After Metta World Peace was an amnesty casualty of the Lakers this summer, he returned home to New York and signed a deal to play for the Knicks. But he still thinks his former team has a shot at the title.
The former Ron Artest spoke with reporters at a signing for his new children’s book,
Metta’s Bedtime Stories.
His deference for his former team was evident when he told Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York the Lakers would be in the NBA Finals next spring after Kobe Bryant returns from a torn Achilles Tendon:
“I think the Lakers are going to go to the NBA Finals.”
“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.”
OK then. The Lakers signed an aging Chris Kaman this offseason and Nick Young who will probably start at small forward for them, but they lost Dwight Howard. True, Pau will be back, but there’s no way to know if Kobe will return to form after tearing his Achilles’ tendon. That’s a significant injury, and as Ken Berger of CBS Sports pointed out earlier this week, it’s the first significant training time Mamba’s missed during the offseason over his 17-year career in the NBA.
The realistic nature of Metta’s claim is not what’s annoying, though.
Shouldn’t he be joining J.R. Smith in hyperbolic title aspirations for his hometown Knicks? While some chided Smith for this title talk — like Brooklyn’s Jason Terry did in an interview with Dime — at least Smith was confident in his team, not his old team.
Metta, you’re a Knick now; if you’re going to make outrageous predictions about next season, at least say the Lakers will play the Knicks in the 2014 Finals.
All Metta cares about is winning, so why is he so confident in his former team winning the Western Conference?
What do you think of Metta’s prediction for his old team?
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