LA Lakers: What Can We Expect from Metta World Peace aka Ron Artest in 2011-12?

The NBA player originally known as Ron Artest has officially and legally become Metta World Peace. A judge has ruled as such, and the website that shows NBA players and their stats has made the change as well. So it must be official: Bye-bye, Ron-Ron.

Metta has been very busy during the summer lockout, but not with basketball. He’s tried stand-up comedy (not so much), Dancing with the Stars (not so much), the aforementioned name change and his charitable work through his nonprofit, Xcel University.

If there is one thing you can honestly say about Metta World Peace, it is that he’s entertaining. He also has a big heart and wants to help those less fortunate and those with mental health issues. 

Metta sold his one and only world championship ring in 2010 through an online raffle and raised well over $600,000 in the process to help support mental health awareness.

The question, though, is what can we expect from World Peace if and when the NBA season starts up? His production and minutes dropped dramatically last year for the Lakers, and there is no indication yet that this will change.

Metta’s minutes (29.4 per game) were the fewest for him in a decade. He made less than 40 percent of his shots from the field, including 37 percent from beyond the arc.

Once a scoring threat (between 2003-09 Ron Artest averaged between 16.9 and 24.6 points per game), World Peace is now seen mostly as a defender whose outside shot has become near nonexistent.

World Peace averaged just 8.5 points per game last year for the Lakers, by far the lowest average of his career and the only time he’s been under 10 points. The year before, the team’s championship run, was not much better, as he averaged 11 PPG in a scheme that called for him to shoot less and defend more.

Make no mistake—the Lakers signed World Peace for his defense, and he remai...

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