During the past off season, the New York Knicks engineered some moves to strengthen themselves both offensively and defensively. One of their transactions was to bring back to New York City area Metta World Peace, a 6’7” forward who could do almost anything on the court, including score from three-point range. The Knicks signed him as a free agent. He had always wanted to don a Knick uniform. Now he has his chance.
As one may recall, Peace was known as Ron Artest while playing for LaSalle Academy of the Catholic High Schools Athletic Association and then St. John’s University, a member of the Big East Conference. After starting at St. John’s for two years, he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association. He thus began his professional career that took him to such teams as Indiana, Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers.
He had plenty of professional experience on playing the pro game as he is a 15-year veteran. However, on this current Knicks team, he is being used as a reserve. At times he has impressed the coaching staff, who has been very high on him.
As the regular season is now underway, he has to see action behind some very talented players, including Carmelo Anthony, who heads the roster in most of the phases of the game. ‘Melo’ is a true all-star and at times can do anything on the court with the basketball, including setting up his teammates, who can score those points, just as well.
“The make up of this team is ‘pretty cool’,” said the resident of Long Island City. “We have a really good team. ‘Melo’ is our leader. He can make big shots and is a Syracuse ‘boy.’”
World Peace can still help this team when the coach Mike Woodson sends him into the game. He feels that he can contribute despite his age.
For example, coming into the pre-season game against Charlotte, he was hitting those three-point shots very well, despite the loss to the Bobcats. In this contest, he connected on three three-point shots as a reserve in the second quarter.
“While playing the game, I want for the most part to have fun,” he went on. “I also have to focus (on what’s ahead), which is still better than fun… Right now I’m enjoying it (the game).
“(At the same time) we totally have confidence in coach 100 percent and in any line-up that (he uses).”
He is fully recovered from an operation on his knee, which kept him out of action for a brief time during his long career.
World Peace returns to the Garden and plays at home doing his specialties, and that is see action on a team that is trying to win the whole thing. He can’t wait unil the Knicks clash with the Nets. And so will the fans await such a game on their schedule.
Overall, the team has to be in almost perfect condition to be a contender. In addition to Miami, which always poses problems as long as they have LeBron James, who is hard to stop, the Brooklyn Nets certainly improved and could be the second favorite to win the conference.
“The keys to a successful season are to stay healthy, number one,” Woodson said. Two, we have to take each game like it’s our last game. We have to continue on our winning ways at home. We got to stay consistent in what we do. We have to stay away from injuries.”