Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, had expressed a desire to make a return to the NBA when he sat down with Ian Begley of ESPN NY. World Peace, a former Knick and native of Queens, has been serving as a life coach and mentoring numerous NBA players during his time away from the league.
“But it’s not a thing where I’m going to hide and be that perfect mentor,” Metta said. “I just give them the best advice I can and live my life accordingly. I’m doing that now, and one day I would love to coach.”
World Peace entered the league back in 1999 — when his name was still Ron Artest — after being selected 16th overall in that year’s draft and spent 16 seasons in the league with numerous franchises: Chicago, Indiana, Sacramento, Houston, Los Angeles Lakers, and New York.
He spent one season out of the NBA in 2013-14 and appeared in a total of 28 games with the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association, and Acque Vitasnella Cantu of the Italian Lega Basket, where he averaged 16.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.9 steals, according to RealGM.
He made a return to the league last season with the Lakers, and graced the court in 35 contests, putting up 5.0 points and 2.5 rebounds. Despite his lack of performing in 2015-16, and being 36 years old, the 6-6 small forward still believes he can make a grand impact on any team that picks him up.
“I’m waiting for teams. I can still play. I can play, it’s not even a question, man,” Metta said to ESPN. “But, you know, sometimes you don’t get in the game, man. What are you going to do? I’m not going to be upset, I’m going to support.”
Metta’s seen a lot of different things during his NBA career, and can be an excellent veteran presence on the sideline and in the locker room to make up for any lack of on-court performance. If World Peace were to land on a team with a young roster, he could provide leadership and mentorship to the fledgling players, and illustrate what not to do on-court — like elbowing opponents, and participating in an all-out brawl with players and fans.
Forgoing his reputation as a dirty player, Metta used to be a force in the league during the early-to-mid 2000s. His last super productive campaign was in 2008-09 with Houston where he averaged 17.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 steals, and shot 39.9 percent from three; from 2003-09, World Peace was a threat to go for 18-20 on any night and shoot upwards of 35 percent from three.
Data courtesy of Basketball-Reference unless otherwise noted
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