Metta Sandiford-Artest is among the last people you'd perhaps expect to preach patience, but that's exactly what he's imploring of New York Knicks fans.
The former NBA star, St. John's alum, and Queens native, now working with several philanthropic endeavors (namely the Courts of Dreams Foundation), played with seven different Association franchises, perhaps best known for his time with the Indiana Pacers. Sandiford-Artest, however, confirmed to SNY's Ian Begley that still roots for the Knicks, where he played 29 games during the 2013-14 season.
Now based in Los Angeles (where he partook in a 2010 NBA Finals run with the Lakers), Sandiford-Artest remarked that his NYC heritage would lead him to be "always optimistic" about the Knicks, who missed the NBA Playoffs for the eighth time in the last nine seasons. He believes that he and other Knicks fans can play a role in the team's eventual redemption by being patient.
"The league is full of competition, so I would just encourage the fans to stay off the owner’s back, stay off the organization’s back," Sandiford-Artest told Begley. "The Knick fans, the real fans, kind of need to take a step back and just be supportive. Because with that support, when you feel that energy, I don’t care how long it takes, but with that support, I think it would be easier to bring a championship to New York."
Sandiford-Artest knows what it's like to hear from impatient New Yorkers at Madison Square Garden: he was a brief part of the 2013-14 group that began the active dubious streak of nine consecutive seasons without a playoff series victory, one peppered with only a single appearance (last season's five-game loss to the Atlanta Hawks).
The All-Star reminded fans that not everyone can be Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant...or Metta Sandiford-Artest.
"I was getting booted in my own arenas and (I'd still shoot. Not everybody's like that. So as a fan, if your objective is to win a title, then you got to really take a step back (and be patient)," he said. "I'm always just trying to figure out ways to be supportive versus looking at all the problems. Like, what's the solution?"
"That's why I felt, you had somebody like myself who wanted to come back to New York City who embraces that pressure, but that's another story."
In addition to the Knicks, Sandiford-Artest's conversation with Bailey also covered his thoughts on the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, as well as his desire to return to the NBA as a coach. He previously spent the 2017-18 NBA G League season as a player development coach with the South Bay Lakers under Coby Karl, a former assistant with the Knicks' affiliate in Westchester and son of long-time NBA coach George.