We have long admired athletes for coming back from injuries, addiction or other hardships, but until NBA champion Ron Artest (nka Metta World Peace), none had so publicly triumphed over mental illness to reach the highpoint of their career. Metta World Peace’s inspirational story, told in the multi-award-winning and Emmy-nominated Showtime Sports documentary, Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story, is a moving example of the importance of mental health treatment and its impact on our personal and professional lives.
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 honored 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. In 2011, World Peace received the NBA’s citizenship award for confronting his mental health challenges and turning around a career that had previously been known for violence and volatility.
Today, World Peace continues his mission to build awareness for the importance of mental health, particularly in underserved communities like the one that he grew up in in Queensbridge, NY. He is the Chief Impact Director of OOTify, a social impact technology platform that provides mental health infrastructure such as therapy, coaching, education and other innovative mental health solutions to enterprises such as hospitals, corporations, universities and nonprofits. He is the founder and chairman of Artest Management Group, currently raising a $1 billion venture fund to support his portfolio companies with marketing, strategy and other support.
Metta World Peace appears frequently in the media. He is the author of the 2018 autobiography, No Malice; My Life I Basketball or: How a Kid from Queensbridge Survived the Streets, the Brawls an Himself to Become an NBA Champion, an unvarnished account of his difficult upbringing in a family with mental health issues and a neighborhood immersed in drugs and violence. He also speaks honestly about his volatile life on the court and the “Malice in the Palace” brawl which earned him the longest suspensions in NBA history. World Peace is also the subject of the multi-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.