Metta World Peace
NBA All-Star | Mental Health HeroBook Metta
Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) played professional basketball for 18 years, becoming an NBA All-Star and earning a world champion ring as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. He also played for the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls, and internationally with the Chinese Basketball Association’s Sichuan Blue Whales and Italy’s Pallacanestro Cantù. Known for publicly sharing his battles with anxiety and depression, World Peace became a respected advocate for mental health and was honoured as a “Mental Health Hero.” At a time when the mental health struggles of professional athletes were rarely acknowledged, he gained acclaim for publicly thanking his therapist after making the championship-winning shot for the Lakers in 2010. He then raffled his championship ring to benefit organizations that provide mental health services to underserved communities and appeared before Congress as a champion of the Mental Health in Schools Act. To this day, fans continue to comment on the impact this public acknowledgement had on them.
In turning to therapy, not only did he overcome a long family and personal history of anxiety and depression, he was a key player in breaking down the stigma commonly associated with mental health issues. Infamously associated with the “Malice in the Palace” incident between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons, Metta went on to find redemption and commit himself to helping others, earning the NBA’s citizenship award. Now an entrepreneur, mental health advocate and inspirational speaker, he shares his very public journey with mental health, as profiled in the award-winning and Emmy-nominated Showtime Sports documentary, Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story, featuring teammates Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and other NBA legends
An inspirational speaker, Metta World Peace has appeared before a variety of audiences, including FII in Riyadh, the Milken Institute, SALT, UCLA Health Systems, USC School of Social Work, Claremont Graduate University, and the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.Get Metta's Availability and rates