For the record I think Mike Brown has made the best possible use of Metta World Peace. If being sent to the bench doesn’t motivate Metta then nothing will. That being said it is very much an all-or-nothing gamble.
For a brief moment there it was looking like World Peace could become a legit leader of the second unit. Then Metta went Metta and looked has looked as lost in Mike Brown’s offense as he did in the triangle.
Maybe just an indication of tired legs, on Friday night World Peace saw just 9 minutes of PT in the victory over the Warriors. Not at all coincidentally, Matt Barnes also asserted himself as the best option to start at small forward in that game.
If Metta’s reduced minutes become a trend then his role on the team will be reduced to mascot. There really isn’t much else he’s bringing to the table.
At one point in time you could argue that all the Lakers needed from a then Ron Artest was defense. Hitting the occasional open jumper would have been nice too. Lately neither of those can be relied upon and now he’s just struggling to contribute in any way.
With a contract nobody will take on in a trade and dwindling production, the Lakers could be stuck with World Peace for the foreseeable future.
While Brown’s decision to give Metta a new role was the right move what remains to be seen is what the next step could be. With Barnes starting and Devin Ebanks getting some occasional minutes it will be on Metta to define his own role going forward. If World Peace becomes more involved his minutes will increase. If he continues his inconsistent ways then he could find himself buried beneath Ebanks in the rotation.
Either way Metta is at the crossroads. He’s already got one foot on that every so slippery slope of being a mockery of himself. These days he’s known much more for his off-court antics than his actual game. That is a recipe that could create absolute hoops obscurity which ends in either an Antoine Walker-esque stint in the D-league or a permanent place in obscure basketball lore. No matter the case the Lakers won’t benefit at all.