Los Angeles Lakers ink World Peace
The Los Angeles Lakers inked veteran NBA forward Metta World Peace to a reported one-year, non-guaranteed contract on Thursday.
World Peace, known as Ron Artest before changing his name in 2011, is the 19th player on Los Angeles` roster with teams allowed to take a 20-strong squad into training camp.
The 35-year-old has been a presence at Lakers practices this offseason while mentoring forward Julius Randle, the seventh overall selection in the 2014 draft who broke his leg in his first NBA game last season.
"It`s great to have him go against Julius. To watch those two guys practice, it`s almost comical," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. "I`m not sure who gets the better of it. I would be surprised if either player admitted to anybody after practice that they hurt more than they did before practice."
World Peace, a former NBA Defensive Player of the Year, last appeared in the league during the 2013-14 season, when he played 29 games for the New York Knicks.
Since then he has played in the Chinese Basketball Association and in Italy`s top division.
World Peace played for Los Angeles between 2009-13 and won an NBA title with the Lakers in 2010.
He also played for the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and New York Knicks, and he holds career averages of 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 33 minutes over 931 games (833 starts).
Once infamous for wading into a brawl with fans in the 2004 "Malice at the Palace" episode at the home arena of the Detroit Pistons, World Peace has since earned accolades for his involvement in mental health awareness initiatives.