In one instance, Metta World Peace defended Mike Brown's coaching job after the Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games in the Western Conference semifinals. In another, he quickly poked fun at Brown.
"It was a drastic change. It was big getting used to, but at the same time we should still be up 3-2," World Peace said. "Mike wasn't out there guarding Kevin [Durant]. That was me. Kevin scored on me. Mike didn't throw turnovers at the end of the game. Mike didn't miss three-point shots. I missed three-point shots. Mike didn't come in out of shape."
World Peace then paused.
"He did come in out of shape. He is a fat....."
Yes, it's fair to say Brown isn't exactly spending all those long hours at the Lakers' practice facility pumping iron and running full-court sprints. Instead, he spent most of his time there breaking down film, putting together a comprehensive scouting report and trying to install a new system during a compacted schedule.
Oh, World Peace had gripes. Earlier in the season, the Lakers' forward suggested Brown was wrongfully critiquing his poor shooting numbers simply because he's a "stats guy," an overt jab to Brown landing his first NBA job as a video coordinator in 1992 for the Denver Nuggets.
But World Peace, in his own zany sort of way, meant to illustrate that the Lakers' main shortcomings were their own. He blamed most of the team for deferring too much to Kobe Bryant without "chipping in." World Peace faulted himself for arriving to training camp out of shape, partly because he had an untreated nerve issue in his back since the lockout kept him from consulting the Lakers' training staff. World Peace argued the team "underachieved" simply because it had boasted new personnel.
That's why World Peace was hardly surprised the Lakers coughed up fourth-quarter leads in Games 2 and 4 against the Thunder.
"We were the best team in the NBA and lost in five [games]," he said. "The best team in the NBA should be up 3-2 and playing tomorrow, but the [Oklahoma City Thunder was the] better team that took advantage of the moment, that took advantage of their time, they seized, they grabbed it and they held on to it."
But don't blame any of that on Brown, according to World Peace. Even if he did arrive at training camp out of shape.
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