- (Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)
NBA defensive specialist, Metta World Peace, cleared waivers allowing him to become a free agent from the Los Angeles Lakers, which makes him available to the New York Knicks.
It is no secret over the years that the player formerly known as Ron Artest, has always wanted to be on the Knicks, especially since he's from Queens, however, this time around sources are conflicting with what he's saying publicly.
"I had a chance to play in New York [in the past]," he said reports ESPN. "I wanted to play in New York when I was in my prime and I was young, fierce, lock-down [defender]. Madison Square Garden, that would have been sick. But right now, China is way more adventurous for me."
"I'm hoping he comes home,'' Artest Sr. said to the New York Post. "It's New York. It's home. He wanted to play here for a very long time. He doesn't have to win a championship here but playing for the Knicks, that's good enough for me.''
The Knicks have reciprocated interest according to the New York Post and have around $1.7 million to offer him.
World Peace has also expressed interest in signing with the Los Angeles Clippers.
"Of course I'm interested in Clippers," World Peace texted to the Los Angeles Times reports ESPN. "I have to meet them first."
"I know his name has been surfacing out there. I can coach any player. I coached guys from 18, 19, 20-year-old young men, and built a team in Atlanta, and that's tough for a first-time coach. So I experienced that, and I don't think there's a player I can't coach if he's willing to be coached," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said about World Peace according to ESPN. "If anybody comes to this team, they've got to understand it's all about team, man. It's not about individuals here, it's not about me as a coach. It's about the New York franchise trying to win an NBA title. If you understand that, then we've got a chance."
That comment undoubtedly comes from World Peace's turbulent past as "Ron Artest." He was known for giving coaches headaches and getting into a number of high profile fights on the NBA court, once getting suspended for almost a whole season for jumping into the stands and fighting fans while on the Indiana Pacers.
World Peace had a bit of a comeback season last year with the Lakers, where he upped from seven points per game to around 12.