Four years ago, Metta World peace formerly Ron Artest was playing Wii boxing along the Toyota center in Houston. He was throwing virtual hooks, left and right until he knocked his opponent out. A fan shouted “Hit him like Kobe” and Artest responded “Someone said Kobe?” and he was laughing as he threw wild punches in the air (Sports illustrated April 2009). The irony of it all…
Now with injuries from Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, Kobe needs Metta more than ever. Five straight losses and a season on the brink of a major collapse, the Lakers need to bounce back before it’s too late.
Way back when the Houston Rockets were struggling with all the injuries from Tracy Mcgrady and Yao Ming, it was World Peace that inspired his teammates and went past the first round in the 2008-2009 playoffs. He was shooting threes, posting and doubling up in defense and doing basically everything. This was a role made up out of urgency. And somehow, somewhere Metta had to pull up, deep down, inside him to get back to the way he was four years ago.
With all his troubled past in and out off the court, from changing names and jersey numbers, Kobe Bryant wants the old Ron Artest back. For the last two games against the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, Metta responded by scoring back to back twenty plus points (24 and 23 respectively). The Lakers badly need a win, and Metta knows he would focus on one thing… consistency. That word has been missing on the Lakers for quite some time. Getting the league’s best center in Dwight Howard and a talented point guard in Steve Nash tells us something… It takes time to make a perfect team, and it take a lot of sacrifice to win a championship. Unless everybody embraces their role, the Lakers are walking in a headless body.
Kobe wants Metta to be the person to inspire them, to make them believe that their championship hope is far from over. Dwight, Nash and everybody should acknowledge that they have still a puncher’s chance.
Kobe doesn’t care if Metta is throwing hooks or uppercuts in the air… he really doesn’t mind. He just wanted Metta to help the Lakers. It’s not about his offense or his vaunted defense; Kobe knows that from Dwight all the way to Darrius Morris…
Metta World Peace will always go down swinging.