The Los Angeles Lakers’ struggles are continuing, but Metta World Peace believes they are up for the challenge of bouncing back while shorthanded.
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Gerald Wallace plays, and sometimes acts, with gusto.
When Reggie Evans received the NBA’s first ever flopping fine and cemented his reputation as the league’s most notorious actor, not everyone was pleased. Although he was the victim of Evans’ fine-worthy flop, Metta World Peace said Evans’ Brooklyn teammate, Gerald Wallace, was the real flopper.
“That’s ridiculous,” World Peace said in response to the Evans’ punishment, according to a report from ESPN NY’s Mike Mazzeo.
Metta World Peace is from Queens, but he doesn’t like how the Nets are representing Brooklyn.
On Tuesday, Metta World Peace described for reporters (including Janis Carr of the Orange County Register ) his role definition in the Los Angeles Lakers’ system under new head coach Mike D’Antoni : “The coach said, ‘Go do you.’ I said, ‘OK, no problem. That’s not hard.’”
So it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise, then, when World Peace followed up a big fourth-quarter corner 3-pointer that drew his Lakers within one basket of the visiting Brooklyn Nets by offering Brooklyn head coach Avery Johnson — all 5 feet, 10 inches, and (we’re guessing) roughly 185 pounds of homespun rambunction — a nice, playful ol’ head rub on his way back down the court. That is, after all, a pretty Ron-Ron thing for Ron-Ron to do. Behold:
It sure didn’t seem like coach Johnson appreciated World Peace’s gesture, which puts the 16-year NBA veteran in the company of fellow point guard Chris Paul, who famously freaked out after World Peace’s Laker teammate Pau Gasol tendered a similar tousling late in a game between the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers last season.
Back in June, when the NBA Finals hadn’t even started yet, it was announced that Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace would co-star in Lifetime’s “The Eleventh Victim,” an adaptation of a Nancy Grace novel starring “Beverly Hills 90210″ linchpin Jennie Garth. It sounded a little ridiculous, and not just because we all learned that Grace has written two novels. The idea of World Peace showing up on Lifetime, as a dependable detective, was almost too much.
Well, with “The Eleventh Victim” set to premiere on Saturday, Lifetime has rolled out a clip of MWP’s performance (via SLAM ). Somehow, it’s even more amazing than the description suggested. Not only is World Peace a cop, but he’s retiring from the force to serve in Afghanistan. Oh, and he also serves as Garth’s spiritual advisor and confidante. Because why not?
Casting aside, it’s worth noting that World Peace doesn’t fare too badly in this clip. As my friend and colleague David Roth noted at The Classical , it’s hard to imagine even someone like Peter O’Toole stealing the show when forced to deal with a script of this caliber. Perhaps our hero will find a more suitable outlet for his skills in ” Real Vampire Housewives .”
One more thing: Nancy Grace herself appears in this clip and does her best to appear friendly, withholding her trademark superficially righteous castigation. She is not successful.
Pop quiz, hotshot: When I say “chivalry,” what’s the first image that pops into your mind? That’s right: Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace. I mean, it’s weird that I even had to ask; any reasonable person would flash on the exact same mental image. Well, any wrong-thinking weirdo who wouldn’t have before this weekend sure will now, after the 2011 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award winner’s knightly performance during Saturday night’s preseason matchup with the Utah Jazz.
With the score tied at 59 past the halfway point of the third quarter, new Jazz guard Mo Williams fired an outlet to streaking swingman Gordon Hayward, who attacked the Laker basket on the break. A backpedaling World Peace, showing off both the quickness that comes with reportedly entering camp 19 pounds lighter than he was at the start of last season and the instincts that have made him a four-time All-Defensive team selection, deftly stuck with the play, getting a clean block without fouling as Hayward elevated for a layup and knocking the ball out of bounds. World Peace then retrieved the ball from the fan to whom it had bounced … and wandered a row further to a young woman sitting behind the basket, gently taking her hand and kissing it. You know, as a gentleman does.
This, of course, is not exactly standard operating NBA procedure. But, of course, that which is random is that which is Ron-Ron. So what led World Peace to get his smooch on? The predictably pitch-perfect explanation comes to us via Mark Media of the Los Angeles Times :
In case you’ve been distracted by other stuff, like the Mars Rover landing or the Chicago teachers’ strike or the TomKat/K-Stew and R-Pattz splits, the Los Angeles Lakers have had what you might call an eventful offseason. They traded for Steve Nash , then they signed Antawn Jamison , then they traded for Dwight Howard , then their signature star won a gold medal and their stalwart Spanish (former) second banana won silver by being an all-world low-post force . They’ll enter the upcoming season among the favorites to take the 2012-13 NBA championship alongside the defending champion Miami Heat and runner-up Oklahoma City Thunder, whose top guns, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, recently made some headlines by working out together during the offseason (despite the fact that they did it last year, too).
During a recent radio interview with Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley on ESPN 710 AM in Los Angeles, transcribed by Chris Fedor of Sports Radio Interviews , enigmatic Lakers forward Metta World Peace said he would have loved to take part in the LBJ/KD workouts, “but they’re Nike guys and Nike guys like to stick together.” (The former Ron Artest is a BALL’N guy , which I’m sure is the only reason why they didn’t invite him along.) But while World Peace does think players can learn something from one another in training, he doesn’t see anything that James or Durant gleaned from their workouts helping them much, because “the way the Lakers look initially, I can’t see nobody getting past us at all, so I don’t think they’re going to have a chance to see each other in the championship.”
Pretty confident, Metta. But are you “make reckless claims about historic dominance” confident?
What he thinks about the team possibly not having Dwight Howard at the start of Training Camp:
“We definitely want to beat the Bulls record and go 73-9, that’s definitely something that I want to do. Whoever is out there at the beginning of the season then we gotta get it. It’s as simple as that. We just have to go get it. (Host: So that Bulls record is something you’re thinking about?) No question. You try to snatch records before you leave this earth. You gotta try to do a lot of great things so it’s definitely a goal. With Dwight Howard, [Steve] Nash, Kobe [Bryant], myself, Pau [Gasol] and then [Antawn] Jamison and a lot of great additions, it’s something that’s possible.”
NBA training camps have not opened yet, but Lakers forward Metta World Peace has already established a rather outlandish goal for his team.
But that didn’t stop the Queens native from buying a Nets jacket.
World Peace explained his decision in a series of Tweets (@MettaWorldPeace):
I just had to buy the Brooklyn Nets jacket.. All black Too dope!!!!! I’m a knick fan but I had to get the Brooklyn joint!!
The Brooklyn gear is sick…. I’m from queens , it’s mets, Knicks , jets, and rangers for me.. But I can’t wear those to a club.