“On that play, I just dunked on Durant and Ibaka, and I got really emotional, really excited. And it was unfortunate that James had to get hit with the unintentional elbow. I hope he’s OK. The Thunder, they’re playing for a championship this year. So I really hope he’s OK, and I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden. Such a great game, and it was unfortunate so much emotion was going on at that time.”
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Metta World Peace’s elbow to the dome of James Harden has caught the attention of the suits at NBA head office and will surely result in a forced vacation and/or fine.
But the rapper, philosopher, and part time comedian’s poor judgement should alarm the Staples Center faithful. After all, the old Ron Artest -- the troubled and emotional forward for the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Houston Rockets -- got flagrant foul twos.
The Lakers supposedly got a mellow, friendlier Artest, albeit a less productive one on-court. For the most part, Metta World Peace has been like Barney when compared to the dude who rushed the stands and started the Malice N’ the Palace at Detroit.
That’s why his elbow was so surprising. It was unprovoked. It was intentional -regardless of what he says. And it could have been the difference between the Lakers winning and losing against the Thunder in what will surely be a playoff preview.
Recent reports indicate that Harden has a concussion. And Metta World Peace, to his credit, apologized.
Bottom line: the purple-and-gold aren’t as deep as the squads that captured back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. They can’t win with Metta World Peace on the sideline for any amount of time, so these sorts of slip-ups can’t happen.
Hopefully, it was a one-off. And Metta World Peace doesn’t turn back the clock again and become the old Ron Artest.
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