While he’s changed his name to something a little lighter, (Metta World Peace) the man formerly known as Ron Artest had defensive chops well regarded around the league, but surprisingly enough, he often functioned as one of the teams top scorers.
Ron-Ron’s game was purely built on grit and hustle. At 6-foot-6, he wasn’t a towering presence, but at roughly 260 pounds, he was stronger than just about everybody at his position and probably more than quite a few big men.
While he proved a pretty good 3-point shooter with the Kings at 34.9 percent, his offensive repertoire consisted mostly of playing bully ball. Because nobody could keep him from the bucket, Artest would simply drop his head and attack the rim. And If by some miracle he got cut off, the former All-Star would keep banging down in the paint until he could get a shot off to his liking.
As one could assume with muscles like his, Artest was a force on the defensive end. He swiped over two balls a game in Sacramento, combining his intimidating strength with quick hands and even quicker feet. Smaller guys couldn’t shake him. Bigger ones couldn’t go through him. Not even a screen could free one up from Artest’s wrath. If you weren’t in a zone that night, it wouldn’t end well, because you were not getting an open look while being guarded by this man.
Two-way talents will always have a place in the NBA, and it’s the reason Artest lasted over a decade despite some issues residing within his head.
He brought along a constant concern that at any moment he could explode, but his prowess on both ends — especially defensively — made those hectic moments well worth it.