Since he stepped into the league, LeBron James has never been devoid of challenges, facing opponents all the time after he was selected as the no. 1 overall pick during the 2003 draft. 

There were many challenges in the 4-time NBA champion's career, but one of his biggest challenges was facing Ron Artest as a rookie. According to The Sports Rush, LeBron James, who was a skinny high-schooler during his rookie year, outdueled Ron Artest

Rookie LeBron vs. Prime Ron Artest

Ron Artest shared that the 18-year old rookie LeBron James playing for his home team Cleveland Cavaliers, even had turned to the Pacers bench after draining a shot over him and asked them, "Is this your DPOY?"

Also, Artest remarked that while he was furious over the trash-talking done by LeBron, he admitted that the rookie had actually gotten the better of him.

Ron Artest also revealed in a podcast how he had first met LeBron during the secret workouts held by Michael Jordan before his comeback with the Wizards. At the time, LeBron was still holding his own among seasoned vets during their primes.

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Ron Artest Against The Kid From Akron, Ohio

Ron Artest, now known as Metta Sandiford-Artest, was one of the most feared players due to his defensive presence in the NBA during his prime, but Artest shared that despite his reputation, it did not affect LeBron James since his rookie year.

The younger generation of NBA fans remembered Metta World Peace for his unforgettable shot during Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. However, Artest has established himself as one of the greatest defenders of all time during the early years of his illustrious career.

The peak of Artest's career arrived during his tumultuous years with the Indiana Pacers. In his days with Indiana, he was not only regarded as a good defender but also considered as one of the best players in the league.

However, it was not the first and only time that LeBron James would go on to dominate their matchups in the future.

Before he retired in 2017, after playing 18 years in his basketball career as a pro, Artest's defensive assignment was the best player of the opposing team, and he was matched with LeBron most of the time.

Ron Artest experienced a lot of beatings in his career against LeBron James. In the 21 NBA games they have faced, LeBron James has averaged 26.9 points, 6.8 assists, and 6.7 rebounds against Metta Sandiford-Artest.

Despite being beaten in the stats line, Ron Artest took pride in one of his defensive efforts against "The King." Artest once held LeBron to 0 assists during a remarkable defensive output by the 6'6″ beast. Artest couldn't help but mention the same topic during the podcast.

On the other hand, even in his 19th year, LeBron James is still dominating the league, which gave us an idea of his sheer skill and determination.

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Written by: Jess Smith

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