Metta World Peace is back with the Lakers.
On Monday, the South Bay Lakers announced that World Peace would be joining the team as a player development coach. As recently as April, the 37-year-old was still suiting up for the Los Angeles Lakers in his second spell with the ball club. At season's end, however, the organization made it clear in no uncertain terms that World Peace would not be welcome back as a player at the start of the 2017-18 season.
In a coaching role, though, the doors were left wide open for the proud Queensbridge, New York native. On the eve of the G-League season, which tips off at the start of November, World Peace officially re-joined the Lakers' organization as a member of Coby Karl's staff.
World Peace has always been a fan favorite and a press asset for his colorful quotes, but his ability to stay in the NBA from 1999 to 2017, with a couple short stints playing in China and Italy is a testament to his work ethic and discipline. Also, World Peace's performance in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals helped solidify him as a local favorite in the City of Angels.
While World Peace joining the South Bay Lakers is a first formal step back into the organization, the next logical step would be a move to the LA Lakers considering the 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year's familiarity with several players and the coach.
Walton and World Peace won a title together as players, and the current Lakers coach's first year on the bench was, seemingly, World Peace's final on the court.
Regardless of what the future holds, World Peace is back with the Lakers.