- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- Like most New Yorkers, Metta World Peace remembers exactly where he was 12 years ago.
Days away from the start of his third year with the Bulls, World Peace was driving from Chicago to New York to hang out with family and friends. He remembers pulling into a gas station in rural Pennsylvania and glancing at the television as he paid the attendant.
"I thought I was watching maybe a preview for a movie," World Peace said on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, what Peace saw that day was reality. America was under attack, as planes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center. At that moment, World Peace was just like any other New Yorker on September 11, 2001 -- angry, confused and upset.
"Everyone was in disbelief," World Peace said. "People were angry, sad, every type of emotion besides happy."
That memory is one reason why World Peace, and several other members of the Knicks and Nets organizations, spent time Wednesday in downtown Manhattan. They were at BGC Partners office on Water Street to participate in a fundraiser to commemorate the 658 Cantor Fitzgerald employees who died in the World Trade Center attacks.
The players and coaches conducted transactions with traders. Revenues from the trades went to over 100 charities. Last year, the fundraiser generated $12 million. The total proceeds for the fundraiser entering this year were approximately $89 million.
"A great cause," World Peace said.
The Queensbridge native visited dozens of traders, joking and smiling with everyone throughout his visit. It was the least he could do on such a difficult day for so many New Yorkers.
"It must have been hard to come to work today," he said. "I was just happy to be here."
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2dIan O'Connor, ESPN Senior Writer