Metta World Peace went to his daughter for advice and she hasn’t steered him wrong since.
“Cantu asked me to come to Italy to reach the playoffs,” World Peace said. “I spoke with my daughter first, and she said ‘why not? just play’. So I decided to become an Italian League player.”
And after an unsuccessful stint in China, the former Los Angeles Laker and New York Knick forward, who moved to Cantu in March has decided to stay in Italy for another season.
The terms of a possible contract extension have not been finalised however, despite both wanting the same thing.
Speaking to Italian website Sportando, World Peace has said that he is enjoying his brief time so far with Cantu, realising a wish of playing in Europe after spending three unsuccessful months in China.
“Basketball is not only NBA,” he says. “You can play basketball all over the world. I’m happy to be here and I love Italian basketball. Therefore, I’m thinking to play basketball again in Europe next year.”
World Peace has been an NBA champion, an NBA All-Star plus he’s won numerous defensive and rookie awards. He wanted something new.
“At the beginning of the season I had a few offers from the NBA but I decided to go to China,” World Peace explained. “I spent three months, then I went back to the U.S. to stay with my children. I was working out in Los Angeles when Federico (Italian agent) informed me about the chance to go to Italy.
“I always wanted to play in Europe and I [got] it done. I like European basketball because is a team basketball.”
For years, World Peace grew tired of the style of basketball perceived in the NBA. The majority of teams adopt isolation style, where all round Europe, the style of play is more methodical, more team-based.
For World Peace, that’s how basketball should be.
The New Yorker averages 15.3 points and is slowly getting his shooting percentage back after a poor number in China. He’s been hitting at around 48 percent, which is something that he will be happy with.
Though Cantu are mid-table in Italy, unable to catch runaway leaders EA7 Milano, World Peace feels at ease finally.
Looks like this move was no publicity stunt.