If ever there was someone meant to have an employer known simply as the "Zen Master," it would have to Metta World Peace, right?
The former New York Knicks forward seems to think so.
During the Los Angeles Lakers' 127-96 thrashing of the Knicks Tuesday night, World Peace stopped by a Staples Center suite to chat up his former Lakers coach, and current Knicks president, Phil Jackson:
Phil Jackson & Metta World Peace, All Smiles pic.twitter.com/FRX4hELzp5— 3030 (@jose3030) March 26, 2014
Sources close to World Peace said he's longing for another chance with the Knicks. One confidant told Berman that the 34-year-old "abso-bleeping-lutely" wants to find his way back onto New York's roster over the offseason.
World Peace, a Queens native, played just 29 games before abruptly ending his debut season with the Knicks by way of a buyout. Plagued by a bothersome left knee and a three-point stroke he could never find (31.5 percent from distance), the dream of playing for his hometown team seemed more nightmarish.
"I don't think I was given a fair chance," he told ESPNNewYork.com. "People automatically assume that I'm getting old."
His midseason trip to the free-agent market never found him a home the way it did for other veteran buyout casualties like Danny Granger (Los Angeles Clippers) and Caron Butler (Oklahoma City Thunder).
It's a journey he's since said he never would have taken had he known about the planned changes to the Knicks' front office.
"Absolutely not," he told the Max & Marcellus Show on ESPNLA 710 Radio (h/t ESPNLosAngeles.com) when asked about whether he would have accepted his buyout if he'd been aware that Jackson was coming.
World Peace spent two seasons under Jackson in L.A., including the Lakers' championship-winning 2009-10 campaign.
He also played 159 of a possible 164 regular-season games during those two years and shot 35.5 percent from the perimeter. If that player's body hasn't broken down, maybe the Big Apple will see a World Peace-Zen Master reunion.
But if it has, if that player no longer exists, then World Peace might have a hard time finding his way back to the NBA hardwood—in New York or anywhere else.
Statistics used courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.