Metta World Peace is a walking, talking contradiction. At one point he was the face of everything that was wrong with the NBA, and then he went on to win an award for his superb citizenship. He is a former defensive player of the year, but he has routinely gotten smoked on that end of the floor ever since 2009. He was an albatross around the Los Angeles Lakers’ postseason run for much of their 2010 championship campaign, and then he hit the shot the locked up the team’s title that year.
There is no player in the league who is tougher to get a read on than the artist formerly known as Ron Artest. And because it’s so hard to make sense of the things he says and does, it is very difficult to know what to take away from his always fascinating interviews. Case in point: during a recent appearance on 710 ESPN, MWP explained that he was teaching Dwight Howard how to be leader. (Which, weirdly enough, explains a lot.)
“Dwight is learning how to be a leader,” MWP told ESPNLA 710 on Thursday. “He’s not yet a vocal leader because he hasn’t been in that situation enough to lead by example, so I have to really step up and lead more vocally and by example and I try to teach Dwight a little bit about what it takes to lead. I don’t have all the accolades that these guys have, mainly because of my dysfunction and my Tourette's [syndrome]. It’s not because of my play, because I’ve been suspended.
“Some guys look at my stats and they don’t see extra defensive player of the years and extra All-Stars because I’ve been in trouble my whole career. So sometimes I lead by example and make big shots and gain these guys’ respect. Everybody leads in different ways. We have a lot of different leaders.”
While the obvious point that jumps out from that passage is MWP saying that he is teaching Howard to be a leader, the far more interesting one is him mentioning his Tourette’s. The 33-year-old has made it no secret that he has battled his fair share of mental issues, but never once has he previously mentioned Tourette's. He was probably just joking around and saying that he speaks like a person with Tourette’s sometimes, but if he wasn’t, and if he actually does have Tourette's, in a weird way that too would explain a lot.