Metta World Peace says he wants to continue his playing career in China or try his hand at coaching, and if those don’t work there is always Arena Football.
The one thing World Peace claims he doesn’t want to do is play in the NBA, which would end the idea of the player formerly known as Ron Artest returning home to play for the Knicks. Of course, all of World Peace’s comments should come with a warning label. Believe him at your own risk because there is no telling what World Peace is really thinking.
“I don’t really want to play for anybody,” World Peace told reporters on Friday at the Lakers’ practice facility in California. “I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to go to China, or coach or play Arena Football.”
When asked specifically about the Knicks, who famously passed him over (for Frederic Weis) in the 1999 NBA draft, World Peace added: “I had a chance to play in New York. I wanted to play in New York when I was in my prime and I was young, fierce, a lock-down (defender).
Madison Square Garden, that would have been sick. But right now, China is way more adventurous for me.”
There are conflicting stories concerning the Knicks’ interest in the 33-year-old forward from Queensbridge. A person familiar with the club’s thinking says that the front office is more focused on adding another big man and a point guard. There were internal discussions regarding World Peace last week when rumors surfaced that he might become an amnesty casualty, but the Knicks’ brain trust did not reach a conclusion about whether to pursue him.
The Lakers waived World Peace on Thursday under the NBA’s amnesty provision, which will save them about $15 million in luxury tax. He was set to earn $7.7 million next season, which the Lakers still must pay.
Under amnesty rules, teams with cap room have until 5 p.m. Sunday to place a bid on World Peace. If there are no bids, he becomes a free agent and could sign a deal with the Knicks as early as Sunday night. “I could see it working with a team like Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs or maybe Miami,” says an NBA player who knows World Peace.
“But I don’t know how things will work out with him back in New York.”
World Peace revealed that he has spoken to his former Rockets teammate, Yao Ming, about joining Yao’s Chinese team, the Shanghai Sharks. “You don’t live twice,” World Peace said.
“You’re not 33 twice. You won’t be able to play in China at a good level again. I wouldn’t be able to play in China again averaging, maybe, 40 or more points. That would be fun.”
Link to story: Metta World Peace says he doesn't want to play for Knicks or in NBA - NY Daily News