|Metta World Peace says he's been bored playing defense. (Getty Images)|
Ron Artest used to be maybe the best defender in basketball. He used to be a pretty great scorer too. But as skills tend to do, he's slipped as he's gotten older. At 32, that's a pretty good excuse as to why maybe the man now known as Metta World Peace isn't quite the ball stopper he once was.
But that's not what World Peace says. He just says he was getting bored with shutting everyone down. Via ESPN LA:
"The defense, I got to bring it back," World Peace said after practice Thursday, a day after putting up three points, seven assists, five rebounds, two steals and a block while playing a season-high 38 minutes. "I got bored with defense because it was so easy for me to stop people over the years. I got real bored with it. When you're playing against guys and you're stopping guys every single time, what else are you going to do [but get bored]? It caught up to me, but this year I'm doing better. This year I'm almost back to where I want to be."World Peace was indeed a great defender. He's made two All-Defensive first teams, two second teams and won Defensive Player of the Year in 2004. He's one of the most physical on-the-ball defenders and has always had an ability for stopping the opposing teams best scorer.
But bored? Seems like a copout excuse. Especially when you consider skills diminish with age, not to mention that World Peace has been up to a lot of other stuff lately like changing his name, dancing with the stars and doing stand-up comedy. Kobe though, said he can see it.
“I can relate to that,” Bryant said. “That’s happened to me before as well. That’s human nature sometimes. You have to have [and] you have to find challenges that kind of get you going and keep your energy.Against the Clippers, World Peace seemed to kind of rediscover that. He was a madman late in the game, pounding his chest like King Kong after knocking down a big 3. He hasn't looked that focused and into a game in a long time. He definitely didn't look bored then. Said Kobe after the game, "Metta found Ron Artest, I mean like the Auburn Palace Ron Artest."
“It’s about finding your edge. You have to find your edge. It’s not something that’s farfetched. He was a great defensive player. Things sometimes become too easy. Offensively, things for me get really, really easy sometimes and the game just feels boring. But you have to find that edge, you have to find something that’s going to push you.”
Uh oh. Maybe he should just stayed bored.