“I got Wheaties! I got Wheaties box! Where’s my Wheaties box? I got Wheaties!”
Ron Artest (now known as Metta World Peace) was really excited to see a box of the breakfast of champions on the press table after putting up 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 steals in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals between the Lakers and Celtics. Three of those clutch 20 points came with 1:01 remaining on a three-pointer over the hands of Paul Pierce and off an assist from Kobe Bryant, who missed 18 of his 24 shots in the game.
“He never passes me the ball, and he passed me the ball!” Said a joking Artest. “Kobe passed me the ball, and I shot a 3! And Phil didn’t want me to shoot the 3. I heard him because he’s the Zen Master and he can speak to you. He doesn’t need a microphone, you can hear him in your head. ‘Don’t shoot. Don’t shoot.’ I said whatever.”
This was one of many great moments from the classic press conference by the family guy who ended up on the Lakers because of a pitch he made to Kobe in the showers after the Lakers lost Game 6 of the 2008 Finals to the Celtics by 39 points.
“I want to come help you,” Artest said to the naked, fuming and confused Bryant. “If I can, I’m going to find a way to come to LA and give you the help you need to win a title.”
He then handed Kobe the soap (I can’t prove this), a month later the Lakers handed Artest a contract and for the next two years, they were taking champagne showers together at the end of each season: the first one came after beating Dwight Howard’s Orlando Magic and the second was after a cold dish of revenge against KG, Pierce and the Boston Celtics.
METTA & KOBE