World Peace takes the F train to work

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NEW YORK -- Metta World Peace joined the millions of New Yorkers taking the subway to work on Wednesday.

World Peace took the F train to Madison Square Garden for his Knicks debut. World Peace, who signed with the Knicks in the offseason, grew up in Queensbridge and played at St. John's.

"As a hard-working New Yorker," World Peace said of his ride. "You know how we do it."

World Peace took the F Train from the 21 St.-Queensbridge stop to the 34 St.-Herald Square stop in Manhattan, and then walked about five minutes to reach the Garden. World Peace said he wasn't really noticed by fellow passengers, joking that they wanted to get home and were listening to music.

"It was a focused ride. Had to get ready for the game, but it was cool," World Peace said. "First time for that. It was an experience. Something I always thought I would do."

The veteran says he may take the train to work again.

"Ya'll know it's easier to travel on the train. [Mayor Michael] Bloomberg has too many rules on the street," World Peace joked. "Can't even make a right turn."

Garden debut: Once at the Garden, World Peace was greeted with a nice ovation from the fans during pregame introductions, and he said teammates Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony asked him to speak to the crowd before the game. He kept his message brief, before finally getting to don a uniform that he had hoped to wear 14 years ago.

World Peace scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in the Knicks' season-opening 90-83 win over the Bucks.

"It was cool. It was a good experience," World Peace said of his debut. "We got first preseason game out the way, first regular season game out of the way, now all of the excitement out of the way, and now we can get down to play basketball."

Home, finally: In the 1999 Draft, the Knicks passed on World Peace, a St. John's product, for notorious bust Frederic Weis. World Peace, then known as Ron Artest, went to Chicago one pick later. The veteran remembers having on pink slippers and Knicks shorts underneath his suit on the day of the draft.

He said before the game he was not sure if he would have been able to handle playing in front of his hometown crowd back in 1999, but he feels he's now ready to help out the Knicks.

"I was still in this transition of figuring what this 19-year old was going to be, who he was going to be. That took a long time to figure out that," World Peace said. "I figured that out, OK, I'm ready to come home and play basketball. But it was tough coming out of St. John's going to Chicago."