Pistons announcer George Blaha gained a bit of recognition for saying, “This building brings out the Ron Artest in Metta World Peace,” after the Los Angeles Lakers forward punched Brandon Knight on Sunday at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
The line was clever, of course, recalling the Malice at the Palace. That incident forever will be the first thing that comes to mind when people hear the name Ron Artest. I have no problem with that line.
But Blaha repeatedly calling him Ron Artest instead of Metta World Peace throughout the broadcast was problematic.
Considering that Blaha called the player World Peace more often than he called him Artest, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that his switches to Artest were unintentional. I believe, or at least hope, Blaha would be above intentionally calling him Artest.
But the difference between doing it intentionally and unintentionally, while meaningful, only mitigates the problem.