Metta World Peace is bringing his brand of basketball to China to play for the Sichuan Blue Whales in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and is set to be the highest-paid import in the league after agreeing to a $1.43 million contract with the Chinese squad.
World Peace didn’t mention about the contract in a Twitter post but nonetheless confirmed that he is indeed joining the CBA next season:
First thing I am doing when I get to china will be visiting Pandas with my daughter @BabyGirl_Sade
— mettaworldpeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) July 31, 2014
Metta World Peace, or formerly as Ron Artest, was drafted by the Chicago Bulls 16th overall in the 1999 NBA Draft. He played with Chicago for three years (1999-2002) before being traded to the Indiana Pacers (2001-2006).
No thanks to the infamous Detroit-Indiana brawl he was again shipped out of Indiana and never really got his career back on track. World Peace had stints with the Sacramento Kings (2005-2008), Houston Rockets (2008-2009), Los Angeles Lakers (2009-2013) and New York Knicks (2013-2014) in the final years of his NBA career.
The 34-year-old struggled to get minutes in his last season in the NBA and produced just 4.8 points and 2.0 rebounds. For his entire 15-year NBA career, he averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
However, World Peace’s true value to his NBA squads was his toughness and defensive intensity—something that the Chinese squad hopes hasn’t fallen off the cliff yet like his other basketball skills. The Blue Whales are one of the worst teams in the Chinese league last season with just 14 wins against 18 losses in the 2013-2014 season.
With the hiring of Phil Jackson as president/general manger in New York, World Peace was hoping to get an invite to the Knicks camp but was never seriously pursued by the squad. Instead, the veteran small forward is bringing his talent to the other side of the world.