With three NBA preseason games in the books for the Los Angeles Lakers, all signs appear to be pointing to Metta World Peace locking up a roster spot. World Peace hasn’t completely turned back the clock to 2010, but he’s shown he can be valuable for head coach Byron Scott both on and off the basketball floor during the upcoming regular season.
Along with making headlines for jumping into the crowd for a loose ball and his mentoring efforts seemingly paying off for Julius Randle, World Peace also recently talked about the state of the NBA regarding toughness.
The veteran forward believes the NBA has gotten incredibly soft in recent years with things only getting worse in the category, via Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:
“It’s no longer a man’s game,” he said. “It’s a baby’s game. There’s softies everywhere. Everybody’s soft. Nobody’s hard no more. So, you just deal with it, you adjust and that’s it.”
World Peace isn’t the only seasoned veteran to share the same sentiment about today’s NBA. Kobe Bryant famously called out his former teammate Dwight Howard for being “soft” during a game last year as a part of heated confrontation first game against one another since the ugly divorce in Los Angeles.
Former Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce also called out the majority of his old teammates from the Brooklyn Nets for being “a soft team” during his time there. Although Pierce isn’t a player Lakers fans would associate with toughness, hence the wheelchair incident in the 2008 NBA Finals, but he’s a part of a different generation with a drastically different mindset.
Few players in the NBA these days are considered physically and mentally tough on the basketball floor. Once players from Kobe and Metta’s generation walk away from the game, the league will never be the same.