The Duncan Banner

Sports

December 8, 2012

OKC villain on the court, work-in-progress off it

OKLAHOMA CITY — To Thunder fans, Metta World Peace is a devil-like villain. He is No. 15 in their game programs but No. 666 in their hearts.

They watched him smash his elbow into the side of James Hardin’s head during the 2012 NBA playoffs — and thought, “Something is not right with this dude”.

They watched him Friday, when the Lakers visited OKC for the first time since that fateful postseason series, and saw him stare down the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka, coiling like a cobra ready to spread violent venom at a moment’s notice — and they thought, “This dude needs help”.

To which, World Peace says: Tell me something I don’t know.

“Seven years ago,” he said. That’s when the Los Angeles Lakers star forward decided to re-enter counseling for anger, marriage, and parenting issues.

World Peace grew up poor in Queensbridge, N.Y., in an unstable home. His parents separated when he was 13, and his dad was diagnosed with bi-polar, an often debilitating mental disorder that can be inherited.

Now, he talks to Santhi Periasamy, a Houston-based psychologist about everything from on-court frustrations to his family life and media scrutiny.

“Counseling is a good chance to express my feelings,” World Peace said Friday. “It helps me to get control of my emotions.”

Thunder fans expressed their emotions Friday and showed that their memories are significantly longer than Peace’s short fuse. His introduction was greeted by the loudest boos of the evening. He drew cat-calls in every period and re-entered the realm of devil villain when he and Ibaka nearly locked horns with 2:56 left in the game. They had to be separated.

Fans are right to boo the on-court behavior of World Peace. But they’re wise to remember that on-court behaviors are only one part of the man.

Fans aren’t booing the whole man. They don’t know the whole man, who realized he needs help and is getting it.

Sources say mental health advocacy has become the biggest part of World Peace’s life. He’s spoken to Congress in Washington as an advocate of mental health. And this summer, he auctioned his 2010 NBA Championship ring for $651,006 and donated the money to mental health charities.

“Doesn’t surprise me,” Lakers teammate Jordan Hill said. “I didn’t know about that, but it doesn’t surprise me. You expect things like that from Metta.

“If he’s at a stoplight and sees a homeless person, he’ll roll down his window, open his pocket, and give him money. I’ve seen him do it. That’s just the way he is.”

Antawn Jamison, who joined the Lakers in July, said World Peace is a caring person. “That’s the thing that surprised me when I came here,” Jamison said. “He was one of the guys who really wanted to get to know me when I got here. It’s dog-eat-dog on the court. You have to be tough and dominate. But he does a good job of turning it off when he’s off the court.

“As intimidating as he is on the court, he’s opposite off of it.”

Patients at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA found that out this summer. World Peace visited the hospital and spoke to 13 adults who suffer from mental disorders. After visiting with them for half an hour, he spoke to 23 children facing similar challenges.

His message: You and I are not so different. We have the same problems. I make mistakes.

So you don’t have to tell World Peace he needs help. He knows it. And he’s doing something about it.

Boo the bully behavior. It calls for that.

But respect the man who realizes his issues and takes the hard steps toward help. It more than calls for that.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Price Gayanich and Price featured at All State

    With Comanche’s Jacob Hammond not participating, Indian coach Nick Price and Velma-Alma’s Jaz Gayanich represent Stephens County at the 2014 All State Boys’ Basketball game at Oral Roberts University’s Mabee Center Thursday night.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Gray and Revels represent Stephens County at All State

    Both Comanche’s Shane Revels and Duncan’s Jett Gray lost their matches at the 2014 All State big-schools dual at Bixby High School Wednesday night,

    July 31, 2014

  • Coaches OU football coaches talk about season at local fundraiser

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived at Journey Church on Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • All Stater Gray represents Duncan at All State

    Jett Gray will represent all of Stephens County at the All State wrestling dual on Wednesday at Bixby High School.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tennis All State group All State wrapup

    There has been plenty of success for Stephens County High Schools this year and with that comes All State nominations.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Duncan tennis sets a new mark of success

    Sustained success for many years makes it difficult for Duncan high school tennis to earn achievements it already hasn’t accomplished.

    July 29, 2014

  • Breaking through For Coffman, All State runs in the family

    Following in his parents’ footsteps, George “Trey” Coffman III takes part in the Oklahoma All State Baseball Game at 7 p.m. in J.L. Johnson Stadium on Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • VA’s Allison coaching small-schools

    In his first year at Velma-Alma, Colt Allison led the Comets to a regional final appearance in baseball, took over as the football head coach and was named the small-schools coach for the baseball All State game on Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Big game atmosphere VYPE picks Duncan to make playoffs

    Despite facing a rigorous schedule, Duncan was picked by VYPE’s preseason football preview to return to the postseason after a one-year hiatus.
    With new coach Craig Benson taking over this season, the magazine predicted Duncan will finish fourth in Class 5A District 1 ahead of Chickasha and behind Ardmore. The Demons are also ranked as the No. 16 team in the Class, with Lawton Mac being the highest ranked team in the district at No. 4.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Poll

Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results