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Metta World Peace is a Lakers starter, but nothing is permanent

LAKERS FYI

He is latest in revolving door at small forward position, after Devin Ebanks and Matt Barnes don't produce big numbers. World Peace seems to accept things could change again depending on performance.

January 31, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers forward Metta World Peace shows his frustration after being called for a foul during Tuesday's game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Can World Peace stay in the Lakers' starting lineup?
Lakers forward Metta World Peace shows his frustration after being called… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

It's Metta World Peace's turn. It's anyone's guess whether he can do the job for the Lakers.

He became their third small forward to start a game, the revolving door not spitting out much production at the position through 22 games.

Devin Ebanks started the first four games, then Matt Barnes got the next 16, followed by World Peace the last two games.

The trio averaged a combined 14.9 points before Tuesday's game against Charlotte, or only 51% of LeBron James' scoring average for Miami (29.2 points).

"I don't know, man," Ebanks said. "It's funny with this team, how constantly it changes, how many rotations there have been recently. You've just got to stay ready with this team, keep your head straight, keep your confidence up."

Ebanks has the lowest average of the three (2.5 points) but wants to be a starter. Barnes also wants to start, showing his displeasure by cursing and appearing agitated when taken out of last week's game in Milwaukee, his last as a starter.

But World Peace doesn't seem to care whether he starts or sits.

"It don't make any difference, really, whatever it is," he said.

Lakers Coach Mike Brown has few options if World Peace falters. He can go back to Ebanks or Barnes. Or he can try Jason Kapono or Luke Walton.

He doesn't have high expectations for the position, saying they didn't need to "make home run plays or do anything out of the box for what their game is."

"I hope we can get a starter and stay with a starter," he added.

He wasn't sold on World Peace as a permanent fixture.

"It's not necessarily that I put Metta in and I think that, OK, it's a saving grace and we're fine," Brown said. "It's a process that we still have to go through. Right now it's his turn, and if it continues to work out with him being there, then he'll continue to stay."

Author, not coach

Phil Jackson will release another book next year, "Eleven Rings," publisher Penguin Press announced Tuesday.

The content wasn't specified, but it will probably be a collection of anecdotes and memories over 20 seasons as a head coach in the NBA.

He won six championships while coaching Chicago and five with the Lakers.

His most recent book, "The Last Season," infamously critiqued Kobe Bryant after the 2003-04 season, when Jackson left the team shortly after the Lakers lost to Detroit in the NBA Finals.

Of course, Jackson returned to the Lakers within a year and repaired his relationship with Bryant, and they won two more championships together. Only in Hollywood.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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