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Old 04-14-12, 12:46 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
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Metta World Peace (Artest) says back pain nearly led to retirement!

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After dropping a season-high 26 points in the Lakers’ 98-84 win in San Antonio on Wednesday, Metta World Peace revealed that he considered retiring before the season because of a lumbar disorder in his lower back.

World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, told reporters that he played with back pain through last season and that it limited motion in his legs and feet, as well as his jumping ability.

"I just thought my body was maybe messed up," World Peace said, per ESPN.com. "I was like, 'Yeah, 15 years (in the NBA) is a lot of years. I got two more years on my contract and I could potentially be done.'"

The back issue may help explain the drop in World Peace’s production. He averaged 8.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game and shot 39.7 percent from the field last season, all career lows—until this season, that is, as he’s averaging just 7.1 points on 39.1 percent shooting. He’s improved in April, however, with a 14.3 points per game average and 54.2 percent shooting over seven games this month.

Lakers trainer Gary Vitti referred World Peace to a nerve doctor in May, but because of the lockout, which began July 1, the player could not rehab with the help of the Lakers medical staff. Partly because of this, World Peace came into training camp 25-30 pounds overweight and his back still an issue.

"Now I'm getting in more shape every day," World Peace said, according to ESPN.

Added Lakers coach Mike Brown, "He's extremely engaged. ... He's locked in right now."
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