Lakers Second Unit: Metta World Peace Should Now Change His Name

Metta World Peace should change his name to Metta World Disaster. The artist formerly known as Ron Artest returned to basketball after the strike so out of shape that he looked like a Christmas turkey in a Laker uniform. He can’t run. He can’t jump and he couldn’t make a basket if you put him on a ladder.

And his excuse is—Ron-Ron was so sure that the NBA season would be canceled he never bothered working out. Unimaginable for any fan, player or commentator who has witnessed the greed of professional team owners in the past. It was always a "fait de compli" that the season would start on Christmas Day. As much as the owners feuded among themselves over the distribution of wealth and profits, none of them could ignore the lure of dominating Christmas Day on TVs across America.

So, why didn’t the Lakers use the amnesty provision of the CBA to dump Ron Artest’s salary? Lakers are asking themselves that question more and more with each game. The myth that Ron-Ron would be the foundation of the second unit was a pie in the sky dream of management.

The only time Ron-Ron’s feet leave the floor is when he is on the Lakers’ airplane off to a road game. Metta was never very fast. But now he makes my TV look like it is in "slow mo." One of the major differences between the classic "stick with my guys" style of Phil Jackson and new Lakers coach, Mike Brown, is that Coach Brown is willing to sit Metta down and experiment with his lineup. Phil Jackson was so slow changing his lineups that it took him longer than turning the Titanic around in a frozen ocean.

The Lakers are truly a work in progress. No one really knows what this team will look like two months from now. For example, with few practices and major roster changes, the Lakers have not practiced against a zone defense. Worse yet, many of us feel that Phil Jackson never bothered to practice plays against a zone...

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