Metta World Peace Is the Unofficial Jester of the Lakers, NBA

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2013

The Los Angeles Lakers' 16-21 start has drawn a variety of reactions from those closest to the action.

Kobe Bryant and head coach Mike D'Antoni haven't hidden their frustrations. Dwight Howard has preached patience. Steve Nash has attempted to dissect the root of those struggles.

Metta World Peace has apparently learned the importance of laughing at himself. Well, that or he's simply auditioning for his next professional venture.

Following his team's 113-93 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night, a team he told reporters his Lakers were "supposed to beat," World Peace unleashed a 10-minute commentary seemingly addressing everything but the state of the franchise.

He bemoaned the "low expectations" put forth by the media. He refused to comment on the victory considering the caliber of L.A's opponents (the Cavaliers hold an unsightly 9-30 record). He pleaded with reporters to promote the importance of team and not the individual efforts of the club's superstar contingency, a contingency he noted did not include his name amid the preseason chatter.

Simply put, he was even more Metta World Peace than usual.

The Lakers need someone in the locker room to effectively rid it of the somber mood surrounding the very realistic observation that the playoff chances are getting bleak.

It's going to take more than boiled-over frustrations, more than a social media response to a reported schism developing between the team's two biggest stars, Bryant and Howard (via USA Today).

World Peace is more than capable of drawing attention. For better or worse, he's dominated more media coverage than perhaps any other career 14.2 points-per-game scorer.

The Lakers could use a few chuckles, particularly if they fall short of the postseason for just the second time since the 1993-94 season.