The Los Angeles Lakers kept 16-year NBA veteran Metta World Peace on their final 15-man roster due in large part to the mentor role he provides. World Peace spent the summer working out with the Lakers' 2014 first round draft pick Julius Randle at the Lakers facility, time that Randle credits with helping him get into the best shape of his life.
According to the latest column from Baxter Holmes of ESPN, World Peace's coaching aspirations may not end with Randle. Holmes writes that World Peace is "considering" a career in coaching. This is not the first time Metta has spoken to Holmes about coaching, telling him in October after making the Lakers' final roster that he thought "It would be fun... I mean, who wouldn't want to be a coach? It's a great life." Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports additionally reported that the Lakers' "long term plan" was to transition World Peace into an coaching spot.
The Lakers are not the only ones who think World Peace has a future as a coach. One of the NBA's best current coaches, former coach of World Peace with the Indiana Pacers, and current Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle also raved about Metta's coaching potential to Holmes:
"I think he'll be an excellent coach," Carlisle said. "He's got an unbelievable passion for the game and Ronnie's a guy who loves helping people. He's a very warm-hearted guy beyond what you see as a competitor.
"He's been in touch with me the last couple years, checking in and wanting to get together and talk basketball. We haven't been able to work it out logistically yet, but I'm looking forward to it."
The Lakers still have 71 more games to play before World Peace can really start considering his future options in coaching. Metta certainly has a lot of knowledge about the NBA to offer growing players, but what a rapid late-career narrative change from a player once as well known for his off-and-on-court troubles as for the positives of his play. If World Peace can continue to help the Lakers' young forwards show growth this season, you can bet at least a few teams will be able to find an assistant spot for him.