Metta World Peace arrives to training camp out of shape
Normally, most athletes enter training camp raving about the pounds they shed, the muscle they developed and the speed they added.
As most have already noticed by now, Metta World Peace isn't your typical athlete.
Without prompting, he admitted he entered the first day of training camp on Friday out of shape. He revealed he had an Achille's tendon injury during last season's playoffs and couldn't fully heal it during the offseason because the lockout prevented visits to trainer Gary Vitti. And World Peace acknowledged taking a full two months off this summer, when he played very little basketball.
"When David Stern says there's going to be a nuclear winter, I'm thinking the season isn't starting anytime soon," said World Peace, who will wear the No. 15 jersey number this season. "So a little more martinis in November and then, boom, David Stern says no nuclear winter and we have a season."
World Peace's brutal honesty might not be the best approach considering the Lakers have contemplated waiving his three-year, $21.5 million contract under the recently approved amnesty rule. But his admission that he's overweight shouldn't spark more concerns than he's already elicited.
"The thing that excited me about him is during drillls he always tried to keep himself in to give himself some extra reps," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said. "I know for sure he went through at least two practice jerseys if not more. He's working his tail off and you can't ask for anything more."
Except perhaps to arrive to training camp in better shape.
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Photo: Forward Metta World Peace -- yes, formerly Ron Artest -- towels off during the end of the Lakers' first practice on Friday in El Segundo. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times