LA Lakers forward Metta World Peace was suspended seven games by the NBA on Tuesday for the vicious elbow thrown at Oklahoma City‘s James Harden.
World Peace was ejected from the game on Sunday and has since apologized to Harden.
On his Twitter, World Peace had the following statements:
Metta World Peace will miss the Lakers’ season finale on Thursday in Sacramento and the six games that follow. The Playoffs open Saturday and LA more than likely is going to be the Western Conference’s third seed.
When announcing the suspension, NBA commissioner David Stern talked about the history of on-court altercations and how they have been considered when determining an appropriate punishment for this incident.
“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 commented 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.”
This is World Peace‘s (Formally Ron Artest) third career ban of at least seven games. We all remember the 2004 incident at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit during which Artest sprung into the stands to fight a fan.
The Lakers organization understands and accepts the suspension. General Manager Mitch Kupchak said, “His most recent lapse in judgment is not to be condoned or accepted… His actions could have seriously injured another player, and his absence during this suspension will hurt our team as well,” Kupchak added. “While we accept the league’s decision, we will be supportive of Metta and try to help him be more professional on the court.”
Following practice on Tuesday, World Peace did not address the media. Rather, he took to his website www.ronartest.com to post a statement which says the following:
“I hope James Harden is ok. I apologize to the Oklahoma City Thunder fans and the OKC organization. I look forward to getting back on the floor with my teammates and competing for the Lakers fans.”
For anyone who has not yet seen the play, check out the nasty elbow which resulted in a concussion for James Harden:
Do you think a seven game suspension was fair for this play? Tell us what you think on Twitter @EliteSportsBlog