Phil Jackson has already made his presence felt with the New York Knicks after being named team president this March, so we shouldn't be surprised he showed up at the Staples Center to watch his new team get blown out by the Los Angeles Lakers by a 127-96 margin.
Phil Jackson & Metta World Peace, All Smiles pic.twitter.com/FRX4hELzp5— 3030 (@jose3030) March 26, 2014
It almost feels like a home game for the longtime Lakers head coach, but it couldn't be further from his current New York state of mind. Ever since Jackson was passed over in favor of Mike D'Antoni in 2012, his relations with the franchise haven't extended beyond part-owner Jeanie Buss.
The Knicks are hoping Jackson can keep franchise cornerstone Carmelo Anthony around while also attracting the kind of talent that could help the organization contend right away. New York may be closer to doing just that than the fully rebuilding Lakers.
Both teams find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, but Jackson's Knicks have the opportunity to change that should their improved play of late continue. Their West Coast road trip began with Tuesday night's game against the Lakers, but the Knicks have said Jackson won't travel with the team, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.
In the meantime, Jackson's also finding time to see some old friends.
Random Twitter rants aside, Metta World Peace has plenty of time on his hands these days. He was cut by the Knicks earlier this season, leaving him without gainful employment in the NBA for the first time since 1999.
Unless, of course, you count the 75 games for which he was suspended during the 2004-05 season on account of his involvement in the "Malice at the Palace."
Of course, the basketball player formerly known as Ron Artest's lack of a job this time around has less to do with flagrant, in-arena pugilism and much more to do with his age (34) and the condition of his knees.
On the bright side, World Peace's unemployment has left him with ample opportunity to drop in on his old friends and colleagues. According to the Los Angeles Lakers Twitter account, he chose to do just that for Tuesday's showdown between the Knicks and Lakers on TNT:
World Peace hinted at his impending presence at his old stomping grounds earlier in the evening:
Goodnight . I'm going to sleep. I'll be sleeping during game. I'm trading the seat for a bed. ## This should be epic. A bed at staples— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) March 25, 2014
Just after locating his calf, which apparently went missing:
I think my calf muscle is misplaced— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) March 25, 2014
I found my calf muscle. It's in my glute muscle. This is weird— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) March 25, 2014
In Metta's mind, sitting courtside in the same building where he won a title in purple and gold back in 2010 might be enough to get him another gig in the Association:
Sitting courtside during a basketball game is no different from sitting on the bench. I am no different tonight , than a bench player— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) March 25, 2014
World Peace would probably have a better shot at finding one with the Lakers if he were, say, a precocious teenager from Australia by the name of Dante Exum. The Los Angeles Times' Eric Pincus reported that he was also in attendance:
Dante Exum once again at Staples Center, taking in Lakers/Knicks— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) March 26, 2014
It'd be a while, though, before Exum earned a video montage like the one the Lakers composed on World Peace's behalf: