D'awwwww. (Getty Images)
On Tuesday, Metta World Peace described for reporters (including Janis Carr of the Orange County Register) his role definition in the Los Angeles Lakers' system under new head coach Mike D'Antoni: "The coach said, 'Go do you.' I said, 'OK, no problem. That's not hard.'"
So it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise, then, when World Peace followed up a big fourth-quarter corner 3-pointer that drew his Lakers within one basket of the visiting Brooklyn Nets by offering Brooklyn head coach Avery Johnson — all 5 feet, 10 inches, and (we're guessing) roughly 185 pounds of homespun rambunction — a nice, playful ol' head rub on his way back down the court. That is, after all, a pretty Ron-Ron thing for Ron-Ron to do. Behold:
It sure didn't seem like coach Johnson appreciated World Peace's gesture, which puts the 16-year NBA veteran in the company of fellow point guard Chris Paul, who famously freaked out after World Peace's Laker teammate Pau Gasol tendered a similar tousling late in a game between the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers last season.
In an offseason interview with GQ magazine, the All-NBA point guard explained that he's still annoyed with the Spaniard for that too-familiar touch:
"We call that sonnin'," [Paul] explains [...] "Like when I take Li'l Chris to the bathroom, I'll walk with my hand on his head. That's my son. You know what I mean? I understand that Gasol is that tall, but don't do to me what I do to my son."
One suspects that "The Little General" doesn't feel all that comfortable with the idea of World Peace being his daddy; it's pretty hard to blame him there.
World Peace finished with 17 points on 6-for-13 shooting, eight rebounds, two steals and one loving head-rub in 39 minutes as the Lakers scored a 95-90 win on Tuesday night in D'Antoni's first game on the Laker bench. Kobe Bryant (25 points on 8-for-15 shooting, five assists, four rebounds) and Dwight Howard (23 points on 8-for-11 shooting, 15 rebounds, four blocks, three assists) led L.A., which has now won three straight and five of their last six since opening the season with a 1-4 mark that cost Mike Brown his job.
Brook Lopez (23 points on 11-for-18 shooting, seven rebounds, three assists) and Deron Williams (22 points, albeit on 6-for-18 shooting from the field, 10 assists without a turnover in 37 minutes) paced the Nets, who continue a four-game West Coast swing with a trip to the Bay Area to face the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
If the video clip above isn't rocking for you, please feel free to check out the head-rub elsewhere, thanks to nbainfos.
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