At this point, it's not hard to envision a world in which Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace is appearing somewhere on television 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Between his phenomenal stint as a Canadian weatherman, his upcoming supporting role as a detective in a Lifetime adaptation of a Nancy Grace novel and his just-booked slot as an "overtly sexual vampire elder" in a reality TV parody pilot, the 32-year-old artist formerly known as Ron Artest is showing a real commitment to working his way into the broadcast world, honing his craft in a variety of settings and showing casting directors everywhere that he can fit seamlessly into virtually any TV genre.
Next up for MWP: Children's programming, a hand-in-glove fit for the oversized personality. World Peace and daughter Diamond Artest appeared Sunday on a sports-themed episode of the hit Nick Jr. TV show "Yo Gabba Gabba!" that featured the 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year testing his mettle on the track in a "Yo Gabba Olympics" race against multiple friendly looking monsters. Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times has your breathless breakdown of the sprint:
World Peace ran against Toodee, a "blue cat-dragon," and Mrs. Fox, who looks like just as her name suggests. A red cyclops (Muno), a pink flower (Foofa) and a robot (Plex) watched the so-called "Yo Gabba Olympics" with unyielding enthusiasm. World Peace's 8-year-old daughter, Diamond, coached him on the sideline.
The 35-second appearance fit World Peace's goofy personality perfectly. He wore tight, super-short track shorts and high socks with bold stripes. World Peace looked awkward and slow. And moments after crossing the finish line, World Peace warmly embraced Toodee.
While we certainly respect Medina's reporting chops, I think he's giving short shrift to Metta's closing burst. Any "awkward and slow" start, it seems clear to me, was intended solely to make sure that he had enough left in the tank for the final kick. And, as we now know, that strategy sure paid off. All of us here at Ball Don't Lie would like to congratulate to World Peace not only on a race well run, but also on joining Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol as Lakers to win Olympic medals this summer. You did it!
World Peace isn't the first NBA player to have publicly rocked with the "Yo Gabba Gabba!" crew. Way back in 2008, then-Phoenix Suns star Amar'e Stoudemire appeared on the program to do the famed Dancey Dance; less than a year ago, before he was traded from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers (and then, after that was nixed, to the Los Angeles Clippers), All-Star point guard Chris Paul followed suit, doing the dance in front of a live audience at a "Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!" show in Charlotte, N.C. And while Boston Celtics big man Kevin Garnett hasn't appeared on "Yo Gabba Gabba!" on either stage or screen, his DJ Lance Rock costume occupies a legendary space in NBA Halloween lore.
Given the tendency of NBA stars to align themselves with the program, could an appearance by No. 1 draft pick and incoming Hornets forward Anthony Davis be far behind? The folks at NBA Doppelgangers have already made what seems to be a solid connection that we're sure the show's writers can develop into something great.
Hat-tip to Reddit's NBA page.