It was a couple nights ago at the Staples Center when the Los Angeles Lakers destroyed the New York Knicks 127-96. The Lakers scored a franchise record 51 points in the 3rd quarter in a crucial loss for New York. Sometime during that horrific display by the Knicks, Metta World Peace was laughing and talking with Phil Jackson in a Staples Center suite. World Peace’s contract was bought out by the Knicks just over a month ago, in a relationship that never amounted to much. But maybe the man who used to be called Ron Artest was interviewing for a new job with his former coach.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that World Peace reported that a source close to the 34-year-old forward would “abso-bleeping-lutely” want to be back with the Knicks. World Peace played in only 29 games for New York this season. He shot 31.5 percent from three-point range, while scoring only 4.8 ppg. Last season with the Lakers, World Peace had a decent season, scoring 12.4 ppg and snatching 5 rpg.
World Peace has always been a premier defender in the NBA, and though he’s lost a couple steps, he is still more than capable of defending. He was never able to find his stroke shooting the basketball this season, but I blame that on coach Mike Woodson. World Peace never really got into any groove because he was rarely given a chance to play. Back in November, World Peace averaged 18.3 mpg off the bench and shot the ball well at times. World Peace played at least 20 minutes in a game nine times, and in those nine games, he averaged 10.6 ppg and three rpg.
World Peace has another season left in him, and the Knicks can use any help they can get at this point. He provides a presence on defense, as well as the perimeter shot, when he is in a groove. Jackson gets the most out of his players, and seeing him in a suite talking with World Peace in Los Angeles, it seemed like they have a good relationship. If World Peace wants to play next season, I think Jackson will bring him in this offseason and give him a chance to compete for a job.
The Knicks could use him, as long as they have a coach who is going to switch things up rather than keeping the same rotation intact even when it isn’t working.