Metta World Peace, f.k.a. Ron Artest, ain’t mad with the Knicks. The seasoned NBA star was bypassed by the Big Apple Knickerbockers 14 years ago, he has agreed to a two-year deal. He was released by the L.A. Lakers via their amnesty clause and will be paid the $7.7 million that was owed to him by the Lakers, as well as the $1.6 million he’s expected to be paid by the Knicks.
“It’s all about the players,” World Peace told reporters at the Las Vegas Summer League Monday about his decision to go to New York. “The team is amazing.I’m excited to play and hustle. I’m excited to hustle for [Raymond] Felton, for Iman [Shumpert], for Tyson [Chandler], Melo [Anthony], [Amar'e] Stoudemire, coach [Mike Woodson]. 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.”
On being overlooked by his hometown team when he left St. John’s University…
“As a young kid, growing up in the Queensbridge projects, whether you’re from Brooklyn or Fort Rock, and you get into a world where you go from having nothing to making a million dollars a year and so many people telling you ‘You’re the best, you’re this, you’re that,’ and you believe that, and you get in trouble,” he said. “And that’s what happens to a young kid when you’re raised in a dysfunctional environment, a dysfunctional neighborhood. And then it takes 10 years for you to realize that you grew up in dysfunction and you’re going to continue to make mistakes if you don’t change. Not change, improve. You never want to change, you just want to improve.”