Lakers’ Metta World Peace retires after 2017 NBA season? ‘I want to play a long time’

PHOTOGRAPH: Keith Allison/Flickr | Metta World Peace of the Los Angeles Lakers

Metta World Peace is currently playing his 17th season in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers and revealed that retirement isn’t yet on his plan. The 37-year-old small forward expressed his intention to play at least two more seasons in the NBA or overseas to give himself a 20-year pro career.

“I want to play a long time,” World Peace said. “That’s cool. All I got to do is work hard. I know what I have to do to get there. I set those goals a long time ago and I don’t have to think anymore.”

In his 17-year stint in the NBA, Metta World Peace played for six teams, including the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, and the Los Angeles Lakers. He won his first ever NBA championship title with the Lakers in 2010.

Metta World Peace missed game-winning shot against Timberwolves

After a year of playing overseas, the Lakers decided to bring him back to provide mentorship to their young players. World Peace isn’t an official part of the rotation as he only played 23 games and averaged 5.4 minutes this season. However, on their recent game, coach Luke Walton decided to use the veteran small forward in crunch time.

“We want to reward Metta every chance we get for how great he’s been this year and the way he’s worked and the way he helps the young guys and being positive,” Walton told The Orange County Register. “He’s been one of the better players in this league for a long time. He’s won a championship with this organization, obviously. So that comes into play.”

On Tuesday night, the Lakers played their last game at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Walton wanted to reward World Peace for everything he has done with the team by giving him playing time in the crucial part of the game. With 10.8 seconds remaining in the game, Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. blocked a Ricky Rubio’s shot.

D’Angelo Russell got the rebound and immediately made a play for the Lakers. With the Timberwolves leading by just two points, Russell found an open Metta World Peace on the three-point line. World Peace hesitated to shoot at first but later released the ball and missed. Luckily, Julius Randle grabbed the rebound and set Russell up for the game-winning three-pointer.

Metta World Peace hints final season with the Lakers

Though World Peace expressed his intention to play at least two more seasons, he’s open for the possibility that he’s not playing it wearing the purple and gold. The veteran small forward knew there are more deserving players than him who should be included on the Lakers’ roster.

“There’s too many free agents and rookies they have to sign,” World Peace said of the Lakers.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr

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