Thursday, October 31, 2013

Metta World Peace rode subway to Madison Square Garden for first game as a Knick (Photos)

Metta World Peace rode the subway Wednesday with his childhood friends and fans from the Queensbridge Houses where he grew up to Madison Square Garden where he played his first game as a member of the New York Knicks — the team he dreamed of playing for as a kid named Ron Artest.

"This," he said before boarding the Manhattan-bound subway car, "is something I've always wanted to do."

With his dream of being a Knick finally a reality after 15 years in the NBA, World Peace thought it would only be appropriate to return home to Queensbridge and take the subway to his first regular-season game at the Garden, like he had done so many times as a youngster.

Newsday was there for the 15-minute ride on the F-train:

So a little past 4:30 Wednesday afternoon, World Peace arrived with a few friends on 21st Street and 41st Avenue, an intersection that borders the Queensbridge housing projects where he grew up.

Instantly people who had been milling around the subway steps recognized him. People called out, "Hey, Ron!" — no one calls him Metta around here — and World Peace stopped to shake hands and hug about a dozen people. Someone handed him a phone to talk into.

Through the turnstile, World Peace noticed a crowd was following him, and the platform quickly started to fill. "I've got to get a seat," he said, laughing. "I can't be standing." He did have a basketball game to play in a few hours, after all.

After the train screeched to a stop at 34th Street and Herald Square, a few blocks from the Garden, the well-travelled forward knew his "dysfunctional" life had come full circle.

"This is us," World Peace said as the train stopped, and off he went, keeping it real as only MWP could.

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