Metta World Peace is in need of another image overhaul. Lucky for him, all he needs to do is watch and observe his Los Angeles Lakers teammate, Andrew Bynum. Experienced Bynum watchers know that three life lessons will emerge.
1. Always be honest
World Peace tried to explain away his elbow to James Harden's head. Bad move. He should have just told the unfiltered truth and moved on. That's how Bynum does it. Observe:
Following the Lakers' double-overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, Bynum told reporters he wasn’t "posting up hard" or "being aggressive." Could Bynum have spouted some clichés about giving 110 percent and then headed home, especially considering the Lakers won the game? Sure. But Bynum is always honest.
Back in March, after the Lakers lost to the lowly Washington Wizards, Bynum said that during the game he was just "loafing around and having a good time." Honest. Refreshingly, almost stupidly honest.
After the 2009-10 season, Bynum admitted that he delayed a knee surgery -- a knee surgery that would force him to miss the start of the 2010-11 season -- so he could go to the World Cup and sightsee in Europe. Ridiculously honest. Abe Lincoln with a post game honest.
2. Show compassion and empathy
Would World Peace like to get elbowed in the side of the head? No, he would not. The best way to develop empathy is, to use a cliché, "walk a mile in someone's shoes." Andrew Bynum knows this -- it's no doubt why he parks his BMW in two handicapped spots when he goes grocery shopping. (We can probably all agree that in America, where we drive everywhere, using someone's parking spot is like walking in their shoes.)
3. Be violent in the appropriate time and place
Bynum may be honest and compassionate, but he's not a naive idealist. After all, he's not the one who changed his name to "World Peace." Sometimes, a hand must be raised. But the time to do so is not during the regular season. And the time for violence is definitely not when celebrating a dunk. Instead, violence should be an act of frustration at the end of the postseason when an opportunity to hit someone half your size presents itself.
In all the uproar over World Peace's actions, as he is recast as the worst person ever in the history of persondom, let's not forget Bynum.
Honesty. Empathy. Violence.
Those words are the way of Bynum. Those words would also work well as a new name for Metta World Peace.