“Back then it was like, if I say, ‘I need help,’ what is the media going to say?” World Peace said.
Today he serves as a resource for N.B.A. players of all levels, who call him, essentially, so he can provide therapy. One player — he won’t say who — will call as late as 2 a.m. to meet at Staples Center in Los Angeles to work out. Sometimes, they won’t shoot hoops. They’ll just talk.
“At the core of a slump is the mental state,” World Peace said. “And the more you open up, the more you can address it and get rid of it quick.”
It’s not just players. World Peace described working with everyone from a Subway employee to chief executives. It’s not a business, he insisted, but something that happens organically. People just approach and pepper him with questions. World Peace still seeks therapy, he said, and meditates every day.
During his playing days, World Peace was in a dark place, though he didn’t realize it. He said he had anger issues stemming from deep-rooted stress and anxiety.
Nobody, it seemed, could get through to him.
Not even one of the world’s most famous musicians, who tried to calm him during a gathering at a Beverly Hills hotel. “Jay-Z got up and said ‘Yo, you got to chill out,’” World Peace said. “I said, ‘Come on man. You’re from Brooklyn. You know what it is.’ That was my mind-set.”
His childhood in New York, in the Queensbridge public housing projects, was made difficult by a home life filled with domestic violence. Then as an adult, in 2007, World Peace was arrested on domestic violence charges stemming from an incident with his then-wife, Kimsha Artest, with whom he shares three children.