NBA Suspends Metta World Peace for Elbowing James Harden (VIDEO)
As the Los Angeles Lakers prepare to play the final game of the regular season, coach Mike Browns needs to go over the entire roster to determine which players will be postseason eligible. One name that he will not be able to call to for the first 6 games of the playoffs is Metta World Peace, also known as Ron Artest.
After a brutal elbow that knocked Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden unconscious and gave him a concussion, the NBA has announced its decision. Following careful analysis of last Sunday’s, 114-16 Lakers win over the Thunder, World Peace has been suspended for the next 7 games.
“The concussion suffered by James Harden demonstrates the danger posed by violent acts of this kind, particularly when they are directed at the head area,” NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement. “We remain committed to taking necessary measures to protect the safety of NBA players, including the imposition of appropriate penalties for players with a history of on-court altercations.”
Ron Artest is averaging a suspension per year over the last decade, as this would be his tenth over a 10-year span. Thus, the Lake Show will take on the Sacramento Kings on the final day of the regular season, followed by a matchup with either Denver or Dallas in the Western Conference playoffs’ first round.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” said Lakers star Kobe Bryant. “James, from what I hear, is OK. As far as Metta goes, he has to focus on himself, and however many games they give him, they give him.
“He just has to be prepared, and when he comes back, just step right in and be ready to go. It’s hard to get into a guy’s head and know exactly what happened in that situation. I haven’t really spoken to him about it. You’ve really got to ask him.”
LA will have to find a way to compensate for his absence on the defensive end for most, if not, the entire first round. World Peace was playing his best basketball in a Lakers uniform before being ejected following a flagrant 2 on Sunday. MWP laid Harden out with a left elbow to the neck as he celebrated a monster dunk on OKC defensive specialist, Serge Ibaka.
As he made his best impression of Tarzan — punching himself in the chest — Harden got in his way, intentionally or not, and ended up paying for it. Although he claims the hit was accidental, the replay certainly didn’t help his case in the eyes of the public. After the game, he spoke to reporters about the incident but declined to answer any questions.
“During that play I had just dunked on Durant and Ibaka and I got real emotional and real excited,” he explained. “It was unfortunate that James had to get hit with an unintentional elbow. I hope he’s Okay. I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden.”