Metta World Peace is unlikely to be the next men’s basketball coach at St. John’s, which is a shame. But the Red Storm got the next-best thing to having The Panda’s Friend on their bench: his endorsement of their preferred candidate.
The former NBA All-Star voiced his support for fellow St. John’s alum Chris Mullin over the weekend, after Mullin was reportedly offered the job. Despite saying in a radio interview that he was “totally” ready to coach, an excited World Peace tweeted how “awesome” it would be for Mullin to be on the sideline at Carnesecca Arena.
[tweet https://twitter.com/MettaWorldPeace/status/582297000709906432 align=’center’]
World Peace, 35, currently plays for Cantu of the Italian League. He was a third-team All-American at St. John’s in 1999, when he led the Red Storm to an Elite Eight appearance. He played 15 seasons in the NBA, making an All-Star appearance as a member of the Indiana Pacers in 2003-04.
Controversy followed World Peace during his pro career, highlighted (or low-lighted) by the infamous brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills in 2004. But he won the NBA’s citizenship award in 2011 and has coached boys and girls in recent years.
“(Coaching) is not something that I’m not prepared for,” World Peace said Sunday on ESPN Radio. “It’s not something I’m afraid of. If we’re talking about basketball intelligence, you’re talking to one of the best. If you’re talking about my past … you can’t take away the past. It’s impossible. If I could erase some of the things I did, I would. I would go on Google and actually erase the brawl and erase things that I’ve done in my past, but I can’t.”
Mullin, 51, has been offered the post at St. John’s, ESPN.com reported, citing multiple sources. The three-time Big East Conference Player of the Year and two-time Olympian is currently an adviser in the Sacramento Kings front office.
Thumbnail photos via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images and Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images