Metta: 'I can still play'

January, 26, 2014
Jan 26
Metta World Peace isn’t demanding playing time. But he wants everyone to know he can still play if called upon.

“I still can score, still put people on the block … I can still play and that’s all I focus on, is playing,” World Peace said on Friday. “I don’t coach, I play. Whether I get 0.8 seconds or two seconds, I’m ready. Whether I get 30 minutes, it doesn’t matter. I’m ready.”

World Peace dressed but did not play against Charlotte on Friday. The veteran forward had been out since Dec. 28 due to knee soreness. He underwent blood spinning therapy over the past three weeks to improve the condition of his knees.

"I think it helped. I think it did," World Peace said. "I think the rest and (blood thinning) both helped."

Even when fully healthy, World Peace had been in and out of Mike Woodson’s rotation.

He’d played in 24 games for the Knicks (16-27) but was on the floor for 10 minutes or fewer in 10 of those games. He received two DNP-CDs and was out with an injury for 17 games.

Before Friday’s game, World Peace said he wasn’t sure of Woodson’s plans for him.

“Last time Coach said I was out so I’m not sure if I’m in,” he said. “But I’m ready.”

“I’m not sure what his plan is. I had a pretty good preseason and a good start to the season and it didn’t translate to minutes,” he added, though made it clear he was not demanding more playing time.

World Peace was asked if he was confused by his lack of minutes.

“Not confusing, it was just a situation. But I stay ready,” he said.

World Peace also seemed to take a subtle shot at Woodson for the Knicks’ recent struggles.

“The personnel is here … Coach has to make adjustments,” the forward said. “I think in the West Coast trip, especially after the New Year, we played well. I think Coach just has to find his unit and stick with it.”

The Knicks signed World Peace to a two–year deal over the summer after he was amnestied by the Lakers. The Queensbridge native said he has no ill will toward the Laker organization for cutting him.

“No, because the Buss family is family. I remember getting breakfast almost every Sunday morning with Dr. [Jerry] Buss, God bless him. Jeannie Buss just called me to say hi. So that’s family,” World Peace said. “So when they did whatever they had to do for whatever reason it was, it still doesn’t make a difference because they treated me like family when I was there and that’s how I always feel about the Buss family.”

World Peace is averaging 5.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in 15 minutes per game for New York.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.



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