Magic Johnson is sort of like the Godfather of the Lakers. He is no longer a player on the team, but still has a stake in the team as an executive vice president. He is still the face of the Lakers for a lot of people and I would bet a lot of Lakers fans still take his word as gospel.
How can you hate Magic Johnson?
So when Earvin does not have that flashy smile across his face and he calls you out, well, it is like disappointing your father. I mean, how can you make Magic Johnson angry? The guy just loves life.
The player formerly known as Ron Artest may be getting a call to the Godfather's office for a stern talking to... once the lockout ends.
Johnson danced around the issue of talking about current players as he is subject to Darth Stern's gag order during the lockout as a Lakers executive, but eventually Jay Leno (the hard-hitting journalist he is) got Magic to reveal his true feelings toward Artest's decision to legally change his name to Metta World Peace (h/t Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times). In fact, a lot of things about Artest, excuse me, World Peace seemed to get to the Lakers great.
"What is the announcer going to say, Jay?" Johnson said. "How is he going to announce him? Ron, come back down to Earth please."
Good luck with that. I think coaches have been trying to get Artest to come back down to earth since kindergarten, certainly everyone from Phil Jackson to Mike Jarvis have tried. Nobody has yet to succeed.
Johnson seemed annoyed with World Peace's activities off the field during this offseason. World Peace competed in Dancing with the Stars and was eliminated rather quickly.
There is no telling what kind of player World Peace will be. I imagine his technical fouls will be down, but World Peace scored a career low 8.5 points per game and posted a career-low 11.2 PER last year. There is a joke in that sentence that pretty much says it was not a good year for World Peace. Not a good year at all. I mean, you can feel the rage building in everyone.
For this planet's sake, let's hope Magic Johnson can give Metta World Peace a chance to redeem himself on the court. And let's hope, World Peace can have a good season next time he takes the court.
I just hope there are no repercussions from Don Magic Johnson once the two can talk again.
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