The Queensbridge native got his gritty no-nonsense playing style from the playgrounds of New York and was able to transform them into skills that earned him an NBA championship, an All-Star Game nod, and a defensive player of the year award. But now, he’s got another accomplishment to check off his basketball bucket list– coaching in the NBA.
The 40-year-old was recently speaking to his 1999 draft brethren Baron Davis, during the Business Inside the Game (BIG) summit in Chicago and according to Close Up 360, he revealed that he wants the Knicks head coaching job.
At the top of the interview, Baron asks Peace why he stayed home for college, playing ball for St. John’s University.
“I’m so proud of New York City. Every time the Knick [coaching] job is available, I’m always, like…,” Peace responds.
He went on to explain that he has no interest in being an assistant in any capacity, he wants to be the top dog and call the shots immediately.
“But there’s a couple jobs that I’m, like, really…I’m not interested in being an assistant coach. People is always saying, ‘Hey, why don’t you wanna be an assistant?’ Because I just don’t want to. I want to go straight to the head job,” he said.
As for many kids, Peace says that basketball is more than just a love he has, but it was an outlet. It was a way for him to avoid street life and not get wrapped up in drugs and gang life that lead to prison or death.
“And when I’m doing anything in basketball, it’s a personal connection. When I’m doing my basketball app, or if I wanna coach the Knicks and I become so passionate about it, because it’s bigger than just a job. It’s bigger than just a game for me. I reflect on everything that I’ve been through when I’m doing anything in basketball. That’s why I put my passion into it. It’s just a different connection with basketball,” he says.
The only possible issue with Peace becoming the Knicks head coach is the owner James Dolan. Dolan isn’t a fan of critique –just look at Charles Oakley— and Peace has never been one to shy away from giving his honest opinion. But what we do know is that he’d put on for the city and try to give the fans what they deserve– get them out of 47-year championship drought.