Metta World Peace is coming home to New York.
According to ESPN, the 33-year-old Queens native will sign a two-year contract with the New York Knicks. The player formerly known as Ron Artest spent the last four seasons in Los Angeles, where he captured his first NBA championship ring. He played a significant role in the Lakers' 2010 championship run but failed to contribute as much in the past few seasons. World Peace averaged 12.4 points and five rebounds last season, both highs during his stint in Los Angeles. Against Kobe Bryant's wishes, the Lakers waived World Peace last week as part of the NBA amnesty clause. Once World Peace became a free agent, the 14-year veteran landed on the Knicks' radar.
World Peace signed with the Knicks this afternoon, and his presence adds another defender to a roster filled with offensive-minded players. It's unclear whether World Peace will assume a starting role come off the bench. He would likely relieve Carmelo Anthony at the small forward position. While the Knicks exceeded expectations last season by reaching the second round of the playoffs, the organization is faced with the tough task of assembling a roster that can compete with the current NBA champion Miami Heat.
World Peace played for St. John's University from 1997-1999 and was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bulls 16th overall. The Knicks will pay World Peace just over $3 million for two seasons, with only the first season guaranteed. It's a return long in the making for the Queensbridge native.