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Lakers amnesty Metta World Peace

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The Los Angeles Lakers released Metta World Peace via the amnesty clause on Thursday.

“It’s tough to say goodbye to a player such as Metta, who has been a significant part of our team the past four seasons. For anyone who’s had the opportunity to get to know him, it’s impossible not to love him,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a release. “He has made many contributions to this organization, both in his community work as well as in our games; perhaps no more so than in his clutch play in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals in helping to lead us over the Celtics in one of the greatest playoff wins in Lakers history. We thank Metta for all his contributions and wish him the best of luck in the future.”

Jose Morales, a longtime friend and confidant of World Peace, previously said the veteran forward would be “upset” if the Lakers used the amnesty clause on him, and that he even would consider retirement if any team with room to fit him under the salary cap claimed him off waivers. Those teams would have the first opportunity to claim him.

“If the Lakers do amnesty him, he might want to retire,” Morales said. “If one of these small-market teams picks him up, he won’t be happy with that. He doesn’t want to play there.”

Morales said World Peace would be open to playing for the Clippers, but if he can’t stay in Los Angeles, he would want to play only in New York, his hometown.

“If the Lakers amnesty him, he’s going to have a point to prove that he can still be that player in New York,” Morales said.

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