There was a time when Ron Artest was feared, because he was unpredictable and aggressive. He had skills on the court, but he was feared like a hockey enforcer.
Metta World Peace — the guy Ron Arest became complete with a new name — is a guy trying to fit in with the Lakers. A more mature guy.
Kobe Bryant wants some the old Artest back. It’s part of what he told Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports as part of an interview after the Lakers latest ugly loss, this one to the Knicks in Madison Square Garden.
“Metta has a big presence on this team. I really encourage him to take that role head on – and to be an enforcer with it. But Metta, he’s done it before. We’ve won before together….
“Metta’s just as intense as I am, and he’s got a lot of that psychopath attitude that I do. That’s something Magic and me talked about, about how [Michael] Cooper and him did that a lot, how they played off each other.”
Well, good to know Magic is talking to someone with the Lakers rather than just launching blasts from afar.
Kobe says he needs Pau Gasol back and to step up too — the guys that have “done this before” need to lead the way for the new Lakers.
The Lakers need to get Steve Nash and Gasol back with Bryant and Dwight Howard and let them play together, all of them, for a few weeks. The bench looks better with Steve Blake on it and Antawn Jamison coming off it. Rotations might settle down. The Lakers are not going to be up-tempo, but they can find their pace and find their footing.
Then you can really evaluate this team and see if they can become what many of us thought on paper they could be. We’ll see if they can defend like they need to do.
But right now, the Lakers just look lost and Kobe needs help leading them out of the wilderness. Even from a psychopath.