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Ex-Laker Metta World Peace Says He Belongs in Hall of Fame Based on His Defense

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace (37) in action during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

Metta World Peace believes he should be in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

His reasoning? Defense, as he told Van Lathan on The Red Pill Podcast (h/t TMZ Sports) when asked if he should be in the Hall of Fame:

"Off my defense, definitely. When you get Reggie Miller saying, 'He's the best defender ever.' You get Kobe saying, 'He's the greatest defender ever on the wing.' And you get Kawhi [Leonard]—when I left the NBA and came back, Kawhi was like, 'Man, where you been at? So happy to see you back.'  Michael Jordan early on in my career—he's one of my favorite players— it's documented. So it's not just me saying this." 

There's no question that World Peace was an excellent defender in his prime, though Kobe Bryant said in 2016 that "the player I always had the most trouble with individually was Tony Allen. Always."

He also called Allen the best defender he ever faced on a pair of signed shoes:

Tony Allen @aa000G9

Salute ✊ @kobebryant #Respect 🙏 https://t.co/vq60gu8XHb

A few things hurt World Peace's Hall of Fame chances. He was an All-Star just once in his career and averaged an unremarkable 13.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. He averaged 20 or more points in a season just twice.

His role in the Malice at the Palace—one of the darkest moments in NBA history—could also play against his bid.

But World Peace has some positives on his resume, too. He was a four-time All-Defensive selection (twice on the first team, twice on the second team), was the 2003-04 Defensive Player of the Year and a 2003-04 third-team All-NBA selection. In his prime, he was an excellent player and an elite defender on the wing.

Is that enough to make him a Hall of Famer someday, though?

Most likely not.