LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Los Angeles Lakers waived Metta World Peace under the NBA’s “amnesty” clause, the 14-year veteran promptly saying on Twitter that he was off to China to play for Yao Ming’s team.
World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, played a key role in the Lakers’ 2010 NBA title run, in his first season with the team.
“It’s tough to say goodbye to a player such as Metta, who has been a significant part of our team the past four seasons,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in comments he posted on Twitter.
“For anyone who’s had the opportunity to get to know him, it’s impossible not to love him.”
He nailed a game-winning shot at the buzzer to eliminate Phoenix in the 2010 Western Conference finals and scored 20 points in game seven of the finals to help the Lakers seal their second straight championship.
However, World Peace has also been suspended 11 times since 2003 — including a one-game ban last season for hitting Detroit guard Brandon Knight in the jaw.