Metta World Peace – or the artist formerly known as Ron Artest – is making his NBA comeback with one of his former teams, the L.A. Lakers.

By Chip Murphy

After months of speculation, we can close the rumor mill. He’s back.

Metta World Peace hasn’t played in the league since his ill-fated attempt at a homecoming during the 2013-14 season with the New York Knicks. He only lasted 29 games before requesting a trade due to what he felt was a lack of playing time. New York couldn’t find one for him so they bought out his deal. Surprisingly, he couldn’t find another interested NBA team.

Since then he’s had a short stint in the Chinese Basketball Association before making news again while playing in Italy. World Peace, while wearing a jersey that said “The Panda’s Friend” on his back, was ejected after committing five fouls in less than a minutes and then getting into a fight.


That was the last time Metta World Peace played professional basketball. So why is he going back to L.A.?

Because it’s where he belongs. Ron Artest was born for the bright lights of Hollywood. He loves the big stage. He loves being the center of everyone’s attention. Kobe Bryant loves that because it takes attention off of him.

Even when he isn’t playing well he is pure entertainment.


When a Q&A came out the other day from MWP saying that he was intrigued with the potential of Lakers forward Julius Randle, it left little to the imagination. He was coming back.

The Lakers need all the help they can get and in their time of need they reached out to a member of the “Laker family”. Although the idea of World Peace as a mentor to young players is hilarious it’s not crazy. Sans Bryant, no one on the roster has any relevant experience to offer Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell. He won’t take away minutes from Anthony Brown, and if he takes away minutes from Nick Young that’s only a good thing.

Metta World Peace knew he was coming back to a bad team. He knows he’s not a star anymore. If he can be a contributor off the bench he could end up being the best signing the Lakers made in the entire offseason.

No matter what you might think of him, and that could literally be anything, you have to be excited to hear this news.

It was rough watching World Peace in his short tenure for the Knicks. He wasn’t himself. He never stood a chance. One of the best defensive players of his generation shouldn’t be remembered that way. We want to remember our favorite players as they were.

Good luck, Ron. We’re all rooting for you.

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I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.