Michael Jordan appreciated Ron Artest’s physical style when the striker broke 2 of his ribs during a pick-up game: “He’s got so much intensity and such drive”.
In the summer of 2001, Michael Jordan trained in Chicago to prepare for his comeback with the Washington Wizards. One of the players he played pick-up games with was Ron Artest, who is now called Metta Sandiford-Artest.
Artest played for the Chicago Bulls, which is why he was in Chicago that summer. The physical defender thought he made a terrible first impression on Jordan after breaking the six-time champions’ ribs on the first day the two played together.
However, Jordan actually developed an appreciation for Artest.
Jordan told Sports Illustrated in 2002 that he loved Artest and appreciated how hard the New York native played. MJ went full throttle every time he hit the basketball court, so he admired that Artest had the same mindset as himself.
“I love Ron Artest,” said Jordan. “He has so much intensity and so much zest for action. I wish I could have played him six years ago. ”
Jordan scored his 30,000 in the 2001-02 season. Career point against Artest and the Bulls. The St. John’s product was so angry it hit the scorer’s desk three times.
“I almost made a hole in it,” said Artest. “I didn’t want it to come to 30,000 with us.”
Jordan and Artest faced each other five times in the NBA. Although Black Jesus didn’t shoot the ball well, he got the best out of Ron-Ron.
Jordan averaged 22.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in five games against Artest while shooting 40.6% off the field. The Hall of Famer won three of the five matchups against the one-time Defensive Player of the Year, who scored 12.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game in the five competitions.
After Jordan retired in 1998 after his sixth title, the Bulls began rebuilding. They designed Artest with the 16th overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft in the hope that he could be the next franchise player in the post-Jordan era. However, Artest only played 175 games in Chicago. It was traded on February 19, 2002 on the Indiana Pacers.
Jordan retired for the third and final time in 2003 after playing two seasons with the Wizards. He probably enjoyed seeing Artest have a career year in 2003-04. In addition to making his first and only all-star team, the swingman also won the Defensive Player of the Year award. Jordan, who formed nine all-defensive teams with the Bulls, won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1987-88.
With Jordan being such a huge fan of Artest, he probably wasn’t happy with what the defensive specialist did in 2004-05. NBA fans will probably never forget what happened at the Palace of Auburn Hills on November 19, 2004.
The Pacers were 15 points ahead of the Detroit Pistons with 45.9 seconds in regulation when Artest fouled Ben Wallace hard. Wallace retaliated by pushing Artest and all hell broke out. Wallace went aggressively to Artest but couldn’t get to the Pacers wing, which lay down on the scorer’s desk and was protected by teammates.
A fan in the crowd threw something at Artest as he lay down on the clerk’s desk, and the 6-foot-7 forward stormed into the stands and started hitting people. Stephen Jackson took to the stands to endorse Artest and viciously slapped a fan. Jermaine O’Neal also got into an argument with a fan on the pitch.
The Malice at the Palace was a bad look for the NBA and changed the Pacers’ momentum. Artest was banned for the remainder of the 2004/05 season and was sold to the Sacramento Kings in 2006. Meanwhile, Jackson was sent to the Golden State Warriors in 2007 before being traded to Charlotte in 2009. He eventually played for Jordan, who bought the franchise in 2010.