The award-winning documentary Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story, directed by Johnny Sweet, and based on the turbulent life of one of the NBA’s most controversial figures will premiere on SHOWTIME during Mental Health Awareness Month on Friday, May 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Winner of Best Documentary at the 2019 Santa Barbara Film Festival, 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 the man now known as Metta 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.
“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: The Ron Artest Story 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.”
With New York City as the backdrop and infused with the music of Queensbridge, once regarded as the rap and hip hop mecca of the world, Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story 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: The Ron Artest Story premieres during Mental Health Awareness Month to help drive awareness and education around the subject of mental health.
“As a kid who grew up in New York City in the 80s and 90s, I remember watching Metta play at an early age,” added Sweet, a Bleacher Report producer. “He embodied what New York basketball fans loved: a tough relentless two-way player. He was never more authentic than after his 2010 title clinching shot with the Lakers when he said, ‘I want to thank my psychiatrist.’ Whether he meant to have an impact or not, Ron saved lives that day simply by being honest and guileless.”
Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story is the second long-form documentary from Bleacher Report. It follows VICK, which focused on the life of NFL star Michael Vick.