By now, we have all viewed the footage of the vicious elbow Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace, acting more like his previous moniker, Ron Artest, delivered to Oklahoma City Thunder swingman James Harden on a nationally televised NBA game Sunday afternoon. The play resulted in a flagrant two foul called on World Peace, which lead to an automatic ejection from the game, and Harden suffered a concussion. What has surprised me is how many people don’t think the infraction deserves significant disciplinary action by the NBA.
World Peace has had his problems curbing his behavior in the past, most notably in what is known as The Malice at the Palace, which took place November 19, 2004, at an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. World Peace, then known as Ron Artest, stormed the stands to confront a fan and all hell broke loose from there. The incident Sunday can’t be looked upon as an isolated incident, but as one committed by the man who sparked one of the ugliest incidents in NBA history.
As much as I don’t want to play professional therapist, human nature suggests when you do something wrong by accident, your actions prove it. World Peace had to know that his “celebratory” elbow hit a target, and showed no remorse for what he did immediately after. Then, to compound matters, he squared off when Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder confronted him as if he had just been announced by Michael Buffer as a participant in a heavyweight fight.
World Peace has not only showed that the ways of Ron Artest are alive and well inside of him, he has also proven to be a poor liar, as he tries to convince anyone who would believe him that it was a mistake caused by his ‘celebration’ elbow. I am not buying it, and I am certain NBA Commissioner David Stern will not either. I would be shocked if World Peace were suspended for any period less that five games, and if the punishment is greater, so be it.