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Knicks to buy out Metta World Peace, Beno Udrih

Metta World Peace looks on during the second

Metta World Peace looks on during the second half of a game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 5, 2013. Credit: Jim McIsaac

ATLANTA -- Metta World Peace waited 14 years to play for the Knicks, then didn't make it through the season. The Knicks are finalizing a buyout with the Queensbridge native and former St. John's star. They also are buying out Beno Udrih.

Neither player was with the Knicks when they lost to the Hawks Saturday night. Mike Woodson said both buyouts should be completed by Sunday. "I can't say anything went wrong," he said. "They weren't in the rotations. I'm not going to linger on it. We're buying them out."

The Knicks signed World Peace and Udrih -- veterans who have won championships -- in the offseason, hoping they could help them in their chase for a title.

World Peace, whom the Knicks passed on in the 1999 draft for Frederic Weis, announced on Twitter Saturday morning that he and the team are parting ways. That prompted his brother, Daniel Artest, to criticize the organization and Woodson on Twitter.

After World Peace and Udrih weren't traded by Thursday's deadline, a buyout was the expected outcome. The timing of it was surprising, though, with the Knicks at the end of a four-game trip and in need of bodies with Iman Shumpert (knee) and Kenyon Martin (ankle) unavailable.

"It's something that was discussed, and they decided to pull the trigger on it," Woodson said. "We're going in another direction. We've got to figure out another spot or two for our ballclub."

World Peace had signed a two-year deal, with the second a player option for roughly $1.6 million. Udrih got a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum.

A former Defensive Player of the Year, World Peace played in only 29 games, averaging 4.8 points in 13.4 minutes.

Udrih, brought in to be the third point guard and play a role similar to Pablo Prigioni's last season, appeared in 31 games. But he didn't play in the past 12 games and averaged 5.6 points and 3.5 assists.

Udrih also was a scapegoat for Woodson, who after losses to the Wizards and the Rockets was critical of his defense and decision-making.

Udrih wants to be a coach after he retires, and he was asked Friday night if he learned anything this season about coaching. He said, "No comment."

The Knicks will have two roster spots when the two clear waivers, and Woodson said he will talk to president and general manager Steve Mills on Sunday about filling them.

Among the players recently bought out are Ben Gordon, Antawn Jamison, Earl Clark and Roger Mason.

"I'll look at the list of players that are out there," Woodson said, "and make a decision from there."

The Dolan family owns

controlling interests in the

Knicks, Madison Square

Garden and Cablevision.

Cablevision owns Newsday.


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