Pop quiz, hotshot: When I say "chivalry," what's the first image that pops into your mind? That's right: Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace. I mean, it's weird that I even had to ask; any reasonable person would flash on the exact same mental image. Well, any wrong-thinking weirdo who wouldn't have before this weekend sure will now, after the 2011 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award winner's knightly performance during Saturday night's preseason matchup with the Utah Jazz.
With the score tied at 59 past the halfway point of the third quarter, new Jazz guard Mo Williams fired an outlet to streaking swingman Gordon Hayward, who attacked the Laker basket on the break. A backpedaling World Peace, showing off both the quickness that comes with reportedly entering camp 19 pounds lighter than he was at the start of last season and the instincts that have made him a four-time All-Defensive team selection, deftly stuck with the play, getting a clean block without fouling as Hayward elevated for a layup and knocking the ball out of bounds. World Peace then retrieved the ball from the fan to whom it had bounced ... and wandered a row further to a young woman sitting behind the basket, gently taking her hand and kissing it. You know, as a gentleman does.
This, of course, is not exactly standard operating NBA procedure. But, of course, that which is random is that which is Ron-Ron. So what led World Peace to get his smooch on? The predictably pitch-perfect explanation comes to us via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times:
"I just saw in her eyes that she liked the hustle," World Peace said after the Lakers' 99-86 preseason loss Saturday to the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. "I saw it in her eyes. We made eye contact." [...]
Did World Peace get the fan's phone number?
"No number needed," World Peace said with a smile. "She's a fan and is a real nice lady."
That's a good way of looking at it, Metta — not every interaction with a female needs to be geared toward developing some sort of romantic relationship. It can about respecting the commitment of a fan willing to pay top-dollar to sit in the section behind the basket for a preseason game in which Bryan Butch, Chris Quinn, Trey Gilder, Ronnie Aguilar and Greg Somogyi all saw playing time just as much as it's about recognizing a candy-coated unicorn when you see one (word to Three Stacks). She certainly seemed to appreciate it, so it's all to the good.
Still, though, maybe it'd be a good idea to continue staying out of the stands, Metta. I know you're a different guy now, but just as a general principle, let's pretend the area where out-of-bounds turns into folding chairs is hot lava. Be careful of the hot lava, Metta.
World Peace finished with 13 points on 3-for-8 shooting (all three makes were 3-pointers), four rebounds, one steal, one block and one courtly gesture in 25 minutes of play as the Jazz topped L.A., 99-86.
If the video above's not rocking for you, feel free to check out the chivalry elsewhere, thanks to NBALakersNation.
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