Metta World Peace

Knicks Notes: Van Gundy, Fizdale, Woodson, World Peace

The Knicks contacted representatives for Jeff Van Gundy about their coaching vacancy on Saturday, but he is considered a long shot to land the job, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Van Gundy, who coached the team for more than five seasons before resigning in 2001, had a strained relationship with the organization for many years that now seems to have thawed.

“I always keep changing my answer to the same question,” he said this week in an interview with New York-based broadcaster Michael Kay. “Now that the job is available, I can say I just don’t talk about coaching searches. I don’t think it does anybody any good. It doesn’t do me any good, the teams any good. I want what’s best for them. Whatever they decide, I hope it works for them.”

Van Gundy is now a broadcaster for ABC/ESPN, along with fellow Knicks coaching candidate Mark Jackson. Berman states that the Knicks seem to prefer Jackson to Van Gundy, and JVG endorsed his broadcast partner for the job on Friday.

There’s more news on the Knicks’ coaching front:

  • Former Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale could become the top candidate once he interviews with the Knicks this week, Berman adds in the same story. Fizdale, who coached Memphis to a playoff berth last season, told reporters Friday that he has interviews for the openings in New York and Phoenix. The Knicks like Fizdale’s ability to connect with younger players, Berman notes.
  • Mike Woodson hasn’t been mentioned among the Knicks’ coaching candidates, but he would like to be considered, Berman relays in a separate piece. Woodson has spent the past four years as an assistant with the Clippers, but was the head coach in New York for two and a half years prior to taking that job. “I don’t want to hide the fact I’d love to be back,” Woodson said. “I’d like to finish what I started. At the end of the day, you want to come to New York, based on my body of work there. I want it to be mutual. I want them to want me. I hope they call me.”
  • If you’re looking for a long-shot candidate to be the Knicks’ next coach, Metta World Peace threw his hat into the ring Saturday, tweeting, “I would love to be head coach for the @nyknicks.” World Peace played for New York during the 2013/14 season and served as a player development coach for the G League’s South Bay Lakers this year.

Metta World Peace To Play In BIG3

After playing for the Lakers last season, Metta World Peace will take his talents to the BIG3 for the 2018 campaign, the league announced today. Interestingly, the press release – issued on World Peace’s birthday – refers to the 38-year-old by his given name, Ron Artest, noting that he’ll play under that moniker in the BIG3.

With the 2016/17 season winding down, World Peace publicly expressed a desire to reach the 20-season mark as a professional basketball player. However, the veteran forward, who has 18 years under his belt, was unable to find a new home this offseason and recently accepted a role as an assistant coach for the Lakers’ G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers.

Despite taking on a coaching role, World Peace seemingly hasn’t given up on the idea of playing. It’s not clear whether he hopes to parlay his BIG3 gig into another professional opportunity, as Josh Childress did, or if he simply wants to compete against other players who have retired from the NBA.

Either way, World Peace is on track to suit up as a BIG3 player in 2018. He’ll team up with Stephen Jackson, co-captaining the Killer 3s squad with his former Pacers teammate.

Lakers’ G League Team Hires Metta World Peace As Assistant Coach

The South Bay Lakers have hired Metta World Peace as an assistant coach, according to the team’s website. World Peace had recently expressed an interest in coaching, and this opportunity lands him in a player development role for the Lakers’ G League affiliate.

World Peace spent six seasons with the Lakers and won an NBA championship with the club in 2010. Known for his defensive prowess and for his role in the 2004 brawl between the Pacers and the Pistons, World Peace can impart 17 seasons worth of accrued wisdom on the South Bay roster.

The South Bay Lakers – formerly known as the Los Angeles D-Fenders – are the G League’s defending Pacific Division champions and are led by head coach Coby Karl, son of the former longtime NBA coach, George Karl. The club’s 16-man roster includes two-way players Vander Blue and Alex Caruso, as well as L.A. camp invitees V.J. Beachem and Stephen Zimmerman.

Free Agent Rumors: Afflalo, Timberwolves, Yanyuhang

Veteran swingman Arron Afflalo has remained on vine through the first week of free agency but TNTs David Aldridge suspects that he’ll be picked up soon.

The 31-year-old was waived by the Kings last month after putting up 8.4 points per game in his 10th pro season. In the right situation, Afflalo could be a valuable defensive presence out on the perimeter. In Sacramento he was an established, veteran piece on a team that hit the rebuild button part-way through the regular season.

Aldridge notes that the Timberwolves took a good look at him prior to signing Jamal Crawford, a testament to his value as a 3-and-D option for teams in win now mode.

There’s more free agency buzz from around the league:

And-Ones: World Peace, Lillard, Blatt, Calathes

Veteran NBA forward Metta World Peace, who said at season’s end that he doesn’t expect to be back with the Lakers in 2017/18, has an uncertain basketball future and intends to put off a decision on his next move until August. As Emiliano Carchia of Sportando details, World Peace told Italy’s La Gazzetta Dello Sport that he’s leaving the door open to the possibility of playing in China or Europe if no NBA opportunities arise for him.

The man formerly known as Ron Artest has maintained in recent months that he’d like to play 20 professional basketball seasons before he calls it a career. World Peace, who will turn 38 this fall, has spent 17 seasons in the NBA and also played in China and Italy in 2014/15, so he’ll need to play for two more years to meet that goal.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Damian Lillard created some speculation fodder during a Twitter Q&A with fans today when he answered a question about where he’d sign if he had to leave Portland. “If [the] Blazers said they didn’t want me… Utah Jazz or Lakers,” Lillard replied (via Twitter). Lillard is under contract through 2021, so Blazers fans should have nothing to worry about anytime soon.
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer makes the case for why 2017’s NBA draft looks primed for more draft-pick trades than usual.
  • After coaching Darussafaka in Turkey this past season, David Blatt is meeting Darussafaka officials in Istanbul this week to resolve his release from the team and pave the way for his return to Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, per international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). Blatt coached the Israeli club for several seasons before joining the Cavaliers in 2014.
  • Nick Calathes, a former second-round pick who spent two seasons with the Grizzlies, is content to continue his playing career in Greece, as he tells EBasket (English link via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). “The NBA is still on my mind. Obviously I want to play at the highest levels. But in this moment the Panathinaikos is my priority,” Calathes said. “I am not in a hurry to go to the NBA. I love Panathinaikos and I am doing well here. So I am not pushing for something else.”

Pacific Notes: World Peace, Clippers, George

He may be officially enrolled at UCLA, but that doesn’t mean Metta World Peace is ready to retire from the NBA. The Lakers forward recently reassured Serena Winters of Lakers Nation that he remains intent on playing two more seasons.

I’ve got two more years and I’m going to be 20 years, a professional basketball player,” World Peace said. “This year I was more mentoring [for the Lakers], but obviously, if I would have played I would really have had Staples Center rocking more! I still feel like I can bring something to the table, whether it’s mentoring or whether it’s playing, I’m open to either.

Just because the veteran hopes to continue playing in the NBA doesn’t mean he’ll be back with the Lakers however. Earlier this month the 37-year-old tweeted goodbye to the franchise after reportedly being told that Magic Johnson said he probably won’t be re-signed.

In 24 games for the young Lakers, World Peace averaged just 2.4 points in 6.4 minutes per game. His last taste of heavy NBA action came in 2012/13.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Insiders says that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin love it with the Clippers and want to stay, writes Mark Heisler of the Orange County Register. Both have signed new contracts with the Clippers in the past without entertaining a presentation from another franchise.
  • Several factors will influence the Lakers‘ chance of acquiring Paul George, per Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, including whether or not the forward qualifies for the designated veteran salary boost and where their pick falls after the draft lottery.
  • When the Kings hired Scott Perry to be their executive vice president of basketball operations they netted one of the masterminds behind the dominant Pistons teams of the mid-aughts. Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee details Perry in an extensive feature.

Lakers Notes: Clarkson, Black, West

Fresh off of his third season in the NBA, Lakers combo guard Jordan Clarkson is familiar with a fluctuating role. According to Mark Medina of Inside the Lakers, that isn’t expected to change after his exit meeting.

The 24-year-old told Medina that he doesn’t know whether he’ll start, come off the bench, play the point or handle duties at the two-guard position. Much of that, naturally, will be determined after the draft and free agent signing period.

In 2016/17, Clarkson thrived in uncertainty, nearly matching his career high in scoring despite playing less minutes than he did when he initially set the mark.

While much of L.A.’s core revolves around players like D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle, the 2014 second-round pick averaged an impressive 14.7 points while playing in all 82 games for the Lakers.

There’s more from the Lakers today:

  • Despite an apparent willingness to accept a consultant role with the Lakers, Jerry West won’t be offered one, Mark Heisler of the Orange County Register writes, citing a team insider.
  • Third-year forward Tarik Black is confident he’ll be back with the Lakers next season, Mark Medina writes for Inside the Lakers. Although there’s no guarantee when it comes to his… non-guaranteed contract. “If they weren’t interested in bringing me back, they would’ve just said, ‘Well, it’s nice having you Tarik, we enjoyed you, we’ll be in touch,” Black said. “The fact they’re sitting there, having the conversation and listening to my questions and they seriously answered them and we talked about development, it just gives me confidence moving forward.
  • The Lakers wrapped up their exit meetings last week, writes the Orange County Register’s Mark Medina, and one item that was stressed consistently was better conditioning. The club appears otherwise optimistic looking forward.
  • After two years with the Lakers, 37-year-old Metta World Peace has tweeted goodbye to the franchise, E. Carchia of Sportando relays.

Lakers Rumors: Young, World Peace, Kobe, Mozgov

Now that the Lakers have played their final regular season game of 2016/17, the first offseason in Rob Pelinka‘s tenure as general manager is underway. As Pelinka said earlier this week to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com, it will be an interesting one in Los Angeles, since there are so many uncertainties surrounding the club, starting with whether or not it will keep its top-three-protected pick.

“There are a lot of uncertainties,” Pelinka said. “Do we have our draft pick in June, or do we not? What free agents do extensions? What free agents become true free agents? What players from other teams are teams going to think about trading? There are millions and millions of combinations. It’s almost like a Rubik’s Cube. If you’re trying to solve it, there are many different combinations and turns you could make to get to the end path. You have to really study that board hard and make all the right turns to get there, but there is likely more than one way to get to the end.”

As the Lakers mull their summer options, let’s round up a few more notes on the club…

  • Although Nick Young remains undecided on his player option, he suggested today that he may prefer joining a playoff team rather than being one of the lone veterans on a young team, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. As Mark Medina of Los Angeles Daily News tweets, Young also joked that if the Lakers end up drafting Lonzo Ball, it might be too much for the team to have to deal with the “Ball family and Swaggy P talking crazy.”
  • Speaking today to reporters, including Pincus (Twitter link), Metta World Peace said president of basketball operations Magic Johnson told him the Lakers probably won’t re-sign him this summer. World Peace said earlier this week that he hopes to play two more professional seasons, but he sounded less certain today about his plans going forward.
  • After initially taking an inside look last month at the legal drama surrounding Jeanie Buss and her family, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com digs back into the story and updates her initial report with new information and quotes from Buss. Shelburne’s newest story on Lakers ownership includes a handful of interesting new tidbits, including one on how Jim Buss tried to offer Kobe Bryant shares in the franchise last year without realizing that the family trust didn’t allow for such a move.
  • After being rested for several weeks to end the season, Timofey Mozgov isn’t yet sure what his role will look like next year, but he’s hopeful that he’ll start 2017/18 as L.A.’s starting center, per Medina.

Metta World Peace Aims To Play 20 Seasons

Metta World Peace is nearing the end of his 18th professional season – 17th in the NBA – and will turn 38 in the fall, but he doesn’t intend to retire just yet. As Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News details, the man formerly known as Ron Artest hopes to play 20 seasons of professional basketball, meaning he’ll aim to put off retirement for at least two more years.

Although World Peace has spent the entire 2016/17 season with the Lakers, his playing time has been very sporadic — he has acted as more of a mentor on the bench to the team’s young players. The veteran forward has appeared in just 23 games and hasn’t seen the court much in those contests, accumulating only 125 minutes for the season.

Those numbers don’t necessarily bode well for World Peace’s NBA future, though he isn’t necessarily locked into playing two more years in the NBA. Having spent the 2014/15 season in China and Italy, World Peace is open to returning overseas if no NBA opportunities arise. While he’d love to re-sign with the Lakers, the 37-year-old acknowledges that bringing him back may not be feasible for the franchise.

“There’s too many free agents and rookies they have to sign,” World Peace said. “It’s the last thing I would think about this early. The whole league has to get the free agents, the rookies, and get the B-class players and C-class players. I never think about it. It’s too early.”

Although World Peace’s long-term future with the Lakers is up in the air, he should have the opportunity to see a little more action for the club in the short term. Los Angeles will host the Pelicans on Tuesday before traveling to Golden State on Wednesday for the regular season finale. And head coach Luke Walton expects to get World Peace some minutes, particularly in the Lakers’ last home game.

“We want to reward Metta every chance we get for how great he’s been this year and the way he’s worked and the way he helps the young guys and being positive,” Walton said. “He’s been one of the better players in this league for a long time. He’s won a championship with this organization, obviously. So that comes into play.”

Central Notes: Bulls, Harris, Bucks, World Peace

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg will have to decide soon whether to emphasize making the playoffs or developing young talent, writes Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago. Chicago is coming off a terrible week, losing four straight games and slipping to 10th in the East. Hoiberg continues to experiment with different combinations, playing everyone but Nikola Mirotic in the first half of each game.

Last month’s five-player trade that sent Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to Oklahoma City clouded the team’s direction, Goodwill writes, with newly acquired Cameron Payne now the team’s third “point guard of the future” since Dwyane Wade signed last summer. “We’re doing everything we can to compete to win, at the same time we have some young guys we wanna get on the floor. It’s a balance,” Hoiberg said. “It’s guys, we want to get them out there and see how they play then make a decision in the second half.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons have climbed back to .500, sparked by the insertion of Tobias Harris into the starting lineup, notes Aaron McMann of MLive. Harris scored 28 points Saturday against the Knicks and helped Detroit build a comfortable early lead. “He came out really aggressive,” said teammate Marcus Morris. “It was good to have him back in the starting lineup. We know what he can do. We know how well he can score the ball. So, it’s not really surprising to us.”
  • The Bucks have named Steve Brandes president of their new D-League affiliate, the team announced on its website. The Oshkosh, Wisc., franchise will begin play next season.
  • At age 37, Metta World Peace has assumed the role of a mentor with the young Lakers. But the former Ron Artest still has strong regrets about the effect he had on the Pacers almost 13 years ago, writes Mark Montieth of NBA.com. Artest was suspended for the season after charging into the crowd in Detroit on November 19, 2004, to confront a fan. That effectively killed Indiana’s title chances and led to the breakup of a promising young team. “We were supposed to win a ring together,” World Peace recalls. “Everything revolved around me, because I was unstable. That’s what I feel bad about to this day. That’s something I can never, ever forgive myself for. It’s something I have to recognize. We were on our way. [GM] Donnie [Walsh] put a helluva team together. I wanted to win a championship here. That was a big thing to me. And to Reggie [Miller]. At my most unstable point, it was the end of Reggie’s career.”