While the New York Knicks were busy getting embarrassed by the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, former Knicks’ forward Metta World Peace was seen in a private box chatting with his former head coach Phil Jackson.
Could that have been a job interview?
MWP asked for and received a buyout from the Knicks last month, but he’s said he wouldn’t have done that if he knew Jackson, who coached him with the Lakers, was going to become New York’s president of basketball operations.
A source tells Marc Berman of the New York Post that World Peace yearns to return to the Knicks and would love to re-sign with the team. The Knicks have an open roster spot, though Berman makes it seem as though a reunion with World Peace is more likely in the offseason.
Jackson has always been very high on MWP and has publically praised his practiced habits in the past.
World Peace gets $250K from the Knicks as part of his buyout arrangement, Berman notes, though it’s not quite clear if that’s all he’s receiving or if the Knicks are paying his full salary for next season also. His contract with the team originally called for him to make $1.59 million this season with a player option worth more than $1.66 million for next year.
If Jackson and the Knicks were interested in a reunion with MWP, it would likely be for just the minimum salary next season.
MWP never had a defined role on this Knicks team and has said he requested his buyout when coach Mike Woodson apparently asked him not to attempt to become a locker room leader.
With Woodson all but assured to be gone at season’s end, MWP would likely fit in better with a new head coach.
He averaged only 4.8 points per game in only 29 contests with the Knicks but Woodson gave him only barely over 13 minutes per game.