Metta World Peace Rode The F Train To His First Knicks Game

Former St. John’s star and Queensbridge native Ron Art—Metta World Peace took an unusual route to Madison Square Garden last night for the Knicks home opener against the Bucks. We say unusual with the caveat that he’s a professional basketball player. We — like most of the masses — ride the subway to every basketball game we see. Metta rode the F Train to the game though, and proved once again he’s a populist player of the people.

Newsday scribe Noah Baumbauch was there to document the excursion, and it’s a wonderful story of Metta returning to his old hood to fulfill a lifelong dream.

As a child, he’d always dreamed of playing for his hometown Knicks while riding the train towards the Garden. Now, after 15 years in the league, Metta finally got the chance to ride that same train before suiting up; he took full advantage yesterday a few hours before tip-off.

“This,” Metta said [as the train approached], “is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Metta’s magical ride to the Garden almost never happened, but he informs Baumbach he’s happy he wasn’t drafted by the Knicks straight out of college at St. Johns. He says he wasn’t mature enough to handle playing at home:

“I was 19 years old, making a ton of money and I didn’t know what to do with it,” he said while riding the train, occasionally glancing out the window behind him for signs of where he was.

Throughout his career, he said he entertained thoughts of joining the Knicks, but said he didn’t think the interest ever was reciprocated. Eventually, he said he figured it wasn’t meant to be for him.

“I never thought this day would come,” he said.

But he finally made it this summer after the Lakers amnestied him and the Knicks scooped him up once he cleared waivers. It’s been a long and winding road for Metta. Unlike all the times he rode the same route as a kid from Queens, this ride ended with him putting on a Knicks uniform and taking the MSG court.

Dressed in dark jogging pants, a black T-shirt featuring his “TruWarrior” street ball nickname and a dark puffy vest, World Peace also carried a backpack with the Knicks logo, which he proudly showed off while on the train.

He said he’s “been through a lot” over the years, both on and off the court, oftentimes living a “dysfunctional” life. But he believes his experiences have prepared him to play in New York City, just a subway ride from his home.

“Being a Knick in my 15th season, I’m not caught off guard,” he said.

And with that, the train slowed to a stop at 34th Street and Herald Square, a few blocks from the Garden, his new home.

“This is us,” World Peace said as the train stopped, and off he went, finally a Knick.

How can you not love Metta when you read stories like this?





What do you think of Metta’s subway ride?

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