Ron Artest

After game after game of uninterested play, World Peace suddenly was the same tough, defensive-minded small forward that the Lakers signed in 2009 and helped them win an NBA title.

“I had gotten bored with defense because it was so easy to stop people over the years,” World Peace said. “I mean, I got real bored with it. When you are stopping guys every single time, what else are you going to do? It caught up to me.”

So World Peace slacked off and let his focus wander and his conditioning slip in his role as the team’s sixth player. His shooting percentage fell off and his defense suffered. He said, though, that he feels “almost back to where I want to be.”

“I played 38 minutes yesterday and didn’t come out of the game and I was like ‘Wow’,” he said.  “I was able to play hard and help the defense. … I didn’t think I would be able to play 38 minutes this early.”

– Reported by Janis Carr of the Orange County Register