It was only a matter of time until this headline appeared. According to longtime L.A. sports insider Joe McDonnell Metta World Peace is at odds with Mike Brown and there are unnamed players saying they see a Metta meltdown in the near future.
McDonnell’s report on FoxSportsWest.com cites some unnamed sources claiming World Peace has been complaining about his playing time, some even going as far as saying the team will be better off once Metta is gone.
Recently World Peace allowed some of his frustration to show by referring to Coach Brown’s background being a big reason why Metta isn’t seeing as much PT lately. World Peace cited Brown’s background as a “video coordinator” being the reason why he bases his coaching decisions on statistics.
Now Metta might be too close to the forest to see the trees but his stats reflect how much his game has fallen off.
After last season’s complete collapse in production, World Peace has sunk to a new low in most every statistical category. When the Lakers acquired a then Ron Artest it was accepted that his offensive contributions were limited to sinking open jumpers and occasionally posting up. Defense was supposed to be the best asset he was bringing to the tale. That too has disappeared.
McDonnell’s piece references a stat that measures defensive performance in which Metta is ranked 192nd in the NBA.
Stats aside, all you’ve got to do is look at how lost World Peace is on the court to know he’s not contributing at all.
The previous excuse was that he was struggling with the triangle offense. That is clearly no longer the case. When the season began World Peace was tabbed by Coach Brown to be the leader of the second unit. That too has gone by the wayside as Metta was reinserted into the starting five. But that hasn’t helped his production in any way.
With Metta the gamble always related to how focused he would be in Los Angeles and just how willing he was to accept a diminished role. Winning a ring with some clutch moments on the title quest made Metta much more tolerable to his reduced usage. But this is a much different animal we’re talking about now. Forget diminished, World Peace is now marginalized on a struggling team.
Without any further confirmation on the secret war being waged between Metta and Brown we’ll just have to wait and see if there are any further instances that might spark this controversy. However McDonnell has long been a reliable source on the Los Angeles sports scene so there is no reason to think there isn’t a massive about of fact in his report. Changes are definitely needed in Los Angeles in order for this team to have any shot at title contention. Eventually the Lakers were going to get to the crossroads with World Peace. Looks like that time is finally here.