Two contrasting personalities, former opponents, to teammates and now – they are brothers. Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace, like it or not, will be connected in one way or the other.
World Peace feels elated that he was a part of the Lakers back in 2010 that won the championship. And for those who has a strong memory, World Peace bailed out Bryant’s bad shooting night in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.
Now, World Peace is back again in a Lakers uniform after being gone for a short time and appreciates the motivation that Bryant gives to him.
“[Kobe] kind of motivated me, actually, to continue to get better,” World Peace told Bleacher Report. “Because when I played against him I wasn’t as skilled. I was always tough, but I wasn’t skilled. So, essentially, he had a lot to do with my motivation. If I want to be good, and play with guys like this, I have to work on my game.”
World Peace will have the front seat when Kobe Bryant calls it quits in the end of the season and he just wants to do his part by helping his ‘brother’ retire peacefully in the sport of basketball.
“I just want to free Kobe up to have a really good season,” World Peace said. “I really don’t want him to have to focus on keeping the young guys focused. It’s his last season. His last season should be played at a high level, which, he’s playing at a high level. … I’m sure he can take on the world, and I’m sure if he had to take on the challenge of fixing the young guys and go out playing at a high level, he would. So I’m not saying I’m doing the job for him. But, for me personally, I would like to free him up. I want to see him have a really strong finish to his career.”
Laker’s Coach Byron Scott considers World Peace as one of his team leaders alongside with Bryant. Also setting the tone for the younger players on how to act professionally in the NBA.
“Everybody on this team loves [Metta],” Lakers head coach Byron Scott said. “He’s very professional about the way he approaches his job, and Kobe respects that. And once you’ve got his respect, pretty much you’ve got the respect of one of the best who’s ever played.”
Kobe Bryant himself acknowledges this relationship that he has with World Peace and is glad to be with him until the end of his career.
“I was telling Metta on the bench, when Paul [Pierce] was running back down, I said ‘you know Metta, I’m so damn happy we won that 2010 Finals because I’d be so sick as s*** sitting here right now.’ You know, and he felt the same way,” Bryant said.
“It’s been great, being with Metta. He and I go so far back…it’s been great having him around.”
When asked about his own personal plans after this season is over, Metta World Peace just had to trust ‘Spiritual Energy’ on where he will be.
“I’m not trying to predict my future right now. For me, it’s all about energy. Spiritual energy. For me, it’s bigger than the game. I just try to always stay in tune with my energy. From a universal standpoint. Just staying connected to things I’ve been through in the past even before I was born,” he said. “For me, it’s all bigger than the game of basketball as I evolve as a person, and then I just like to be here with guys that love to play the game of basketball. So it’s pretty cool, being connected to other people.”