Metta World Peace heading for Italy in 'coup of the century'

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

20 PHOTOS
Metta World Peace
See Gallery
Metta World Peace heading for Italy in 'coup of the century'
Former NBA player Metta World Peace attends an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Metta World Peace arrives at THE IMAGINE BALL LA Benefit Concert at the House of Blues on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
CHENGDU, CHINA - NOVEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) NBA player Metta World Peace attends the PETA charity activity 'spay and neuter' for animals on November 18, 2014 in Chengdu, Sichuan province of China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
CHENGDU, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 26: (CHINA OUT) Former NBA player, CBA foreign player Metta World Peace visits Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base on September 26, 2014 in Chengdu, Sichuan province of China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
New York Knicks' Metta World Peace is introduced before an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY 9: Metta World Peace #51 of the New York Knicks handles the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 9, 2014 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Metta World Peace #51 of the New York Knicks goes for the layup during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden in New York City on January 30, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 07: Evan Fournier #94 of the Denver Nuggets shoots against Metta World Peace #51 of the New York Knicks during a game at Madison Square Garden in New York City on February 07, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 7: Metta World Peace #51 of the New York Knicks shoots against the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Quicken Loans Arena on December 7, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 14: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Metta World Peace #51 of the New York Knicks in action against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden on December 14, 2013 in New York City. The Knicks defeated the Hawks 111-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 7: Metta World Peace #51 of the New York Knicks boxes out Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the rebound at The Quicken Loans Arena on December 7, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Metta World Peace #51 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden on December 8, 2013 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Metta World Peace #51 of the New York Knicks plays against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden on November 20, 2013 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Pacers defeated the Knicks 103-96 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Metta World Peace #51 of the New York Knicks discusses his flagrant foul call with a referee in the second half against the Charlotte Bobcats at Madison Square Garden on November 5, 2013 in New York City.The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the New York Knicks 102-97. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: Metta World Peace #51 of the New York Knicks goes up to shoot during a game against the San Antonio Spurs at the newly transformed Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 10, 2013. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: Metta World Peace #51 of the New York Knicks during a game against the San Antonio Spurs at the newly transformed Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 10, 2013. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks' Metta World Peace, left, and Milwaukee Bucks' Brandon Knight go after a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
New York Knicks' Metta World Peace during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
New York Knicks' Metta World Peace talks to the media at the NBA teams media day Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, in Greenburgh, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

CANTU, Italy (AP) -- Former NBA All-Star Metta World Peace has signed for Italian team Pallacanestro Cantu for the remainder of the season.

After a series of teasing tweets from the 35-year-old World Peace - such as "whatever you can do I Cantu better" - Cantu confirmed the news, calling it "the coup of the century."

"When Daniele (sporting director Daniele Della Fiori) told me about the possibility of signing Metta World Peace, I thought that this could be the right shock to boost the squad at a crucial time in our season," Cantu President Anna Cremascoli said. "Metta will bring a wave of enthusiasm to the whole of Italian basketball and not just to Cantu."

World Peace, who changed his name from Ron Artest, was playing for the Sichuan Blue Whales in the Chinese Basketball Association after a long NBA career which included stints with the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.

The forward averaged 19 points and six rebounds in 15 games for Sichuan - where he also changed his name to "The Panda's Friend" - but with the Chinese season over he has turned to Italy.

World Peace won the NBA title in 2010 with the Lakers, where he also spent a season with Darius Johnson-Odom, who has been at Cantu since August.

"I'm happy, obviously," Johnson-Odom said. "I've spoken to Metta on the phone and he's very excited about this new adventure. I'm sure he will give us a great contribution, because we're talking about an absolute champion."

Cantu plays in Italy's Lega A, where it is currently 10th among 16 teams with 17 games remaining. The team has the same amount of points as the two teams immediately above it, Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoia and Vanoli Cremona, but has played a game less.

The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs. Cantu, which lost the 2011 final to Montepaschi Siena, last won the title in 1981.

More in the news:
BBC decides not to renew Jeremy Clarkson's contract
Michelle Obama's 'Jeopardy!' appearance raises questions
Death along for the ride? Creepy image appears in photo of 3 subway surfing kids

Read Full Story

From Our Partners