Metta World Peace confirmed yesterday that he has agreed a deal to join the New York Knicks.
Speaking on TV, World Peace said: “The team is amazing, the players, I’m excited to play and hussle.”
The 33 year-old forward spent four seasons in L.A but found himself released by the Lakers last week after they decided to activate his amnesty clause.
World Peace will be the second major addition to Mike Woodson‘s side after the Knicks picked up Andrea Bargnani in a trade with Toronto which sent Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, Queintin Richardson and a selection of future draft picks the other way.
The former All-Star and 2010 NBA Champion will team up with JR Smith in a potentially chaotic partnership after the Knicks re-signed the reigning Sixth Man of the Year to a four-year deal. Another player to be lured back to New York was Pablo Prigioni after the Argentine rookie impressed last season.
In 2010, known then as Ron Artest, the 6’7″ forward was described as his team’s most valuable player by Phil Jackson in a Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics to secure their most recent Championship. However, under Mike Brown, World Peace saw his minutes diminish and was given more of a reserve role off the bench.
It’s likely World Peace will have a similar role with the Knicks, joining his new partner in crime on the bench along with Amar’e Stoudemire while Carmelo Anthony, Bargnani and Tyson Chandler are likely to take the 3-5 starting spots.
One player who won’t be making an impact off the Knicks‘ bench this season is Chris Copeland after the 29 year-old joined New York’s play-off conquerors Indiana. Despite having spent most of his career battling in Europe, Copeland seized his opportunity in the NBA and was rewarded with a Rookie of the Month recognition in April.
Woodson will hope the additions of Bargnani and World Peace can help push the Knicks further this season as they look to bring a first Championship for the organisation since 1973.
World Peace NBA Stats:
902 games representing 5 different teams (CHI/IND/SAC/HOU/LAL)
85 starts in 85 play-off appearances in 9 out of 15 seasons
12,000+ points, 4,000+ rebounds & 2,500+ assists
Over 1,000 made 3-pointers at 34.2%
C-H 39 points on two occasions