When it comes to Los Angeles Lakers’ veteran Metta World Peace, you never know what you are going to get. Often times this season, you can see the seriousness and ferocity he brings, attempting to coach and mature the young core of the roster. Other times, you hear him talking about how ghosts at a hotel touched him inappropriately.
World Peace has embodied the vision head coach Luke Walton had for him this season. When needed, he can still bring that aggressiveness and defensive prowess in short spurts, however, he has also taken a mentorship role alongside the young core.
The 17-year player is easily the eldest player on the roster, even a year older than Walton himself. He has transcended many different eras of basketball, playing with legends of the game that have drifted into retirement.
World Peace recently participated in an interview with Complex, where he was asked about Tracy McGrady, a generational great who has ravaged by injuries. When asked to compare him to Kobe Bryant, World Peace stated that McGrady was in the same class as Bryant and Michael Jordan:
Yeah, I think with Tracy he got hurt. He didn’t lift a lot of weights. The only difference I think with Kobe was Kobe lifted more than Tracy. So I think Kobe lifting more helped his career as far as staying strong. Kobe did 20 years. So I think that was a major difference. But as far as talent—Tracy had it all. He was a big-time player. He probably would’ve averaged the same amount of points nowadays as he did back then. He was good. Very, very talented. Definitely was on the level of Kobe and Jordan at one point in time.
The New York native has never been shy in stating his honest opinion, even when it isn’t a popular one. During the prime of his career, McGrady was virtually unstoppable on the offensive end of the floor. When World Peace compares him to the likes of Bryant and Jordan, you understand where is coming from. McGrady led the NBA in scoring twice, while becoming a seven-time All-Star.
Injuries unfortunately halted McGrady’s career from his full potential, as his legs weren’t able to keep up with the continual rigors of the NBA.
Bryant’s attention to detail regarding his body is a specific reason why he was well respected around the league, as he and Jordan always attempted to dominate any aspect that could lead to further success.
McGrady’s career involved different stops with a number of teams including the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors, who the Lakers faced on Friday. Only a handful of players remain who played against or teamed up with McGrady, as they can attest to the dominant outlook he had with the ball in his hands.