Monday, July 15, 2013

World Peace Comes to New York (Zing!)

This afternoon, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Metta World Peace, nee Ron Artest, will return to New York City on a two-year deal with the Knicks. The Knicks could use some perimeter defense and a guy who can shoot 3s decently (at least from the corners, where he made 37.8% last season, just about league average). Overall this is a pretty smart move to strengthen up the Knicks' bench and wings since Iman Shumpert and JR Smith profile more as shooting guards and Carmelo Anthony is best as a power forward.

Yes, that is a Lakers shirt and Knicks hat combo.

I'm a fan of this signing mostly because it is low-risk. MWP can easily be jettisoned at his salary and at 33, he still probably has something left in the tank. MWP's bold move to threaten a move to China or retirement if any team claimed him during the amnesty waiver process paid off, and just as the CBA's supposed to work, a big market team benefited!

The Knicks are completely capped out. They've committed the cap to the artist formerly known as Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler. This means they have to hit on all their other players to field an actually decent team, and for the most part, they've been successful at this.

The Knicks missed twice last off-season, trading for Marcus Camby and resigning Steve Novak to a four-year deal, but those two players still made enough to get flipped for Andrea Bargnani. They were forced to resign JR Smith or get nothing, but given his own love for NY and a saturated market for shooting guards, the Knicks are paying the Sixth Man of the Year less than what J.J. Redick and Monta Ellis made on the open market. Ray Felton does a respectable job as a starting point guard for barely more than $3 million and Iman Shumpert will continue to provide cheap production in the third year of his rookie deal.

World Peace is just the latest variation of a capped out team having limited options but still doing well. The Knicks have been linked to lesser players like Francisco Garcia, Carlos Delfino, and Samuel Dalembert, but today, they acquired a player who deserves to make less than $7.7 million but more than $1.5 million annually.

Basketball wise, MWP will help an average Knicks defense. While he lacks the foot speed that made him such a force in his prime, he still has the strength and instincts to guard small forwards and smaller power forwards. Pairing him with Carmelo and Bargnani allows the Knicks to have World Peace cover up at least one weak defensive player. A lineup featuring Shumpert, Chandler, and World Peace could actually be decent to good on defense, a rarity for basically all Knicks lineups.

Offensively, Artest will likely man one of the corners. Just like Ronnie Brewer and Iman Shumpert last season, teams will try and pack the paint to stop Carmelo and the Felton/Chandler pick and roll, daring World Peace to knock down corner 3s. Luckily for the Knicks, Brewer is gone, and MWP and Shumpert are both capable of hitting an open three. The Knicks won't need him for anything more than jacking up 3s. Plus he's totally used to playing with a ball hog!

Now to the good stuff!
Now that we've gotten the cap and basketball stuff out of the way, we can focus on the fact that MWP is going to be playing in New York with JR Smith. The Knicks already gave us a season full of crazy fucking things, but now they've added MWP, the STI JR Smith got in Vegas, and the son of a former Knicks nemesis.

Here are six completely made up but likely to become true stories involving next year's Knicks team.

1. Iman Shumpert and MWP put out a rap single. MWP gets jealous that Shumpert has cooler hair than him and goes full Rodman. Shumpert and him continue to escalate this hair thing until JR gets jealous and Instagrams a picture of his dick.

2. JR Smith and Kenyon Martin convince MWP to get a neck tattoo.

3. Pablo Prigioni and Andrea Bargnani spend every second in the locker room fearing for their lives as MWP and Chandler swap stories about growing up in Queensbridge and Compton.

4. Stephen Jackson is spotted hanging around the Garden asking for a tryout.

5. MWP copies Mike Woodson's facial hair, then taunts him because he doesn't have to use dye.

6. The Knicks continue to be the most exciting second-round-and-done playoff team. Suck it Brooklyn.


  1. Oh because the Nets are making it past the second round?

  2. Close on #1