The Artest formerly known as Ron has finally made his way back home to New York after fourteen long seasons. After growing up as a Knicks fan in Queensbridge and maintaining some level of fandom throughout his playing career, the St. John’s product has a chance to show New Yorker’s that his return was worth the wait. While the Knicks won’t be getting the All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year that MWP once was, New York will still be getting a player who can knock down shots from downtown, and provide solid defense.
Metta World will make a very nice compliment to Amar’e Stoudemire and/or Andrea Bargnani on the court, since they aren’t exactly known as defensive big men (to put it lightly). In Artest, the Knicks will be adding another veteran with a lot of playoff experience who knows what it takes to win championships. Let’s not forget how integral of a role Peace played in the Lakers 2010 championship run. He hit the game winning three-pointer that gave Kobe his fifth ring.
With Carmelo Anthony taking on his new role as power forward, the Knicks needed another tough defender who could help Melo defend the bigger forwards, and also kick in with about 10 points a game. While Mike Woodson has yet to announce who will make up the Knicks starting five, Metta may very well end up making the cut. So Glen Grunwald may have just signed a potential starter to the Knicks for the veteran’s minimum.
In order for the Knicks to be successful, Metta World Peace not only needs to provide the Knicks with another deep threat and defender, but he also needs to avoid being a distraction at all costs. The entire world can see just how wild a personality Peace is just by following his Twitter account, but MWP needs to stay out of trouble and solely focus on helping the Knicks win. The Knicks already have enough “interesting” personalities to worry about between J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Kenyon Martin, so it’d be for the best if Metta’s off-court antics don’t have any effect on the team. It has been said that Metta World Peace and the Brooklyn Nets’ marquee addition, Paul Pierce, have something of a rivalry that originated in the 2009 playoffs, so hopefully Pierce doesn’t get in MWP’s head, allowing all of us to watch some interesting banter between the two without MWP getting too rattled.
If the Knicks are serious about a championship run, and at least want to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, they need every single one of their players to play consistent, smart basketball. Metta will hopefully be a large part of that. Like Andrea Bargnani, Metta World Peace will be another X-Factor to this team who could either lead to the Knicks to a disappointing loss or a thrilling victory.