Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took to the web to reflect on what he calls the "regression" of Metta World Peace and the "difficult reputation rebuild" ahead.
Abdul-Jabbar, critical of World Peace's sometimes violent tendencies, says "he can't seem to figure out who he wants to be," remarking that it's impossible to determine which Metta World Peace one might encounter: the "thoughtful athlete" or the player who delivered a full-force, concussion-causing elbow to the temple of a competitor.
The NBA all-time point earner and former coach says he has "agonized" over Metta World Peace's unpredictable, severe actions, and believes that despite genuine efforts to rehab his image, the reality of his behavior can't be ignored.
The Lakers forward was suspended by the NBA for seven games after the April 22 incident with the Oklahoma City Thunder guard.
Says "The Captain":
The NBA has done what it can to discipline Metta by suspending him for seven games. However, at this point it seems it is beyond the ability of anyone to really control him. Double-digit NBA suspensions haven't done the job yet. If he loses it again and someone really gets hurt, who will take the blame?
It's a pity that he wasn't able to stay on course. The person he wanted to be was truly an asset to the Lakers. Sadly, he will probably never regain their support.
Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner