World Peace to join Knicks
Metta World Peace says he will be signing with the New York Knicks.
Team officials at the NBA summer league in Las Vegas wouldn’t confirm the move, but World Peace says he is excited to join Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks.
"The team is amazing, the players. I’m excited to play and hustle," he said Monday while attending the summer league in Las Vegas.
While no official announcement was made, World Peace’s agent Marc Cornstein was clear about what team his client would be joining for next season.
"Yes, this is going to happen," Cornstein said. "He’s really excited to be joining his hometown team. That’s obviously been something that’s been a dream of his since growing up in Queensbridge.
"He’s just thrilled to be joining the New York Knicks."
World Peace was waived Thursday by the Los Angeles Lakers, who used the amnesty clause to create salary cap space. The 6-foot-7 forward will still be paid the $7.7 million that was owed to him by the Lakers.
Cornstein said the new deal came about pretty quickly. The Knicks expressed interest right after they were allowed to reach out to the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
"Obviously, Metta being from the area, and also much more importantly than just being a New Yorker, seeing the way he would fit in the team," Cornstein said. "Coach (Mike) Woodson did an incredible job explaining what his role would be. (Knicks GM) Glen Grunwald really made him feel wanted.
"They just did a tremendous job; quite frankly, it became a pretty easy decision."
World Peace grew up in New York and attended St. John’s, when he was known as Ron Artest.
"It has nothing to do with New York, the city," World Peace said. "The only thing that’s important are those players that I’m going to be joining and touching that hallway with. That’s all that’s important right now."
In 14 NBA seasons with five teams, he has averaged 14.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
"I don’t think I’m a missing piece (to a puzzle)," he said. "I’m more honored to be playing with these players."