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Metta World Peace becomes 'Metta Man'

May 30, 2012|By Mark Medina
  • Lakers forward Metta World Peace has filmed a public service announcement on mental health issues, starring as a superhero.
Lakers forward Metta World Peace has filmed a public service announcement… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

The thing that makes Metta World Peace so endearing is his transparent personality.

He revels in sharing what's on his mind, no matter how goofy he sounds. Even when he's away from the cameras, World Peace remains the same approachable and down-to-earth person. And most importantly, World Peace talks openly about his vulnerabilities with mental health issues in hopes that it helps others.

Yes, World Peace occasionally stumbles. His vicious elbow to Oklahoma City guard James Harden earned him a seven-game suspension and there was no justification for it. But in covering him for the last 2 1/2 seasons, it's easy to sense his conflicted emotions. World Peace constantly appears as if he trying to do the right thing even if his emotions push him into doing something wrong.

That's why it shouldn't be surprising that World Peace's latest public service announcement for mental health awareness features everything that makes the Lakers forward so weird and captivating. He stars as Metta Man, a superhero who skateboards on tall buildings, performs acrobatic flips and dunks basketballs as if he's Blake Griffin. It looks odd given World Peace's lack of much athleticism -- despite healing his back issues and Achilles tendon as well as throwing down a few dunks this season. And because it deviates from a typical PSA for mental health awareness. But that's probably the point.

"I may do some wild stunts at times," World Peace said in the PSA for Limelight Mental Health. "But there's something I'm really serious about -- mental health."

World Peace has often said the therapy doesn't necessarily cure his mental health problems. But it makes him more comfortable in controlling it. It also makes it easier for him not to feel ashamed sharing the weird parts of his personality, while ensuring he doesn't channel that energy negatively.

As demonstrated with the Harden incident, World Peace hasn't always mastered that. But as he showed with raffling off his championship ring for mental health charities, speaking to schools and making PSAs like the one above, World Peace is well on his way.

(H/T to Ball Don't Lie)

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Email the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com. Follow the Lakers blog on Twitter.

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