Metta World Peace says he once broke Michael Jordan's ribs

NBA Basketball

Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, admitted Tuesday to breaking Michael Jordan's ribs.

During a Facebook Live interview with Mike and Mike's Molly Qerim, World Peace talked about the 2001 incident. The p

ossibility of World Peace breaking Jordan's ribs during a pickup game has been out there for a while. Even MJ discussed it at the time, although he didn't name the player.

MORE: Ranking 23 best available NBA free agents

Here's how World Peace says it went down:

"So I was in a summer gym. R. Kelly would be there sometimes with Jordan, (Charles) Barkley was there sometimes with a lot of other NBA players. It was really good games, tougher than NBA games — rough, tough competition. And Jordan was posting me up. So I was trying to deny him because when Jordan gets the ball, there's nothing you can do. He's going to score. So I was trying to deny him and then he was like holding me, so I kind of tried to lift his arm up with my right hand and I accidentally hit him in the ribs with my elbow and then I accidentally broke his ribs."

For context, this pickup game happened before the 2001 season when Jordan would return to basketball with the Wizards after sitting three seasons in retirement. The broken ribs delayed his return for about three months, and when he played, Jordan averaged 22.9 points per game. 

World Peace said Jordan would have averaged 35 that season if it weren't the injuries.

"That hurt me a lot because I'm an MJ fan, I love Jordan," he said. "For me to be part of something like that, that (will) stick with me for a long time."

MORE: Metta says the NBA isn't a man's game anymore

World Peace addressed the story later on Mike and Mike radio and added that Jordan called him a few days later. World Peace was feeling down about what he did and apologized, but Jordan told him, "Don't worry about it, it happens."

It should be noted, there's another version of how the broken ribs went down. In 2001, the Chicago Tribune published a rumor saying the ribs were broken in a fight between the two. World Peace denied it going down like that, but the Tribune reports, "The story is that Artest stayed back in the lane, and then when Jordan came in the next time, Artest grabbed him and slammed him to the floor."