By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers officially decided to use their amnesty clause on forward Metta World Peace. World Peace was set to make $7.7 million next year and did pick up the player option he had. The Lakers are set to save about $14 million in luxury tax with amnestying World Peace. Other Lakers that could have been victims of the amnesty clause includes Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Blake. The signing of new Laker Nick Young made it easier for the Lakers to amnesty Metta and Young will be expected to take the starting small forward position.
It is a sad thing to hear that World Peace will no longer be wearing purple and gold on the court with all the memories that Laker fans will be left with. Kobe Bryant said it himself, there is no game 7 without World Peace referring to the game 7 against the Boston Celtics in 2010.
The formerly known Ron Artest, who was involved in one of the biggest sports brawls in history when he was playing for the Indiana Pacers, has definitely come a long way. He has become a fan favorite on and off the court in Los Angeles. He is a player that will always be cheered for even when wearing a different jersey. It was just a few years ago that he had a couple of confrontations with Bryant on the court but he then chose to join the Lakers and helped them win a championship.
World Peace could be playing for a number of teams next season. A team with cap space that bids for him like the Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons, and Cleveland Cavaliers, or maybe a team like the New York Knicks which has been said to have a lot of interest if Metta can clear waivers but he recently told Dave McMenamin, Lakers beat writer for ESPN that he is interested in playing in China and that was his number one priority. Whatever team he ends up with it will be difficult for Laker fans to cheer against him. There will definitely be a big standing ovation for him whenever it is that he returns to the Staples Center. He became one of those Lakers that deep inside will be a Laker for life.