The Los Angeles Lakers chose to officially waive forward Metta World Peace via the amnesty clause on Thursday after reports of the team leaning toward parting ways with the one-time NBA champion using the provision.
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World Peace signed with the team after the Lakers had beaten the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals back in 2009 and helped lead the team back to the Finals the following year. World Peace played a pivotal role in the team’s repeat campaign was an incredible performance in Game 7 of the Finals against the Boston Celtics in 2010.
Although World Peace exercised the player option of his contract with the team for $7.7 million, the Lakers’ front office decided to part ways with the luxury tax hit being far beyond what the team was willing to pay for the veteran’s services.
Here’s the press release from the Lakers:
EL SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles Lakers have waived forward Metta World Peace and have designated him as the team’s amnesty player as allowed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, it was announced by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
“It’s tough to say goodbye to a player such as Metta, who has been a significant part of our team the past four seasons. For anyone who’s had the opportunity to get to know him, it’s impossible not to love him,” said Kupchak. “He has made many contributions to this organization, both in his community work as well as in our games; perhaps no more so than in his clutch play in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals in helping to lead us over the Celtics in one of the greatest playoff wins in Lakers history. We thank Metta for all his contributions and wish him the best of luck in the future.”
A 14-year NBA veteran, World Peace averaged 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 75 games last season. Prior to joining the Lakers in 2009, he played with the Rockets, Kings, Pacers and Bulls, averaging 14.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals over the course of his career.
World Peace, then known as Ron Artest, was named to the 1999-00 All-Rookie Second Team. He was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, and also was named to the NBA All-Star Team that season, as well as to the All-NBA Third Team. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in both 2004 and 2006, and to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2003 and 2009. For his off the court accomplishments, he was voted the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award winner in 2011.