Lakers players reportedly want Metta World Peace gone

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

Mike Brown to Metta World Peace: If I was a stats guy you wouldn’t be playing at all

For guys like Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace who were accustomed to playing for Phil Jackson, a transition period was inevitable when Mike Brown took over the Lakers. No two coaches have an identical style, so any coaching change is bound to take some getting used to. The Lakers have struggled a bit lately, and World Peace seems to think that has a lot to do with Brown’s substitution patterns. Earlier in the week he said Brown focuses too much on statistics and that it was hurting the team. Brown fired back on Tuesday.

“I said, ‘If I was a stats guy, Metta, you wouldn’t be playing at all,” Brown said according to the L.A. Times. “Look at your stats offensively. And then Synergy (Sports Technology) says you’re the 192nd-best defensive player in the league,'” Brown said. “If I was a stats guy, the guy that should be playing at the small-forward spot is Devin Ebanks because he’s shooting better than you and Matt.”

Touche. World Peace was right earlier in the week when he said you can’t measure how many times a team gets away from their best player because he’s covering them. Brown, however, is right about World Peace’s stats being horrible so far this season. He is averaging only 4.9 points and 2.6 rebounds despite playing more than 22 minutes a game. Brown said any inconsistency in his substitution patterns is a result of learning a new system.

“I don’t think it’s any different if you look at a lot of other teams,” he said. “I think a lot of guys, especially teams with new coaches that are putting new systems in, they’ve got to get a feel for what their team can do and what their players can do. God bless anybody that can walk into any situation and after two games figure out what rotation he wants to have and keep it that way for the rest of the year.”

Both Brown and World Peace have some valid points, but the best thing they could do for the team is hash out all the details behind closed doors. Sharing everything with the media can only create headaches.

Metta World Peace questions Mike Brown’s coaching decisions

Metta World Peace is quite the loquacious one lately. A day after delivering some hilarious comments about Jeremy Lin, World Peace came out with some strong words for Lakers coach Mike Brown. Metta is particularly upset about being benched late in games when he feels he shouldn’t be.

“I’m trying to win,” World Peace told CBS Sports’ Ken Berger. “And right now, coach is a stats guy. His background is video coordinator or whatever. So he’s all stats. But Ron Artest is all feel. He doesn’t understand that. Having me in the game at the end, he was worried about me shooting bad from the free throw line. And I was like, ‘I could care less because I’m gonna get a stop at the end of the game.’ He didn’t understand the rhythm that we had — me, Fish [Derek Fisher], Kobe [Bryant], Pau [Gasol] and Drew [Andrew Bynum]. I’ve been through games where I would have two points, go 1 for 9 and we’d win. That’s what matters. Stats are for people who need stats.”

Metta, or Ron Artest as he called himself, says the team won in Boston with him on the floor but lost to Utah and and Philly when he was on the bench late. He thinks that should overshadow his atrocious shooting on the season (he’s making just 16% of his threes), explaining that what he does well doesn’t show up in the box score.

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Metta World Peace thinks Jeremy Lin needs new haircut and some leather pants

Metta World Peace may be down with Linsanity, but he still believes the Knicks point guard needs a new look. Speaking with CBS’ Ken Berger before the Lakers-Knicks game Friday night, Metta dished on all things Jeremy Lin. The best part was his thoughts on Lin’s style.

“We think he needs a better haircut,” Metta said, speaking on behalf of his teammates. “I don’t like that style. You’re in New York, the fashion capital. Change your haircut, OK? You’re a star now. Wear some shades. Shades, OK? Put down the nerdy Harvard book glasses. Put on some black shades, OK? With some leather pants. Change your style. Fashion.”

If you thought that was something, Metta was just getting going.

“He’s the type of guy who should wear leather pants, some nice shoes and change his fashion,” he continued. “You’re Jeremy Lin, for godsakes. You know what I’m saying? You know? Put down that law book, stop reading the New York Times and start reading the Daily News. Newsday, that’s the one. I like that one because there’s always color in that one. What else? Wall Street Journal. Get some swag. You’re in New York City. Put your hat to the back, too. Put your hat on backwards. Come to practice with your pants sagging and just tell them, ‘I don’t feel like practicing.’ Practice? You know? Practice? And wear an Iverson jersey. You know? Come to practice with a cigar. Lit. ‘I’m Jeremy Lin.’ You know? He should change. We’re all excited to play tonight. It’s like the first time for everybody. Everybody’s excited. Kobe’s excited. He wants to get 50. He wants to welcome Jeremy Lin to his new level.”

Metta World Peace, y’all. From living on his brother’s couch to sagging his pants, that would be quite the turnaround. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Metta World Peace Still Signing Autographs as Ron Artest

When we posted our story last week about Metta World Peace saying he got bored on defense because he was too good, we took a lot of crap for calling him by his former name, Ron Artest. Turns out our decision wasn’t too disrespectful — Metta isn’t even at the point where he’s signing autographs by his new name.

Metta’s personal assistant arrived at the team’s practice facility recently to pick up autographed basketballs but realized they said “Ron Artest” on them. Metta explained that his new signature isn’t ready yet.

“I don’t like the signature yet,” World Peace later explained. “It’s not how I want it yet. I’m trying to figure out how to sign it.”

My vote goes for a fancy M and the peace sign. That’s fast, simple, and sweet. How can Ron Ron complain about that?

Ron Artest Says Defense Slipped Because He Was Bored from Being too Good

Ron Artest has been known as one of the better defensive players in the NBA throughout most of his career. Teams bring in Artest — oops, Metta World Peace — to prevent points, not score them. World Peace almost always draws the assignment of defending an opponent’s best offensive player, but this year his defense has slipped a bit. Some say it’s simply age taking its course, but World Peace has a more interesting theory.

“The defense, I got to bring it back,” World Peace said Thursday according to ESPNLosAngeles.com. “I got bored with defense because it was so easy for me to stop people over the years. I got real bored with it. When you’re playing against guys and you’re stopping guys every single time, what else are you going to do (but get bored)? It caught up to me, but this year I’m doing better. This year I’m almost back to where I want to be.”

Hate when that happens.  You would think the Lakers’ mediocre 11-8 record would keep him somewhat interested, and perhaps it has.  World Peace played well defensively during a 96-91 victory over the Clippers Wednesday night.  As far as getting bored is concerned, World Peace’s teammates aren’t upset with him.  In fact, Kobe Bryant can relate.

“That’s happened to me before as well,” Bryant said. “That’s human nature sometimes. You have to have (and) you have to find challenges that kind of get you going and keep your energy. ”

World Peace said that some of the Clippers were talking trash during Wednesday’s game, which woke him up.  The bottom line is the Lakers aren’t exactly breezing through the Western Conference.  If they want to make another run in the postseason this year, they’ll have to do their best to limit the boredom.  Maybe giving World Peace a Red Bull or something before the game would help.

Metta World Peace Loves ‘Peace Corps’ Nickname for Lakers Bench

It takes a lot to impress the clinically insane. With a guy like Metta World Peace, you need to come up with something really unique to impress him — let alone get him to pay attention. The fan site Lakers Nation recently came up with a nickname for World Peace and the rest of the Lakers’ bench players: the Peace Corps. Although it is not the nickname World Peace himself would have given the unit since they have played poorly, he loves anything that has to do with peace. Check out this video that the LA Times passed along:

The real miracle here is that a group of reporters got World Peace to respond to a question without thanking Jesus for making him lose his teeth at a certain age.  When Artest decided to change his name, it was understood that he had gone completely off the deep end.  However, it’s nice to see he can still answer a question — even if he follows it up by talking about how much he misses Circuit City.