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Metta World Peace: 'I've Matured'

Harry How/Getty Images(MILAN) -- Former NBA player Metta World Peace, formally known as Ron Artest, signed with the Italian basketball club Pallacanestro Cantu on Thursday.

World Peace, 35, says he's come a long way since jumping into the stands in Detroit as a Pacers player in 2004.

"I had an up and down career," World Peace said Thursday. "I grew up playing basketball on the streets of New York City and it was very, very rough and I started playing in the NBA in the same way."

"Now the mentality is different from when I was younger. I always had the street mentality, but when you're older, you get more mature," he continued. "When you play angry you can't focus. I've got five more years to have a great time, so I will be playing with a lot of fire but not anger -- just passion."

World Peace last played for the Chinese Basketball Association and changed his name to "The Pandas Friend."

"I always wanted to play in Europe for a long time," World Peace said of going overseas. "They move the ball and they move bodies and that's what I like doing. I'm looking forward to playing team basketball and being smart as well as scoring. I can score but I'm excited about team basketball."

World Peace won an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010 and has played for six NBA teams in his 15-year NBA career, including the Knicks last year. He was born in New York and played for St. John's before being drafted by the Bulls in 1999.

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