NBA

Ron Artest Made More Than $83 Million in the NBA But Worked at Circuit City as a Rookie

While Metta Sandiford-Artest might not ring a bell, you certainly know the man behind the name. Originally known as Ron Artest, then Metta World Peace, the forward spent 19 seasons in the NBA; along the way, he played some lockdown defense, took part in an infamous brawl, and made more than $80 million in salary.

Despite that bottom line, though, Sandiford-Artest had another job during his time in the association. As a rookie player with the Chicago Bulls, he briefly worked at Circuit City and scored a sweet employee discount.

Metta Sandiford-Artest had a solid NBA career as Ron Artest and Metta World Peace

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More than 15 years later, it’s still impossible to forget the sight of Ron Artest heading into the stands during ‘The Malice at the Palace.’ Outside of that incident, however, the forward had a solid NBA career.

Artest played his college ball at St. John’s, where he made a name for himself in the Big East. After two seasons, he entered the 1999 NBA draft and joined the Chicago Bulls as the 16th-overall pick.

The forward spent two full seasons with the Bulls before the club traded him to the Indianapolis Pacers; there, he would make a name for himself as a tough defender with a bit of a temper. That temper, however, would prove to be an issue in November 2004.

After that infamous brawl and subsequent suspension, Artest left Indiana in a trade. He landed in Sacramento and suited up for two and a half seasons with the Kings; he then joined the Rockets, Lakers, and Knicks before returning to Hollywood to see out his career.

Although his extracurricular activities grabbed most of the headlines—besides ‘The Malice at the Palace,’ Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace—the forward still put together a solid NBA career. He averaged 13.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for his career; he also won a championship with the Lakers, the 2003-04 Defensive Player of the Year title, and the 2011 Walter Kennedy Citizen Award.

Making more than $80 million in the NBA

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As mentioned above, Metta Sandiford-Artest had a long and colorful basketball career, including stints with six NBA teams, one Chinese club, and an Italian squad. Understandably, that time on the hardwood helped the forward earn a nice chunk of change.

Based on Spotrac’s contractual data, Sandiford-Artest earned just over $83 million in the NBA; most of that—a bit over $35 million—came during his seven seasons with the LA Lakers. The Pistons also paid the forward roughly $20 million in salary, with the numbers trailing off from there.

CelebrityNetWorth also pegs Sandiford-Artest’s overall fortune at approximately $35 million; that’s not a bad sum for someone who grew up in the Queensbridge Houses.

Metta Sandiford-Artest took a job at Circuit City when he was still known as Ron Artest

Despite eventually earning millions of dollars, things were a bit different when Ron Artest was a rookie. During his time in Chicago, the forward took on a part-time job at Circuit City; he wasn’t interested in the money, though.

“I’m 19-years old. I was bored,” Sandiford-Artest explained on ESPN’s Highly Questionable in 2016. “I was partying a little bit too much; you get to the league, you get a little bit of money, you want to go out. Not treating your body right. I was trying to find ways to stay grounded and trying to find ways to not do anything I shouldn’t be doing. So one of the things I did was apply for a job at Circuit City.”

Artest listed Bulls general manager Jerry Krause as a reference and got the job. He even showed up for a shift in the store.

“I got the job, 50 percent-off discounts and things,” he continued. “I showed up one day. I worked, I helped out some customers. It was fun.”

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference