Indiana Pacers: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Andy Hayt/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Hayt/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Indiana Pacers
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17. Ron Artest

One of the most difficult players to accurately rank on this list is Ron Artest. Before he eventually became Metta World Peace, Artest had a very dynamic, short stint with the Indiana Pacers. Due to massive suspensions (thanks to his antics during the infamous Malice at the Palace brawl with the Detroit Pistons and their fans), Artest only really played about 2 and a half seasons’ worth of games in Indy.

But when he was able to stay on the court, there’s no denying the Ron Artest was one of the best Pacers ever. In fact, his 2003-2004 season with the team should go down as one of the best years any individual Pacer has ever put together.

In this 2003-2004 campaign, Artest was an all-star, the Defensive Player of the Year, and made the All-Defense team, as well as 3rd Team All-NBA. He put up 18 points per game to go along with over 5 boards, nearly 4 assists, and 2.1 steals. By all accounts, this was truly a special season for Artest; arguably the best of his long and tumultuous career.

Yes, Ron Artest had his issues. He’s Top 10 all-time in ejections (though so is Reggie Miller, to be fair).

He was a main driving force in one of the most embarrassing moments in NBA history that completely derailed an incredibly promising Indiana Pacers team. However, there’s no argument; Ron Artest was a beast when he was on the court.