Phil In The Blanks #29: METTA WORLD PEACE



I'm so anxious to talk to you and get into this I want to ask questions you've probably been asked a million times and then maybe some you'd have it I want people to get to know you maybe in a way they have it your father was Ron Artest senior right yes he was he was a boxer Golden Gloves right he did Golden Gloves but he also played high school basketball he gave up basketball because his coach sat him for a gentleman named Willie it really Sims who lives in Israel black guy played in Israel and now liz is real got married in Israel and my dad wanted to play with him and sometimes he was sit the bench but he was a good player but then he turned to boxing also I guess at the age of 19 when he had me that's when everything was over so he quit playing then yeah I want to talk about your playing career obviously which was amazing and we'll get to all of that but you were born in 79 and you grew up in Queens Bridge yes tell me about that what was that like Queens which was an interesting place right because you get all the inspiration came from I would say MC Shan Oh old-school rapper had the song cut the bridge right and had the big famous B for Karis 1 then after MC Shan you get tragedy roxanna Chantal you already did a movie on Netflix they did a movie about her on Netflix Roxana writes in yeah all right and so she used to babysit me when I was a baby really yes so she's he's the baby Sydney when I was a baby you know then you get nasty nuts one of the all-time great hip-hop in Aloha says he came after that era with carmaker and in nature and mobb deep who was a huge group they came after so I'm growing up in this place with stars and celebrities like everywhere it was crazy so what was it like neighborhood wise was it rough was it low-income middle what was it like it was low-income definitely not middle definitely not poor you know but but low income and then it was it was fun it was celebrity but then it was violence and it was happiness it was like every emotion at the same same time did you worry about the violence was it something where you worried about being on the streets getting shot it just depends like so depending on who is your crew or who's your friends depending on what they did that week you could potentially either inherit some drama or you could be around some shots when they going off so you always had to navigate like what's going on in the neighborhood sometimes you have a friend one week and then like the next month or next year he's like full-on gangster you know so it was like a little bit of everything it was a very interesting place well you started playing basketball when you were what my dad took me on a call when I was six no no sorry when I was eight yeah first time he took me on the basketball court on 12 Street just in the park yeah yeah yeah yeah I read that you were saying that from the very beginning he fouled you hard yeah yeah he was uh I don't get my dad enough respect for him being a basketball player he was a really good basketball player and I always think I was the first one but my dad was first right so but he brought the physicalness to to our work working sessions and in order to be my dad I had to be tough cuz he my dad was a lot of muscles and big guy strong guy so he definitely made me tough so when you say he fouled you hard and pushed you on the court what do you mean what would he do here so I will go for a layup he would hit me but me elbow me push push me out the way just would not let me score you know and I would get so mad sometimes not to the point where I was frustrated with my dad just frustrated that I wasn't strong enough to compete was he telling you why you did it no he wasn't a real technical teacher he was more of like a parent to me was just very nurturing you can do it come on son you know it was not a lot of teaching going on would he tell you he was toughening you up nope he didn't say anything I'm not always positive never was at the game saying anything negative towards the coach even just always a positive on a basketball court yeah hmm when you start playing for the school were you any good well my well when I was ten I was horrible I remember I lost a three-on-three tournament when I started playing at CYO a Catholic League or a Catholic youth organization right I wasn't that good I got cut from that team one of my other friends made it I got cut that was Saint ritas right I got cut from Saint ritas here you know my first year was I was it was humbling and then when I was 14 I was cut from another team or aim high but coach Kevin Jackson you know so it wasn't it wasn't always easy what do you think about that when you got Chi me at 14 now it's starting to be social you care what you think yeah you got cut from the team what do you say to yourself it was it so when I got cut from that team I said I knew I shouldn't have been cut cut I was I was tough but you know maybe I didn't make it for whatever reason so I asked coach his name is Kelly axon legendary coach I asked him I said can I uh just come to every game so I would go every game and sit on the bench he remembers that he respect me he put me on the team next time but I went to every game and I was just I wasn't really cheering for the guys but I was very supportive you know I wasn't that social at that time you know and and I remember going through that experience and facing the fear and facing the fact that somebody said I'm not good I wanted to see it face to face every day so you went to every game every game were you in uniform not in uniform you said on the bitch SATA is she close and just like toughed it out and and I was practicing so I knew I was getting better and then you know when I came back you know I think I was the best on the team so did people ask you why are you on the bench why are you here um some people would ask but at that time you know I'm a young kid just coming into my home so nobody know how good I am or how good I'm gonna be so nobody's like feeling sorry for me or saying you should be on the team yeah for the most part I'm just off the team playing you know watching a lot of good players but now you could have gone and pouted and so now you cut me screw you I don't want to be around you and whatever but instead you went to every game and set there I absolutely you know I was humble I was I was humbling myself and I want it to be good and I wanted to just figure out why did this person cut me not gonna take it personal but you know I'm gonna let you know that you need me gonna be won championships together and you kept practicing kept practicing and kept practicing so you made it the next year made it made it the next year yep yeah were you then you know 30 balls defense every yeah they could they couldn't really handle me no oh yeah I was too tough so by the next year he saw a completely different player yeah he had the best player on his team did he wonder if he made a mistake cutting you he coach Kevin Jackson who Kenny Smith knows Vince the Smith his brother Kenny Anderson Lamar Odom they know Kevin Kevin Jackson does not really care how you feel whole school coach fearless could care less good a bad don't really care you feel so you wind up going to st. John's right yes how'd it go there st. John's is great ups and downs but I was recruited by Fran Fraschilla coach Ron Rutledge a little bit Louie Carnesecca Felipe Lopez was playing and when I got there my first year it was tough because I wasn't a really skilled player I was okay but I wasn't grating and uh I wish I could have been better but I didn't have the skills certain people Hart had so college was extremely hard for me really yeah even though you were the best player on the team earlier it's tough to make that jump to college Colin was hard for me and I just maybe I put too much pressure on myself I feel like my stats should have been better but you know we did go to the NCAA tournament for the first time in years in a second you mentioned early date so I was a general I can handle defense and I can control the pace of a game with defense but offensively I was really bad really bad I'm not really bad I wasn't as good as I was when I was in engineering I have a hard time believe it really bad come on but you know a flash should have been better yeah yeah I feel like I should have been a lot better you stayed there two years right yeah two years and then you were drafted yeah two years I wanted to go out of high school and I went to speak to my former Riverside Church legend ernest lluch big legend in New York City and I said hey uh see if I can go to the NBA this year's a doddle uh south then he went to a guy named mark bottle sting one of the biggest agents in basketball and then mark gave him some information that said he'll be a second-round pick and I said okay I'm gonna go to college he didn't want to be second round no I didn't want to be second round were you happy that the Bulls took you I was very happy that the Bulls took me I wish the Knicks would it took me yeah because I'm from New York City right and I have a lot of pride but and I wanted to bring a title back to New York City I know they had no Melo and they had all these other guys and they had a chance to get LeBron but at that time I felt like nobody wanted to win a title India in New York City as bad or as much as me you know and you get a guy I went to Indiana Defensive Player of the Year 16 MVP voting that year all-star 13 more MBA before the role and I'm like this would have been that player in New York City and I always felt like I did these I did a lot of good things other places but I wanted to do it in New York City I mean you had to be happy in Chicago – that's pretty rarefied air right I mean absolutely so it's funny because when I got to Chicago every time I play NBA live which is extinct now like dinosaurs right right um that was our favorite game and I would play with the balls all the time DJ Armstrong was my favorite player and then my best friend Cedric Indiana was his favorite team so when I got to the Bulls I'm like I'm with my favorite team you know it was pretty pretty amazing is there a highlight for you when you look back at the teams you played for that you value the most I value there's a lot of things set when I put on that 51 Jersey my dad's number at Long Island City High School he wore number 51 and I wore number 51 but the New York Knicks for my dad and that was probably the highlight of my career I didn't play a lot I wish I were to play more and I wanted to win a title I wish he would have had the players to win a title I wasn't one of those players at that time I could help win a title um but that was probably the most amazing part of my professional career yeah and you wore his jersey number you know well my daddy's jersey number in New York you know he must have been he must have been proud you know he put a lot of time and effort into us yeah talk about changing your name I know you've been asked that question a million times why did you change it and why did you change it to what you changed it to I changed my name for a lot of reasons one reason because Chad Ochocinco did it all right so that was the main let me give him some credit well he changed his name I'm just like wow that is so cool and I was in my at that time I was in my crazy you know colorful ways at that time I was young I just want to do everything I said I want to do that one day so I had a bunch of names and as I got but I also was at the end of my I was saying depression I was coming out of depression and anxiety right so I was still finding myself at this time and I said it would be cool to change my name and the first couple names was like so hood you know Ron Queensbridge I wanted I wanted it to be something that was just ghetto and from the streets you know and um but then I was like i old i said okay i need considered so hood yes so who it was I wore a hat call so hood to a red carpet you know and um I said well I'm a change my name is so hook and I'm just so hurt you know and so that was like something I was gonna do and and usually when I make my mind if I just do it and I and I was like if I put so hard back in my shirt and you know all this all the street you know at all all my Street dudes it's gonna feel it so that's what I was thinking at the time and I say you know we need a little bit bit of peace in the world so I said okay let me try to balance this thing out how did you pick the name Metta World Peace had you picked Metta um you know I was into Buddhism at that time right I was getting into meditation and learning how to breathe and stuff and anyway it was helping with my anxiety and my emotion and my life so uh I got into Buddhism because it was it was one of the only faiths that I could relate to and I kept me calm and it kept me sinning and I first fell in love with it so I feel so me and my partner Heidi we said okay let's come up with a Buddhist name something like that she gave me a bunch of names and we started going through them are you glad you did yeah I'm very I'm very happy that my name is Mara I wish I would've kept my dad's name Ronald but I'm very happy that my name is Mara what do people call you now oh my niece calls me uncle Ron my mama called me Ron Ron you know my dad calls me uh Ron every kid that watches the NBA and I was born in 2005 uh calls me mr. world peace world peace they don't know me as Ron Artest yeah people in LA call me Mehta New York City everybody calls me Ron Ron my real name yeah my real nickname and did an Indiana people call me Ron yeah what feels most natural to you um it doesn't really matter to me because depending on where you at was that's going to determine what you called me depending on what year you was born that's also going to determine what you called me yeah you did something that really jumped out at me in the fall of 2010 you raffled off your 2010 NBA world championship ring and the proceeds went to nonprofits that provide mental health services in different communities yes tell me about there I mean you know I've been helped I remember going to marriage counseling when I had issues with my ex-wife at the time who's a really good friend of mine so I remember being able to pay for marriage counseling I remember being able to pay for anything I needed I'm like wow there's a lot of people going through things I'm going through my parents went through it and wasn't able to receive those sessions I said we got it we gotta do something about this so in Sacramento I wanted to do YouTube sessions and somehow give access to mental health sessions and therapy to kids that wasn't able to pay for it what a didn't work because nobody really understood production and content marketing and and like you know they don't understand sometimes the smaller places or or in certain positions and in different industries so um when I got to LA like five years later a perfect platform for me to not have my own show but to just you know if the message out and a lot of people heard it a lot of therapists and counselors to this day they thanked me for that you also helped the congresswoman advocate for the mental health and Schools Act and you've participated in the mental health awareness campaigns with the LA Department of Health and the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and it's one thing to have an awareness it's one thing to have in your mind that you kind of want to do it but to actually get out there and participate and speak about it and put energy into it is another thing you kind of put action behind your thoughts and feelings what made you do that you know um I wanted to I wanted to make an impact I felt like I wasn't doing enough and every time I did something even when I gave a seven hundred six hundred seventy-one thousand dollars back to all these different institutions I think it wasn't enough you know and I feel like the opportunity to go to Capitol Hill with congresswoman Napolitano I'm like this could be huge and even that that wasn't even enough you know it's still things that I feel we can do to help families you know to help relationships which is the core of having a real strong family and still more that we can do did you need therapy absolutely what was the biggest driver for you what do you need to deal with the most the biggest thing for me was when I was when I was 16 years old I planned my baby so I had my first baby she came when I was 17 so I wanted to be a good parent and a lot of things was going wrong at that time that I couldn't deal with and I couldn't deal with adversity so it spiraled out of control and it paused on problem on type of problem what type of problem and I wasn't being a parent that I wanted to be that's why I really embrace therapy I wanted to be a good partner I wanted to be a good parent and it just that just wasn't the case in my life but you plan to have a baby at 16 yeah I did why I wanted a baby at 13 why I had my first guard center at 13 years old my whole my household my sister seven babies you know a lot of different behavior daddies you know my mom I think six eight of us something like that a couple different baby fathers you know myself I have two babies of – maybe Mama's also I'm gonna have a third because I'm gonna marry now I'm gonna have more babies and um and my brother also so my household we was born with babies their youngest baby I was born in my house so I think I was I think my sister was 15 years old so seeing that I'm like oh wow my nephew I love my nephew and I want to have babies also and I want to be in a relationship for a long time but it's 16 did you think you could provide for the baby I had no plan no plan no plan because you got in in New York City or in America sometimes you can live off the government and people that's paying taxes such as I do now so as long as almost it almost enables you so I'm thinking I have a baby and I'm getting food stamps anyway I'm getting milk and cheese hard government cheese that turns into bricks if you leave it outside for more than our peanut butter that the all your rises to the top and you get real hard well it comes in white can you know we're gonna eat so I was and I had a house that was paid for half by I guess Medicaid or wigs and all this you know I figured the terminologies so I didn't feel like I would be hungry or my child would be hungry would you say to a 16 year old kid today that they should have a baby if they don't have a job and a way to do it no way no way what would you say to yourself when you were 16 years old if you could talk to 16 year old Ron Artest now what would you say to him I think it's differently I I kind of knew that something will go right I'm not gonna say I had no plan I was a driven kid and I kind of knew something we're gonna go right for me and my babies say that's here I'm 39 I just turned 39 and I have a grandbaby you know and so I'm so excited but I wouldn't tell anybody to have a baby at 16 years old or to even think about it I would say ability relationship you know meet people have some friends don't date right away don't commit fast you know and enjoy your life and get a career if you were talking to yourself now at 16 you'd say whoa hold on don't do it yet not my selling somebody else yeah yeah yeah they'll have the baby I was having absolutely I really I you know why because um my daughter is a strong and her siblings love her and she's everything that I thought she would be you know she's like a kind of like a mother figure you know in her siblings life you know and how mom is a very strong lady also and my kids are just like strong-willed people and he drives me you know they say they're so inspiring you know so it was a really good choice but I wouldn't tell anybody else to do that yeah so she she's 21 21 yeah what'd she do uh well she wasn't college and she currently dropped out of college to be she wanted to be a chef so instead of going to business school she wanted to go down a path to being a chef and she currently is into investing and she loves cooking so now that she had the bay she's taking a break and I told her just important this first year you have to raise the baby have to be there with your child and that's what she's doing is she married um she's not married but she has a good boyfriend and and I hope they get married you know eventually well alright I do like him he's from Compton yeah yeah okay with you he's okay with me yeah I like him I like him you know uh it's something about Queensbridge and Compton that always had that connection you know and my daughter who was born in the storia in the hood that's she I wasn't in India when she was born you know and and and her boyfriends from from Compton is pretty cool yeah when you say therapy has been a good thing for you what's it done for you for me therapy let's start with breathing for me that when I learned how to breathe as when I really got control over myself and my first breathing exercises was done with dr. Santiago in 2000 and I think eight when I was with the Rockets at that point things changed a lot for me also I would say in 2005 when I got marriage counseling the marriage counselors helped more than some of the anger management counseling you know because me was touching on different things and anger management we're just talking about anger in marriage counseling we're talking about everything and he's talking about things that happened to me as a child which I was like oh wow I'm angry because of other reasons not just kinda I'm not angry because I'm angry I'm angry because of events that happened when I'm when I was a child with November 19th in the Pistons Pacers brawl would that have happened if you had had that kind of therapy before that would have happened yeah I will I would never if somebody was hit me to this day and throw something at me I'm gonna I'm gonna smack him in the back of the head and I I'm not getting a front I'm gonna get my smack in the back of the head like old-school pear yeah what the hell are you doing all right still we're still would do the same thing because hitting people and bullying is unacceptable I was asked a question in Detroit a kid said what do I do when I'm getting where my mom is getting bullying and how do I not harm another person he said watch what should I do like this is reality you know I would tell any kid never accept being bullied ever always show how tough you are no matter how big that person is how small you are if anybody attacks you you never let anyone bully you when that happened that night you got hit in the face with a cup of diet coke right yeah it could have been coke could have been dr. Phil water who knew you know it was something it was she got hit in the face with a girl in the face in the face ridiculous did you react instantly instantly people say why I didn't fight Ben Wallace I could have fought Ben Wallace but I mean I already fought enough and I led the league in flagrant fouls technical foul suspensions like what more – I don't need no more drama you know um and I was practicing my meditation methods I was taught to go to a happy place at that time I was 23 years old I always go to a happy place no it's your happy place somewhere hunts a confrontation but what's the happy place in the bleachers oh the first happy places on the explorers table when I was laying down right and then the you put the headphones on and I was playing around I was trying to find a happy places you know and then Ben Wallace he after he pushed me on my cool whatever then he hit me with a towel took his headband off hit me with the headband I tell him referee I said what's going on here you know like we can't even fight I was and they can clear it out and we had some space that's a real fight yeah so anyway then when I got hit with the beer I'm like you know it now is ridiculous you know so Ben Wallace wanted to fight and I was out as I was running in the stance he was trying to he was like oh there you go I'm gonna come get you on this side but when he see when he saw what I was doing I don't think he wanted to escalate it that far because he could have came up there and we could have been fighting in the stands but um you know at that time at that point you don't hit nobody with objects it's just simple is black and white is that simple your mother every parent taught you don't hit nobody yeah of course everybody you think the suspension and all was too much I feel a couple different ways about the suspension um something was something should have happened and did I made that suspension happen more because when I got suspended the next day I went on NBC promoting a wrap actually it was an R&B album I put a lot of money into the album the album was slated to come out November 23rd right so now they tell me how to spin it no more checks you know for the year or indefinitely you know and I said okay if I can get more checks I'm gonna go work and whatever is no it's not my fault so the next day I'm gonna be seeing I'm promoting wrap out and I'm just like not caring about a suspension when I should have been you know not saying nothing right but I'm like you guys just suspend me for my whole my home the whole year not even that indefinitely I don't know what's gonna happen next yeah it turned out to be how many games I mean a lot it was 86 games you know and you know it was 86 games I fell it was too much you know I fell it was too much but I've never complained about it you know I'm not gonna complain about it as dakin that's not my business but you do the same thing again today somebody throw something hit you in the face 1010 percent times five I will never let nobody hit me it's very important that people don't accept bullying you see kids get bully and they commit suicide you know they the hanging up stuff this is happening you've seen we see it all the time you know this guy keep bullying me just the other day this guy smacked a little kid the kid was in the hallway they filmed it and put it on WorldStarHipHop and the kid was crying kid was 12 years old you know that kid should have punched those guys in the face and maybe he would have died at that point but he wouldn't he would have died you know for standing up for something right you know and some kids are died not not even having the opportunity to hit the bully back they had just commit suicide you know I will never want anyone to accept being bullied yeah you could report it to someone but never let nobody never let nobody know that you're not tough always be tough what do you think about bystanders in that cuz I'm always concerned about okay somebody's bull a bully and B and you got ten bystanders right around watching it happen I think there is guilty as the bully yeah well sometimes it's like this it's like this if you're what if somebody's getting bullied and and you're like wow what do I do do I go in there you know maybe you're small like if I doing it am I gonna get hit I could was going do bystanders mind but I see a lot of bystanders getting involved I'm the one particular situation with the kid that was on a WorldStarHipHop it was own it was three guys big guys and one loaded kid the kid was like 12 years old the guys are like 18 20 years old and talking smack in the kid and saying um where's your father now you know and the kid was just screaming and crying you know and I'm just like it was you know I wish I was there to help to help that kid what do you think of these stories that we're seeing now where these thugs are on the street just running up blindside and coldcock and old people from behind and stuff like that it's ridiculous and I'm glad that we see that because I never thought that would happen every if it wasn't for social media we would have never seen a stuff you know we just go on with our days I'm you know playing basketball in 1999 you know we don't see it as stuff we just getting paid you know and that's it you know a lot of this stuff is ridiculous and they need to know do something about they should be treated harshly why is that happening sometimes you're not brought up the right way you know myself included like sometimes you can get so attached or influenced by negativity by by ignorance and it becomes a part of you I was ignorant at one point also you know III had my times you know and it's not always the bullies fault which which sucks so I'm talking about standing up to bullies but it's not even always a bully's fault you never know what that eats that believin bench could have been molested or be as a child or bully you know who know who knows what everywhere everyone is going through it but it has to stop well what we do know is research tells us that bullies are generally from homes where they are violent where their parent is physically violent with them right and they don't have the power to fight back or put it off so they take that and VIN it outside on someone else so when you go to talk to the parent of the bully you're talking to a bully he's I'm who's bullied their kid and so their kid goes out and bully somebody so when you try to talk to the parent their parents going to turn a deaf ear because they're bullies themselves so I just said be higher right but so now to your point if you'd be harsh that parents gonna turn into deaf ear we're never gonna we're never gonna solve this problem you know so maybe it needs to be some type of you know awareness to a bullying situation cuz it's a it's a major problem you know in high schools yeah and one of the things that's really different today and you said it winds up people getting dead sometimes and I've been to Capitol Hill to testify about this because before you get bullied at school but then you go home and be safe at least for the night but now so much of the bullying is on social media where they're saying we hate you kill yourself nobody likes you you're fat you're ugly they can't get away from it when they go home and your parents think they're back in the bedroom doing their homework on the computer but when in fact they're on a social media platform with everybody telling them to kill themselves yeah yeah they can even change schools but the bullies follow them to the other school absolutely so it's hard to get away from it is and you know sometimes I look at my daughter you know we live oh we live okay and everything's fine but I'm always wondering about my kids being bullied sometimes she comes home and talks about different things she's going through not as bad as other situations but it's still like oh wow people are just kind of cruel you know um I think Twitter and Facebook Instagram they have the mute button which is huge yeah they're mute but is huge the the because it's better than blocking someone when you block someone they know you block they're gonna find you when you mute them they just you know I'm like we don't hear you buddy I call them keyboard bullies because they wouldn't do that to your face but they'll sure do it on the internet so you said your anger you think comes from a lot of what happened in your childhood what happened in your childhood it made you so angry I don't know there's a lot of things man I mean it was things that made me tough which I love because that's passionate and it was things that made me angry which I which I realized now and both those things mixed you know so the things that made me tough playing on the courts you know even experiencing gunshots and seeing my friends get shot like okay I get it but when you experience things personally um somebody personally affected you know uh mom and dad fighting a little too much because they don't know how to deal with adversity didn't that that passes down to a child you know I didn't I don't know how to deal with adversity and it's and it shows in life you know so there was a lot of things that is a lot of things that are that I've seen as a child and I've experienced and that made me angry at everyone when did you realize that when did it come clear to you that things that had happened to you before and you didn't have the power to change them left you angry and you were venting it on other people I kind of knew it for a long time but I didn't but I didn't I wasn't thinking about it was normal to me to have chaos it was very normal when my marriage started to be affected I didn't even realize I wasn't present mentally and most of times physically you know and that's that that puts a lot of pressure on the wife yeah because they got to raise the baby you know they got to make the food they got to clean the diapers you know they got to control the house they got to make sure you okay Nikki yeah you know are you coming home at 4:00 you you're not really worried if you're out doing something they're worried about you it was all best things that whole life I was living so I wanted to kind of change that I said you know you know things I really really need to change in my life and our relationship might not last but you know at least I can say I attempted to be a better person and still affect those people that I love that that surrounds me the first time you saw a psychologist you were what 13 I was 13 yeah I was 13 how did you wind up was it at school how did you get to see a psychologist and my household my mom and dad always look at mental health issues come on see how much health issues schizophrenia in cream or hospital she was admitted to a psych ward right he is still there still there now still there when she would when Kylie was born we took him from the hospital with us my cousin which is my brother his older brother Wally lived with us also which is my big brother so when he was born you had to take you took him right from the hospital straightaway sure you leave him with her couldn't leave him won't hurt her but she's my dad's sister and my dad was a function or medication you know so and then my old my big brother he actually did 10 years in jail and he was older for drug trafficking so although he had a family brothers my dad and my mom which was his basically parents he called him dad you know he still was affected his dad wasn't in his life you know he started to get in the streets and he was that was my idol you know that was the guy when I was going to st. John I'm like listen we gonna go to the NBA like just chill you know literally two weeks before I go to st. John's I get a call you know your brothers in jail for what George Africa he'd be out of ten years I seen ten years later you know so it was so many there were so many different things like that that was starting to kind of mold me into the person I was so your aunt it's still in diagnosed with schizophrenia you say your dad my dad isn't functional my medication bipolar okay yeah do you worry that you're genetically predisposed to these things not worried about it this is we live on a first off you live on a beautiful planet you know and and and and this is the reality of where we live at and who we are as the people so even when I told people I want to thank my psychiatrist on national TV which she was my psychologist it's time to embrace it you know you got to embrace your bipolar if you're bipolar because you have a chemical imbalance you know embrace it you know don't don't feel a certain don't feel bad that you're bipolar because it's something you can't control sometimes you could be bipolar because it's things that happen over a period of time that's just making you go crazy you know who and then you just can't control yourself and your emotions get so high you just need help you know kids about to explode you know and it's so many different forms of mental health issues you know but I would sing embrace it embrace therapy embrace yourself and don't be so down on yourself because maybe you're bipolar or something like enjoy enjoy your days you know have a good time are you bipolar um when I was diagnosed at 19 years old my first time I ever was died subscribed medication but I wasn't the medication wasn't for me I was I was misdiagnosed I had I had depression and anxiety at the same time right you know so most of my sessions was anger management sessions but if I was bipolar or if I need immediate medication I would tell people to this day I'm bipolar and I need medication that just wasn't what I was diagnosed with do you have anxiety Nair does it hit you sometimes I deal with everything so much better yeah you know I still have different things that I experienced I used to be very insecure and sometimes I'm insecure now um which which is a big issue insecurity caused so many problems you know um so that's like the that's the only thing that's probably little over the years but in terms of conflict you know people saying things getting under my skin anxiety depression its kind of its kind of gone you know I'm kinda in a good place so it doesn't get to you anymore like it did nah no I'm pretty much in a good place you know and now things don't always go perfect in my life of course but I deal with things like I'm always happy what's important to you now what makes you get up every day and go about what you do what makes you tick now man so many things why my my kids my wife my immediate family you know my my daughter's you know 21 got a good got a baby I'm a grand dad you know and she's gonna get back into business and I'm just so grateful my 19 year old son scholarship to CSUN Northridge basketball scholarship potentially could go to the NBA he's a music producer you know my 17 year old son offers from Stanford Berkeley Princeton Saint John's computer science basketball scholarship investor um Kim coda okay my little daughter dancer on the dance team in high school you know what what more what more could I want what more could I want you know I could just go in the beach now yeah my mom my wife you know smart smart woman and graduate you know holding down that the household holding down me you know what more what more could I want what makes you happy every day you say what more could you want what gives you the sense of fulfillment honestly I love boxing here I love box olive I love to stay updated on boxing cuz I'm a big fan of that sport right a number one activity in my life outside of what I'm doing like in business obviously I love basketball cuz I play and I'm mourning I'm in a basketball sports business um not so much an NBA no more but I love boxing and then I like to do things with my daughter I did a lot of things with her last year that I would do with my teammates so we used to use to go to Miami we were going to Eileen's gonna go party and I said why I don't experience those things with my family so a lot of things I was doing my friends I like to experience my family how does your family describe you crazy crazy I mean you got a you know the head of the household has some issues you know and he's still the head of the household I don't care you know if I'm bipolar schizophrenic me I ruin his house oh ho and they do how I do I'm but I'm a very um I'm a very easygoing hippie dad is not it's not hard to to follow the rules in my house just bigger person clean up a little bit and go live a hippie life so who all's in the house now who's under your roof my son got my daughter my wife yeah yeah just the four of you and it's in my name and my oldest daughter she moved out yeah and then my youngest son is in Arizona at a prep school so how often do you get to see him I see him all the time I go to Arizona I haven't been a tertiary I'm going soon but I go there to see him play then he comes and works out with his dad and my obviously my my daughter and my son in the household so we do everything together so what are your goals right now what's next for you what are you gonna do you got to have something you're working toward your m4 right well it's like in life like what do you want to do it if you only do philanthropy I mean you're not doing business if you only tell my business that means you only think about money you're not giving back I guess not fulfilling there's no substance in just business you know so for me it's like and doing both then you're not gonna have time for your family you know which is like it's a trade-off right it is your balance so yeah it's all about balance for me how can I do all that I love so I'm fulfilled and so I could be around my family so basketball and sports like sports business it keeps me around something I love and then also keeps me around my family because my family's and sports you know so I try to just stay in that area and sports is very philanthropic you always give it back you know to or to a kid you know that needs that need some guidance right would you ever coach basketball absolutely absolutely would be your dream job my dream job is a couple of jobs I love assistant coaching for the Lakers can look what was the head coach yeah that's my really good friend I love him Knicks the Knicks took the Bulls and I'm not saying it's cuz I don't want anybody's job I'm just as much my dream job st. John's Liu long Allen University in New York City and in Santa Monica Junior College it's a couple it's not all NBA it's just different runs I like I like Santa Monica Junior College and then obviously on any school in the Los Angeles area are things that could stop me from watching boxing in the morning yeah would you actually aspire to try and get a job like that would you throw your hat in the ring I threw my hat in the Nick ring I wasn't real prepared but they said the Nick job was opening I'm like oh it is I'll do it you know but then you got to go to the presentation you got to put in time and and I'm involved in a couple businesses right now but I was I would totally I set up my team so if I have to coach and a job like that we still ready to go we still going to continue to move and do business I absolutely would love to be a head coach one day so what's your business what do you do business was sports management so we is a lot of things that a lot of mistakes on me as a sleeve young athlete when I was 19 I got drafted I want to do my own shoe company but I didn't know no business I didn't know how to do a business plan I didn't know anything you know I got into the music business with no strategy and now you look 20 years later I went back to UCLA for digital analytics when I retired I was like two years ago I want to Concordia Irvine for business Linux you know I got a lot of conferences around the world you know and meet take all meetings and I'm learning more so how can I give that back to at least know athletes that want to do a beverage athlete I wanted to ecommerce athlete I want to get it to business how can we do that and then also you know build our own companies you know in in-house so that's what that's what we're working on now and you know raising money which is crazy I'm like you know and it's like it's like a hassle but we're doing all these great things and it's all positive all positive things the statistics for athletes that come out of professional sports NBA NFL whatever is not good I've seen statistics as high as 80% right within two years of being out of the league are divorced bankrupt or in serious financial trouble or worse right why is that there's a couple of reasons I always tell people when you make a million in NBA which is more now let's say you make 1 million dollars which is only $500,000 give back to Uncle Sam right now and to anybody on food stamps yeah which I was alright so say you got three kids and you have two really good friends in a way that sick people divide that 500,000 up by six people and I live like you are worth six I'm five hundred thousand divided by six let's just say five hundred thousand divided about five so I'm not saying give away to other 400,000 but live like you only worth $100,000 because what happens is when you get all these people around you you start to actually disperse money I'm not saying disperse money I'm saying stay in your state that's what happens and but sometimes you do disperse money so I'm not saying disperse money but I'm saying live as if you're not worth 10 million because you only were five and then you forget about the cars and the stuff you get for your other family members things like the gifts and things so live like you only work for about 20% of that I don't they do that why isn't the league preparing athletes to do that Emmitt Smith is a good friend of mine I see people like you and Emmitt who are years out of the league you're thriving you're healthy you're contributing to society you're making money you're paying taxes you're doing well why are you guys doing well and others are not I wasn't always doing well when I was young in my first three years in the league I wasn't dead I was a spending money I don't know about taxes nothing right but but the thing is I push myself to learn I go to meetings I don't just depend on that my financial team to teach me a lot of people only depend on other things you got to go out there for yourself you got to take meetings with other financial like experts with banks you know I'll try not to give your money to some private person you know who's gonna invest your money like the bank is insured you know the bank can't steal you can't steal your money and then also prepare for your future luckily I had a good team at at 29 years old before I was out to leave I wanted to prepare for when I get out we said what are we gonna do when we get out you know and I was able to weather a lot of storms go just by preparation and now I'm learning how not to spend your own money and it's not about spending other people's money but preparing businesses where you can raise we can raise you spread the risk you bring on investors you share in the risk and you share in the reward which are athletes which athletes I'm not saying not only we don't do that I'm gonna just put I'm a group of us not only we don't do that we don't know how to do that so if you're gonna even if you wanna go to a record label you gotta you got a music business and you want to say hey or Interscope Records can you give me two million dollars but you have no plan as though there's no plan no right but the league doesn't teach that I look at it and I say okay here we've got a lot of young guys with no life experience right now a lot of testosterone a lot of money and a lot of free time what could possibly go wrong with this seriously you know they do the MBA offers a lot of services and you either accept it or you don't the MVPA they have a partnership with the NBA and they do things together and they offer a lot of services when I first got in it wasn't as much but right now the NBA basically they setting you up not to fail so I would say they may they are taking measures but sometimes the time it just doesn't work even like college I'm trying to put here to get some MBA I'm not focused on school you know I'm not focusing on economics or tax preparation or paying taxes which is so easy to do you know or paying bills but you can just you can log-in your bills on in a bank you're they can pay for you online they say you paying five thousand ten thousand dollars you know to these companies you know so there's a lot of things that's missing how much money did you blow that if you knew then what you know now you would have back I lost money from the bra endorsement so it's money I never received but I lost um uh and then I think the music business I kind of took that maybe a couple million dollars and put that in um and over yeah yeah that'd have been good yeah I invested in lift I invested in a couple companies in Silicon Valley and it's things I didn't know in 1999 like if I were to put you know ten thousand dollars in Apple and you know sometimes as athletes and I get it financial advisors want to preserve your wealth I get it and you should but also you know introduce the these athletes and so you know to other situations and to other people there's a lot of smart people out there not everybody is Bernie Madoff you know it's a lot of smart ways of investing money how much of the problem is hangers on that come from your prior life where you make it big and they don't but they do hang on and so you got a posse an entourage yeah I mean you know I'm not against the posse and entourage totally not because you know and you could experience things you know what your family or your posse your entourage like that's an amazing feeling like imagine being a kid all your friends we going out be buying become spend two hundred grand a night at the bar all right how many times are you spending 200 grand yeah that's the problem or sometimes you spend in tinkering five grand and now it's adding up to millions you know and now you're buying cars houses you know and now people asking for thousands of dollars you know and and sometimes you're not prepared for that much money going out and you don't have anything set up you don't have no LLC's you I have no see corpse you don't have no father once III you know you're not getting nothing you're not no tax benefits and sometimes people we move a little too fast you know anything get ourselves in some trouble did you learn to say no yeah no no it's very hard you know when I first got into the league I would every one of my nephew's get Christmas gifts and birthday gifts and everybody get it you know it that it just is what it is and I treated my nephews amount mainly mainly my nephews and nieces as my own children right the same way but I was like I old I'm like wow I have to take care of my children well so and then now you say no and you enabled people don't you say that first no they like what no listen you know so but yeah I'm very good at saying no yeah you gotta be right because they'll absolutely bleed you to death if you don't and it's not helping them and it's not helping them I think what I wish I would have done with my friends is gave each one a college scholarship at at school yeah maybe cost $2,500 a year fine that would have been way better yeah you know what I do now people ask me for money I give them the Warren Buffett book if you read you want $500 read to intelligent investor and give me a book report and there's so many times nobody reads the book so you don't really want the $500 yeah I'm gonna give you this $500 but if you read that book as my friend or family member you're gonna be able to help me one day yeah you know can you help me you know and so people are now let's divvy those tasks you know down say okay you know what the found you dollars yeah yeah you give them something to do and all of a sudden it's a little harder it's a lot it yeah no kidding 600 pages yeah so what are you gonna be doing five years from now ten years from now five years from now I'm hoping to be doing a lot of basketball games uh you know um I want to be able I want to be I want people to come to me and kids and say hey thank you for helping me with basketball you know and education that's what I'm hoping to be to be a four five years from now you've been absolutely a bigger-than-life personality ever since you stepped on to the basketball court I mean I've watched you like everybody else I've admired your skill I've admired your leadership on the court you've won citizenship Awards you've truly been a force to reckon with in the NBA and made a mark that will not soon be forgotten it's been said we cannot leave a footprint in a moving stream so I guess we'll all be forgotten at some point but you certainly have made an impact what do people not know about you that you wish they did know about you yeah um I look at the careers of um just people I wish I could have been like Tim Duncan I love how focused he is I envy certain people Kawhi Lin it just how calm he is on a court super physical aggressive from inner city but just so focused on the game and then I go to Kobe Bryant so focused on the game I was never able to focus on the game you know when I first started to play I would go into a a game wanting to fight it's not even about the game I'm like I just want to figure out a way to get into a fight right and like that's not helping something I love so much something I was doing as a child something I wanted so bad which is you know trophies on top of trophies you know I still have a lot of trophies but I would have so much more Awards you know if I would have just been like one of those guys that's such a paradox because you have to reconcile this for me because to sit here with you now and talk to you you're such a friendly person you got an easy smile and easy laugh you're charming gregarious outgoing engaging but yet you said you step on the court looking for a fight every day which means you're looking to punch somebody in the face or whatever how do you reconcile those two things but it's like you know when the streets I've been bully a couple times when I was younger so I decided not to take that anymore and you know so eventually for me it was always survival playing basketball on tull Street in the hood how do you make it on that court with those men and then how do you not get off because once you make it on they trying to get you off hey Tom play hard you got a man up sometimes you go play sports you're playing like let's say camels in Far Rockaway you know I remember we got chased out the park me and my friend Stephan Braun's we got chased out the park and hit my man over the head with a bottle we was only 12 years old we had the freedom online so basketball what for me it was always like all right when I step on this court if anybody want to get it poppin meaning like ready to do whatever Reed was ready you know I breezed to go to gain some time go to game we go to game with hammers we call them hammers they guns you know we got hammers in a backpack just you know if anything go down right we ready and when I got you to in B&S the dust of fight that I had you know when I was in st. John's it was like that same thing that made me great was that you know um and then later I realized I decided to I decided to cover that emotion in that passion just for balance because I didn't want to feel like that anymore so as you can see later in my career I wasn't as emotional about like you know when I get a buck girl but I get a don't because I wanted to just I just needed a balance you know and I said I wanted to take a little bit of a lull about a basketball I needed I needed to just like put it in the dirt so I can have a little balance do you think you're still that way today ready to fight now I actually know when when I'm coaching a kid a little kid eight year old t know what I do for free I don't charge him I just love it I'm teaching him to be tough you know also I like the Tim Duncan kind of effect Tim Duncan just doesn't react so I teach that be tough don't back down no matter what happens if somebody smacks you in the back of the head do not in the game in the game I often teach do not react even though I said earlier you don't be bullied but if you react in a basketball game you can make a big mistake you can get ejected you could be an important piece of that team no matter what happened to you I've seen some Duncan do a time in and time out and you know I always wanted to be like him so I teach people to be tough but yeah I do teach them not to react are you better now or you're just different is it better that you don't react now have you gotten soft or is it yeah no I hate being soft I don't like that but I am a little soft but it's not something I'm happy with have you lost your hood edge have you become suburban dad I know right I try to avoid conflict as much as possible yeah and you you know if something happens my brush me or somebody wanted Rory I I let a lot of things slide now you know not nowadays is um yeah I let things slide just in everyday life if you're in a crowd or something somebody bumps you is your first reaction like okay well yeah not no more because you it's a different situation for everything somebody can bump you by mistake so I can bump your purpose purpose somebody should be bumping you to push your button and so many things that you can't control you know and but you can't control yourself so I always try to be aware of things that I can't control yeah but if I was in a crowd looking for somebody to pick a fight with you would not be on my short list do not you would not be on my short list seriously I have 40 other guys I'd say I was in a club like six years ago and this guy he went to autograph but I was hammering coming out to club because having a great time right and I'm like scuse me sir I cannot sign an autograph right you know he thought I was disrespecting him he came and tried to punch me in the face you know this little happy it was luck TMZ the guy tried to punch me in the face guy wouldn't sign an autograph you know and I was so bad I'm like I wanna fight now you know and we got in the car and ran off it was like that type of stuff like you can't get all those situations no but it's hard to say no to a fan though they do get their feelings hurt I'm my own no person I don't like people saying no for me so if I'm out I get 20 fan of signing autographs I'll sign them but then it's now another 10 when I sign it and I gotta go sorry yeah that's hard yeah you got to keep your feet moving I know so yeah you understand you don't make eye contact and keep your feet moving well I've had a good teacher Oprah taught me see if you don't feel like it just don't go out there that day wow that's amazing yeah that's good advice thank you so much for you thank you thanks for having me I have really enjoyed getting to know you absolutely I also want to tell you how much I appreciate and respect the fact that you've been transparent about mental health issues and your advocacy about mental health issues because people as famous as high-profile as bigger-than-life as you are that are transparent about that I promise you it gives people permission to say in their own life if a man like you can be transparent about it if a man like you can say I can benefit from it then millions of other people say if he can acknowledge it and say he can benefit from it then I can and your transparency about this and your being vocal about this I promise you has saved thousands of lives because people got help instead of being depressed and taking their own lives you my friend have saved thousands of lives and I thank you for doing that thank you thank you so much

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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