Knicks buy out Metta World Peace

Updated: February 25, 2014, 2:11 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The New York Knicks bought out forward Metta World Peace and point guard Beno Udrih.

"We are disappointed that it did not work out for Beno and Metta here in New York," Knicks president and general manager Steve Mills said. "We thank them for their contributions this season and wish them well."

World Peace, a Queens native, signed a two-year deal worth approximately $1.6 million per season, with a player option in the second year, over the summer. He is free to join another team but will lose the player option.

[+] EnlargeMetta World Peace
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesMetta World Peace, who was bought out by the Knicks Monday, called playing in New York City a "childhood dream" come true.

World Peace, who grew up in Queensbridge and starred at St. John's when he was still Ron Artest, missed nearly all of January due to a procedure on his left knee. He played seven minutes Friday in a loss at Orlando, and then wrote on his Twitter page on Saturday that his agent was working on a buyout.

"It was a childhood dream of mine to play basketball professionally in New York City, and it has truly been a blessing for that dream to have come true," World Peace said in a statement. "However, under current circumstances, my agent and I have agreed that being bought out would be the best option for me professionally. I would like everyone to know that whether I was on the court or off, I could not have been happier playing for and cheering on this amazing city, my city.

"Lastly, I would like to thank all of the incredible fans of New York, as well as my teammates, my coach and the Knicks' owner for the wonderful opportunity to play in my hometown."

World Peace added later in a phone interview with ESPNNewYork.com that he didn't think the "timing" was right for a successful run with the Knicks.

"I don't think I was given a fair chance," he said. "People automatically assume that I'm getting old."

World Peace said his agent, Marc Cornstein, first discussed the idea of a trade with Mills in December.

The 14-year veteran remains confident that he can contribute to a team this season.

"When I go somewhere, people will see that I can play," World Peace said in an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show."

The moves were announced Monday before the Knicks hosted the Dallas Mavericks. By getting waived this week, both veterans will be able to sign with another team and be eligible for the playoffs.

World Peace had a minimal role with New York (21-34), playing just 13.4 minutes in 29 games. He played 33.7 minutes per game last season with the Lakers.

Udrih, who also signed last summer, had 12 starts among his 31 appearances.

Both departing players were unhappy with their lack of playing time.

"They weren't in the rotation, and I'm not going to linger on it," coach Mike Woodson said. "We're buying them out, and as a coach when guys work for me I wish them nothing but the best when they move on. And we're going to move on.

"You can't play everybody, and if you're not playing you've still got to be a good teammate and be ready to play when called upon. Unfortunately, I couldn't play them ... I'll get back and talk to Steve and ownership [Sunday] sometime and look at the players available out there."

Woodson said he and Mills would talk Tuesday about adding players. Woodson said he thought the Knicks needed a guard to defend on the perimeter, and another big man with Andrea Bargnani and Kenyon Martin injured.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com contributor Ian Begley and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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