Metta World Peace predicts Lakers will make NBA Finals

Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace

As his former Lakers teammates, fans and reporters can all attest out here, Metta World Peace spent four seasons with the Lakers saying some pretty weird things.

Now that he joined the New York Knicks this offseason after the Lakers waived him through amnesty provision, the former Ron Artest has kept that habit up.

The Lakers may have lost Dwight Howard. They have cut ties with World Peace. They may face various health concerns involving Kobe Bryant (left Achilles tendon), Steve Nash (right hamstring) and Pau Gasol (knees). Skepticism remains on if the Lakers’ veteran-laden roster can handle the speed that the Clippers, Oklahoma City and Golden State boast.

No matter.

“I think the Lakers are going to go to the NBA Finals,” World Peace told ESPN New York. “I think Kobe’s gonna be healthy, they’re gonna get Pau. The Lakers are gonna make a big trade like they always do. They’re gonna get another good player, boom, boom, and they’re gonna go to the Finals. I believe it. Kobe’s gonna come back, he’s gonna play team ball, and Pau’s gonna play well.”

Last season, World Peace’s predictions didn’t come close to coming true.

He boasted the Lakers would break the NBA’s regular season record the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team set with a 72-10 mark. The Lakers went 45-37. Even as the losing persisted, World Peace believed the Lakers would still win an NBA championship. The San Antonio Spurs swept them in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

That’s why only someone, such as World Peace, could say the Knicks gives him the best chance to win a ring when the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Clippers and Thunder still exist.

“Those types of [championship] questions are answered in June,” World Peace said. “I learned that from Phil Jackson. just going through that journey with Phil, I kind of know the journey, and in New York everything happens so fast and happens now. That’s one of the reasons I went to St. John’s, where I realized when you prepare you’ll be OK.”

Apparently, the Lakers will be, too. Perhaps only in Metta’s World.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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