Former NBA player Metta World Peace has not played in the NBA since 2013, and has played in China since then. Now, the defensive-minded player has signed with an Italian team, Pallacanestro Cantu.
Peace, speaking to Italian reporters, said he intends to play until he’s forty years old, and that he’s loving life playing around the world.
Speaking about his mentality towards the game, Peace said he’s matured, and he has a different mindset these days.
“I had an up and down career,” he said. “I grew up playing basketball on the streets of New York City and it was very, very rough and I started playing in the NBA in the same way. Now the mentality is different from when I was younger. I always had the street mentality, but when you’re older, you get more mature.”
Peace said his new attitude has improved his performance on the court.
“When you play angry you can’t focus,” he said. “I’ve got five more years to have a great time, so I will be playing with a lot of fire but not anger, just passion.”
World Peace began the 2014-15 season playing for the Sichuan Blue Whales, appearing in just 15 games thanks to persistent knee trouble but quickly making himself available again as a free agent after the Chinese season ended in February.
And he might have found a perfect match in terms of eccentricity with his new team in Italy, where team officials have described the late-season signing of World Peace as “the coup of the century.”
Peace played 15 seasons in the NBA, for Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, LA Lakers and NY Knicks.
In 2003-04 he won the Defensive Player of the Year award and was named to the All-Star team. In 2010 Peace won the NBA Championship with the LA Lakers. Peace played a total of 931 NBA games (started 833), averaging 13.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.8 spg in 33 mpg.
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