(CBS) Michael Jordan was renowned throughout his legendary career for dominating and sometimes disparaging foes in pick-up games. It didn’t always come easy or without consequence, though.
Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, recently retold the story of when he broke Jordan’s ribs — he claims inadvertently — during a pickup game in summer 2001 in Chicago. Jordan would make his return to the NBA with the Wizards that ensuing season.
“Well, you know, I was in a summer gym,” Artest said. “R. Kelly would be there sometimes, Jordan, Barkley was there a couple times, a lot of other NBA players. It was really good games — tougher than the NBA games, tough competition. And Jordan was posting me up, so I was trying to deny him because when Jordan gets the ball, there was nothing you could do. He was gonna score. So I was trying to deny him and then he was holding me so I kind of tried to lift his arm up with my right hand, and I accidentally hit him in the ribs with my elbow. Then, I accidentally broke his ribs.”
Of course, there was some mystery around this tale, as the Tribune’s Sam Smith wrote back in June 2001 that rumors persisted that Artest “slammed” Jordan to the ground when he drove the lane because he was upset with Jordan’s trash-talking.