Metta World Peace says someone offered him $35,000 to fix games in college

When news broke on Monday that the United States Supreme Court had paved the way for legalized sports gambling in America, one of the biggest unknowns was the impact this will have on athletes.

While promoting his new book, “No Malice: My Life in Basketball or: How a Kid from Queensbridge Survived the Streets, the Brawls, and Himself to Become an NBA Champion,” former Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, told Yahoo Sports about the widespread ramifications that Monday’s ruling could have on professional and collegiate athletes.

Any number of bettors approached him with some version of, “Hey, you won me a lot of money,” and while most may have been innocent enough, outside of broaching a taboo subject for NBA players, there were those who looked to prey on underprivileged athletes.

“Bullies,” World Peace called them.

“I see the issues with betting, and I’ve been approached in college,” he said. “I got approached a couple times to throw games. The one interesting time, they come to me in my neighborhood and said, ‘Hey, I got $35,000 for you.’ I’m like, ‘All right, that’s cool, I’ll take $35,000.’ They said, ‘We need you to throw a game.’ That’s when I’m like, ‘You [expletive].’ But it crossed my mind — $35,000 to throw a game? Not bad.

“But that’s the problem. They find these kids that don’t have any money, and they attack them. What if I was some kid that was a little scared, like, ‘OK, I’ll do it.’ That’s the problem I have with betting, because these guys who are betting, they’re bullies. Some of them are bullies. They’ll force a kid into a situation, and then when the kid’s trying to go to the NBA, they hold it against the kid.”

This sort of issue certainly isn’t something the Supreme Court couldn’t foresee, since Justice Samuel Alito warned of the rampant corruption that threatens the integrity of sports in the court’s opinion. The ruling encouraged Congress and individual states to enact policy regulating sports gambling.

Related: See World Peace through his career: 

23 PHOTOS
Metta World Peace through his career
See Gallery
Metta World Peace through his career
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 07: LaSalle Academy's star basketball player Ron Artest. (Photo by Keith Torrie/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
24 Jan 1999: Ron Artest #15 of the St John''s Red Storm dribbles during the game against the Duke Blue Devils at the Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. The Blue Devils defeated the Red Storm 92-88. Mandatory Credit: David Leeds /Allsport
CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 15: Ron Artest of the Chicago Bulls during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on March 15, 2000 at Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)
1 Oct 2001: Ron Artest #15 of the Chicago Bulls poses for a studio portrait on Media Day in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: It is expressly understood that the only rights Allsport are offering to license in this Photograph are one-time, non-exclusive editorial rights. No advertising or commercial uses of any kind may be made of Allsport photos. User acknowledges that it is aware that Allsport is an editorial sports agency and that NO RELEASES OF ANY TYPE ARE OBTAINED from the subjects contained in the photographs.Mandatory Credit: David Sherman /NBAE/Getty Images
09 Jan 2002: Ron Artest #15 of the Chicago Bulls drives past Jerome Williams #13 of the Toronto Raptors in a game at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. DIGITAL IMAGE NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/orusing this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright 2001 NBAE. Mandatory credit: Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images
9 Jan 2002: Guard Ron Artest #15 of the Chicago Bulls dunks over center Hakeem Olajuwon #34 of the Toronto Raptors during the NBA game at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Raptors defeated the Bulls 85-73. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright 2002 NBAE Mandatory Credit: Fernando Medina /NBAE/Getty Images
INDIANAPOLIS, UNITED STATES: Indiana Pacers' forward Ron Artest (L) drives on Dallas Mavericks' Walt Williams (R) in the second half 28 November 2002 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. Indiana denied previously unbeaten Dallas a piece of National Basketball Association history with a 110-98 victory that snapped the Mavericks' 14-game win streak. AFP PHOTO/Steve C. MITCHELL (Photo credit should read STEVE C. MITCHELL/AFP/Getty Images)
ATLANTA - FEBRUARY 16: Ron Artest #23 of the Indiana Pacers shoots from the free-throw line during the NBA game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 16, 2003 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hawks won 99-86. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2003 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 30: Ron Artest #23 of the Indiana Pacers shoots over Bo Outlaw #45 of the Phoenix Suns on March 30, 2003 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agress that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 29: Ron Artest #23 of the Indiana Pacers is defended by James Posey #41 of the Memphis Grizzlies during the game at Conseco Fieldhouse on December 29, 2003 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers won 94-86. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 14: Ron Artest #23 of the Indiana Pacers lays the ball up against the Atlanta Hawks on January 14, 2004 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agress that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
AUBURN HILLS, MI - NOVEMBER 19: Ben Wallace #3 of the Detroit Pistons and teammates are kept apart from Ron Artest #91 of the Indiana Pacers by Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle and official Tommy Nunez Jr. on November 19, 2004 during their game at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Copyright 2004 NBAE (Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - OCTOBER 14: Ron Artest #15 of the Indiana Pacers waits to enter the preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Conseco Fieldhouse on October 14, 2005 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers won 93-84. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2005 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ron Artest of the Sacramento Kings during 103-92 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. on Friday, December 29, 2006.
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 29: Corey Maggette #50 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives to the hoop against Ron Artest #93 of the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center December 29, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 9: Ron Artest #93 of the Sacramento Kings against LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 9, 2007 at Arco Arena in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 26: Ron Artest #93 of the Sacramento Kings looks up during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 26, 2007 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Lakers won 101-97. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON - August 25: Houston Rockets Ron Artest poses with his jersey during his press conference August 25, 2008 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Artest was traded from The Sacramento Kings earlier this month. NOTE TO USER:User expressly acknowleges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
ORLANDO , FL - NOVEMBER 22: Ron Artest #96 of the Houston Rockets grabs a rebound against the Orlando Magic on November 22, 2008 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Metta World Peace, who legally changed his name from Ron Artest, wears a new jersey with his last name on it during media day for the Lakers. The Los Angeles Lakers media day took place at their practice facility, the Toyota Sports Center, on Sunday morning so that media members could interview and photograph members of the team ahead of this year's shortened season. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
CHENGDU, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 26: (CHINA OUT) Former NBA player, CBA foreign player Metta World Peace visits Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base on September 26, 2014 in Chengdu, Sichuan province of China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - APRIL 19: Metta World Peace attends the 'Quelli Che Il Calcio' Tv Show on April 19, 2015 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Vincenzo Lombardo/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 06: Metta World Peace #37 of the Los Angeles Lakers in action against the Brooklyn Nets 104-98 at the Barclays Center on November 6, 2015 in Brooklyn borough of New York City. Lakers defeated the Nets 104-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

World Peace pushed for strict punishment on matters concerning the corruption of youth athletes.

“They’ve got to have really harsh rules on people who are using kids,” he added. “If anybody gets in that situation, they should snitch, and that person should go to jail, because you cannot be putting kids under pressure like that.”

The NCAA opposed the abolition of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) for this very reason. “The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering,” the organization wrote on its website, “which has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contests and jeopardizes the welfare of student-athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community.”

The NBA, meanwhile, supported legalized sports betting, so that the the hundreds of millions of dollars that are annually wagered illegally would be “brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated.” Earlier this year, NBA commissioner Adam Silver lobbied for 1 percent of all wagers on the NBA in order to insulate the league against threats to its integrity (and make a massive profit).

Where there is large amounts of money to be made, there are opportunities for corruption. Last decade, the NBA endured a scandal involving disgraced former referee Tim Donaghy, who pled guilty to a pair of gambling charges in August 2007 that threatened to undermine the game’s integrity.

Raised in Queens, N.Y., World Peace played two seasons at St. John’s before being drafted in 1999. He played parts of 17 NBA seasons for the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, making an All-Star team and winning the 2010 title.

That the man at the center of the Malice at the Palace is warning the NBA about threats to its integrity says an awful lot about the seriousness with which these leagues are going to have to treat gambling.

More from Yahoo Sports:
Actor stopped rooting for Knicks after losing free tix
2 surprises as NBA draft lottery results revealed
MLB star hits most emotional home run of the season
Nats’ Harper isn’t having any of this Yankees talk

Read Full Story