Statistics will tell you that Metta World Peace is nearing the end of his career. Last season, he averaged 8.5 points per game — more than two less than any other year of his career. He also posted career lows in rebounds (3.2) and played less than 30 minutes a game for the first time since the 2001-2002 season. Now, the artist formerly known as Artest is dealing with a coach that frustrates him and a team that may be tired of his antics.
“He’s always talking about how he should be playing no matter how bad he’s shooting, but he can’t figure out that when he takes bad shots and misses eight in a row it puts us in a hole,” one anonymous Laker told FoxSportsWest.com.
“There are a lot of guys in here who’d just like to see him gone,” added another player. “I think we’d definitely be a better team if everyone didn’t have to walk on eggshells when he’s around.”
A third anonymous player said that the team is “just waiting for him to go off.” Not go off as in go on a scoring binge — go off as in go off the deep end. Not surprisingly, the report also says that Brown would be open to trading World Peace because he has played so poorly. I’m sure it hasn’t helped matters that he continues to question Brown’s coaching style and refer to him as a “stats guy.”
World Peace is shooting just over 50 percent from the free throw line and 19 percent from beyond the arc. He is clearly either too old or too distracted to contribute to the Lakers at this point. If they hope to make another run in the postseason this year with their aging superstars and questionable bench, L.A. will have to shed some baggage before things get out of hand. From the sound of it, peace could be achieved by getting rid of Peace.
H/T I Am a GM