Metta World Peace believes it was a post-game locker room confrontation with J.R. Smith last year that led to him not being re-signed by the Knicks this season despite his familiarity with the triangle offense, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “I don’t understand why they didn’t [sign] me,’’ World Peace said. “But then again, I’m very direct. I think I was too direct in the locker room, too direct to J.R. Smith. It wasn’t from a bad place. If someone is not playing defense or not giving effort, that’s my specialty. I don’t hold back on my words. Nobody wants to talk direct to them. We don’t give it to them straight. I said some things directly to J.R. Smith in the locker room and he challenged me back, said some direct things to me. But he understood where we came from.”
Here’s more from the east:
- As the Sixers‘ losses continue to mount, head coach Brett Brown still feels pride in what the franchise is working for and constantly reminds the players of the team’s plan, Jenny Dial Creech of The Houston Chronicle writes. “It is hard, but it it’s something you remind yourself – why did you take the job?” Brown said. “What are the true realities of the roster we have? What’s the possible outcomes if we can navigate through the first few years we have to face? Sometimes its hard with the personnel that we have. I gotta coach them. I gotta remind them every single day that they have to be focused on the process, not the result.”
- Raptors big man Jonas Valanciunas‘ production has been under a higher level of scrutiny this season but head coach Dwane Casey is quick to defend his young player, Mike Ganter of The Toronto Sun writes. “He’s a young kid and his curse is two years ago when he got here everybody said he was the second coming,” Casey said. “Everybody was expecting that sort of impact. As a staff, all we expect is he’s going to grow at the right time, at the right pace and [eventually] he’ll get there. But everybody is waiting for him or wanting him to be more than what he is ready to be right now. He’s right where we need him to be.”
- Sign-and-trade acquisition Kris Humphries has added a needed level of toughness and physicality to the Wizards‘ frontcourt, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post writes.