Always a fan favorite and one of the zaniest figures in the league, Metta World Peace’s release from the Lakers this summer was very bittersweet. No one will forget his game-winning buzzer beater against the Suns in the playoffs. His huge three pointer in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals will go down as one of the biggest shots in Lakers history.
On Monday, MWP stopped by ESPN LA and spent two hours in studio, answering a variety of questions on the “Max and Marcellus Show.” In typical Metta fashion, he held nothing back and answered questions as honestly as fans would hope. For a more complete rundown, take a look on ESPNLA.com’s post from Dave McMenamin. We’ll give you a briefer rundown…
With Phil Jackson recently joining the Knicks front office, few are more qualified to speak on the matter than MWP, who spent time with both teams within the last year.
“I’m sure he wanted to finish as a Laker. He’s been a champion with the Bulls and with the Lakers and then everybody forgot about his Bulls days, and I think he’s going to make everybody forget about his Lakers days.”
It’s also much-publicized that MWP approached former teammate Kobe Bryant and the Lakers with a desire to play for them after being knocked out by the Lakers as a member of the Rockets in 2009. MWP would get his long sought after ring, but he knows he has Bryant to thank in large part for it.
“I owe a lot of my career to Kobe. I got that ring.”
Even more has been made about the Lakers dysfunctional season. One of the lowlights of the year came in Memphis, where the Lakers were embarrassed. Following the game came the now infamous meeting in the locker room after, where much has been rumored. MWP gave his take on the meeting.
“Kobe was furious and he just wanted things to change, and him and Dwight [Howard] at the time wasn’t clicking. I think Dwight would take it too personal because Kobe is like very direct and Kobe gives you, like, a chance to show who you are. Not necessarily produce, but just to show who you are. Kobe wants to see you out there on the court, and he wants to see you like an attack dog. A smart attack dog. Show that you have heart. Show you care. He wants to see it right away.”
The scape goat for much of what happened last season has fallen on the (huge) shoulders of Dwight Howard. After leaving this summer, Howard was effectively thrown under the bus by the Lakers fans and even some players and management. MWP also had some criticism of the big man, namely on the offensive end.
“That’s where I had an issue with Dwight sometimes because he’s strong and he can rebound, he can block shots, he can dunk. But his moves are not polished yet. So to want the ball every time … we’re going to give it to you, because the franchise called for that, but he isn’t going to score.”
Given how massively the Lakers failed last year, you can bet this won’t be the last time we hear about this season. For now, it’ll be the storyline that dominates the Lakers franchise for the seasons to come.