Former NBA All-Star Set to Help Coach High School Girls' Basketball Team
The girls' basketball team at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles will have the help of a former NBA All-Star starting this fall.
Former Los Angeles Laker Metta World Peace, previously known as Ron Artest, has signed on to become an assistant coach for the squad, Palisades coach Torino Johnson told the Orange County Register. Johnson coached World Peace's daughter Sadie a few years back, and the two have reportedly been friends ever since.
"He'll be heavily involved in our program," Johnson told the paper. "We keep having, it's an ongoing dialogue, but it's all positive. There's no out. The only purpose for this is to be positive and to be impactful—and this is of his choosing."
World Peace played 29 games for the New York Knicks during the 2013-14 season, averaging 4.8 points in 13.4 minutes per game. The Knicks bought out his contract and waived him on February 24, per ESPN New York, and it appears as though that may be the way the 34-year-old's NBA career will come to a close.
World Peace won an NBA championship with the Lakers in 2009-10, but he's perhaps most well known for his role in the infamous "Malice at the Palace" incident. After a fan threw a drink at him, World Peace charged into the stands, tackled one fan, and threw an elbow at another who attempted to restrain him.
The NBA suspended him for the remainder of the season—86 games in total, including 13 playoff games—which remains the longest nondrug-related suspension in league history, per Grantland's Jonathan Abrams.
World Peace cleaned up his act in later years, however. He auctioned off his 2010 NBA championship ring and raised $651,006 to benefit mental health charities, according to the Los Angeles Times. For his charitable efforts, the Professional Basketball Writers Association recognized him with the 2011 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, which honors an NBA player or coach for "outstanding service and dedication to the community," the league's official release read.
Thus, World Peace has a wealth of wisdom to share with the Palisades girls' team—both about the highs and lows he faced throughout his NBA career.
"No one else that I know of in high school basketball has this opportunity, where they have a current NBA veteran on their coaching staff who can divulge that expertise," Johnson told the paper. "It's kind of all hands on deck for us and we're very fortunate and excited about him wanting to be a presence in our program."
If nothing else, local reporters should be excited about Palisades' postgame press conferences next season. World Peace will certainly spice things up, if this is any indication:
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