A surprise appearance disrupted the peace in the NBA Summer League world.
Yes, Metta World Peace waltzed into Cox Pavilion on Monday afternoon during the Knicks third contest of the Summer League session. In a matter of seconds, a rumor and fairytale homecoming acquisition became a reality as the former Defensive Player of the Year announced his decision to become a member of the New York Knicks.
“It’s all about the players. The team is amazing, “ World Peace definitively stated.
The NBA champion was amnestied by the Lakers, which led to his free agency status on the open market. Once he cleared waivers, the return to his childhood home was a tangible situation for both parties. The Queens native played for La Salle Academy in New York City during his high school days and he suited up for St. John’s from 1997-99.
“But, then you get back to the orange and blue and you know, that orange and blue blood…you have to come back home,” World Peace smiled.
After the Lakers parted ways with World Peace he flirted with the idea of playing in China, the Clippers, or even a stint in arena league football. Ultimately, he could not resist the opportunity to help the Knicks capture a title for the first time in 40 years.
“Why not take on something that is hard? Why not?” World Peace reacted when asked about the move to the mecca of basketball.
He added, "I don't care if I'm starting. I don't care if I'm sweeping the floors. You hear me? I want to win.”
New York instantly injects one of the best individual defenders in the league. World Peace is an extremely strong forward with ability to rebound and occasionally drop deep bombs from the perimeter. In Houston, World Peace was an offensive option for the Rockets. He also played an integral role for the Lakers throughout their run to the title in 2010. At 6-7, World Peace is physical and intimidating presence on the hardwood, which is an intangible New York requires in its own goal to capture a championship.
"I like his skill set a lot," head coach Mike Woodson acknowledged. "I think a lot of teams have liked his skill sets over the years. He does a little bit of everything."
As for his number, World Peace knows that No. 15 is not an option and he is not quite ready for that final decision. What’s important is that the Queens boy is back in NYC.