Lakers to move Gasol and World Peace for draft picks?

Metta World Peace

With the NBA Draft only a few days away the Lakers trade rumors are flying fast and furious.

The latest involves Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace. It’s no secret that the Lakers are trying to move Gasol. He’s been the fall guy for the Lakers’ post-season woes the last two seasons.

According to reports Los Angeles is trying to trade Gasol to the Washington Wizards for the #3 pick in this year’s draft. That seems a little farfetched since the Wizards have just signed Nene and Emeka Okafor and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have three big men with three big contracts. But you never know.

The next rumor involves trading Metta World Peace for a late first-round pick. This one has a slightly better chance of happening than the Pau trade. Teams may look at MWP’s late season play (minus the elbow to James Harden’s head) and think he may be worth it. The only snag may be the fact that MWP is owed nearly $15 million over the next two years.

Apparently the Lakers have their eye on Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague. They definitely need a point guard but I’m not sure they need a rookie point guard. No matter how good he is. (Is it already time to say goodbye to Ramon Sessions?) Read more here…

To tank or not to tank: When winning just isn’t all that important

Kobe-vs-DenverI was watching Lakers-Nuggets Game Five the other night.  You remember that game in Los the Staples Center where Kobe Bryant scored 43, yet his team still couldn’t close out the series? All anyone in the bar could talk about was whether the Lakers wanted to close things out that night, or whether it was more conducive for them to drop a game, let the series go a game or two longer, thereby allowing for the return of the oft-suspended, former defensive player of the year and recurring troublemaker, Metta World Peace. Peace (that just sounds so silly) was suspended seven games for catching the back of James Harden’s head with an allegedly, inadvertent elbow.  Accordingly, Los Angeles has had to play their opening series against the Nuggets without him.  After a Game Six loss, the series has gone a full seven games. Read more here…

Is Metta World Peace worth saving?

metta-world-peace-elbow

metta-world-peace-elbowThe NBA suspended Metta World Peace for seven games after a vicious elbow to the head of Oklahoma City Thunder sixth man of the year James Harden.

League commissioner David Stern issued a statement on the league’s website.

“The concussion suffered by James Harden demonstrates the danger posed by violent acts of this kind, particularly when they are directed at the head area,” Stern said. “We remain committed to taking necessary measures to protect the safety of NBA players, including the imposition of appropriate penalties for players with a history of on-court altercations.”

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak issued his own statement on behalf of the team.

“Metta has for the most part been a model citizen both on and off the court since joining the Lakers. Still, his most recent lapse in judgment is not to be condoned or accepted. His actions could have seriously injured another player, and his absence during this suspension will hurt our team as well. While we accept the league’s decision, we will be supportive of Metta and try to help him be more professional on the court.”

As angry as a lot of NBA fans are, there is a bigger issue that is not being addressed.

Artest has a problem. It is a well documented problem. The anger that rides shotgun to these mishaps often takes center stage instead of his problem.  Artest himself has done a lot of charity work to help children afflicted with his problem.

It is no one’s right to deny someone the ability to make a living because they have a problem. Unless, that problem brings harm to others or prevents others from making that same living that the offender enjoys.

That’s the difference between what Robin Lopez did to Blake Griffin last week and what Ron Artest does every time he loses control of himself.

For the past 48 or so hours, how many times have you heard statements like ‘you would think he would have learned by now.’

Again the root of his problem is being pushed aside. I’ll admit it; I got swept right up in it. I saw the situation live as it unfolded and it made me sick to my stomach.

Now that time is putting some perspective on this, if the NBA really wants to do the right thing, they will help Artest find a permanent solution to managing his anger in the workplace.

If the NBA really wants to do the right thing for James Harden, they will help set a course for a true wellness plan that will help Artest complete some of the work that he has already started for himself.

If this doesn’t happen, something will happen again. And when you deal with this type of issue, you can’t predict the severity of the event. You only survey and gauge the damage done.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Players View.

World Peace a myth: Ron Artest returns in Lakers win (Video)

Metta World Peace

Metta World PeaceLos Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace may have changed his name, but he hasn’t changed his ways.  Wearing his subdued persona like a cheap Halloween costume it was on a matter of time before World Peace tore it off and showed his true colors.

On Sunday afternoon as the Lakers played their Western Conference rivals. Oklahoma City Thunder, World Peace removed his disguise and showed the masses watching who he truly is; Ron Artest.

After a spectacular drive by Artest that ended in a monster slam he began pounding his chest like a mad man.  All the pounding must have triggered an inner rage as his next act was instinctual and ridiculous.

Artest, threw his left elbow right over Thunder’s James Harden’s shoulder and into the back of his head.  Harden dropped to the court and stayed down for about a minute.  Artest was ejected for a flagrant foul and headed to the Lakers’ locker room to the roar of a cheering Staples Center crowd who like most things Los Angeles, were a bit out of touch with reality at the time.

Fortunately for the Lakers they went on to win the game 114-106 in double overtime.  Ron Artest and the Lakers may have won the battle but the Thunder have their sights set on winning the war come playoff time.

Follow Aaron on Twitter @Da_Bear_Truth