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Metta: I don't think I was given a fair chance

2/25/2014

Metta World Peace isn't bitter about how things ended with the New York Knicks.

But the veteran forward does wish he'd gotten a chance to showcase his skills.

"I don't think I was given a fair chance," World Peace said Monday night in a phone interview with ESPNNewYork.com. "People automatically assume that I'm getting old, I think."

World Peace said he never demanded playing time or attempted to distract the team. But he's looking forward to finding a more palatable situation with another team.

The Knicks on Monday agreed to buyouts with World Peace and Beno Udrih. World Peace can sign with another team as a free agent and has agreed to forgo his player option of the 2014-15 season.

"I wanted the Knicks to be able to find a player they can use," said World Peace, who posted a video thanking fans on Monday.

The Queensbridge native dealt with knee issues throughout late December and January but said Monday night that he still has plenty left to give.

"When that time comes, I'll be ready," World Peace said.

So why didn't things workout between the former St. John's standout and his hometown team?

"The timing wasn't right. Especially for a player such as myself, the timing could have been better under different circumstances," he said.

World Peace didn't want to blame Knicks coach Mike Woodson for the way things played out. But, in separate interviews with ESPNNewYork.com and on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show," World Peace touched on a wide range of topics:

On whether Carmelo Anthony will re-sign with the Knicks: "It's a no-brainer. Melo's not afraid of the media. Some people are afraid of that challenge, the N.Y. media. Melo's one of those guys who's not afraid."

Can the Knicks win with Melo? "I believe Carmelo has it in him. Certain things need to be brought out of him. I don't want to say exactly. There's a couple things that I think could be brought out of him that I think could make him a complete player. He has the potential to be a champion, absolutely."

Is Carmelo selfish? "Absolutely not. Yao Ming is the most unselfish superstar I ever played with and Melo's second. That's not bashing Kobe [Bryant]. Kobe's a different animal. Melo's very unselfish, but he has the heart of a lion. He has like 10 hearts in that little chest of his. For a guy to be unselfish and still have a killer instinct, people can't do that."

On Knicks owner James Dolan: "I think Mr. Dolan, when he gave his speeches, he comes across as a leader. A couple of speeches that he gave this year, they come off as inspirational."

World Peace suggested that Dolan should hire an adviser that he can trust.

"He wants a championship so bad, it's almost Kobe-ish -- when you want it so bad that you do a little bit too much."

On why the Knicks have struggled: "I spoke to a lot of people and a lot of people are saying Jason Kidd was the reason. Kenyon [Martin] came and played well also. I spoke to Tyson [Chandler] about it and Tyson said Jason Kidd used to do a lot of adjustments on the court. So that was an issue that we had this year with Jason Kidd becoming a coach. A lot of times they kept saying we miss that presence of Jason Kidd.

Why he came to the Knicks: "Fans wanted me to finish my career here in New York City. It wasn't like a basketball decision when I came here. It was all based off the fans, once they found out I was free, they kept saying bring Metta home, bring Metta home. That was the only reason I can home. I didn't think about myself, I didn't think about playing. Playing time wasn't the reason."

On the NFL penalizing players for using the N-word: "That's ridiculous. I use it all the time. I'm totally in my Zen, Buddhist faze of my life. Obviously, our ancestors have been through a lot and sometimes we forget. But growing up in our neighborhoods, that's the word that we use. ... It's not anything against our ancestors or anything like that."

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