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Mike Brown, Metta World Peace appear at odds

World Peace questions Mike Brown's substitutions and says Lakers coach is too reliant on statistics. Brown says he told the struggling forward, 'If I was a stats guy . . . you wouldn't be playing.'

February 14, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers forward Ron Artest, right, talks with Coach Mike Brown during a game against Utah on Dec. 27.
Lakers forward Ron Artest, right, talks with Coach Mike Brown during a game… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

For a guy who changed his name to promote harmony, there's very little of it for Metta World Peace these days.

The Lakers forward continued to struggle on offense Tuesday and claimed to be irritated by Coach Mike Brown's substitution patterns.

"Phil [Jackson] had been here for 10 years, so his consistency was pretty easy. We've got new players and new coaches and it took a long time to build some consistency," World Peace said Tuesday before the Lakers played Atlanta. "That affected not just my game; it affected a couple of people early on.

"Now you see guys starting to hit shots. You can see a slight change. Even for the rookie point-guard situation, even who's starting [at small forward] from Matt [Barnes] to Devin [Ebanks], just waiting to find out . . . it was frustrating because trying to find that consistency, we're losing. I don't know how many losses we got. Losing is definitely unacceptable."

World Peace recently said Brown was too devoted to statistics.

"His background is video coordinator or whatever. So he's all stats," World Peace told CBSsports.com. "But Ron Artest is all feel. [Brown] doesn't understand that. Having me in the game at the end, he was worried about me shooting bad from the free-throw line. And I was like, 'I could care less because I'm gonna get a stop [defensively] at the end of the game.'"

Brown talked to World Peace on Tuesday morning about his attitude.

"I said . . . 'If I was a stats guy, Metta, you wouldn't be playing at all. Look at your stats offensively. And then Synergy [Sports Technology] says you're the 192nd-best defensive player in the league,'" Brown said. "If I was a stats guy, the guy that should be playing at the small-forward spot is Devin Ebanks because he's shooting better than you and Matt."

World Peace was averaging 4.7 points, shooting a woeful 19% from three-point range and logging only 22.4 minutes a game before Tuesday. All three would be career lows if they stayed that way the rest of the season.

Ebanks started the first four games of the season before giving way to Barnes, who started 16 games until World Peace was given the job.

World Peace kept saying Tuesday he needed more "consistency." He played 34 minutes last week against Boston, then 12 minutes against New York, then 27 minutes against Toronto.

Brown defended his substitution patterns.

"I don't think it's any different if you look at a lot of other teams," he said. "I think a lot of guys, especially teams with new coaches that are putting new systems in, they've got to get a feel for what their team can do and what their players can do. God bless anybody that can walk into any situation and after two games figure out what rotation he wants to have and keep it that way for the rest of the year."

Brown's first NBA job was video coordinator with Denver in 1992. Then he became an assistant coach in Washington, San Antonio and Indiana before spending five seasons as Cleveland's head coach. He was fired by the Cavaliers after the 2009-10 season.

"There are plenty of guys that started the way I started and have had successful careers," Brown said before making one last reference to World Peace's "He's all stats" comment.

"It was kind of funny, I thought."

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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