Metta World Peace made new friends while he was sequestered in the Celebrity Big Brother house—and not just his stuffed owl, Orwell. The former NBA star may have spent most of his time cuddling the Big Brother stuffed animal, but he also made a point to get to know the other 10 celebrity houseguests—most of whom he admits he had never heard of.
In a post-eviction interview with People magazine, Metta revealed that he is a new fan of the Celebrity Big Brother stars. In addition to Metta, the Celebrity Big Brother cast includes Chuck Liddell, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Shannon Elizabeth, James Maslow, Ross Mathews, Brandi Glanville, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Ariadna Gutierrez, Mark McGrath, and Omarosa Manigault.
Metta said everybody in the Celebrity Big Brother house was “pretty tight,” but he admitted that he was star struck by one of the stars.
“I was so happy to meet Keshia,” Metta World Peace told People. “We’re the same age, but I had liked her as a kid through The Cosby Show. Just to meet her, wow, that like made my day.”
While he was a fan of The Cosby Show kid, Metta World Peace revealed that he had never heard of Celebrity Big Brother’s biggest name, Apprentice star and former White House consultant Omarosa Manigault.
“Yeah, actually I didn’t know anything about Omarosa,” Metta said.
“I heard that she was a reality star and something about her being on The Apprentice. I didn’t know that. She told me in the house that she had worked for Donald Trump…Somebody said that she was like a villain to America, I just know that she’s a great person. I know nothing about her outside of this. I don’t know anything about her.”
Metta World Peace also admitted that out of the 10 celebrity houseguests, he had only heard of Keshia Knight Pulliam and MMA fighter Chuck Liddell. Metta told People:
“The only person I knew was Chuck and Keshia. Everyone else I knew nothing about but I know them personally as a friend which is cool. I’m going to go watch American Pie, I’m going to ‘Fly, I’m going to listen to James [Maslow’s] music, I’m going to go look at Ross Mathews, I’m going to go look at Marissa’s Hairspray. I didn’t know anybody when I first got there.”
Metta may not have realized the star power in the house, but the all-star Celebrity Big Brother cast was curated by Dancing With The Stars casting director Deena Katz, a woman who definitely knows how to mix a roster of headline-making, on-the-rise, and buzzworthy celebrities.
“She has it down to a science,” Big Brother host Julie Chen told the Toronto Sun of the casting director.
While Metta World Peace is a newfound fan of Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath and American Pie’s Shannon Elizabeth, he has also found himself some new fans—including Julie Chen.
“I don’t think Metta’s head was ever really in the game,” Chen told Entertainment Weekly. “I think with him missing his family and it not being a type of competition he is used to playing and defeating his opponents, he didn’t know what to do with himself. This is not his type of game. That being said, he was fun to get to know through the eyes of our camera and I am now a fan.”
Metta World Peace’s Celebrity Big Brother stay was dominated by his desire to go home. The basketball player admitted that he had a bit of a panic attack while in the Big Brother house and that his co-stars really helped him get through it.
While Metta seemed to lack knowledge of the Big Brother game, he knew going in that it was a backstabbing game, so he opted not to form an alliance with anyone because he was trying to beat them all. Now Metta will be part of the jury to crown the $250,000 Celebrity Big Brother grand prize winner but he probably won’t play favorites.
“Everybody’s pretty tight,” Metta told People of the Celebrity Big Brother cast. “Everybody’s developed a relationship. There wasn’t one person that I liked more than the other.”