Sep 19, 2013, 12:35 PM EDT
This is why there is drug testing in the NBA.
Not that Metta World Peace is on drugs or needs them to say something outrageous. Never has and never will.
He was certainly excessively boastful of what the Lakers could and would do when he was a member of that team. This summer the Lakers decided to amnesty him but that doesn’t mean he’s given up the over-the-top Lakers predictions — he made another one to ESPNNewYork.com.
“I think the Lakers are going to go to the NBA Finals,” World Peace said during a signing for his children’s book “Metta’s Bedtime Stories” in downtown Manhattan on Wednesday.
“I think Kobe [Bryant's] gonna be healthy, they’re gonna get Pau [Gasol]. The Lakers are gonna make a big trade like they always do. They’re gonna get another good player, boom, boom, and they’re gonna go to the Finals. I believe it. Kobe’s gonna come back, he’s gonna play team ball, and Pau’s gonna play well.”
There has certainly been plenty of schadenfreude around the league watching the Lakers struggle last season. That said, a number of executives around the league also will tell you the Lakers have the advantage of being in Los Angeles and next summer they should have some money to spend, which can lead to a rapid rise from the ashes of things go their way.
But this season… not so much.
If the Lakers are going to make a big trade it is going to involve Pau Gasol going out, because he is the only asset they have that could draw that kind of return. Not Steve Nash, not Chris Kaman, not Jodie Meeks. And Kobe Bryant isn’t getting moved.
If Kobe comes back healthy, if Nash and Gasol can stay healthy, if they run Mike D’Antoni’s system closer to how it is intended, they could be better than some predict. They have the potential of making the playoffs (one of the last couple of slots in the West). But if all that goes right they are still first round fodder this season.
Lakers fans need to focus on the fun of this season, not the outcome, then wait for what will be an interesting next summer in Los Angeles.
- Report: Cavaliers trying to acquire other players to put in Kevin Love trade 29
- Report: Bulls making push to trade for Kevin Love 61
- Seven standout players from Las Vegas Summer League 9
- Maverick Carter: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade still speak nearly daily 32
- Red hot Ray McCallum leads Sacramento Kings to Summer League title with 77-68 win against Houston 3
- Lakers great Michael Cooper diagnosed with cancer 16
- Report: Stan Van Gundy tells Josh Smith, barring unexpected trade, forward will start season with Pistons 8
- Mike Krzyzewski would trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love with “not one second of hesitancy” 75