World Peace, or Ron Artest as he was known then, was playing for Chicago Bulls. He came into the team as a first-round pick in the 1999 draft. The summer after World Peace’s second season in the NBA, he was up against Michael Jordan, his “God” as he described him, in a practice game.
“The first time I played against MJ in the summertime, I was 19 years old,” he said on The Buster Show. “A young LeBron James was there too. I am playing against MJ and I am like I am playing against ‘my God.'”
World Peace wanted to play hard, which is what he felt led to Jordan suffering an injury.
“I said I am gonna play hard. That’s what led to the incident that everyone talks about. I didn’t leak the information that was in the media. I didn’t tell anybody I played MJ and I broke his ribs. It was leaked in the media and then somebody said I punched MJ.”
It was very recently that World Peace spoke about how it actually happened.
“I remember the play clear as day – I actually got the offensive foul called against Mike. I also hit the ball and got an offensive foul on him. He had refs in the summertime; which is really good play for me because, it was a great defensive play, but I hurt his ribs and I was like, really sad for a couple of days. You know, I really didn’t like that.” he said on the Scoop B Radio Podcast a last month.
Michael Jordan later came back to play a couple of seasons in the NBA
Jordan eventually came out of retirement that season and played two years for the Washington Wizards. It was also at the end of that season that the Bulls traded World Peace to Indiana Pacers. He played four years at the Pacers before moving to Sacramento Kings. He later played alongside Kobe Bryant at Los Angeles Lakers and was part of their title-winning team in 2010.