Coming off a season in which they dispatched of the Orlando Magic in five games in the 2009 NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers faced notable personnel decisions. Most notably with Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom.
Ariza emerged as a key contributor for the Lakers during their run to a championship, and Odom was their do-it-all sixth man. While he was ultimately re-signed, Ariza’s spot with the Lakers quickly went to Ron Artest after negotiations stalled.
Artest left the Houston Rockets for a five-year contract with Los Angeles in what essentially turned into a trade. Ariza went on to agree to a five-year deal with the Rockets.
The Lakers quickly pivoted to Artest in part because of his size that would better match up with Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics in a potential NBA Finals. Sure enough, they teams played for the Larry O’Brien trophy that season.
While Artest was noted for his defensive prowess, he also knocked down one of the most memorable 3-pointers in franchise history. Despite all but icing Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals, now Metta World Peace ranked the moment only the second favorite of his career:
My second favorite moment of my career. What was my first fave moment? pic.twitter.com/K0xmE7kcVg
— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) September 4, 2018
On top of knocking down the clutch 3-pointer, World Peace added to the highlight in his postgame interview by expressing amazement that Kobe Bryant passed him the ball.
On the surface, it’s difficult to fathom what might be a better career highlight. One might be the put-back layup at the buzzer against the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of the 2010 Western Conference Finals. The Lakers closed the series out in Game 6.
However, it’s plausible World Peace could remember a specific moment that he’ll forever remember because of personal significance. Even if it doesn’t resonate with the general public his like heroics with the Lakers do.