Metta World Peace is no longer a Laker. Management finally played the amnesty card and that’s how it is. Personally, I think it’s a significant loss. The guy played hard, he played hurt and he’s coming off his best season as a Laker in points, rebounds, steals and blocks. The big question when he first joined the team was his reputation as a loose cannon. Would he bring baggage, distrupt delicate balances, cause divides? The fears were unfounded. The former Ron Artest might have given some of the most bewildering (and awesome) post-game interviews you’ll ever come across but he also had his teammates’ backs. And, he may have put up some shots that were a few cards short of a full deck but he also made some serious game-winners.
Ultimately, Peace was known for his defense. And he’s lost a step, no doubt. Even so, opposing coaches reached for the Maalox when MWP locked down on one of their elites. Of course, there’s the budget and spread sheets and luxury cap and all that. So, enjoy the tax savings next time push comes to shove and a 260 lb raging bull isn’t there to help.
Walking down Metta memory lane by Dave McMenamin for ESPN.
Ben Rosales for Silver Screen and Roll examines the Lakers’ budget.
Drew Garrison for Silver Screen and Roll reports on Ryan Kelly’s rehab time table.
Mike Prada for SB Nation gives the Chris Kaman signing a barely passing grade.
Mike Trudell for the Lakers.com interviews Lakers strength and conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco, aka Grass-Fed-Tim.
The Vegas summer league will include a championship component for the first time. Ben Bolch for the LATimes has the story.
The Lakers plan to use Nick Young at the small forward position, from JJ Baccari for Lakers Nation.
The Lakers summer league roster will take to the floor tonight for its first outing, facing the Cleveland Cavs. As always, there will be plenty of guys playing for a ticket to training camp in the fall and some will make it there and most won’t. It’s just one part of the league’s natural survival and evolutionary process of which there are many, including talent, desire, athleticism, skill sets, health and the almighty dollar sign. There’s more doors out of the league than there are in. And so another cycle begins, as it always does. So long, Metta. You rocked it.