Metta World Peace defends inbounds pass in Lakers’ loss to Spurs

The land of Hollywood loves drama and plot twists. But when it comes to the Lakers’ game-winning shots, plenty of Lakers fans would just prefer watching the same loop over and over.

Find a way for Kobe Bryant to get open. Get him the ball. Then get out of the way and let the Lakers’ star make another clutch shot.

Metta World Peace didn’t follow that script, though.

With the Lakers trailing the San Antonio Spurs by two points with 9.3 seconds left, World Peace inbounded the ball. Even with Bryant meeting only single coverage as he cut toward the top of the key, World Peace passed the ball to Pau Gasol behind the perimeter.

As the seconds ticked down, Gasol then shot a three-pointer that hit the back iron. Game over. Lakers lose 84-82.

“Pau just had a good shot. He almost made it,” World Peace said. “It was an awesome shot. The crowd would’ve gone crazy if it went in.”

But it didn’t.

Instead, Bryant started lecturing World Peace about passing him the ball. Afterwards, Bryant simply chalked up the play as a “brain fart.”

Well, it sure smelled bad.

Once Gasol had the ball, Bryant had trouble getting off his defender. As Gasol looked for Bryant to get open, time kept ticking off the clock. Gasol then had no choice but to shoot a three-pointer.

“I don’t know how there’s confusion when a guy gets a wide open shot,” Lakers interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. “That’s definitely what happened to Gasol. He had a wide open shot. I’ll take that any day.”

Most Lakers fans would rather instead take a wide open Kobe Bryant. He usually makes those shots. He didn’t get a chance against the Spurs.

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