Only a few years ago, Metta World Peace was sharing the basketball floor with Luke Walton in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. Now, Walton may be coaching him from the sidelines next season if the Lakers choose to re-sign World Peace for another year.
On Tuesday, World Peace made an appearance on The Jump with Rachel Nichols and was asked about Walton becoming the new head coach of the Lakers. As expected, the veteran forward had nothing but high praise for his former teammate whom he won two consecutive titles playing alongside in Los Angeles and believes he’s the ideal choice for Los Angeles:
“When I was in the Finals I would talk to Luke,” World Peace said of his former teammate. “So I would go back to the bench and like, ‘Luke, what’s going on? What should I do?’ He’d just tell me, he would give me tips throughout the whole entire playoffs.
“I was always going to Luke and saying, ‘What should I do? What should I do?’ He’s perfect for the job. He’s so smart. So smart.”
Walton will have his work cut for him back in Los Angeles with the 36-year-old inheriting a team that finished with a franchise-worst record of 17-65 during the 2015-16 campaign. The first-time head coach will have a tall task ahead as he attempts to turn things around for the Lakers franchise with a roster currently filled with young and unproven talent.
As for World Peace, the 36-year-old veteran hopes to continue his playing career after resurrecting his NBA career during the 2015-16 season earning his way onto the Lakers roster during training camp with the team last year. Although World Peace didn’t play much in his return to Los Angeles, the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year left his mark on the team’s young players and had said he wants to play at least two more seasons.
It remains to be seen if World Peace will be re-signed by the team or ends up playing elsewhere next season. World Peace might even be a candidate for Walton’s coaching staff with the Lakers veteran expressing an interest in coaching once his playing days are over.