Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace has joined the Palisades High girls basketball program as an assistant coach.
Dolphins head coach Torino Johnson confirmed Wednesday night that the player formerly known as Ron Artest will be one of his assistants for the upcoming 2014-15 season. The two are friends and, after days of discussion, World Peace has agreed to join Johnson’s staff in addition to his NBA duties.
“We still have to go through the paperwork process, but Metta will be a member of our 2015 coaching staff,” Johnson said. “I do a lot of work with NBA guys and I’ve gotten to know him. We’ve been talking about it for years and when I mentioned how crazy it would be for him to coach at Pali his exact words were ‘Give me a title!'”
Johnson and World Peace met while World Peace’s daughter Sadie was at Paul Revere Middle School and they have have kept in touch ever since. Sadie played forward on Palisades’ junior varsity team as a freshman. World Peace joins a staff that also includes Jeremy St. Louis, who was an assistant last season at Bishop Montgomery, which won the girls Southern Section Division 4AA championship.
“Metta’s going to be heavy into the strategic portion of our practices,” Johnson added. “He’ll be someone you’ll see around. We’re both into mental health awareness and I’ll be really excited to see him the gym.”
World Peace played on the Lakers’ last NBA championship team in 2010 and played three more seasons in Los Angeles before being waived via the team’s amnesty clause. He officially changed his name in September 2011. He was the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and played with the New York Knicks this season.
Click here for a video of Ron Artest being interviewed after Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.
Click here to watch Ron Artest’s entertaining post-game press conference at Staples Center.