It is definitely “Peace Out,” for the Los Angeles Lakers, however could that apply to the entire Association? Reports from “USA Today,” Wednesday night revealed that the Los Angeles Lakers exercised their Amnesty Clause and waived veteran forward Metta World Peace. The “NBA Player Formerly Known As Ron Artest,” helped the Lakers win the second of back-to-back NBA Finals in his first season with the squad, as Los Angeles defeated the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals. By waving the veteran forward, it will knock $7.7 million off the team’s payroll, saving them $15 million in Luxury Taxes. The penalties for going over the NBA Salary Cap, became much harsher on July 1.
The well-traveled player spent four seasons with the Lakers, he had a strong regular season, averaging 12.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest, playing in 75 games while starting 66 of them. Unfortunately torn cartilage in his knee rendered him far less effective, after getting hurt in March.
Los Angeles general manager Mitch Kupchak issued a statement on Wednesday. The long-time Lakers executive wrote “It’s tough to say goodbye to a player such as Metta, who has been a significant part of our team the past four seasons. For anyone who’s had the opportunity to get to know him, it’s impossible not to love him.”
That sentiment most likely is not shared by many of the teams the forward played for before joining the Lakers. Peace was suspended after his involvement in “The Malice At The Palace,” when his squad the Indiana Pacers brawled with members of the Detroit Pistons, as well as fans at The Palace At Auburn Arena. He also left a bad taste in the mouths of the Sacramento Kings front office, after he did not opt-out of his contract with the club, but then complained until they traded him to the Houston Rockets.
Peace responded to Kupchak’s statement on his Twitter Account. The veteran tweeted “I’m going to play for Yao Mings team in china! I can’t wait to arrive in Shanghai !!”
One can never discount anything when it comes to the former Lakers forward, it remains to be seen if he has played his last game in the NBA, or will be back with a new team in the upcoming campaign.