Lakers News: Metta World Peace Did Not Recognize Significance Of Celtics Rivalry Until 2010 Finals
Metta World Peace, Lakers

The NBA is built on rivalries with none being better than the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. These two teams have shared plenty of iconic NBA Finals matchups throughout history with their last meeting being back in 2010, one that holds sentiment to Lakers forward Metta World Peace.

That series featured the biggest shot of World Peace’s career in Game 7, sealing a championship for the purple and gold. It was a gutsy game with a lot of intensity as both teams were battling it out under the bright lights of L.A.

Now over a decade removed, World Peace admitted that he did not recognize the significance of this rivalry until after he won his first title, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

“I didn’t even realize how big that series was. I was just more thinking about my first title,” Coach Metta told ESPN. “I didn’t even realize how big the rivalry was, honestly. Not until we won. And then everybody kept being like, ‘Oh wow! The big shot! The big shot!’ Even to this day — 14 years later, it’s like, this is getting annoying.”

Coach Metta, was joking of course. He’s glad to be reminded of his place in the rivalry.

“That’s why I think that I’m kind of etched in history here [in Los Angeles],” he said. “Because it was against the Celtics.”

Many players are not able to comprehend this rivalry until they are in it so this is not uncommon. But there have been a lot of historic games from different Finals matchups and luckily, World Peace cemented his legacy with that shot in 2010.

Specifically for the Lakers, there are so many icons that dawned the purple and gold, which makes it hard to determine who is truly a legend with a retired jersey. While World Peace may not earn that right, he will never be forgotten due to what he provided on the biggest stage.

Metta World Peace explains name change from Ron Artest

An interesting wrinkle to Metta World Peace’s NBA career is the name changes that carried different meanings for him. Formerly known as Ron Artest, he changed his name to Metta World Peace, The Panda’s Friend in 2014 and Metta Saniford-Artest in 2020.

He had to battle with different perceptions essentially throughout his entire career as he played with intensity and edge. So when World Peace changed his name back in 2011, he offered a detailed explanation as to why he decided to ultimately make that change.

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