San Antonio Spurs: Metta World Peace Worth The Risk?


Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs struck out in the sweepstakes to land Caron Butler and Danny Granger.

We have already debated the merits of each here at Air Alamo, but with both players going elsewhere, it’s time to move on.

This leads to the question of whether the Spurs should roll their dice on the infamous Ron Artest Metta World Peace.

Let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses of World Peace on the Spurs.


Nov 10, 2013; New York, NY, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward Aron Baynes (16) drives around New York Knicks small forward Metta World Peace (51) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Spurs won 120-89. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

World Peace’s most noticeable strength is defense; and his defense revolves around his strength.

The 2004 Defensive Player of the Year has gathered plenty of defensive awards throughout his career. He isn’t as good as a lockdown defender as he was earlier in his career, but he’s still tough and aggressive one-on-one.

It’s clear that he still has a fire burning in him to try and win another championship before his retirement, and if he plays for the Spurs, he will have to bring back his superior defensive skill.

According to, World Peace’s desire for a championship goes to particularly extreme lengths:

I honestly didn’t even know who the coach was when I was coming to New York. I just wanted to win a championship; I didn’t even know who was coaching. I didn’t care. It could have been Aunt Jemima. They could have had the syrup coaching. I was coming here regardless. I just wanted to win a championship here.

Another one of World Peace’s strengths is well… strength.

Oct 11, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough (50) runs into New York Knicks forward Metta World Peace (51) who defends at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Knicks 100-91. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

If I had to pick something to compare his strength to, it would probably be a boulder.

World Peace has a 6’7, 260 lb. frame and is certainly not afraid to use it.

His strength allows him to both play and guard multiple positions, and this flexibility would be extremely convenient for San Antonio come playoff time, although his primary purpose would be playing as Kawhi Leonard’s back up.

His strength brings toughness, though the two are different.

“Athletically, they are not as big, fast, strong as a lot of other teams,” said Jeff Van Gundy in an interview with Air Alamo editor Bill Simpson.

World Peace helps San Antonio with that weakness.

He is one of the rare players that is both blessed and cursed with both attributes, but this is what primarily contributes to his still-impressive defense. The Spurs need someone who oozes self confidence to flourish as a tough aggressor off the bench—and that would be World Peace (oh, the irony).


Apr 9, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Referee Courtney Kirkland (61) calls a technical foul on Los Angeles Lakers small forward Metta World Peace (15) in the second half against the New Orleans Hornets at the Staples Center. Lakers won 104-96. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

While World Peace does have his weaknesses, it is hard to grab examples from his short stint with the Knicks because they are simply god-awful.

World Peace only played 29 games for New York and played 20 minutes less per game than his prior season with the Lakers (33 to 13).

Having hardly cracked the rotation, World Peace struggled: He shot a horrid 39.7 percent from the field and mediocre-at-best 31.5 percent from long range. These shooting percentages led World Peace to a putrid 4.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 0.6 assists per game. The most concerning of those stats might be the assists because we all know how important ball movement is to the Spurs.

Defensive Shot Chart

World Peace has always been one to take questionable shots throughout his career.

This goes hand in hand with his poor shooting percentages. World Peace’s three-point percentage have fluctuated wildly throughout his career, but it could perhaps receive a boost up to a decent percentage with the Spurs constant movement of the ball.

Compatibility is always a concern when it comes to World Peace.

Luckily for the Spurs, assistant coach Chad Forcier was part of the Indiana Pacers staff during World Peace time with the team. It is certainly important to have someone who knows how to handle situations regarding World Peace, due to his unpredictable behavior.

Even so, there is no guarantee that World Peace and Pop would see eye to eye, especially looking back at what happened with former Spur Stephen Jackson.

An additional negative to his unpredictable behavior is the chances of numerous technical fouls and ejections, which could potentially hurt the Spurs (or players) in tight game situations.

Just ask James Harden.


Nov 10, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Metta World Peace (51) drives past San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Spurs won 120-89. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The lack of a true small forward behind Leonard, and with the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder adding quality role players to their team, it would be beneficial for San Antonio to take the gamble for World Peace.

According to Chris Broussard, he certainly has interest for the team that was a free throw away from a championship last year.

Source: After being waived by the Knicks, Metta World Peace hoping to land in Miami, San Antonio or OKC

— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 24, 2014

Just because the Spurs are trying to sign him doesn’t guarantee he will end up in San Antonio, but it’s a better chance than not even trying.

World Peace didn’t get a fair shake with New York, and in the games where he received a good amount of minutes, his stats were actually decent.

Plus, his arrival will give me the opportunity to write about all his crazy quotes—who doesn’t love those?

***All NBA stats courtesy of