Metta World Peace's best basketball days are behind him. His primary appeal is as an offbeat personality which profits more from his presence than his play.
Because of this, going to China would be the smartest professional decision he can make. Shortly after being amnestied by the L.A. Lakers, World Peace discouraged any NBA team from bidding on his services.
Per ESPN's Dave McMenamin, he said:
"I don't really want to play for anybody. I don't want to go anywhere. I want to go to China, or coach or play arena football."
Many of the things World Peace says have to be taken with a grain of salt, but the mention of playing in China should be taken seriously. Per McMenamin's report, World Peace has already spoken with former Houston Rocket and Chinese hoops legend Yao Ming about the possibilities.
A precedence for former NBA players experiencing on-court and monetary success in China has already been set. Two-time NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury has become a star on the court and a respected leader in the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association).
He's a four-time CBA All-Star, and his Beijing Ducks won the CBA title in 2012.
Marbury has attained a level of respect and admiration in China that he never held in the United States. Aside from his on-court exploits, the 36-year-old from Brooklyn, N.Y. has a growing fanbase, he writes a column for China Daily and has been honored with the creation of a statue outside the MasterCard Center in Beijing.
Per Sun Xiaochen of China Daily, Marbury is now getting into coaching. Two recent tweets from Starbury prove how at peace he is:
Much like World Peace, Marbury had a difficult time finding a place of comfort in the NBA. World Peace is just 33 years old and is also a native New Yorker.
It would make sense if he saw a connection to he and Marbury's journey as professional athletes.
A different environment where World Peace is respected and not known as a caricature could help give him a fresh start, much like it has for Marbury. World Peace's colorful personality would only aid in his popularity.
World Peace is no longer one of the best all-around players in the NBA, but his skills haven't eroded to the point where he can't still be a major factor in China. Last year, he averaged 12.4 points, five rebounds and shot 35 percent from three-point range.
He still has more than enough game to be effective in the CBA.
Hopefully, this idea isn't just an example of World Peace blowing smoke or having fun with the media.
While this may not be the way he envisioned his NBA basketball career would end, finishing up his playing days in China could be the best professional decision he's ever made.
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