Los Angeles Lakers starting forward Metta World Peace revealed on Conan last night what he has been up to since being hit with a seven-game suspension following a devastating elbow to the head of Oklahoma City Thunder reserve James Harden on April 22.
While he still has two games left to sit out before rejoining his team in the playoffs, World Peace said he's spending the time working out to stay in shape. But! He's also been hard at work readying a new hip-hop mixtape (he pointed viewers to his website for more details).
The last time the defensive-minded player promoted his rap music, he was roundly criticized by most sports media outlets, as the Lakers and Ron Artest — as he was known back then — had just turned in a particularly pitiful effort against the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. He apologized via Twitter but proceeded to drop the BALL'N Mixtape anyway. We were glad he did, as it came stacked with notable collaborations to help Ron-Ron round out his songs.
The Metta World Passion Mixtape is scheduled to drop on iTunes in two weeks. Last night, MWP's website promised 100 free signed copies before the drop date to those who sent their info to The Ron and Metta Show's podcast email — which I did. Spurred by his television appearance, which had been originally rescheduled due to his suspension, 20k emails flooded in, which was too much, too soon. Fans were directed instead to sign up for his newsletter, and World Peace provided an acapella take of “Shut'n Down” for a contest to see who could drop the best beat.
For the rest of us, we'll just have to wait to hear what the Metta World Passion Mixtape will bring. As the cover notes state, it will include the celebratory anthem “Champions,” released in 2010 when the Lakers last brought home the Larry O'Brien trophy. The Lakers have a long way to go towards returning to the NBA finals but take another step tonight in a possible close out game against the Denver Nuggets.
If they are to reign as champions again this year, World Peace, who was playing his best ball in a Lakers uniform last month, will have to get out of the recording studio and back on the court. Shame.