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Metta World Peace: 'I don't really base my life around money'

November 11, 2011 |  3:16 pm

Metta World Peace might make other NBA players cringe when he talks about the lockout.

His goes on random tangents. He doesn't speak like a politician the way players' union President Derek Fisher does. And, well, how does anyone expect an owner or NBA Commissioner David Stern to take someone seriously after he changes his name to Metta World Peace?

So of course, some players may dislike what he said Friday afternoon about the NBA labor negotiations: "When I came to the Lakers, it wasn’t about money for me. It wasn’t about money. I didn’t even negotiate. I asked, 'What do you want to give me?' and I signed it. Other players have concerns, but I don’t really base my life around money."

But in his own zany way, Ron Ron offered some well-needed perspective on the current work stoppage while making an appearance Friday at the Hollywood & Highland Center promoting Sungevity, a residential solar company that features an ice cream truck that runs on solar panels and bio fuel.

"Instead of trying to become basketball players and a rapper, get a degree or become an owner," World Peace said. "Get into real estate. Really take your education seriously in college. Not everybody will make it. There’s only 400 players in the NBA. What are you going to do after that? How many more businesses are you creating so we don’t have to go through this and in the future we don’t have to go through this?"

World Peace raises a good point about the necessity viewing what the lockout means beyond money. That's why he appeared disinterested in analyzing the owners' current offer that features a 50-50 split in basketball-related income. World Peace, who signed with the Lakers in 2009 to a five-year, $33-million deal at the mid-level exception, stressed his disregard for money when he was asked his concerns about the next labor deal drastically cutting the MLE. He routinely described the lockout as "educational," arguing he had more experience handling his finances after drawing an 86-game suspension for his involvement in the infamous Malice at the Palace brawl in 2004.

"It’s their business," World Peace said. "It’s not our business. As you can see, Mr. Stern can change rules whenever he wants. He does that a lot and sometimes it’s better for the game. But it’s educational for me." 

-- Mark Medina

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