Entering 17th NBA season, Metta World Peace says he wants to play 20

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Metta World Peace is a longshot to make the Lakers roster this season. Los Angeles already has 14 guaranteed contracts plus the very team friendly deal of Yi Jianlian, who has looked good in camp and will almost certainly make the roster. That makes 15, the max the Lakers could carry into the season. Meaning World Peace only sticks with the Lakers if there is a trade or the Lakers cut someone with a guaranteed deal to keep him.

But World Peace wasn’t expected to make the Lakers roster last season and did. If he sticks, this would be MWP’s 17th NBA season, and he told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News the real goal is 20 years.

World Peace, 36, enters his 17th NBA season and 18th playing professionally overall hoping he can log at least three more years on the hardwood.

“I want to finish off strong,” World Peace said. “It’s not about what it will mean to me. It’s about, ‘Can I get there?’”

World Peace said he isn’t worried about making the Lakers’ roster.

“My concern is having a good time. There’s nothing to overcome,” World Peace said. “I’m a hell of a basketball player. That’s the hard part, becoming a good basketball player. Once you do that, you don’t have to worry about nothing else.”

That’s one less thing to worry about.

World Peace got in just 35 games for a 17-win Laker team last season. He did start the first last Laker preseason game with Luol Deng out but didn’t score in limited minutes. One way or another I expect World Peace will get paid to play basketball this season, just not sure it’s with the Lakers. Or maybe in the NBA (remember he did spend a season overseas before the Lakers brought him back last season).

But if he’s not in the NBA the league is less interesting, so I’m rooting for him to stick around.