The Los Angeles Lakers have shifted into their new era of basketball, officially separated from all the players that were central figures during their championship runs in the early portion of the decade. The last player to remain from the championship team was Metta World Peace, not including current head coach Luke Walton.
World Peace was always a larger-than-life personality on and off the court, turning into a mentor for this young team at the end of his career. He spent his last season with the organization during the 2016-17 campaign, imparting wisdom and occasionally showing off what he has left in the tank. After his career came to an end, World Peace found himself at an impasse, not knowing if he should move on or remain with the game that changed his life.
After some conversations with Walton and the organization, he was hired as a player development coach for the South Bay Lakers, the G-League affiliate of Los Angeles, but the itch to play is still there.
The New York native took to Twitter, saying what he believes he could average if he were still playing, even at 38 years old:
I could average about 15 in the @nba today
— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) November 18, 2017
While an obvious reach, World Peace is more pointing towards how the NBA is shifting away from collective team defense. Although the NBA welcomes higher scoring totals and highlight plays, it can bother the purists of the game, that appreciate success on both ends of the court.
For reference, World Peace had seven seasons during his 17-year career where he averaged at least 15 points a game. He finished with career averages of 13.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 2.7 assists, with a path that not many could overcome.
Many will remember him for the brawl against the Detroit Pistons, a fight that shook the entire way the NBA operated. However, World Peace was able to overcome all those obstacles and turn around his career into a productive player, and an NBA champion.
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