Metta World Peace has never been shy about showing his love for the New York Knicks. He's always been a fan of the team since his childhood and even won Knicks gear as a member of other teams. When he became an Amnesty Clause victim there were plenty of rumors of which team he might join had he cleared waivers. Now his brother, Daniel Artest, has told the world that World Peace's first choice was to play elsewhere than New York.
Players who are Amnesty Clause victims they don't have control over where they'll play next. First there's a 48 hour waiver period where teams under the cap can bid on the players services. However, if they clear waivers that player becomes an unrestricted free agent and can choose where they sign next.
After Metta World Peace cleared waivers he was able to decide where he'd play next. Rumors had him wanting to stay in Los Angeles with the Lakers, possible signing over in China with Yao Ming's team, leaving to play football, coaching and of course coming back to New York to play for the Knicks.
One other team mentioned in rumors at the time were the Los Angeles Clippers. They would allow World Peace to remain in Los Angeles and play on what is expected to be a contending squad. That being said, with the Clippers small forward depth they were quickly dismissed as a legitimate option by most fans.
However, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that Daniel insists his brother's first choice was indeed to play for the Clippers.
“The Clippers were his first choice,” Daniel said. “He loves L.A. and wanted to stay. But the Clippers had their team ready. The Knicks were the other option.’’
That being said, he's happy to see his brother return to the New York area.
“I think it’s awesome. He gets to go back home to finish his career where it started. He’s beloved in New York. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to always said they wanted him to go to the Knicks. He’s putting in all the work this summer to keep Knicks fans happy. They can love you one day and be against you the next if you don’t perform.’’
There's a few ways to look at this. First of all, World Peace has a daughter in school in California. It's hard to fault a father for wanted to remain near his daughter. Second of all, the Clippers are a young team with a lot of skill who have had a good off-season as far as their player and coaching additions.
However, that shouldn't take away from the joy of him joining the Knicks. He was very quick to join the Knicks after clearing waivers so clearly they were very high on his list. Now only will World Peace have less competition for time on the Knicks as compared to the Clippers but it's also an opportunity to return back to his roots and play for the town that made him famous before joining the NBA.
This is a chance for World Peace to bring his career around full circle. He wanted to join the Knicks when he left college but was disappointed when New York passed up on taking him. However, as a young man already a huge star in the city and grossly immature joining the Knicks at the time may have been disastrous.
However, World Peace is now approaching the end of his career. He's been in the NBA for 14 years and his best playing years are behind him. That being said, he's a bit more mature, has more experience and knows what it takes to win now. At this point in his career, his only goal is to win championships and he knows more than any other Knicks player what that would mean for his legacy and for New York.
While the Clippers may have been World Peace's first choice, New York could very well be the best choice for where he continues his career. After all, this is where it all began for him. New York is a challenge and the Clippers will always be the second team in Los Angeles much like the Nets will always be the second team in New York.
World Peace isn't the type to take a back seat to anybody. Thankfully there was no more room for him in Los Angeles. He belongs on the Knicks. They need each other. The prodigal son has returned.
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