patrick that Jordan was 38 years old and preparing to make his second comeback to the NBA before the 2001-2002 season.
Artest says Jordan went out of his way to contact him that offseason, to come and guard him during summer a pick-up game in Chicago that included other professional players and referees.
Artest was a one-time All-Star in 2004, but was considered one of the best on-ball defenders of his generation. He won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2004, and made four All-NBA Defensive Teams. At 6’6”, 260, Artest was also one of the strongest and most physically imposing wing defenders of all time.
Check out the video above as Artest details the infamous story.