Metta World Peace is a poet -- and he didn't even know it. (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Rob Mahoney
Some professional athletes have a way with words, but not one even comes remotely close to the verbal command of Metta World Peace. He's clearly a great thinker, and when his perspective is funneled through his unique means of personal expression, the result is often poetry masquerading as postgame candor.
Jeff Parker, author and director of the University of Tampa's MFA program, sought to make that poetic link more explicit. In a piece titled "Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion," Parker compiled snippets from various interviews to create a 40-line poem composed entirely of original quotes from Metta World Peace.
Here's but a taste:
I felt something,
But I didn’t know it was an actual head.
I knew somebody suffered something at that point.
There were a lot of emotions in that game.
I can’t worry about that.
I have to try to get the ball.
Kobe passed me the ball.
Kobe never passed me the ball.
And I could hear Phil Jackson–
He’s the Zen master,
So you can just hear him in your head.
Saying, “Don’t shoot don’t shoot!”
And bam! I shot it.
I'd implore you to head over to The Barnstormer to read the poem in full; its scrambled, non-chronological tellings bring us closer to the mind of World Peace than we've ever been. It's fine work, but it leaves me wondering: How many more sound bites do we need to really do World Peace justice and compile his stream-of-consciousness quotes into Ulysses-length form?