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Kobe Bryant wants World Peace to be an enforcer again

Dec 14, 2012, 2:01 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers' Bryant smiles after making a free throw while Peace comes towards him during their NBA basketball game against Brooklyn Nets in Los Angeles Reuters

There was a time when Ron Artest was feared, because he was unpredictable and aggressive. He had skills on the court, but he was feared like a hockey enforcer.

Metta World Peace — the guy Ron Arest became complete with a new name — is a guy trying to fit in with the Lakers. A more mature guy.

Kobe Bryant wants some the old Artest back. It’s part of what he told Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports as part of an interview after the Lakers latest ugly loss, this one to the Knicks in Madison Square Garden.

“Metta has a big presence on this team. I really encourage him to take that role head on – and to be an enforcer with it. But Metta, he’s done it before. We’ve won before together….

“Metta’s just as intense as I am, and he’s got a lot of that psychopath attitude that I do. That’s something Magic and me talked about, about how [Michael] Cooper and him did that a lot, how they played off each other.”

Well, good to know Magic is talking to someone with the Lakers rather than just launching blasts from afar.

Kobe says he needs Pau Gasol back and to step up too — the guys that have “done this before” need to lead the way for the new Lakers.

The Lakers need to get Steve Nash and Gasol back with Bryant and Dwight Howard and let them play together, all of them, for a few weeks. The bench looks better with Steve Blake on it and Antawn Jamison coming off it. Rotations might settle down. The Lakers are not going to be up-tempo, but they can find their pace and find their footing.

Then you can really evaluate this team and see if they can become what many of us thought on paper they could be. We’ll see if they can defend like they need to do.

But right now, the Lakers just look lost and Kobe needs help leading them out of the wilderness. Even from a psychopath.

  1. rodgersmvp - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I don’t appreciate the use of the word psychopath at the end of the article. Artest has done a lot to deal with his mental issues, including thanking his therapist for his championship. He is a different man now who has worked hard on his issues, he still has lashed out such as against James Harden, but psychopath is rather harsh.

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 14, 2012 at 5:51 PM

      It was Kobe’s word.

  2. paulhargis53 - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    That makes sense to a certain point. Artest has never been one too know where to draw the line though.

    Artest will do the lakers no good if he is sidelined due to being suspended.

    Careful what you ask for Kobe….

    • saint1997 - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:35 PM

      The Artest formerly known as Ron

  3. bandanamac - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Solution: Hide his meds.

  4. 00maltliquor - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    MWP wants KOBE to be a defensive enforcer. Sheeeeeettt! Every now and then MWP gets burned by a faster opponent but he STILL D’s it up and harrases his assignment. He’s not the one that needs to get back on track in that department. As far as I’m concerned, this is the best Metta/Ron has ever looked in a Purple and Gold jersey since he signed.

  5. sal11 - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I can’t tell you how much I love the idea that this “new” “more mature” “not criminally insane” Ron Artest, the guy who needs to be more aggressive and unpredictable, is the same guy who elbowed James Harden in the head for being in his way 9 months ago.

  6. fanofevilempire - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Ron showed some leadership last night, I watched his play and thought he looked motivated.
    Kobe has to build up Pau, Ron and Nash too, he has to respect them so that they feel engaged
    and know they are leaders. I forgot Howard but I think he has to stop all the joking and be more professional. I believe that those guys can make a good run when they are fully loaded. Kobe has to be a kinder, gentler teammate if he expects these guys to ball with him.

  7. bougin89 - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Kurt Hellin : “Mike, is it true Kobe has stated that he wants Artest to be an enforcer again?”

    Mike D’Antoni : “I don’t have the answer for that. I think maybe we play a little slow but I don’t have the answer for that.”

  8. BigBeachBall - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    The artest formerly known as world peace

  9. thelakeshow562 - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Spoken like a true champ Lakers # 1

    • eerock41 - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM

      try more like #10, in the west.

      • cosanostra71 - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

        maybe he meant #1 in his heart

  10. davidly - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    He just wants MWP to somehow, perhaps magically, be able to pick up and stick to the guy Bryant just abandoned on D, without losing track of the guy he was covering, ‘cuz we see how good that’s been working so far.

  11. lemfaxx - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    If you’re getting old you can still shoot & make some points but your defense can’t dectate the outcome of the game… Pau nash bryant howard(back) they are all great player but they cant play all together, lakers need to add some fresh & quality vegetables to their menu and thats not gonna happened this season…

    • badintent - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:40 AM

      When you are getting old , you get smarter and pass to the open man who hits threes ALL NIGHT LONG! Like the Knicks team.We old, we slow, BUT WE CAN SHOOT free throws, help on D and do all the little dirty things like set screens and dive for loose balls plus back tap O boards to re-set the clock for another O set
      Sh*t like that. Woodsen , Coach of the Year, Bar None.

  12. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    I know Kobe is desperate to make something change but this isn’t the solution. If MWP does anything questionable at this point he’ll be suspended. He’s had far too large of a history of nonsense to get away with being an enforcer at this point, he needs to be walking on egg shells.

  13. azarkhan - Dec 14, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    It’s always fun when a team that tries to buy a championship falls on its face.

    • limonadamas - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:43 PM

      How exactly did they try to buy the championship again? They traded for Nash/Howard/Gasol/Kobe. They got MWP for the mid level. Most of their bench is on rookie contracts or minimal salary. The ones that aren’t on minimum contracts aren’t any good.

      Don’t let facts get in the way of your narrative though. hahaha

  14. somekat - Dec 14, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Who wants a recipe for failure. Take a team who can’t play “up tempo”, and give them a point guard who can’t stop basically ANY NBA point guard, let alone the good ones.

    You can’t succefully slow the game down, when you can’t depend on getting stops

  15. themagicfanguy - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Maybe Kibe should worry about his own defense and intensity, rather than MWP. Metta still plays solid D, even though his offense is getting less and less consistent as the years go on.

  16. paulhargis53 - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Kobe 27 mil.
    Pau 19 mil
    Dwight 19 mil.

    Total team salary 100 million.

    Nah they aren’t trying to buy anything.
    Don’t let those FACTS get in the way.

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      Brooklyn’s at $88 million, Orlando $84M (without Howard), Miami $84M, Philly $80M, New York $80M.

      Those teams aren’t trying to buy a title, too? Every team tries to win a title and every team has to pay salaries, thus every team is trying to buy a title. But just reserve your scorn for the Lakers, because we all know how much they piss you off.

      Having a large team payroll is no guarantee of winning a championship, but it certainly puts you in the ballpark most of the time. The Lakers have had a large payroll for most of their history, especially the last 12 years, and they’ve won five titles in that time. How many do the Celtics have in that period?

      The highest paid player in the league’s history is…..wait for it…..NOT Kobe Bryant:

      1) Kevin Garnett, $328,562,398
      3) Kobe Bryant, $279,738,062

      How about those Knicks trying to buy a championship? Why aren’t you ragging on them? They’ve got two of the top four salaries this year. I’m sorry, are all these FACTS hurting your head?

  17. themagicfanguy - Dec 15, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Manchester… The Knicks’ salary is TWENTY MILLION(!) lower than the lakers. Take twenty million off of the lakers and you’d have to get rid of Gasol or something along those lines. So no, those other teams aren’t “buying” championships. Also the Celtics have more titles than anyone in the NBA, so why would they care if the lakers have some more recently?
    Plus, the lakers are paying how much in luxury tax the next few years as opposed to other teams who can’t afford to?
    You’re “facts” aren’t facts if they are based on false knowledge and lopsided, homer opinions.

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