One of the longest tenured players currently still playing in the NBA is Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace, who is entering his 17th season in the NBA, 18th season overall as a professional as he played one season in Italy and China.
The Lakers brought him into training camp last year for his second stint with the team, although his likelihood of making the team was slim.
World Peace beat out a bunch of young players to make the roster though and in 35 games he averaged 5.0 points and 2.5 rebounds. More than his play on the court, World Peace brought veteran leadership into a Lakers locker room that was filled with young, inexperienced players.
This year the Lakers again brought World Peace back for camp, mainly to provide veteran leadership. While whether he makes the roster out of camp remains unknown, Peace said he would like to continue playing for three more seasons putting him at 20 career professional seasons, via Mark Medina of the OC Register:
“I want to finish off strong,” World Peace said. “It’s not about what it will mean to me. It’s about, ‘Can I get there?’”
The 36-year-old was selected 16th overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 1999 NBA Draft. The only players still in the league from that draft class are World Peace, Elton Brand, Manu Ginobili, Jason Terry and Andre Miller, who is currently a free agent.
After not playing in the first preseason game because of a coaches decision, World Peace started the Lakers second preseason game against the Denver Nuggets Friday night as he failed to score while grabbing a rebound and a steal in six first quarter minutes.