Metta World Peace signed with the New York Knicks this offseason after being released by the Lakers via the amnesty provision. He is the perfect piece to complete the Knicks roster, as he brings one trait that their team lacked last season: toughness.
New York is excited about what World Peace can bring to the team, as evidenced by general manager Glen Grunwald's comments when the signing became official, via ESPN.com:
"Metta is a fierce competitor who brings toughness and championship experience to our roster. We are excited to bring him back to New York and give him a chance to play for the team he grew up rooting for."
The Knicks already have Iman Shumpert as the team's leading perimeter defender, but World Peace plays a different style of defense that will benefit New York. His non-stop motor on defense was evidenced in a game against the Denver Nuggets this past January and is shown in the video below:
As you can see in the video, World Peace is a tough, physical defender who likes to get right in the face of his opponents. The forward knocked the ball away, Danilo Gallinari recovered and World Peace knocked it away again.
His persistence will make the Knicks much better defensively.
World Peace's role with the Knicks goes beyond defense. This season, he will be New York's enforcer. World Peace knows what his job will be and seems ready to have his teammates’ backs, via Sam Amick of USA Today Sports:
"It's all about the players," World Peace told reporters at the Las Vegas Summer League Monday about his decision to go to New York. "The team is amazing. I'm excited to play and hustle. I'm excited to hustle for (Raymond) Felton, for Iman (Shumpert), for Tyson (Chandler), Melo (Anthony), (Amar'e) Stoudemire, coach (Mike Woodson)…”
While his toughness and his desire to have his teammates' backs will be appreciated in New York, World Peace has to be careful that he does not take things too far, as he has several times throughout his career, including this game against the Oklahoma City Thunder:
Even though World Peace will not be asked to score, he will be a solid addition to head coach Mike Woodson’s rotation on the offensive end as well.
World Peace averaged 12.4 points per game last season, and although that number may go down this year, he should be able to knock down open three-point shots—he is a career 34.2 percent shooter from downtown—in the flow of the offense.
His ability to make three-pointers will give the Knicks another scoring option alongside Carmelo Anthony and as long as ‘Melo moves the ball, World Peace will get some open looks.
Expect for Metta World Peace to log major, meaningful minutes in New York during the 2013-14 season.