Metta World Peace is the type that needs constant stimulation to keep his interests afloat. When he first came to Los Angeles you could see how seriously he took to his role of team enforcer. In his early Laker days the then Ron Artest was a defensive dynamo harassing opponents into careless mistakes.
Eventually that energy disappeared into the vast void of the triangle offense as Laker fans saw little from Ron Ron until it mattered most in the playoffs.
Perhaps it was championship hangover but Ron’s second year was a complete wash. He contributed little on offense, was largely a non-factor on defense and in the end his general indifference summed of the season for the Lakers.
When Mike Brown moved Metta to the bench it looked as if we were seeing the end of days for World Peace. His quirky name changed appeared to be a final plea for attention in the hoops universe. Metta’s decline in production was reaching Kwame Brown standards. We were truly looking at the end of an era.
Then, last night against the Clippers, something clicked.
The feistiness of Ron Artest finally appeared in the World Peace package. He did his best Dennis Rodman routine of getting under the skin of every Clipper he came into contact with while playing with an energy level not seen in two years.
Today, Metta told the L.A. Times that his decline was a result of boredom. That’s right. Apparently things were just coming far too easy for Artest.
”I got bored with defense because it was so easy for me to stop people over the years. I just got bored with it.”
As frustrating as it is to watch the roller coaster that is Metta World Peace, you’ve got to give it to the guy for is too-a-fault honesty. He owned up to showing up to camp out of shape and now he’s owning his indifference on the court.
Now that does not make it acceptable. However with more efforts like what saw in his 38 minutes last night there is no doubt Metta’s value will increase in the Lakers hunt for another title.
To be sure one game doesn’t change everything. There is still plenty of ball left to learn the real nature of World Peace. Fact of the matter is we might just have seen World Peace fall in love with hoops and rekindle his interest all over again.