Metta World Peace offers advice to Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart
Knicks forward Metta World Peace is the poster boy for going into the stands to fight with fans of the opposing team.
“Just in general, I heard the kid is pretty good and a potential pro,” World Peace told reporters before the Knicks’ loss in Oklahoma City on Sunday. “So those types of challenges on the court when you’re playing and fans are rooting against you — that was a great lesson learned, so that hopefully when he does become a pro, he’ll be able to kind of withstand the fans that are rooting against him on the road.
“I think that emotion and that fire could be directed towards winning on the court instead of directed other ways.”
World Peace, now 34 years old, was suspended 73 regular-season games and the playoffs for running into the stands to fight a Pistons fan who he thought had thrown beer on him. The 2004 incident was later termed the Malice at the Palace.
Smart has been suspended three games.
World Peace said the hostility and aggression Smart showed on Saturday could be a result of his youthful mindset.
“At 19 years old, when I came out of St. John’s, I was fresh out the ‘hood. I was fresh out of Queensbridge,” he said. “So my mentality was still struggle, defensive and things like that. I wasn’t really conscious. I’m 34 years old now. So he’s a young kid. I wish I would have listened when I was a kid to my elders or people who had my best interests at heart, and then I wish I would have been more conscious at that age also. Those are two things that, if you were to reach out to a kid like Marcus — a talented kid, future leader in the community — you would tell him those things.
“If you threw a beer on me, I would probably put you in a choke hold right now,” he added with a smile. “And then we would get some ice cream later. But I would tell you how much of an [expletive] you were.”