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
  • 4-24 duncan baseball photo.jpg Demon baseball to face best in Class 5A

    The Duncan baseball team will see the best Class 5A has to offer at the McAlester Shootout Thursday through Saturday.
    Demon coach Tim Hightower described the event as a “pre-state tournament” because many of the teams attending are state tournament contenders.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-24 duncan girls soccer photo.jpg Soccer teams finish season at home

    The Duncan soccer teams won’t go to the postseason, but they have plenty to play for Friday night against Western Heights.
    It’s the last home games for the Demons and it’s Senior Night. The girls will look to finish near .500 for the season, while the boys want a good showing against a tough opponent.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Chamber Golf Classic proves to be popular event

    When word got out that entries would be accepted for the Duncan Chamber Golf Classic, set for Friday at the Duncan Golf and Tennis Club, it didn’t take long for people to respond.
    As club general manager Mike Hansen put it: “They sent out an e-mail and filled it up in a day.”

    April 24, 2014

  • Thunder look to bounce back

    During the hey day of L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, a new term was added to the lexicon. Anyone who seemingly was able to slow down the prolific scorer was automatically dubbed the Kobe Stopper.
    Players such as Ruben Patterson, Raja Bell, Shane Battier, Ron Artest and Bruce Bowen all had the tag attached to their name, despite Bryant putting up big numbers against them.

    April 24, 2014

  • Surviving the first day VA survives first day

    Alec Richardson is making a run at becoming Velma-Alma baseball’s Reggie Jackson.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23 duncan baseball photo.jpg Demons hoping for top-four finish

    The Duncan baseball team will need to take care of business next week in its final District 2-5A games.
    The Demons are 7-5 in district (16-9 overall) after dropping both games of a doubleheader at Carl Albert Monday, 8-1 and 4-1. The Titans (13-1, 26-4) won the district title.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Girls soccer gets it done at Altus

    The Duncan girls soccer team battled in a tough environment at Altus to win 1-0 Tuesday.
    Lady Demon coach Delydia Gay said it was frustrating at times for the girls because of some questionable calls the officials made. But she was happy the girls pulled together to win.

    April 23, 2014

  • Meshell shines as Outlaws beat Warriors

    The Marlow baseball team got help from Beau Meshell on the mound and at the plate in a 7-4 home victory against Anadarko Tuesday.
    Meshell held Anadarko to one earned run off three hits and did not walk a batter. He reached base three times, had one run batted in and scored one run.

    April 23, 2014

  • Girls golfers take fourth at Deer Creek

    The Duncan girls golfers took fourth at a tournament hosted by Deer Creek High School at Coffee Creek Golf Course in Edmond Tuesday.
    Lady Demon coach Steve Etheridge said that the girls played as well as they have all year. Although the golfers struggled putting on some fast greens, Etheridge was happy with their overall performance.

    April 23, 2014

  • Empire softball tries to spark offense

    The Lady Bulldogs are trying to find a way to spice up their offense in preparation for the Class 3A slowpitch softball playoffs.
    Empire has played a tough schedule, with four of the first seven games coming against ranked opponents. However, coach Tony Roberts thinks the team just needs to have some more timely hitting to get on the winning track.

    April 23, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
Poll

Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results