The NBA responded to Metta World Peace’s latest act of aggression with a 7-game suspension that may lighten the L.A Lakers troublemaker’s wallet and playoff schedule.
World Peace was postponed for throwing a vicious elbow at Oklahoma City’s James Harden, keeping the Lakers’ starting small forward sidelined for almost all of the 1st postseason round.
World Peace was banned from Sunday’s game against the Thunder for striking Harden in the head with the back of his elbow, giving Oklahoma City’s top reserve a concussion. The former Ron Artest claimed the blow was an accidental, demonstrative celebration of a dunk, yet even Kobe Bryant and his Lakers teammates weren’t protecting his incomprehensible actions.
“It’s tricky to get into a guy’s head and know precisely what happened in that circumstance,” Bryant declared. “I haven’t truly spoken to him about it. You’ve really got to ask him.”
World Peace will miss the Lakers’ season finale at Sacramento and the Lakers’ next 6 games. The playoffs open Sat., and L.A is likely to be the Western Conference’s 3rd seed — and Oklahoma City is locked into the No. 2 seed, meaning the clubs could meet shortly after World Peace’s suspension ends in the 2nd round.
He will lose around $348,000 in salary if he serves the all suspension this year. If the Lakers exit the playoffs swiftly, the rest of the suspension must be served next season.
Commissioner David Stern alluded to World Peace’s lengthy history of on-court altercations and unusual behavior in exclaiming the penalty in an announcement. Although Harden seems to be recovering well, he hasn’t been cleared to return to the Thunder.
“The concussion suffered by James Harden indicates the danger posed by violent conduct of this kind, particularly when they’re directed at the head area,” Stern said in an announcement. “We keep committed to taking necessary steps to offer protection to the safety of NBA players, including the imposition of applicable penalties for players with a record of on-court altercations.”
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said the team accepted the most recent suspension for World Peace, who has 2 years left on his contract with Los Angeles.
“His latest lapse in judgment is not to be condoned or accepted,” Kupchak asserted after praising World Peace as largely a model voter with the Lakers. Football betting lines
“His behavior might have seriously injured another player, and his absence in this suspension will hurt our team as well,” Kupchak added. “While we take the league’s call, we will be supportive of Metta and try to help him be more pro on the court.”
The suspension is the 3rd career ban of about 7 games for World Peace, whose rap sheet might not fit on a basketball card at about that point. Basketball lines
He got an 86-game suspension in 2004 — the longest ban for an on-court situation in NBA history — for jumping into the stands at the Palace of Auburn Hills in the Detroit suburbs to fight followers, and he served a 7-game suspension in 2007 for his no-contest plea on a home-based violence charge.