Thunder archenemy Metta World Peace is a fan of Thunder coach Scott Brooks. So much so, said the player formerly known as Ron Artest, that he politicked for Brooks to take over the Sacramento Kings in 2007.
World Peace played for, and Brooks was an assistant coach for, the 2006-07 Kings. And World Peace said Brooks was a factor in the Thunder's Game 1 rout of the Lakers on Monday night in the Western Conference semifinals.
“I played for Scotty Brooks,” World Peace said. “A lot of people don't understand, when you play against a team, you're also playing against a coach.
“When Scotty Brooks was in Sacramento and the coach (Eric Musselman) got fired, I asked the general manager to hire Scotty Brooks as the head coach, because I knew what type of coach he was.”
World Peace, who has a history of good defense against Thunder star Kevin Durant, said Durant's 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting was more than just a good game from Durant.
“Durant has a great gameplan over there on the offensive end,” World Peace said. “And his teammates are setting great screens. They're doing a really great job as a team. That's why I'm not as concerned with the numbers he's getting. It's more about what the team is doing.”
Game 1 was World Peace's second game since serving a seven-game suspension for elbowing the Thunder's James Harden in the head. The Oklahoma City crowd heartily booed World Peace throughout the night, but he had good things to say about the Thunder faithful.
“Great fans, because they support their team,” World Peace said. “They took in a team that needed shelter (the Hornets, six seasons ago). So no matter what, you can always say great things about these fans.”
However, World Peace was not so coherent on all subjects.
On his hot start, with two baskets in the first 2½ minutes: “I didn't realize Oklahoma had so many fine women. I felt really comfortable. I hit my first two shots, it was mainly because of how beautiful the women were.”
On the Lakers trying to recover from the Game 1 blowout: “It's the same thing like a man has five wives. He's been divorced once and he got married again. You've got to move on. He didn't want to get divorced, she didn't want to get divorced. But hey, she said, ‘OK honey, I want half.' She said that. You know she said that.
“It's a metaphor. The name of my podcast is mettaphorically speaking.
“She got married again, he got married again. Moved on and it's a new life. That's how the game is. It is a fun game. At the same time, still a lot of passion involved. She will love her husband. We will love the game, too. Have fun, play with passion and it's a whole new day.”
On how the Lakers can better guard the Thunder: “I can't tell you. I will not tell you. I will tell you. You want me to tell you? You've got good mind control. You got in my head.”