We all know Metta World Peace. The former NBA All-Star and 2010 NBA Champion has enjoyed an impressive career in the league, but he isn’t the only basketball player in his family. Daniel Artest, the younger brother of Metta is currently playing semi-professional basketball in the United States. Just like his brother, Daniel grinds it out on the hardwood and isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
Skyhook had the chance to speak with Artest, discussing a range of subjects such as his career, future plans and what’s next for Metta.
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Skyhook: You’re currently playing semi-pro ball with the Indiana Diesels; how’s the season going both team-wise and individually?
Daniel Artest: So far so good. We are 6-4 and second place in the conference so we are doing well. We can be a better team but playing semi-pro we only practice twice per week so that’s what other programs have over us. They come in more prepared. Individually I’m doing ok. I could be playing better offensively. I’m averaging 10.2ppg (52%fg 76%ft) 5.8rpg in 23 minutes per game. My role on this team is to rebound and anchor the post defense. Set picks and be an enforcer. I play within my role because I want to win a championship so bad.
Skyhook: You previously played with the Sacramento Kings in the NBA Summer League; how was that experience? What was the level of play like compared to semi-pro ball?
DA: That was a great experience. To play on the same court as Greg Oden (pre-injury) and Kevin Durant was awesome. I really didn’t play much in the games but in practice I was definitely felt (Laughs). The level of semi-pro and NBA Summer League is totally different. No comparison at all. And that’s no knock against the league I play in currently because there are some great players here but the summer league is another level of basketball.
Skyhook: Have you ever considered trying to play in the D-League in an attempt to make it to the NBA?
DA: I don’t play basketball to make it to the NBA. I’m not crazy. I know my limitations. Making it back overseas would be my defining moment as a basketball player. I was in Germany some years back and got hurt (hairline fracture in my spine) so I’ve been mentally out of basketball. Gained about 126 pounds when I was able to play again. So far I’ve lost 88 pounds as of today. I still have a ways to go but I’m blessed to be 6’4 300lbs and still able to hang with these younger more athletic kids on the court. I have a tryout to play in China in august so all my workouts, motivation is geared towards that. I’m giving it one last shot. So I’m hoping to get to my playing weight of 245lbs and we shall go from there.
Skyhook: What is the favorite moment of your basketball career?
DA: I have a few. Basically every game my father was at I played great. In college he was at my first game. I had 22pts 9rebs. When I was playing semi-pro in Rockford, IL I had 30pts 16rebs off the bench in front of my father.
Skyhook: What is the most embarrassing moment of your basketball career?
DA: Getting dunked on by a white guy and fouling out in the process (Laughs).
Skyhook: You’ve been critical of the New York Knicks this season. If you were running the team what’s your next move? What do you think of bringing on Phil Jackson?
DA: If I was the Knicks owner I would bring on Phil Jackson and just stay out his way. He’s a great basketball mind. I love the Knicks. I’m from NYC. I want them to succeed but the ownership meddling in everything will be the sole reason why players won’t play there, which won’t lead to titles being won. There’s a reason why marquee stars won’t play in NYC. But that’s just my opinion.
Skyhook: Who’s on your NBA Mount Rushmore?
DA: Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Skyhook: Which team do you think will win the NBA Finals? Why?
DA: San Antonio Spurs. No explanation needed. I believe this is our year. Indiana is looking shaky, Miami is looking shaky. OKC coaching isn’t up to par. We got this.
Skyhook: Do you have a prediction on where your brother will end up? Where would you like to see him?
DA: I don’t know where Ron will end up at. I hope it’s still in the NBA and it’s on my Spurs but who knows. Maybe Ron played his last days in the NBA. We shall see.
Skyhook: On behalf of Saving the Skyhook and all of its readers, we would like to thank Daniel for taking the time to discuss his personal experiences and share his insight with us. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @DMArtestQB.