Apr 14, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace (15) is defended by San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Spurs 91-88. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency 2013: Reaction to the Metta World Peace signing

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Welcome home Metta World Peace!

The 33-year old Queens bridge native and former St. John’s standout, formerly known as Ron Artest will be a New York Knick next season. The two sides have agreed to a two-year, $3.2 million contact, with the second year being a player option.

April 26, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers small forward Metta World Peace (15) controls the ball against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half in game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

World Peace brings toughness to a team that looked soft during the playoffs. His offense is nowhere close to where it used to be, but the Knicks aren’t bringing him in to be a difference maker on the offensive side of the ball.

The Knicks will now call on World Peace and Iman Shumpert to be their best defenders and Tyson Chandler to defend the paint.

World Peace knows what it takes to win a championship and now fills Jason Kidd’s shoes as the only Knicks player with a championship (along with Chandler).

He will test Carmelo Anthony every day in practice and push him to be his best night in and night out. He saw how Kobe Bryant came to play every game, and now will try to get the same demeanor out of Anthony.

With the Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, and Chicago Bulls all on the incline, and the Miami Heat still being the Heat, the Knicks knew they had to make moves.

They brought back the Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith, acquired another scoring threat in Andrea Bargnani, and now brought in a player to help on defensive end of the floor.

I can’t wait for World Peace’s and Smith’s interactions on and off the court.

The Knicks passed on Artest for French center Frederic Weis in the 1999 draft. You might know him from this video…

 

Weis never logged a single minute in the NBA, while Artest has a championship, Defensive Player of the Year, All-Star, and Defensive First and Second Team honors on his resume.

The Knicks would be foolish to make the same mistake twice and pass on Artest again. Metta World Peace isn’t the 2004 Ron Artest, but he fits a need for the Knicks.

You can’t teach toughness, and that is what the Knicks just signed.

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