If the rumors are true, it’s time to go to the 32nd floor of any building on the 41st side of the Queensbridge projects and shout, “Ron Ron is coming home.”
At least it’s a good possibility, as the former Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace (Formerly known as Ron Artest) cleared waivers late Sunday afternoon, making him available to sign with any NBA team.
Word on the streets is Knicks brass reached out to the 14-year vet who is coming off a solid season of 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds, with improved shooting percentages from the field, charity stripe and arc. According to ESPN, the Knicks can offer him part of their taxpayer mid-level exception of $1.7 million.
The Knicks could have nabbed Artest in the ‘99 NBA Draft. Instead, in a series of comical, inept and head-scratching personnel decisions over the past two decades, NY passed over the hometown stud out of St. John’s University to select a 7-2 stiff from France named Frederic Weis (Remember Weis getting a facial from Vinsanity in the Olympics? Lol.)
Don’t think the Queens legend forgot that. MWP is also considering the Los Angeles Clippers and China’s Shanghai Sharks as possible teams to join, and he hinted at the fact that he might not be giving the Knicks a shot at redemption.
"I had a chance to play in New York [in the past]," he said to Sports Glory. "I wanted to play in New York when I was in my prime and I was young, fierce, lock-down [defender]. Madison Square Garden, hat would have been sick. But right now, China is way more adventurous for me."
MWP is pushing 40 and has already played with the best and won a championship, so he’s looking for celebrity challenges that don’t involve setting screens for Carmelo or being a hated enforcer. He says he might even consider playing arena league football. Becoming a Knicks player now, would probably be too much work.
Knicks Coach Mike Woodson doesn’t sound overwhelmed by the prospect of signing one of Queen’s finest, but is willing to give it a shot if the addition makes the Knicks better.
“I know his name has been surfacing out there,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson, told ESPN. “If anybody comes to this team, they’ve got to understand it’s all about team, man. It’s not about individuals here… It’s about the New York franchise trying to win an NBA title. If you understand that, then we’ve got a chance.”
Knicks fans would embrace a guy like Meta, who would help keep opponents trash-talking to a minimum. Unfortunately, that window might have closed pre-Y2K.