The big event at today's practice in El Segundo was obviously Metta World Peace addressing the media with his seven game suspension now official. For the most part, his comments were fairly uneventful. Apologies were offered again to the Thunder and James Harden, whose health MWP inquired about through "a friend." Metta maintained the incident was an accident, and said he wasn't even aware it was specifically Harden on the receiving end. Regret was also expressed at being banned from the court at a time when his game feels unstoppable. It's worth noting, however, Metta pretty clearly thinks the suspension was too punitive. He didn't come out and say it, and attempted to take the high road when asked about the fairness at play. However, a windtalker isn't required to break this particular code.
"I just don't want to make an excuse. At this point, for the Laker fans, I should really say what's on my mind. I should say what's on my mind for the Laker fans. But I don't want to make any excuses. There's only two things that matter. One thing that matters is winning. In basketball, there's just wins and losses. So there's no time for excuses.
"If I start talking about that, I'm going to open myself up for excuses and I'm not one to give excuses. So, it's hard for me to speak about the (amount of) games (I was suspended)."
Like I said, you do the math. Or read MWP's Tweets sent -- and later deleted -- that afternoon. Whichever is easiest.
Beyond that, Mike Brown expressed some concern about Matt Barnes being available for Game 1 of the playoffs. Barnes sprained his right ankle Sunday against the Thunder and won't be making the trip to Sacramento for the final game of the season. "My guess is as good as yours, because I haven't asked Gary [Vitti]," admitted Brown. I think so, but really, I'm just taking a coin and flipping a coin. I don't know."
In the meantime, Brown plans to rest some starters, considering the third seed is now a stone cold lock. Who'll sit and who'll play hasn't been decided yet, and the players themselves will get a vote. (For what it's worth, Andrew Bynum is fine both playing or taking the night off.) Either way, expect a healthy dose of Andrew Goudelock, Darius Morris and Christian Eyenga(!), who was activated today from the D-Fenders. Brown admittedly knows very little about the Congolese product's game, but in an odd bit of coincidence, coached the kid as a teenager during a Basketball Without Borders camp in Africa.
Holy full circle, Batman!
Metta World Peace on his suspension
Mike Brown on Metta World Peace's suspension, the Lakers' collective health:
Andrew Bynum on MWP's suspension, whether he'll play against Sacramento