Metta World Peace said on Monday hell be coming home to play for the New York Knicks,just days after the veteran forward was waived by the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Knicks said a contract has not been signed the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year,but an agreement has been reached.
The team is amazing,the players. Im excited to play and hustle, World Peace said while attending the NBA summer league in Las Vegas.
World Peace,who grew up in New York City and attended university there,was waived Thursday by the Lakers,who used the amnesty clause to create salary cap space. The 6-foot-7 (2-meter) forward will still be paid the $7.7 million that was owed to him by the Lakers.
It has nothing to do with New York,the city, World Peace said. The only thing thats important are those players that Im going to be joining and touching that hallway with. Thats all thats important right now.
I dont think Im a missing piece (to a puzzle), he said. Im more honored to be playing with these players.
Marc Cornstein,World Peaces agent,said the new deal came about pretty quickly. The Knicks expressed interest right after they were allowed to reach out to the forward,who legally changed his name from Ron Artest during his tenure with the Lakers.
Hes really excited to be joining his hometown team. Thats obviously been something thats been a dream of his since growing up in Queensbridge (in Queens), Cornstein said. Hes just thrilled to be joining the New York Knicks.
In 14 NBA seasons with five teams,World Peace has averaged 14.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
He averaged 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 75 games last season. The 33-year-old tore knee cartilage in March and clearly wasnt the same player afterward.
World Peace didnt play in the last game of San Antonio Spurs four-game sweep of the Lakers in the first round of the NBA playoffs.