Ron Artest got a bad rap last season. Granted, some of that was well deserved – you aren’t going to miss a breakaway dunk getting blocked by the rim in the playoffs and not hear about it in Los Angeles.
This season, though, Artest has begun a new chapter in his career, one with a different name but with very familiar characters.
Becoming Metta World Peace during the offseason,
Artest World Peace will be reunited with new Lakers Head Coach Mike Brown, who coached World Peace (then Artest) as an assistant for three years with the Indiana Pacers. World Peace, acknowledging his past history of anger and control issues, talked at Lakers media day about his chances to play under Mike Brown again:
I played for Mike when I was in Indiana so I get a chance kinda to redeem myself from those immature years I had over there.”
Keeping busy during the lockout with a comedy tour, an ill-fated appearance on Dancing With The Stars, film and television appearances, and most recently a live stage performance with the popular children’s program Yo Gabba Gabba, World Peace has fortunately found time throughout his busy schedule to keep in shape:
I feel pretty good…I worked out the whole summer and I took off three weeks before training camp you know so I feel pretty good.”
With Laker fans clamoring for World Peace’s departure, whether by trade or amnesty clause, World Peace hasn’t played his best as a Laker, recording career lows in nearly every significant statistical category and with two of last season’s lingering memories being his missed dunk along with a clothesline of now-Timberwolves point guard J.J. Barea.
Despite his past misgivings, with this shortened season shaking out to be one of the most fascinating in recent memory, all we ask Laker fans is to, for the moment, give World Peace a chance.