Manny Pacquiao is going to be a player-coach for the KIA Sorentos of the Philippine Basketball Association, and to help the league pick up some headlines, he's hoping to bring in an American name in the form of Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest.
"He's okay. He's my friend," The Philippine Star quoted Pacquiao as saying of World Peace, whom he first met in Los Angeles in 2009 ahead of his fight against Miguel Cotto.
"We need a good import," he said. "If we get him that would be nice."
Mr. Peace is currently playing in the Chinese Basketball Association for the Sichuan Blue Whales. At 35 in November, Metta is well past his best days on the court, when he was a lockdown defender and capable scorer. He was the 2003-04 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, as well as a two-time All-NBA defensive first team (2003-04, 2005-06), and two-time second team (2002-03, 2008-09). In 2003-04, he was named All-NBA third team, as well.
Metta played in the NBA from 1999-00 until last season, when he played 29 games for the New York Knicks and was ineffective. Over his career, he had stints with the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Lakers, helping the 2009-10 Lakers to the NBA championship.
(How does this relate to boxing? Manny Pacquiao. Why do you care? I dunno, maybe you like basketball. I do. I like it.)
As for his boxing career, Pacquiao returns November 22 against Chris Algieri in Macau, live on HBO pay-per-view.