Kobe Bryant has already gone on record saying he didn’t want the Lakers to amnesty Metta World Peace. In that sentiment, at least, Kobe and Mike D’Antoni are on the same page.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said today the decision to amnesty Metta World Peace was purely financial and he wanted to keep the defensive small forward from Queensbridge.
“Obviously it’s a byproduct of the CBA,’’ D’Antoni told The Post today at the Las Vegas summer league at UNLV. “As a person and player, I couldn’t find anyone better. He’s great. I enjoyed coaching him. I hope he finds something great. He deserves it. It’s not the coaches. It’s management. They have to manage the cap.’’
The Lakers amnestied World Peace to save money. Kobe and D’Antoni aren’t interested in saving the Lakers money. They’re interested in winning games, and World Peace would have helped them do that.Though World Peace is declining, maybe to the point he’s no longer a reliable starter, it’s unlikely the minimum-salaried player the Lakers sign to replace him will play as well next season as World Peace would have.Of course, that doesn’t mean the Buss Family was wrong to amnesty World Peace. His salary, plus the resulting luxury-tax bill, likely would have cost them around $12.3 million. That’s a lot of many to pay a marginal starter on a so-so team.Really, this issue is just a matter of perspective, and the Kobe/D’Antoni have are coming from a very different one than the Buss Family. From the outside, that’s understandable and reasonable.But if the Lakers falter this season, which would undoubtedly lead to internal tension and sniping, there’s a distinct possibility Kobe and/or D’Antoni will cite the amnesty of World Peace to show ownership isn’t committed to winning. In that regard, it’s important for Kobe and D’Antoni to stake out their positions now and get ahead of the argument when it comes to the strife that could be coming.