“I had a chance to play in New York [in the past],” Metta World Peace said Friday via Espn.com. “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 think most of us knew it but no one wanted to acknowledge it. The forward formally known as Ron Artest was pulling a bluff crazy enough to make you believe it. That’s because long before he was the family-friendly Metta, he was full of the stuff that legend was made of.
We’ve all heard the stories of him trying to get discounts on stereo equipment by applying for jobs at Circuit City. And we’ve all seen the New York native bum-rush the crowd and lay fans out at the Palace (still not his fault if you ask me).
But this time the crazy was contrived. It wasn’t random like the elbow that nearly shaved James Harden’s beard or the fight he nearly started with Pat Riley.
His threat to take his talents to China were merely a plan; a cleverly executed coup to buy him time and freedom from the teams dwelling in the league’s basement.
You see, World Peace had 48 hours to avoid being claimed by a team under the salary-cap. But his retirement claims scared teams off. Even if they knew that World Peace was leaking the stories himself.
It was like he tried to give the New York Knicks a chance to make up for passing on him in the draft, although he won’t admit it.
“It’s all about the players,” World Peace told reporters (via USAToday.com) at the Las Vegas Summer League on Monday. “That’s all it’s about right now. It has nothing to do with New York the city. The only thing that’s important is those players that I will be joining and touching the hardwood with. That’s all that’s important.”
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Richard Nurse is a Miami Heat columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr.