Posted on: February 2, 2012 3:43 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 3:57 pm
Posted by Royce Young
"I grew up around roaches," Metta World Peace said. "And it was bad. Too many of them. Too many friends, yeah, in New York. I got a lot of roach friends. I'd wake up, they'd wake up in my cereal. They'd wake up like, you know, just Ron what's up, good morning. One leg in my macaroni, the other leg in my corn. They just made themselves comfortable at my home."
And this concludes your daily reminder that Metta World Peace is not your everyday, normal human being.
Via the L.A. Times
Posted on: January 27, 2012 12:46 pm
Posted by Royce Young
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."
Uh oh. Maybe he should just stayed bored.
Posted on: January 13, 2012 7:17 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 2:19 am
3-on-2 Fast Break is a weekly feature here on Eye on Basketball where our intrepid bloggers tackle two questions, comparing two elements. This week, we focus on Saturday night's showdown at Staples between the Los Angeles Cippers and Los Angeles Lakers. Follow Eye on Basketball on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
1. Let's keep it simple. Which of these two teams wins on Saturday night and why?
Royce Young: Lakers. The Fighting Kobes are in a really good rhythm right now. Kobe is playing great, Andrew Bynum is looking dominant and all the pieces are fitting together. The Clippers kind of put all their eggs into the basket of beating the Heat and while I'm sure they'll be up for the Lakers, they've got to get past that overtime win first. And don't think the Lakers have forgotten everyone getting all excited about the Clips sweeping the two exhibition games at Staples in early December. People were talking about the changing of the guard in L.A., but those games didn't count. This one does.
Ben Golliver: The Lakers have some serious positive momentum going thanks to a four-game winning streak which could become five if they top the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. That the Clippers get two rest days heading into this one while the Lakers are stuck with the back-to-back gives Lob City an edge, but that probably cancels out the revenge factor that the Lakers are feeling after getting wiped up in two highlight-filled preseason games. Chauncey Billups has hit double figures and shot at least 6 free throws in four consecutive games for the Clippers; they will need his production if they are to keep pace with Kobe Bryant and company. Chris Paul finally had his signature game with the Clippers, scoring 27 points and making 11 assists in a Wednesday win over Miami and he gave the Lakers fits in last year's playoffs. I see him doing it again on Saturday to give the Clippers the win.
Matt Moore: The matchups here are enough to make your head spin. All-Star, phenomenal, once-in-a-lifetime guards? Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul. Behemoth young centers with size, strength and defensive ability? Andrew Bynum and DeAndre Jordan. Crafty veterans on the wings? Ron Artest, Derek Fisher, Steve Blake and Matt Barnes against Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, and Mo Williams. Power forwards with huge scoring ability who are almost unguardable? Pau Gasol and Blake Griffin. It's a tight set of matchups. I like the Clippers in this one. We saw what Paul was able to do against the Lakers in the playoffs last year, and they haven't upgraded a defender to guard him yet. On the other end, Pau Gasol doesn't like it when things get physical and the Clippers are in-you-face as they come. Bryant can swing this as he can any game, but I like Lob City to open up and outrun the older Lakers.
2. We know Kobe's going to score, Griffin's going to dunk, CP3 is going to dish, and Pau is going to do Pau things. But what's the big unknown in this game that will end up deciding it?
Royce Young: Points in the paint. Who gets the most easy baskets? Both teams are pretty solid defensively and both teams have players that can fill it up. But jumpshots only carry teams so far, especially late in games. The Lakers have Bynum and Gasol who are paint monsters, while Griffin gets a lot of his easy in transition. Execution will be tough because you know this game will be physical. It's going to come down to the little things like free throws, turnovers and again, easy baskets in the paint. Both teams can defend it well, but who is going to break down the other defense enough to score simple points.
Ben Golliver: The answer to the big unknown question is always Andrew Bynum. He poured in his career-high 42 points against DeAndre Jordan back in 2009 and he's shown spurts of serious offensive productivity in this young season. Given that the game is on the second end of a back-to-back there's no guarantee that Bynum can fully exploit what is an exceedingly difficult match-up for Jordan. The only person who can keep Bynum off the offensive glass in this one is himself. The Clippers are second-to-worst in rebound rate on the young season and Jordan can be bullied with Bynum's width and strength.
Matt Moore: Turnovers. The Lakers have turned the ball over a stunning amount this season up until the past few games, also notably the best games of Bryant's season. The Lakers are last in turnover percentage differential, while the Clippers are top-four in that same category. The Clippers also rank 3rd in transition offense according to Synergy Sports. The Lakers are ninth in transition defense. If the Clippers can get out and run, that's going to put more wear and tear on an older and banged up Lakers team. But if the Lakers get to grind it out, expect the Lakers' superior experience to win the day.
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:08 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 1:09 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Ron Artest has changed a lot over the years. He's gotten mental help, pulled back on his temper and even went so far as to auction his championship ring, dance with stars and change his name to Metta World Peace.
At the Lakers media day, World Peace was asked what his teammates are calling him and instead of answering that, he decided to thank Jesus that he has all his teeth. Never change, Metta.
Posted on: December 12, 2011 5:29 pm
Posted on: November 13, 2011 10:14 am
Posted by Royce Young
Michael Jordan has always been every players' hero. But right now, he's every players' enemy. He's the bad guy. He's the owner that's reportedly pushing hardline to a new level and trying to crush the players in every way possible.
Players that have revered him for years are now turning their backs on him. Why? Because Jordan once toed the line for the union famously standing up to Washington owner Abe Pollin during the 1998 negotiations.
And now Jordan's throwing that owner-speak back at the players. Which is why many have spoken out against His Airness. Stephon Marbury went so far as to call M.J. a "sellout." The latest to do it? Metta World Peace. Via TMZ.com:
"We're the same guys that looked up to Michael Jordan when we were kids," he said. "Same guys that wanted to fly like Mike and be like Mike. Even though guys are with different companies, they still love Mike. Love his sneakers and everything. Guys just felt like he didn't support us when we most needed him. He's an owner now, so I guess he's just on the other side."
Artest, who often says wild, nonsensical things, really broke down this Jordan thing better than any player has. It was honest, and true. Jordan has meant everything to so many current players and for him to now toe the line with the owners is really hurtful. They feel like he's betrayed them. It's understandable why Jordan has done it though, like Artest said. He's an owner now so he's going to do owner things.
Some players have called M.J. a hypocrite, but the truth is, he's just an owner. I don't know what's worse right now though.
Posted on: October 27, 2011 8:25 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
Former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson has a track record of opening up about his players once he's out the door. Who could forget his 2004 book The Last Season -- which should have been subtitled "Kobe Bryant is a Big Meanie" -- in which he was highly critical of his All-Star guard.
Now that he is officially retired, Jackson is once again able to speak candidly about his former teams and players. And, no surprise, the sharp-tongued coach pulls no punches.
ESPNLA.com reports that Jackson said in a recent interview that the 2010-2011 Lakers, who were swept out of the second round of the Western Conference playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks, were undone by their inability to perform in the big playoff moments.
"There is nothing that could have gone worse for a basketball team than the way we finished our season last year," Jackson said when he joined "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 in Chicago. "Struggling with New Orleans ... and going into the next round [against Dallas] we needed everyone to start playing well and we just couldn't find that little magical thing that you always hope you have as a coach, the chemistry that makes a team work well."Jackson didn't use the "choke" word but it's certainly there, hovering between the lines. That's one of the heaviest criticisms a respected coach can levy against a veteran, prideful group.
But this assessment winds up seeming tame when you think back to what really happened during the playoffs. Ron Artest clotheslined J.J. Barea in a remarkably dirty play. Then, Andrew Bynum nearly killed J.J. Barea with the dirtiest play of the year. Who could forget Steve Blake shooting 2-for-12 from downtown against the Mavericks? Then there was Lamar Odom getting wrapped up in a reality show and Pau Gasol no-showing for the postseason amidst rumors about his personal life. Bryant was dealing with injuries throughout the postseason so he can be forgiven, but his postseason numbers were way down across the board from the 2010 championship run.
From top to bottom, last year's group melted down in a major way. Certainly, they were bad in the clutch, but they were pretty bad in all facets against the more disciplined and focused Mavericks.
None of this is to say that the talented Lakers are a total lost cause. (Well, Blake is likely a lost cause, but that's beside the point.) But they certainly needed a new voice -- which they got in Mike Brown -- and they need to find a new sense of purpose and motivation coming out of the lockout. A fresh start will do wonders. As will a little chip on the shoulder, which Jackson's comments very well might serve to provide.
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:11 pm
Posted by Royce Young
You know who hasn't been bored during the NBA lockout? Metta Ron Artest World Peace. That guy is keeping up with things. He flirted with playing professionally in England for like three months, changed his name, danced with stars, signed up to box Rampage Jackson -- something's always going on with Artest.
And now, he's getting a TV show. Naturally. Via the L.A. Times:
Artest isn't the first big name to take his talents to the silver screen as Kevin Durant had a lead role in a children's movie while Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh had appearances on "Law and Order". How good will Artest be? With him, there's absolutely no telling. But will it be entertaining? Almost certainly.