HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The Metta World Peace era in Los Angeles has apparently come to an end. The colorful Lakers small forward could be the first casualty of the Dwight Howard decision to go to Houston with the Lakers prepared to waive him, according to Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.
MWP, formerly Ron Artest, has been a staples in the Lakers’ lineup for the past four seasons. He played the hero in Game 7 of The Finals in 2010, knocking down the clutch 3-point shot (above) to help the Lakers survive the Boston Celtics at the Staples Center.
But he’ll exit in the fallout of a lost season and free agent summer that saw the Lakers strike out in their recruitment of Howard, who chose to chase his championship dreams with the Rockets instead of sticking around to see if he and Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, MWP and the rest of the Lakers could get it right during a second season together.
The Lakers are cutting ties with MWP on the same day they agreed to terms with center Chris Kaman on a one-year deal to help shore up the frontcourt rotation with Howard out of the picture.
There is still a hole at small forward, though. MWP was one of the only regulars to make it through the 2012-13 season healthy for the Lakers. He played in 75 regular season games, starting 66 of those. At 33, he surely has a few good years left in him. They just won’t be with the Lakers.