Over the years the Indiana Pacers have survived some really interesting things take place. They lived through the ABA/NBA merger. They were a part of the most horrific brawl in NBA history. More than once the team faced the threat of being removed from the community that first embraced it.
Along the way, the story has not been straightforward or expected. That’s part of what has made Indiana Pacers history so much fun. An unconventional team in a small market leads to unconventional storylines.
Let’s look at five of the strangest stories that stick out in Pacers history. From trades to saving the team from bankruptcy in unconventional ways, there’s a lot of crazy stuff here. Buckle in!
Ron Artest asked for a month off to promote a rap album
Ron Artest’s (now known as Metta World Peace) time as an Indiana Pacers player was interesting in many ways. Obviously, there was his infamous participation in the Malice at the Palace brawl that highlights it all.
Artest was given the longest suspension in the history of the NBA and charged with assault as a result.
There was also the time Artest showed up to practice in a bathrobe for who knows what reason.
There’s a pool of Pacers/Arest stories to pull “weird” moments from, but once upon a time, Artest asked for a month off. He had a rap album that was set to debut in the coming months and his schedule outside of his normal day job was about to get busy to help promote it.
Artest was quickly given approval on his time off request, but not exactly what he had asked for. He got just two games off because head coach Rick Carlisle benched him.
Supposedly this was not a formal suspension with a cut in pay, simply a benching, which is more or less what Artest asked for.
When asked about the benching, Artest explained that he felt misunderstood and that he was simply hoping to rest his body.
“My body has been aching, I was going to take some time off and I said it the wrong way,” Artest said. “Everything that happened wasn’t too negative. I kind of surprised the team by wanting to take some games off, just to get back together, maybe stay home for a little bit, rest a little bit and come back.”
Running around doing promo work for an upcoming album is probably exhausting, I’ll give him that.
Metta World Peace was often misunderstood throughout his NBA career, this was just one of many times.