Metta World Peace is better in Detroit than Ron Artest was

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Artest calls Green, "because like a recovering addict there are steps that have to be taken to heal. I could not carry a grudge any longer."

But Green is the same guy who helped cement Artest's public and lasting image as a troublemaker.

"People have better things to do than worry about me," Artest says, and sometimes he really does make sense.

He calls Green, who says right away, "Hey Ron, what's up?"

Artest laughs. "Just like that, he says, 'Hey Ron, what's up?' I wasn't bitter anymore."

They develop a friendship, and Artest explains they have similar issues so he understands Green.

"It's disappointing he didn't come for this, but he's probably trippin' or something, and I understand."

For those who might not remember, Artest is playing for Indiana back on Nov. 19, 2004. He fouls Detroit's Ben Wallace and Wallace shoves Artest.

"I'm raised to take nothing from nobody," Artest says.

There are 47 seconds left in a game that Indiana is winning by 15, and the urge to fight Wallace is overwhelming. But Artest follows the advice of his psychologist.

"Go to a different place and relax."

So Artest climbs atop the scorer's table.

"I was just trying to calm down," he says.

While he's lying there he gets hit with the tossed drink and looks up to see a fan raising his fist. Artest doesn't realize the guy has bet Green $50 he can't hit Artest and he's just lost his bet.

He's about to lose his life if Artest unleashes his full fury.

Artest runs to him, trampling one of Indiana's broadcasters, who will suffer five fractured vertebrae.

Artest does not hit the fan, but shakes him, wanting to know if he threw the cup. When Artest returns to the court, two fans follow. Artest feels threatened. He throws a punch that is so effective it drops them both.

The game is called, and Artest being Artest in the locker room later asks a teammate, "Do you think we're going to get in trouble?"

He gets the last laugh.

He's fine now with Detroit, so much so he's now telling another Detroit story.

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