The 70th season opener of the NBA happened Tuesday, with teams completing their lineups in hopes of bringing the coveted championship trophy home. For the L.A. Lakers, the team decided to waive guard Jabari Brown in favor of Metta World Peace.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, will join the Lakers after playing for the New York Knicks and international basketball leagues such as the Italian League and Chinese Basketball Association. He also had coaching experience back in 2014 when he joined the Palisades Charter High School in California as a mentor.
The report further states that the return of World Peace to the team spells his eventual transition as an assistant coach. This is considering his history with the franchise as a clutch shooter and defender, which helped in bagging the NBA championship back in 2010. Moreover, he served as a mentor for younger Lakers players like Julius Randle 2014 No. 7 overall pick.
In an interview with NBC Los Angeles in September, World Peace said, “I don’t know about ‘teaching’ more than just showing [Randle], giving advice and taking him through different scenarios different things I’ve been through and different things I’ve seen on the court.”
He added that being a mentor happens with time, saying, “You get older and guys are coming into the league younger as you get older, and that’s what you’re supposed to do. You help the young guys so that they can have successful careers.”
The move to include World Peace in the 15-player roster of the Lakers meant waiving second-year shooting guard Jabari Brown. On their official Twitter account, head coach Byron Scott said about the decision, “It’s probably the most difficult cut that I’ve ever had to make.”
The L.A. Lakers will face their first opponent, the Minnesota Timberwolves, on Oct. 28.