Lakers News: Metta World Peace Asked For Trade Prior To Winning 2010 Championship
Metta World Peace, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers won the 2010 NBA championship on the backs of their two stars in Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, but it could not have been done without the role player contributions of Metta World Peace, Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum, among others.

World Peace, who joined the Lakers after their first championship in 2009, added defensive edge to a team that needed a little extra on the perimeter.

Nearly 15 years after that championship, it’s impossible to imagine that season without World Peace on the Lakers. He immediately ingratiated himself to the fanbase and became a Lakers staple even in the years after he left the team and eventually retired. He spent a season as a development coach for the South Bay Lakers as well.

But all of that could have never happened if Dr. Jerry Buss had honored a trade request made by World Peace early in the 2009-10 championship season, he revealed on the LADE Show with Lamar Odom:

“The easy thing was Lamar was there. I asked for a trade. I remember I asked for a trade early in the season because I just couldn’t mentally deal with it. But then I spoke to Dr. Buss. He’s an incredible human. RIP Dr. Buss. He was like ‘You came here to win’ and I’m like ‘That’s true.’ I wanted to just master my position. It took me a while to get used to that. I wanted to do the best I can in my role. I remember in the Finals, I was ready. One game, I only got two shots. I remember being in Boston, I got two shots. It was cool. At that point, I was finally OK with it. But it took me a long time.”

The Lakers may not have been able to win that season without World Peace. He was instrumental for the team during the Western Conference Finals and hit some of the biggest shots, including a buzzer beater against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals and a game-clinching three in Game 7 against the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Learning to accept a role is perhaps one of the hardest challenges for NBA players, and the best role players are those who can quickly accept it. That’s exactly what World Peace did in 2010 to the ultimate result.

Lakers trying to prove they belong in tough Western Conference

Fast forwarding to 2024, and the Lakers are in a battle for positioning in a deep and challenging Western Conference. Lakers forward Taurean Prince spoke about this and what big wins mean for them as a team.

“That’s what it’s about,” Prince said. “I think, shoot, for the past five-six years, the West has been, I think the best conference. Just trying to continue to prove that we belong at the top where we want to be. And it starts with one game at a time. So we’re just trying to accumulate them.”

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