World B. Free vs. Metta World Peace: Where "Worlds" Collide

... A small rant by Master Po

Ok, I know, I know, I know, this story has nothing to do with the lockout that never ends, or the ranking of former Celtic great players, or even the golf scores of Doc and Danny as they suffer through another sunny day of doing nothing but drinking vodka smoothies in a posh golf cart with fudged scorecards. It’s about something far more serious ...It’s about the troubling "World" situation!!! That’s right... the World situation of the NBA Solar System.

 

This is a story being ignored by Main Street media, and I am just the guy to butt in to tell you about it like a poorly behaved Rick Sanatorium. You can have one World in the NBA solar system but not two Worlds. Two big old Worlds orbiting in one screwed-up league is gonna mess up the whole Mayan Calendar December 2012 end of the world thing, and that my friends may extend the lockout period beyond my life span. (hey, I did actually mention lockout..ding ding ding...we have a winner).

 

For you blogging pubescent whippersnappers who don’t know who the great World B Free is, let me refresh your memory. I’ll use a direct quote from your trusted source of Wikipedia. I thought this rock solid source might add some "street cred" for you young guys who think researching a subject has no need to reach beyond CliffNotes and Answer.com.

 

World B Free:

"He played for the San Diego Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association. He got his name from his days in Brooklyn, where a friend nicknamed him "World" because of his 44-inch vertical leaps and 360-degree dunks. He was known for taking high-risk shots and playing flamboyantly.

 For both the 1978–79 and 1979–80 campaigns, George Gervin and Free were number 1 and 2 in the league in scoring. Free averaged 20.3 points per game over 13 seasons in the NBA. His best season was 1979–80 with the Clippers, averaging 30.2 points per game, as well as 4.2 assists per game and 3.5 rebounds per game in 68 games. He was an All-Star that season as well."

My heart-felt attachment to the original full orbiting "World" in the late 70’s was his ability to jack-up ridiculously long rainbow jumpers from seemingly anywhere and everywhere past the offensive side of the half-court line with uncanny accuracy, and at just the right moment. He was the anti-Antoine Waker if you will. Why this specific characteristic is held so near and dear to my own crusty barnacled heart is because at this exact same point in time, in another spot in the universe, I too was conducting my own elliptical orbit participating within various post apocalyptic college level basketball leagues. I fancied myself on occasion to be the slow white version of World B Free. My various teammates however often refused to call me by this beloved nickname. Instead, for some unknown reason, they insisted on calling me "Quit Shooting so Much!!!" 

Many a time I would launch a monstrous beauty from the deep land called "nowhere close to the rim" and make it. It was then time to yell out "World B Free" with my crooked finger still pointing up high up in the air. It felt good to scream that name back in the day, with my white socks pulled up to my skinny injury-free knees. It was a name that rolled off the tongue so smoothly, and it sounded like true basketball bravado being spoken from 4-point land where I lived.

Mr World B Free, as you read above, had the ability to create amazing daylight between the bottom of his shoes and the hardwood. I loved this part of his game as well. He was fun to watch. He attacked the basket. Unfortunately, I did not inherit the ability to create such "All World Air" beneath my own feet. I could lay claim to a 44-inch vertical leap, but only if you knocked off one of the "4’s". 

Nonetheless, I was happy to shoot like World B Free while only sporting a Scalabrine type vertical leap, I just liked the guy, even though he was never dressed in Celtic green - at least on the court. I am sure he could rock some green disco flairs and platforms soles when he wanted to off the court circa 1978. 

While I was a true and loyal Celtic fan back in the 1970’s, including being a  believer in the "team approach" to basketball (except when I had the ball), I have to admit I did love and follow the freewheeling 360 style of World B Free. He could ball. 

World B Free’s real name was Lloyd Bernard Free, but his friends in Brooklyn apparently started calling him "All World" because of his varied and unique basketball skills, so the natural tendency to start "fiddlin and diddlin" with his name occurred, and NBA fans ended up having a true unique legendary name to shout out in gymnasiums everywhere after a wildly made shot. 

Lloyd B. Free slightly tweaked his name to create a flamboyant moniker, while still managing to leave in the real "B Free" part. The word "slightly" is the operative word here that I want you to make note of, as I will soon address the less creative Mr Metta World Peace in just a moment. 

I believe World B Free still works for the 76ers as a goodwill ambassador for the team, while keeping his flamboyant and skillful style alive in the form of Clyde-the-Glide type clothing as he greets fans and spreads the goodwill of the Philly organization in 2011 (as if there were any left to be spread).  Keep on rocking in the World B Free world. Much love to you Free-bird.

Now fast forward to this weird wacky NBA summer of 2011 with me - if only for a quick sour moment. As our own earth seems to be crumbling all around us with terrible floods, raging fires, unstoppable wars, damaging radiation leaks, boring political debates, basketball on the brink, and while some oozing sweating mass called Chaz Bono creeps up on us all, there is a new rogue world that has being slung in from another galaxy to orbit right next my World. You guessed it.....Mr Punch Drunk Ron-Ron himself, all dressed up in a new alien clown outfit complete with Faker gold and purple sequins. Yep by golly, the NBA solar system now has a new planet named WORLD. It’s orbiting around the hot little yellow dwarf star called David Stern. This new globe of madness circles the NBA solar system in a strangely familiar wobbly and quite unstable manner. The name of this new World? It’s called Metta World Peace (Metta means loving kindness) Metta World Peace, formerly known as the scary bat crazy Ron Artest, or to some - Prison Planet. 

I just ask you to please stop for a moment and really think about this new name Mr Crazy Train has come up with. Combine it with your own mental image of Ron Artest. Go ahead try it. Slowly whisper it to yourself. "Metta World Peace" over and over again, while you visualize your strongest image of little crazy Ronnie from Queens New York. Perhaps you can dare to conjure up the the image of Metta Peace being arrested for domestic violence in slapping the loving kindness right out of his ex-wife a few times, or perhaps you can bring back the image of Mr Peace punching the living daylights out of a small defenseless  innocent fan sitting in his seat in Detroit because Metta was too afraid/kind to take a swing at Big Ben Wallace. I have painfully done this mental exercise that I am asking you to do, and I felt Metta World sick. 

As I was trying to get the image of Ron quickly out my head, I hear a raspy voice in my head. It’s the voice of Joe Pesci in the movie Goodfellas! Joe says: " Metta World Peace! What the..? Are you freaking kidding me? Metta World Peace? Get the freak outta here, I’ll show you some Metta Peace." I need Joey to whack some Metta World for me.

Metta World Peace. Can’t you just hear it next season (in 2013) as the PA announcer says: " Technical Foul on Peace. Peace picks ups his 2nd technical foul and makes his way to the bench in a loving and kind way" or "Metta Peace has just been ejected from the game" 

Yeah yeah yeah, I know, he is now a changed man...sure sure....and no, I haven’t forgotten the fact that he auctioned off his championship Faker ring for the goodness of all mental health causes around the globe. I kind of figured he made that gesture not only for some pure Hollywood spotlight, but also because he realized at some point, he was going to need more counseling and more medication - so why not pay in advance with a nice Faker ring.

The other sad part of this story is that Mr Metta couldn’t even muster up enough creativity to play off his real name like World B Free did. The name Ronnie Artest is not much to work with I know, but for a guy who put out some terrible rhyming Rap CD’s, he should be at least able to work something out with his own name. 

Seriously Ronnie, why not change your name to  " An Artestestament to Crazy"  or "RonZilla vs Metta Mothra". He could at least have had the decency to have gone to the web site called Anagram Genius and typed in his name. He could have watched it spit out the letters of his name rearranged to spell out "Insane Rotter" That would have worked. If you think I made that up, go to the anagram web site and try it.

I am here to proclaim for World B Free fans everywhere that there is no room in this NBA solar system for two guys with World in their name. It must be stopped. The old World has been orbiting in this sacred solar system for a long time. This original World (B Free) is genius, creative, a great play off a real name, and nicely spiced with the excitement of 1970’s style NBA offense. It rolls off your tongue nicely, especially if you’re shooting forty foot jumpers in a dimly lit gym playing in a college pick-up league. The other World name unfortunately sounds like a bad Saturday morning cartoon your kids wouldn’t watch, even with a purple unicorn named Kobe. 

Come on man, you gotta get outta my solar system Mr. Metta World Peace before you take some of that crazy insane loving kindness and Faker peace and crash your wobbly planet into my favorite old school 1970’s World. 

I just can’t be "mentally free" knowing you’re floating around out there somewhere without the slightest clue of where you came from, or where you are going. Let my World B Free!!!!....and drop your middle name World....maybe adopt the middle name of an existing planet in our solar system. I have a suggestion which one - if you get Metta lost.

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