Before Metta World Peace was Metta World Peace, he was just Ron Artest, a Queensbridge-native playing at nearby St. John’s University.
During that time, he says he was approached on multiple occasions about throwing games for money, including an incident when someone approached him in his neighborhood with a $35,000 offer to fix a game. He didn’t take the offer, but says it definitely crossed his mind.
World Peace recently spoke with Yahoo Sports’ Jared Quay about his experience with sports gambling as a player in wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling to end a federal ban that prohibits people from legally gambling on sports across the country.
“I see the issues with betting, and I’ve been approached in college,” he said. “I got approached a couple times to throw games. The one interesting time, they come to me in my neighborhood and said, ‘Hey, I got $35,000 for you.’ I’m like, ‘All right, that’s cool, I’ll take $35,000.’ They said, ‘We need you to throw a game.’ That’s when I’m like, ‘You expletive].’ But it crossed my mind — $35,000 to throw a game? Not bad.
“But that’s the problem. They find these kids that don’t have any money, and they attack them. What if I was some kid that was a little scared, like, ‘OK, I’ll do it.’ That’s the problem I have with betting, because these guys who are betting, they’re bullies. Some of them are bullies. They’ll force a kid into a situation, and then when the kid’s trying to go to the NBA, they hold it against the kid.”