Los Angeles Lakers: Metta Transforms from Pillsbury Doughboy to a Player Again

Metta World Peace made no secret of his opinion that the NBA lockout would last the entire season. Meta also made no secret of the fact that he did not workout at all from the end of the 2010-2011 season until he reported to the Lakers in December at the strike’s end.

He showed up for camp looking more like the Pillsbury Dougboy than a basketball player. He bricked so many shots that Laker fans dedicated a wall in the L.A. Live complex to him.

Except for a second-game tease in Sacramento, World Peace could not make a shot from anywhere on the court.

Worse yet, he was so out of shape, his feet did not leave the ground until late February. He was, as I nicknamed him, "Metta World Disaster."

His disastrous conditioning and the resulting poor play led to many Lakers’ early season losses, particularly on the road where Metta played more like a zombie in a "B" movie than a former Defensive Player of the Year. His stats in early season losses, 5.3 PPG, 2.1 RPG and a .354 field goal percentage, bear out his shortcomings.

Laker fans openly wondered why the Lakers did not use their amnesty clause selection on World Peace and save approximately $6.79 million in salary this year plus salary cap/luxury penalties of $1.50 per every dollar over the cap limit, a $17 million disaster.

Fans have roundly criticized Mike Brown for letting Metta play himself back into shape at the expense of victories instead of sitting him for a few weeks until he was in game shape much like the Dallas Mavericks did with Dirk Nowitzki.

In the last 10 games, World Peace has elevated his game by improving his shooting percentage to .475 and his average to 8.2 PPG. A nearly three-point-per-game increase may not sound like much, but the difference would have translated into several more Laker wins early in the season.

Brown’s patience was finally vindicated when the re...

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