Metta World Peace made his New York Knicks debut Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. Instead of driving in a car or taking a helicopter to get from Queensbridge to Manhattan to join the Knicks, World Peace traveled by subway.
His dream of becoming a Knick finally a reality in his 15th year in the NBA, World Peace thought it would only be appropriate to return home to Queensbridge and take the subway to his first regular-season game at the Garden, like he had done so many times as a youngster.
So a little past 4:30 Wednesday afternoon, World Peace arrived with a few friends on 21st Street and 41st Avenue, an intersection that borders the Queensbridge housing projects where he grew up.
Instantly people who had been milling around the subway steps recognized him. People called out, “Hey, Ron!” — no one calls him Metta around here — and World Peace stopped to shake hands and hug about a dozen people. Someone handed him a phone to talk into.
Through the turnstile, World Peace noticed a crowd was following him, and the platform quickly started to fill. “I’ve got to get a seat,” he said, laughing. “I can’t be standing.” He did have a basketball game to play in a few hours, after all.
Once on the train, the first thing he wanted to do was guess how many stops until 34th Street, to show he hasn’t forgotten his roots. But as the 15-minute ride continued, he grew somewhat wistful, recalling memories of growing up Artest.
World Peace rode the train dressed in dark jogging pants, a black T-shirt featuring his “TruWarrior” street ball nickname and a dark puffy vest, he also had a backpack with the Knicks logo.
— Jim Baumbach (@jimbaumbach) October 30, 2013
The Kncisk beat the Milwaukee Bucks 90-83 Wednesday. World Peace had four points, four rebounds and a steal in 18 minutes of play.