World Peace considered China before picking New York


The Knicks have found Peace.

Metta World Peace agreed to a two-year free-agent deal with New York, and the 33-year-old Queens native said he intends to spend the rest of his NBA career at Madison Square Garden.

The 14-year veteran, the former Ron Artest, played for the Los Angeles Lakers the last four seasons. The Knicks will be his sixth team.

“I can’t think of a better place to end my career,” World Peace said. “That orange and blue blood, you get to come back home.”

He said he seriously considered playing in China next season, but decided to stay after seeing the Knicks were serious about bringing him aboard.

“Y’all know I like to be adventurous,” World Peace said.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he isn’t worried about coaching the enigmatic World Peace, who was at the center of the infamous “Malice at the Palace” brawl in 2004 as a member of the Indiana Pacers. Artest wound up fighting in the stands after an altercation on the floor against the Detroit Pistons. He was suspended for 86 games.

“I can coach any player,” Woodson said. “I like his skill sets a lot. I think a lot of teams have liked his skill sets over the years. He does a little bit of everything.”

World Peace, who helped the Lakers win an NBA title in 2010, said he hopes to do the same thing for the Knicks, who last won a title in 1973.

“Who is ready?” he said. “They were right. I’m glad I didn’t go to New York early because maybe I don’t finish my career in New York. And I’m bringing that championship experience.”

■ LOCALS UPDATE — Shabazz Muhammad was more aggressive offensively in his second summer league game with Minnesota. But the Bishop Gorman product had trouble finding his shooting range, going 3-for-9 and scoring eight points in a 91-89 loss to Phoenix.

Muhammad was 1-for-4 on 3-pointers and made only 1 of 5 free throws. He had no assists, one turnover and two rebounds in a 23-minute stint.

Pierre Jackson (Desert Pines) continued to struggle for New Orleans. He shot 1-of-4 for two points and committed five turnovers in 12 minutes in the Pelicans’ 66-62 win over Cleveland.

Elijah Johnson (Cheyenne) scored eight points in 16 minutes in the Clippers’ 77-65 loss to the Lakers. Johnson added three rebounds, three assists, three steals and three turnovers.

■ NOCHE LATINA — The summer league honored Kaleb Canales, who last year became the NBA’s first Latino head coach in March 2012 when he took over the Portland Trail Blazers after the firing of Nate McMillan.

Canales, who had been the Trail Blazers’ summer league coach in 2010, now is an assistant with the Dallas Mavericks.

The summer league also brought in San Antonio 12-year-old Sebastien De La Cruz to sing the national anthem before Monday’s Spurs-Hawks game at Cox Pavilion. De La Cruz sang the anthem twice at the NBA Finals and became a national sensation after his first performance drew racist comments on Twitter.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

 

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