Even though most people may remember him due to his controversies, Metta World Peace was a very good player during his best days. Sadly, his antics on and off the court overshadowed that, but the player was really good.
In fact, one of the best players of this generation wanted to team up with him at the end of the 2000s. Talking with Shannon Sharpe on the Club Shay Shay show, the 2010 NBA champion revealed he was close to joining LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009.
However, he decided to take a different route since he wasn't interested in teaming up with the best players in the league. He wanted to face and beat them.
“LeBron James hit me up one time when he was with the Cavs,” he said, via Darryn Albert of Larry Brown Sports. “I remember I was excited because LeBron hit me up. I’m a big fan. Even though he’s younger, I was a big fan. But before that, I didn’t want to play with Kobe, I didn’t want to play with LeBron., I didn’t want to play with T-Mac [Tracy McGrady]. I wanted to play against these guys.
“So when LeBron hit me up to come play for the team, I was like, ‘Um, I can’t come play,’” he went on. “You know, because many reasons. But I said, ‘I can’t come.’ Then I was trying to go to Detroit or Indiana. That’s where I wanted to go. That’s just in me. But when no teams wanted me, after that, I didn’t call back LeBron. So then the [Los Angeles] Lakers called, I said, ‘I gotta just go because I don’t know if I’m going to get a contract.’ But, it’s not in me to play with anyone.”
After that, he joined the Lakers, helping Kobe Bryant win a championship in 2010 against the Boston Celtics. Metta made some clutch plays during that Finals, earning the love and respect of Lakers fans.
It would have been interesting to see him playing alongside LeBron James in Cleveland. Although he wasn't a megastar, he would've helped the King have a bigger bid to come out of the East during the two years Bron stayed in Cleveland before leaving for Miami.