Stephen Jackson makes case for why Metta Sandiford-Artest is best 2-way player ever and only behind Michael Jordan

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Jackson took to Instagram to state his case for former teammate Metta Sandiford-Artest as the greatest two-way player in NBA history.


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A post shared by Stephen Jackson (@_stak5_)

Jackson got to see Ron Artest (as he was known then) up-close as teammates with the Indiana Pacers for a very brief time. They played together at the start of the 2004-05 NBA season and beginning of the next campaign before Sandiford-Artest was traded to the Sacramento Kings in January 2006.

Sandiford-Artest was suspended for almost all of the 2004-05 season after the infamous “Malice at the Palace” brawl that occurred in a November game against the Detroit Pistons. He then played 16 games with the Pacers the following season before being traded away.

Later known as Metta World Peace, Sandiford-Artest played 17 seasons in the NBA, ending his career after the 2016-17 season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 2003-04 season and chosen to the 2004 NBA All-Star Game, his only such appearance. That season ended with a loss to the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. Sandiford-Artest did help the Lakers win the 2010 NBA championship in his only appearance in the NBA Finals.

Sandiford-Artest made four All-Defensive teams and is 24th in NBA history in steals, but his accomplishments do not seem to compare to those of the greatest two-way players in NBA history.

For example, Michael Jordan, who is mentioned by Jackson in his social media post, was All-Defensive First Team nine times, led the league in scoring 10 times and has the highest per-game scoring average in history.

In addition, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year trophy now is actually named after Hakeem Olajuwon, who made nine All-Defensive teams during his career and is 12th in NBA history in points.

Sandiford-Artest may have had a reputation as a fierce and intimidating competitor in his time, and it’s commendable of a former teammate like Jackson to send some praise his way, but to put him among the best two-way players in NBA history is quite a bit of a stretch.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.