Metta World Peace could not find much playing time with the New York Knicks and was averaging a career-low 4.8 points per game this season, which is one of the reasons he asked for his release. The other, he says, is that Mike Woodson and company were opposed to him trying to be a leader.
On Sunday, World Peace told Marc Berman of the NY Post that he was met with resistance at times when he attempted to be a team leader.
“I didn’t mind playing any role, but I didn’t see myself having a role, not even a leadership role,” he said. “I was fine with being on the bench, but at times I wanted to help lead. But at times I tried to lead, it was met with resistance. I backed off a little and tried to blend in with the team. I tried to find where I could complement the players but I couldn’t find any room to complement.”
World Peace, or Ron Artest as some still know him, is in his 15th NBA season. While he is known for fighting fans and saying whacky things, he has also been one of the game’s best defensive players for a number of years. With the Knicks struggling as badly as they have, you would think veteran experience would be valued.
World Peace intends to play another season or two and then try to get into coaching. He would not rule out a return to the Knicks next season now that Phil Jackson is on board.