Earlier this week, Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest) decided he was going to give up life in the NBA and head across seas to play in China.
He’s certainly not the first player to do so as we’ve seen former All-Star talents like Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury take the plunge. We’ve also seen bench players head to China in the past as well, though most opted to do so during the NBA’s most recent lockout.
But for Metta World Peace, there was no lockout to force him to look elsewhere, he did it because he wanted to. Or maybe it was a lack of interest from NBA teams that sealed the deal.
The New York Knicks, World Peace’s most recent team were said to have interest in bringing him back, though publicly it was stated once and never brought up again. Maybe they had a change of heart? It’s difficult to say, but World Peace seemed to love playing in the Big Apple, especially given it’s where he grew up. Needless to say, it seems rather difficult to believe he would have preferred to sign in China than play with the Knicks.
Another team that was rumored to have a bit of interest in Metta World Peace were the Los Angeles Lakers. MWP spent a handful of seasons in Southern California and given the Lakers need to find players willing to accept one-year, minimum level deals it seemed as if World Peace may have been a target. However, according to Larry Coon, the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t appear to be intrigued.
I’m not sure what MWP has left in the tank. It doesn’t seem like there was any interest on the Lakers’ part.
While MWP is certainly on the downside of his career, he still put up respectable numbers with the Knicks and it seems as if he could have etched out a role on the end of an NBA bench.