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Gilbert Arenas Says Metta Sandiford-Artest Is Not An Alpha Male: "What Alpha Male Will Say They Have A Therapist?"

Ron Artest

2009's 'Malice at the Palace' incident is frequently dubbed as one of the worst nights in basketball history. What started off as a competitive ball game spiraled out of control when a nasty brawl broke out in the arena.

Of the many people involved in the ordeal, Metta Sandiford-Artest (who was then just known as Ron Artest) is credited as the one who started it all. It was he who engaged in the initial on-court altercation before going into the stands to confront a fan.

It happens nearly two decades ago, but the brawl, and Artest's role in it, continues to be a subject of conversation today.

Recently, Gilbert Arenas was recorded sharing his thoughts on the whole thing and he had a lot to say. One of his more interesting comments, however, was what he apparently learned about Artest through the ordeal.

"I watched it and it really told me a lot about Ron. One, he wasn't an alpha male. He was scared of the alpha male, you could hear it. Like, 'I was scared of Jermaine O'Neal and I didn't wanna be on that team anymore.' You can hear it, just listen to him."

It's an interesting take, to say the least. But it doesn't end there. Arenas doubled down on his take later on, when it was brought up that Artest gave a shout-out to his therapist after winning the 2010 Finals.

"What alpha male will say they have a therapist? None. You have to remember: he's a tough guy but then they had Jermaine O'Neal and then he's like 'oh but Jermaine O'Neal is scary.' Then Stephen Jackson comes, 'oh Stephen Jackson is scary these guys are crazy.' Like no alpha male tells you someone else is crazy."

Through much of his 17-year career, Artest was more than just an elite defender. He was considered an enforcer, as someone who brought energy and rallied the team around him in times of difficulty. Of course, he took that role a little too far on occasion.

Still, to Arenas (and no doubt plenty of others), the 1x All-Star was never a true leader. To them, Ron Artest just followed the pack and bailed when the going got tough.

Even today, it seems the guy inspires some mixed feelings.