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Lakers' Metta World Peace is crazy about Mental Health Awareness

World Peace (right) getting pumped up before a game with team mate Matt Barnes 
(Credit:Kieth Allison/Flickr)
World Peace (right) getting pumped up before a game with team mate Matt Barnes (Credit:Kieth Allison/Flickr)

Formerly known as Ron Artest, the Lakers' Metta World Peace, is no stranger to pulling some of the wildest stunts in the NBA’s recent memory. World Peace is 6’7” and 260 lbs, but despite his bull-like stature, he’s kind of an enigma. He is a man whose unsurpassable talent is equal to his struggles with mental health issues. Think mathematician John Nash, Leo Tolstoy, or Kurt Cobain.

When you think of World Peace, think of Dennis Rodman, but introverted. Less concerned with hair dye, tattoos, cross-dressing and a “bad boy” persona, World Peace is more privy to struggle with his own metal health issues than succumb to a destructive partying lifestyle, as did Rodman. What’s more is that he’s unabashedly honest about it his psychiatric counseling. So honest in fact, that late last month, Metta starred in a mental health PSA, that at least for avid Laker fans like me, raised a few questions.

Watch the PSA below:

After seeing Metta fly high on a rocket-fueled skateboard throughout a dense cityscape, one has to ask-is this what he needs for his public image? And moreover, is this how Limelight Mental Health, the non-profit that sponsored the ad, should be portraying him, and was it manipulative?

Personally, I think Peace’s persona fits the silly and lighthearted feel of the PSA and that maybe a starker, drier approach would have been even more ridiculous. But however you feel about it, nothing about the Laker’s small-forward is going to change anytime soon, if ever. I guess we can all say the PSA just shows Metta being Metta, whether you like it or not.