World Peace Will Start in Return

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The Lakers will welcome Metta World Peace back Saturday night in various ways. Coach Mike Brown confirmed before practice Friday at the practice facility that World Peace would start at small forward, a predictable move that sends Devin Ebanks to the bench. Kobe Bryant, meanwhile, may hug World Peace.

The Lakers may have missed the versatile defensive presence as he served a seven-game suspension for an elbow to the head of Oklahoma City’s James Harden, but that’s nothing compared to how much Bryant missed the former Ron Artest, period. That was never more evident than Thursday in Denver, where the Nuggets again jumped L.A.’s lack of focus and energy to score an easy victory and tie the first-round series 3-3, an outcome that prompted Brown and Bryant to call out Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in particular for a poor effort.

“I expect him to come out and play with the tenacity that he’s known for,” Bryant said of World Peace in the deciding Game 7 at Staples Center. “He’s the one guy that I can rely on night in and night out to compete, to play hard, to play with that sense of urgency and play with no fear. I’m looking forward to having that by my side again.”

He’s the one guy I can rely on night in and night out to compete….

Blasting at least two teammates while praising another. Precision shooting.

Friday, as he prepared to play for the first time since April 22, World Peace said little about serving the suspension, about watching teammates unable to sustain intensity, even about the praise from Bryant. Maybe he wanted a low profile to have all the focus in Game 7. Maybe he was told to say little. Just as likely, it was simply that kind of moment for a man of many moods.

On his thoughts as he returns from the discipline: “I don’t have any thoughts on that.”

On whether he needs to come back with extra focus since the return is in a Game 7: “No. I’ve been motivated from Day 1. There’s no extra motivation needed. I’m already at the limit.”

On Bryant’s comment: “That’s what he said. I don’t have no comment on that.”

On what the last seven games have been like, the first six games of the circuitous series with the Nuggets plus the regular-season finale: “I can’t remember. It’s the past. It went by. It’s over.”

On whether he will be under extra scrutiny by referees and the league: “That’s not my concern. Not at all.”

It will be one of the Lakers’ concerns, of course. They are obviously aware of the unique moment, as if facing elimination at home after blowing a 2-0 lead isn’t enough. They are also aware that one of World Peace’s clutch moments with L.A. was Game 7 against the Celtics in the 2010 Finals.

51 Comments

  1. roseller says:

    im a lakers forever…definitely laker will gonna trash the okc.welcome back MWP your the real MVP.
    p.s. give some playing time for troy murphy the is great and confident.

  2. Cones says:

    lol lakers fans acting like MWP wins this series for them. Truth is the lakers will win after Kobe lives at the free throw line tonight.

  3. Ken says:

    Welcome back WMP.. go Lakers we still believe we can win it all!!

  4. LeBlanc says:

    “Mr. World Peace, what have the last 7 games been like?”
    “I can’t remember ……it’s over.”
    I can’t remember?
    Sure the media would love to stir up some controversy, but “I can’t remember”??? Thank you for being so insightful, as always. I know you aren’t paid to answer simple questions and are free to act as you wish, but a somehow developing personality isn’t asking too much, is it?

    • uoykcuf says:

      Well, I have no love for the lakers and their fan boys but I don’t think that was such a bad answer. The question obviously has a potential to stir something up(since it’s MWP) and his answer didn’t lead to anything. Bascially for me it’s a good answer.

  5. EDUARDO says:

    gallinari you are on trouble

  6. The Judge says:

    You don’t understand basketball if you don’t know the impact of MWP in the team. Kobe needs to make those early shots so they don’t play catchup. If he is not making them, oh please give the big guys a chance. The Lakers right now is made up of 4 core players and the others are bit players.

  7. ty lawson says:

    “That should be against the law…son!”

    that is what the announcer said when ty lawson dunked on bynum two years back or so. I think it was a regular season game.

    The biggest question is who will guard ty and how will the lakers contain the speed of denver

    The answer: get a smaller line up

    PG:Sessions
    SG:Kobe
    SF:Artest
    PF:Hill
    C:Pau

    Off the bench
    Bynum, Blake,

    ps: do not bench kobe & Bynum at the same time!!!

    • Abe says:

      That’s a really good idea let Bynum come out second shift he’s to slow back on defense to be in the first shift!!!!!

  8. Lakers4Seven says:

    As long he decide not doing anything stupid again, Lakers are good to win tonight.
    Ron will give the Lakers that spark that its been missing for the last couple of games.

  9. Griffco76 says:

    Ron Artest=gangsta trash=human garbage.

  10. Mcky says:

    For me, having World Peace back would have a very huge impact defensively. But offensively, I hate to say this, but MWP is kind of inconsistent. The 3 spot for this series has been awful for the Lakers. Barnes is producing at a career low and a very questionable starter in Ebanks is a total non-factor for this series. That’s why the return of MWP for game 7 will really have a significant effect for the Lakers. Don’t get me wrong, MWP still has the chaps to make big plays offensively. He just needs to be focused and he must not let his emotions get the best out of him. He can play physical, but not in the way that he’d hurt anybody else, just like what he did on Harden.

    So needless to say, I’m looking forward to seeing MWP for game 7. GO LAKERS

  11. Dave says:

    Mr. MWP,

    For the sake of world peace, please WEAR SOME ELBOW PADS!

  12. Marc says:

    How long does it take to see your post…Its been an hour, how stupid!!!

  13. jonski22 says:

    no matter what Kobe says, he need Pau and Bynum to play great basketball in order for them to win.

  14. Glenn says:

    it should be METTA WORLD WAR everytime he hits somebody, PEACE… go go go go Lakers and Heat…

  15. Gabriel says:

    They let Dever play to 7 games so that they could have Metta Worldpeace vs OKC in all of the games. Smart move

  16. Arthur Song says:

    The return of Mehta World Peace helps the NBA overall as it ups the drama and tension during the playoffs. If LA can beat Denver, most likely they’ll face Oklahoma and if MWP can apply shut-down defense upon Kevin Durant, then he will have redeemed himself. And after beating OKC, publically apologize to Chris Harden. Mehta World Peace, if he applies both his Dennis Rodman-tenacity for defense and rebounding, coupled with clutch offense, will be the needed piece for Kobe to win championships 6 and 7. Andrew Bynum needs to seriously mature, a problem Kobe had in his early Laker days. If Bynum could be consistent and focussed like the Laker championship Shaq, the Lakers, and not the Miami Heat, will be the dynasty for the second decade of the 21st century!

    • Mike says:

      Wow huge basketball fan aren’t you… Metta* World Peace, JAMES* Harden and really, if the Lakers win they “most likely” will face OKC, really? I forgot there was a chance they could still face Dallas……. Why bother commenting

      • Judge says:

        hahahaaha… You’re out of this world Mike… What are you talking about? Lakers will face Dallas? Dallas already gone fishing, they were demolished by OKC? Checked the history Mike

      • Carl says:

        Judge, you must not understand the meaning of the word “sarcasm.”

      • Mcky says:

        this reply is for judge. Well quite clearly, you don’t really get the sarcasm Mike was trying to say.

      • Paul Abs says:

        Poor Judge, I would be very embarrased if I was in your shoes. Yes, SARCASM is the word!!!

    • Jamie94 says:

      And the award for dumbest comment ever made goes to Arthur Song. ‘Focussed like the laker championship shaq??’ If you can’t spell, use correct grammar, or understand that the winner of nuggets vs lakers WILL play okc thunder, at least get the players names right. Its JAMES Harden… geez..

      • uoykcuf says:

        LOL Song’s comment is way too funny and I am still laughing at CHRIS Harden? Oh my, I don’t think “Judge” knows what sarcasm is. As a Judge, he needs to point out every mistake he found. He seriously needs a hug.

  17. WHAT A JOKE says:

    lol world peace is a non factor, hes VERY inconsistent and unpredictable, lakers fans are delusional acting like MWP is their saviour or sth

    • Carl says:

      You must not have ever seen this man play defense. He’s a lock-down defender, whether or not your stupid ego will allow you to admit it.

  18. DJ says:

    It’s a disgrace that he gets to play already again. Hopefully the Nuggets will beat those arrogant Lakers, but I don’t think they will.

  19. jer says:

    Go Nuggets! You’ll see the treatment Artest is bound to get from the ‘other’ teams that are fed up with dirty play and uncontrollable and volatile nature

  20. Ahh yeah says:

    I never thought I’d say this, because I hated him in Sacramento, but, I’m stoked MWP will be back. Seriously, the Lakers need focus. As of now I’m very tempted not to watch the game because I don’t want to be let down, but if MWP brings it there is no chance for denver. It motivates everyone else on that Laker squad

  21. Danny says:

    Lakers missing shooters….maybe world peace will ignite the offense and defense.

  22. uoykcuf says:

    Go MWP, forget your brain and use those elbows.

  23. susie says:

    oh… so the dirty player will now return. maybe he’ll be tasked to yet again decimate another key player of the opposition, hopefully he plays clean this time.

  24. akosibonik says:

    who cares about ron? kobe will win this for him, not the elbows of artest. stupid change of name. – HEAT FAN

  25. jers says:

    welcome back mwp… take the gm7 in peace… smack them’ out!!!

    • Lakerfan 4ever says:

      His name is World Peace, and he gives minimal one elbow a game. That’s World Peace for him xD

  26. Minneapolis Laker says:

    Go Lakers! Melt them Nuggets…

  27. Lakers all day says:

    Metta WORLD PEACE, YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  28. flake grifflop says:

    the lakers need MWP and the bigs to step up if they want to win game 7 against denver

  29. etm says:

    Welcome back mr. mwp….

  30. daniel.b says:

    what kobe said was a phil jackson move…. just taking a shot at the players and telling them to step up there game… shouldnt be a surprise… phil jackson did it all the time through the media, and i am with kobe on what he said. kobe is looking to win championships and if u dont want to make the effort to help the team and get ur game back on track.. then be rdy to take the criticism

  31. Domainsnext says:

    Mike Brown was outcoached by George Karl. He has a great opportunity to prove that he is a championship team coach. Putting Ebanks as a starter was a very poor decision on his part. For the Lakers it is now or never. Going to Game 7 and winning might be the best thing that has happened so the Lakers can start the second round against Oklahoma City with our best defender, Ron Artest.

    • LakersWillWin says:

      What people aren’t realizing is that, although the Lakers played 3 extra games than OKC… We are in game shape, they are getting a little rusty just sitting around waiting for a team to play. Ya never know how things like that work out. They haven’t played a game in a week now and could prove to affect them.

  32. ra says:

    With Metta things are Betta!!!

  33. BERTING LLAMADO says:

    mwp is the difference in game 7 because he is great defender..go lakers

  34. Nano says:

    Good answers by Ron Artest (I call the man by the name his mother gave him). The media is always on the prowl, looking to make a big deal out of nothing. Ron was careful not to bite the bait and rightly answered that anything in the past is out of his control, and that the referees’ attitude towards him is also out of his control.

    • cj bruton says:

      If only the Lakers had Caron Butler as their small foward… then they would be unstoppable with his 3 point potential. They should trade gasol for reggie evans. Ty Lawson FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      p.s lakers will win easy
      Kobe doin work
      24 on my shirt <3

      • Rich says:

        he the greatest on the court im the greatest on the verse going for the 6th ring like it was his first!!

        Lakers bench need to step up thou, bynum and gasol need to play better. I am a die hard lakers fan but im kinda worried.