Many wanted the Lakers to amnesty Metta World Peace, but when it finally happened, there was sadness in Los Angeles as we all remembered his greatest moments in purple and gold.
Although World Peace signed a two-year deal with his hometown Knicks, he is still in Los Angeles and was on the set of Hallmark Channel’s “Home and Family” at Universal Studios on Friday.
According to Mark Medina of Los Angeles Daily News, World Peace wasn’t bitter toward the Lakers organization and recognized it was a “smart” move that saved them nearly $15 million in luxury taxes:
“I think it’s a good move. If I was the franchise, it’s different. But not being the franchise, they have to make a decision.”
As we’ve all come to know Metta, he decided to take it one step further and share what he would’ve done instead if he was the decision-maker. While he refused to share his choice, World Peace made sure to eliminate any possibility of it being Kobe:
“I would’ve amnestied everybody. It depends on what you’re trying to do. Kobe is the franchise so you can’t amnesty him. I would’ve made a bold decision. I won’t tell you who I would’ve amnestied.”
It’s unclear if World Peace was aware of the players who were candidates for the amnesty provision under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, but the Lakers could’ve used it on Kobe Bryant ($30.5 million), Pau Gasol ($19.3 million) or Steve Blake ($4 million).
Based on his comments alone and assuming he was aware of the CBA, it appears that Gasol would’ve been his likely choice — a decision that would’ve saved the Lakers nearly $60 million in luxury taxes. Gasol was rumored to be the candidate had Dwight Howard decided to stay in Los Angeles.
Despite everything that went wrong this past season, Metta was clearly one of the few bright spots for the Lakers. He had his best statistical season as a Laker and made an inspiring playoff return after undergoing left knee surgery just two weeks before.
Metta World Peace will always be a Laker, and I’m sure everyone wishes him well in New York — except when he plays the Lakers.
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