Metta World Peace will pay the price for his violent elbow to James Harden’s head to the tune of 7 games without pay.
World Peace has claimed via Twitter and in his post-game comments that the elbow was accidental, but anyone who has eyes can see that he felt for Harden with his lower body, wound up the elbow, followed through, didn’t look back when he felt contact, and then geared up to fight the approaching Serge Ibaka after the play.
These are not the actions of an innocent man; anyone who struck someone else with their elbow with extreme force would notice what had happened and make sure the guy was okay. World Peace did nothing of the sort. What was more strange was the timing of this elbow, how World Peace was actually playing great basketball for the Lakers, and they will need his production on the court if the Lakers title hopes are to become a reality.
The league reportedly factored in Metta World Peace’s past as Ron Artest into the equation when they were deciding how long the suspension will be.
“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,” 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.”
If the Lakers first round series goes to 7 games, then World Peace will be back for game 7. In my mind, the Lakers should count themselves lucky they have the opportunity to have him back for the Playoffs at all.