Free agent forward Metta World Peace appeared on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday to talk about a variety of topics, from who the Lakers should select in the upcoming draft to what his plans are for next season.
It was something of a surprise when World Peace, then 35, made the Lakers’ regular season roster last fall. He had been out of the NBA during the 2014-2015 season, playing in China instead. After spending part of the summer working out with de-facto rookie Julius Randle, World Peacr played his way onto Los Angeles’ preseason squad and then beat out the likes of Robert Upshaw and Jabari Brown for a spot on the roster.
While World Peace only appeared in 35 games last season he was often seen mentoring the young Lakers from the bench. Now, with questions regarding retirement looming, World Peace says he would like to play again next season via DanPatrick.com:
Metta World Peace: I think I’m gonna try to come back.
Dan Patrick: With the Lakers?
Metta World Peace: Preferably.
World Peace certainly did a commendable job helping the young Lakers find their way as professionals, but it remains to be seen whether the team will be interested in bringing him back. His play on the court was mostly underwhelming, and the benefits that he brought to the team could be had without using a roster spot by bringing Metta on board as a special assistant.
It isn’t implausible to think that World Peace might consider such a role, as he told Dan Patrick of his desire to coach once his playing days are over:
Coaching is something I want to do someday; I want to be a head coach.
It’s a bit ironic that World Peace, known for his role in the catastrophic “Malice At The Palace” melee, is now a respected veteran in the league who young players look up to. It just goes to show that, with time and dedication, public perception can change.
Whether or not he returns to the Lakers next season, Metta World Peace holds a special place in Lakers history for his crucial role in the 2009-2010 championship, and he will surely put everything he has into making the Lakers roster next season if that is what he truly wants.