Showtime has acquired “Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story,” an award-winning documentary about former NBA star Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest).
“Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story” shines a spotlight on the polarizing athlete who was at times feared and often misunderstood both on and off the basketball court. The film includes intimate interviews from World Peace, his former teammates and rivals, his loved ones and family. The story arcs from a childhood marked by violence and drugs in the notorious Queensbridge projects in New York City during the crack wars of the 1980s, through a contentious stint at St. John’s University and, finally, to a dramatic and remarkable career in the NBA. Metta World Peace gives captivating insight into his life at its most troubling moments as well as its greatest.
The pay cable network will debut the film, which won Best Documentary at the 2019 Santa Barbara Film Festival, on Friday, May 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, as part of Mental Health Awareness Month. The film is directed by Johnny Sweet and written by journalist Tom Friend. It is the second long-form documentary from Bleacher Report, following “Vick,” about former NFL star Michael Vick, which also directed by Sweet.
World Peace, who was born Ron Artest, legally changed his name in September 2011 to Metta World Peace. During his 17-year NBA career, Artest/World Peace played with the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. He won an NBA championship with the Lakers in 2010.
He was also involved in the infamous “Malice at the Palace,” one of the most infamous altercations between NBA players and fans in the league’s history.
“Whether you know him as Ron Artest or Metta World Peace, he is one of the most intriguing personalities in sports,” said Stephen Espinoza, president, sports & event programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “From Ron’s challenging upbringing in Queensbridge among some of the biggest burgeoning names in hip-hop through his transformation to Metta World Peace, Metta has been best known for his fierce competitiveness and unwavering loyalty. “Quiet Storm” depicts Metta’s unique backstory and his intriguing evolution with honesty and candor. We are proud to add the Ron Artest story to the growing slate of compelling, relevant and contemporary Showtime Sports Documentary Films.”
“Quiet Storm” features interviews with NBA stars and former teammates Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Elton Brand, Jermaine O’Neal and Bill Walton. Also featured are contributions from renowned psychologist Dr. Santhi Pariasamy, who played an integral role in the anger management and mental health therapy that helped the former Ron Artest transition to Metta World Peace.
“Quiet Storm” is produced by Sweet, Colleen Dominguez and Omar Michaud. Executive producers are Courtney Andrialis-Vincent, Joe Yanarella, Rory Brown and Dave Finocchio.