Regardless of changing his role, his position, even his handle, Metta World Peace (formerly and more widely-known as Ron Artest) is still struggling with the same problems that haunted him under his Christian-name.
In the man’s own words:
“I think I’m 100%. I feel awesome. I feel really good. We obviously lost. But as far as grading how I feel? I feel awesome.”
Despite his upbeat attitude and can-do thinking, the part that really catches everyone’s attention in that quote should be that bit about losing.
Indeed, his performance in the Lakers/Clippers preseason game on Monday testifies as much. Though not a dramatic loss, (114 Clippers, 95 Lakers) World Peace was still playing like Ron Artest. Here’s a quick rundown: World Peace went zero for eight from the field, including zero for five from three-point range. While every other bench player on the team shot over 50%, well… let’s just say World Peace’s self-enthusiasm might be a little misplaced. His overall playing seemed sluggish. So maybe we should say that his self-enthusiasm borders on comical.
However, Lakers Coach Mike Brown seems to believe in World Peace’s potential, despite benching him. He asked everyone to be patient and just give the player-formerly-known-as-Artest a chance:
“He can play basketball the right way whether he comes off the bench or starts. I thought he had a couple of good looks. He rushed his shot a couple of times. One of his threes kind of went in and came out. I just wanted to keep trying to get him touches if we could so he could eventually get into a little bit of a rhythm.”
Fair enough, Brown. It is still the preseason. I will withhold criticism for now.
Do you think all this positive thinking will pay off? Will World Peace/Artest’s reinvention pay dividends?