Rare Photos of Metta World Peace
Today is World Peace Day and there's no better way to celebrate than with some photos of Metta World Peace. The man formally known as Ron Artest (which is how we'll refer to him for the rest of this gallery) was born and raised in the Queensbridge projects in Queens, N.Y. and played high school ball at La Salle Academy, a private school in Manhattan. Artest was a McDonald's All-America selection and New York City's Co-Player of the Year after leading his team to a 27-0 record.
After St. John's coach Fran Fraschilla caught one of Artest's AAU games, he recuited the Queens native to play for the Red Storm. Artest had a strong freshman year, averaging 11.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, and made the Big East's All-Rookie and All-Tournament teams. The Red Storm went 22-10 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993.
St. John's Red Storm
After Artest's freshman year, St. John's fired Fraschilla and replaced him with Mike Jarvis. Artest played well for Jarvis, averaging just under 15 points per game to go along with six rebounds and four assists. In this photo, Tarik Turner (left), Zendon Hamilton (second from left) and Artest (holding his daughter) cheer after it was announced that the Red Storm were a No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament.
St. John's advanced to the Regional Finals for the first time in eight years and Artest was voted First-Team All-Big East and a finalist for the Wooden Award as the top college player. After the season, he announced his departure for the pros.
Ron Artest and Kimisha Hatfield
After announcing he'd go pro, Artest posed with his girlfriend, Kimisha Hatfield, outside the Jacob A. Riis center in Queens.
Artest was suspended for the remainder of the 2004-05 season after the famous Pacers-Pistons brawl in Detroit. During his downtime, Artest appeared on NBC's "Today Show" to promote his rap album.
Larry Bird and Ron Artest
Artest poses with Pacers team president Larry Bird before the 2005-06 season. A few weeks later, Artest demanded a trade and was placed on the inactive roster before being shipped to Sacramento for Peja Stojakovic.
Ron Artest and Brandy
Artest with Brandy at a party in New York City to celebrate Swizz Beatz's birthday.
In 2006, Artest released his first album, titled "My World" with some controversial lyrics about smoking up before games, hitting the liquor store at halftime and the NBA commissioner. "David Stern! Damn, David Stern. I gotta teach you bout the ghetto there's some things you should learn."
Ron Artest and fan
Artest puts a kid from the crowd on his shoulders as he watches the Lakers-Cavs game at Staples Center.
Artest stands with his wife, Kimsha, and Henry Carter, Chairman and CEO of Wheelchair Charities, and several kids during a news conference for the All-Star Classic for Wheelchair Charities at Madison Square Garden.
Prior to the 2008-09 season, Artest was traded to Houston for Bobby Jackson. In this media day photo, Artest poses with (left to right) Shane Battier, Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, Luis Scola and Rafer Alston.
A bird's eye view of Artest in action against the Spurs.
Artest shows off his jump shot to a group of young Chinese hoopsters at a basketball clinic in Quanzhou, Fujian Province of China.
Dwight Howard and Ron Artest
Artest hangs out with Dwight Howard during a WNBA game between the Los Angeles Sparks and the Seattle Storm.
Khloe Kardashian and Ron Artest
Khloe Kardashian and Ron Artest strike a pose at Artest's Welcome to LA" party. Kardashian is now married to Lakers forward Lamar Odom.
Artest watches as Ryan Smyth and Brad Richardson of the Los Angeles Kings skate by during a game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center.
Artest shows off his mixing skills at West Hollywood hotspot Millions of Milkshakes.
Artest attends a press conference in Beijing, where he shows off his line of Peak sneakers.
Artest visits Hangzhou during his trip to the Zhejiang Province of China.
Ron Artest and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Artest meets with "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast before a Lakers game.