After 12 years as a starter in the NBA, Metta World Peace has a new role to go with his new name. The former Ron Artest will lead the bench unit for the Los Angeles Lakers this season as their sixth man, including on Monday night in their NBA preseason debut against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center.
World Peace has started 721 of his 763 career games, including all 159 games in his two seasons with the Lakers. But he has embraced the new role, envisioning a bigger scoring role coming off the bench this year. "We're just trying to win a championship," he told Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, "so that's all that matters."
Here are the probable starting lineups for Monday's exhibition:
Point Guard: Chris Paul
Shooting Guard: Chauncey Billups
Small Forward: Caron Butler
Power Forward: Blake Griffin
Center: DeAndre Jordan
Point Guard: Steve Blake
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant
Small Forward: Matt Barnes
Power Forward: Pau Gasol
Center: Andrew Bynum
Derek Fisher is still getting back into playing shape and will not play Monday night, with head coach Mike Brown saying he didn't want to rush Fisher back after his long offseason. Barnes and Devin Ebanks are expected to get minutes at small forward in the exhibition season, as Brown still hasn't named his starter for the season.
Monday's 7:30 p.m. PST game will be televised by Fox Sports West, Prime Ticket, and NBA TV. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll. For all things Clippers, be sure to read Clips Nation.