NEW YORK (AP) — Metta World Peace's dream homecoming lasted less than a season, with the New York Knicks waiving the veteran forward and Beno Udrih on Monday after buying out their contracts.
World Peace finally got his wish to play for the Knicks when he signed last summer, but he never gained a place in Mike Woodson's rotation and appeared in just 29 games before asking for his release.
"It was a childhood dream of mine to play basketball professionally in New York City, and it has truly been a blessing for that dream to have come true. However, under current circumstances, my agent and I have agreed that being bought out would be the best option for me professionally," the New York native said in a statement. "I would like everyone to know that whether I was on the court or off, I could not have been happier playing for and cheering on this amazing city, my city."
The moves were announced Monday before the Knicks hosted the Dallas Mavericks. By getting waived this week, both veterans will be able to sign with another team and be eligible for the playoffs.
World Peace, who grew up in Queensbridge and starred at St. John's when he was still Ron Artest, missed nearly all of January due to a procedure on his left knee. He played seven minutes Friday in a loss at Orlando, and then wrote on his Twitter page on Saturday that his agent was working on a buyout.
Udrih, who also signed last summer, had 12 starts among his 31 appearances.
"We are disappointed that it did not work out for Beno and Metta here in New York," Knicks general manager Steve Mills said. "We thank them for their contributions this season and wish them well."
Woodson said he and Mills would talk Tuesday about adding players. Woodson said he thought the Knicks needed a guard to defend on the perimeter, and another big man with Andrea Bargnani and Kenyon Martin injured.