LeBron Artest, am I right?

Hey man, if you were going to take a wild guess at how Metta World Peace would describe LeBron James, would you guess he’d say something along the lines of “He’s a more athletic me?” I hope so, because that’s exactly what he said.

From the Los Angeles Times:

World Peace wasn’t overly complimentary afterward, other than saying James was a “smart player.”

“You’ve got to give credit to everybody,” World Peace said. “You’ve got to give credit to the shooters on his team. You’ve got to give credit to coaches drawing up great plays. You’ve got to give credit to the screen-and-rolls that they set. It’s all about the team. It’s not about one individual.”

But what if that individual is averaging 35.5 points in two games against the Lakers while shooting a sublime 67%? And averaging seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in the two victories?

“I’m like four or five years before my career’s over. I compliment after my career’s over,” said World Peace, who has one more year and $7.7 million left on his Lakers contract.

“We’re actually trying to win a championship this year. When my career’s over, I’ll give praise to guys who dominated that I stopped and guys that had good games against me. Right now it’s just not appropriate for me to judge anybody positive or negative.”

The closest World Peace came to complimenting James was a couple of days before the game.

“He’s definitely strong,” World Peace said, trying to find the right metaphor. “He reminds me of a more athletic me.”

Yeah, of course — this is exactly what a person would guess Metta World Peace would say about LeBron James. After all, MWP is the guy who once said Brandon Roy and a guy named Mike Chafley were the best players he’d ever played against. Obviously he’s going to look at LeBron James, who kind of is all of the good parts of prime Metta World Peace amplified 1,000 percent, and describe him as “a more athletic me.” That makes all the Metta World Sense in the Metta World, if you really think about it. I mean, LeBron’s no Mike Chafley, that’s for sure. So he must be closer to MWP himself. It’s math.

And like I said, prime Metta World Peace (who was really Ron Artest back then, which is key to remember when you’re digging out his old quotes) kind of was LeBron James-y before LeBron truly became LEBRON JAMES. Never as good, duh, but they used to be able to do similar things like handle the ball, post up, look really strong, create for their teammates, guard just about anybody and change their uniform number from 23 to something else. Even though his best season (that 7-game campaign before he punched all those fans, when he was a legitimate MVP candidate) is only really one of LeBron’s “worst” seasons, but MWP could definitely do some LeBron things back in the day.

So yeah, LeBron is a more athletic Metta World Peace. He’s also a better shooter, thinker, passer, defender and rebounder but he is also that. They’re not mutually exclusive, so Metta is technically right here. I’m just interested in hearing how he’d describe Kevin Durant. Just a hunch, but I’m guessing he reminds MWP of a taller him.

(via SLAM)