Metta World Peace: “Later in my career I became way more vulnerable”

Photo: Metta World Peace/Twitter

Metta World Peace’s biggest regret from his NBA career is not getting a chance to play for his hometown team, the Knicks.

Despite wishing he could turn back time, he only spent a short stint with the Knicks, playing just 29 games and averaging 4.8 points during the 2013-14 season.

World Peace, a Queens native, had a 19-year NBA career that included time with the Bulls, Pacers, Kings, Rockets, Lakers, and briefly the Knicks.

He also gained notoriety for his involvement in “The Malice in the Palace,” a historic brawl between players and fans during his time with the Pacers.

“That trade request, it was just more compound frustration,” World Peace said. “It had nothing to do with the team. At that time, just so much pressure for me, not for other people. But for me, it was a ton of pressure.

“The brawl just happened. I missed out on an All-Star Game, missed out on my second Defensive Player of the Year that probably would have been mine again.

“I missed out on another All-NBA team. I couldn’t get over that. I was super unbalanced. And then I’m still so competitive. I come back to practice like I never left. And I wasn’t really apologetic at that time, at that age.

“Inside I was apologetic, but I didn’t want to portray that I was apologetic. Not having empathy, that made it worse on me because since I was faking not having empathy, it made it feel like I didn’t have empathy.

“When you don’t have empathy, it’s not a good spot to be in. That’s why later in my career I became way more vulnerable. I played the tough guy role, I said ‘Now it’s time to just play a normal guy role.’”

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