He has only appeared in 31 games this season, but 36-year-old Metta World Peace believes his NBA career is far from over, according to Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. World Peace, who earned a roster spot with the Lakers last fall after a year out of the league, hopes to play another two to four more seasons. Although he spent parts of last season in China and Italy, he doesn’t want to take his talents overseas again. “I think I can still play in the league,” World Peace said. “I feel good. I feel like I was able to guard and able to post. I feel like I answered a lot of questions.” He is making nearly $1.5MM this season and is averaging 4.5 points and 16.6 minutes per game.
There’s more Lakers news this morning:
- After two decades as part of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry, Kobe Bryant will face Boston for the final time today, writes Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Bryant says the loss to the Celtics in the 2008 NBA Finals changed the way he approaches the game. “In 2008 what I learned was that my leadership, I felt, was what failed us as a team,” Bryant recalled. “I had built our team to be a very strong, cohesive unit, but I hadn’t built our team to beat the toughness of the Celtics.”
- The Lakers would like to revive that rivalry, but they understand they have a lot of work to do first, relays Jovan Buha of ESPN.com. L.A. is still early in its rebuilding process, stumbling to a 16-59 record while developing young players. The Celtics are much farther along, ranking among the East’s best teams at 44-32. “We have a lot of work, as far as that’s concerned,” said Lakers coach Byron Scott. “But I think a lot of these young guys, they don’t understand the rivalry. And the only way you can get that rivalry back is you have to have both teams be very competitive.”
- The Lakers need a top two draft pick to be assured of getting an elite talent, contends Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times. Pincus tabs LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram as the only sure things in this year’s draft. L.A is second in Hoops Rumors’ reverse standings, meaning its odds are 19.9% for the first pick, 18.8% for the second and 17.1% for the third. If the Lakers’ pick falls any farther in the May 17th lottery, it will be sent to Philadelphia.