Metta World Peace probably isn't going to win Celebrity Big Brother. He probably won't even win America's Favorite Player. But I truly don't think Metta cares about any of that. The only things Metta seems to care about at this point are:
1) Getting evicted so he can reunite with his wife.
2) His new best friend, this stuffed animal owl.
Since entering the Celebrity Big Brother house two weeks ago, Metta has been inseparable from his avian friend, lovingly known as Orwell. In fact, he's even gone so far as to declare that this owl is the only thing keeping him tethered to his sanity -- and this was only in Week 1.
This bizarre relationship isn't too surprising. Something strange happens when you step into the Big Brother house. Being stuck with the same group of people -- all of whom are gunning to beat you at one point or another -- and no contact with the outside world traps each of the houseguests in an environment where the only person they can truly rely on is themselves. Given the circumstances, it's more than understandable that houseguests often gravitate towards inanimate objects to provide the solace and comfort they are no longer getting from other human beings.
"When I first got here, I had so much anxiety I wanted to leave. The second or third day, I met an owl, " Metta explained on the feeds late Tuesday night. "I had the owl close to me cause it was the only thing that reminded me of some type of sensation of touching and laying with me wife."
Metta does seem drawn towards toy birds in general. During Monday's episode, he entertained himself in the Jacuzzi by having two flamingo flotation toys -- or, as he called them, "ducks" -- fight each other for the cameras. "I'll make sure nobody ever eats you," Metta proclaimed to the winning bird, tossing the loser aside.
But Orwell holds a special place in Metta's heart. The owl, which is in the house to promote PopTV's Big Brother After Dark, has proven to be so crucial to Metta's well-being that the NBA champ claims the other houseguests have identified it as his kryptonite and hidden it from him so as to throw off his game (spoiler alert: it's just under the couch).
But don't worry, Metta has already reached out to Pop about getting some back-up Orwells.
In the grand scheme of things, Metta's love of Orwell is barely scratching the surface of his range of eccentricities. There was also the time he did his Diary Room interview balancing on the top of the chair's backrest rather than sitting in it or when he waxed philosophical about whether he believes in air. And there's his long history of unpredictable behavior in the NBA, ranging from the charming (shouting out his psychiatrist moments after winning a championship) to the disturbing (the infamous Malice at the Palace brawl). Plus there's that whole thing of changing his name from "Ron Artest" to "Metta World Peace."
But at the end of the day, if Metta World Peace's time in the Celebrity Big Brother house is remembered for one thing and one thing only, I hope it's his beautiful friendship with Orwell. Because in a game that is defined by its betrayal and scheming, have you ever seen anything so pure as this?
No. You don't even need to think about it because it's so clearly true.
So while Metta claims his affair with Orwell is only a brief fling, we have a feeling this might just turn into a love story for the ages.
Celebrity Big Brother airs Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays and Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS.)