Metta World Peace has played limited time but remains a leader for Lakers
It’s a white board that hangs on the wall at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo, dressed in Lakers colors. Yellow-striped with a Lakers logo and the words “Los Angeles Lakers Winners Board” in purple block letters at the top.
The name atop the list isn’t a name at all. It just says, “Queensbridge” — a nod to Metta World Peace, who grew up in Queens, N.Y.
“For me, it gives me a gauge on what I can still do and stuff,” World Peace said. “I’m always interested from hearing people talk about what somebody can and what they can’t do. For me, it gets me engaged just to see where I’m at.”
The winners board tracks wins in practice during drills and scrimmages. When the Lakers’ injuries became so many they needed coaches to help during practice, those coaches were awarded points for wins.
Until Lou Williams was traded to the Houston Rockets, he led the leaderboard. His departure opened the door for players such as World Peace, Jordan Clarkson and Tarik Black to climb the ranks.
To some degree it’s all in good fun. But it does get competitive.
For World Peace, it offers a way to measure himself.
“It’s not like anything I’m trying to prove,” World Peace said. “We’re working together. We got a good team. Me personally, I just want to finish off my career strong. This is a good group of guys. But I’ve been doing that every practice. If you ask any player I practice with, they’ll tell you I work hard in practice. It’s really about just not changing, giving everything we got. Kind of like heavy metal. Heavy metal you give it all you got every time.”
World Peace has played only 8 minutes 20 seconds in the past two months. Overall this season, he’s played 88 minutes and seen time in 20 games.
He still sees himself playing 20 seasons — this is his 18th of professional basketball, and he made the roster after earning a spot during training camp. He’d love to return to the Lakers next year, but knows whether that happens will depend on other factors.
“When I first came back I always told people I don’t worry about that,” World Peace said. “I just worry about working hard and just doing my job. My job this year was to help the young guys but at the same time give 100%. That’s why you see me at the top of the board.”
Lakers forward Brandon Ingram did not practice Monday as he received treatment for tendinitis in his right patellar tendon. Ingram missed some of practice with the injury on Thursday. He played for most of Friday’s game, but didn’t finish it as the injury flared up again. Lakers Coach Luke Walton said Ingram would be playing if the Lakers were in a playoff race, but their priority is making sure he’s completely healthy. …
LAKERS VS WASHINGTON WIZARDS
When: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. PDT.
Where: Staples Center.
On the air: TV: Spectrum SportsNet, Spectrum Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.
Records: Lakers 21-52; Wizards 45-28.
Record vs. Wizards: 0-1.
Update: The Wizards have won three games in a row, including one against the defending chamion Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland was at full strength and John Wall scored 37 points with 11 assists. The Wizards are making a push for seeding in the East, and trail the Cavaliers and the Celtics.
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli
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