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Harden has concussion, World Peace apologizes for “unintentional” elbow

Apr 22, 2012, 8:26 PM EDT

That is a whole lot of follow through for something unintentional.

That blow above gave James Harden a concussion, according to Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman. Which means to get back on the court he is going to have to be cleared by the league neurologist after passing a battery of tests. That could happen before the playoffs, or maybe not. Concussions are things that heal on their own schedule, one we don’t really understand.

After the game, Metta World Peace (the baller formerly known as Ron Artest) apologized for the elbow. Here is his direct quote.

“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.”

Lakers staff stepped in and made sure World Peace did not answer any reporters’ questions.

Caught up in the emotions of the moment or not, that elbow was simply unacceptable — and it was intentional. You cannot watch the video with an unbiased eye and see it any other way.

The question is how many games he is suspended (my guess is five, but more would not be a shock).

Without their third best player — and best shot creator — the Thunder went on to lose 114-106 in double overtime to the Lakers.

113 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. BigBeachBall - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Harden = Flopper

    • digitalpoo - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      Get back in your cave, Troll.

    • tundra11 - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:57 PM


    • fortcollinsrelocation - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:46 PM

      That is such a stupid comment I can’t even believe I am acknowledging it!

    • zblott - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:36 PM

      Lakers’ fans, defending their own

      In 2003, defending Kobe’s rape arrest: She was asking for it, wanted it.

      In 2012, defending Artest’s intentional (wind up & follow through = intentional) elbow to the head of Harden: He was asking for it.

      Some things never change. Here’s hoping Artest is gone until the Fall, at least.

      • Kurt Helin - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:06 AM

        I think those are two very, very different situations. Both the level of damage done and the availability of evidence (we have video from multiple angles of MWP) make the situations radically different.

  2. cakemixa - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Ban this guy from the NBA. Enough is enough.

    • urodaddy07 - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:37 PM

      It would be wrong to “ban him from the NBA”. The precedent is just not there. It was a horrendous and intentional elbow. I do think, though, that it was an instinctive response, with no malice aforethought. That is, I think Metta saw Harden approaching, and somehow because of the kind of individual he is, some sort of instinctive programmed response kicked in and the elbow flew before he himself knew it. Let’s face it, Metta is a little on the unstable side – he’s a guy who has a tenuous hold on his own behaviour. I think he is genuinely sorry. He should be suspended for several games and fined. more importantly, this guy needs some professional help

      • tundra11 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:00 PM

        Sounds to me like you just stated why he should be banned for life. His elbow flew before he knew it??? Really? He’s a little on the unstable side??? Really? How anyone can defend Artest is beyond me.

      • urodaddy07 - Apr 28, 2012 at 3:35 PM

        Was not a defense of Ron. Simply making 2 distinct and separate points: 1. No precedent for a lifetime ban and 2. Pointing out that he is unstable and may need some professional help

  3. tsi431 - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Lakers lose Metta Peace for a few games, and the Thunder lose there 3rd best player. It’s a win/win for the Lakers.

  4. isujames - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    That was a vicious unintentional elbow with a lot of force and power behind it.Harden was blindsided, if i were harden id break his jaw next time we play.

    • fortcollinsrelocation - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:48 PM

      Where do you get the ‘unintentional’?????

  5. jimeejohnson - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    More appropriate name is Metta World War. That was a vicious, uncalled for elbow that was the exclamation point on Artest’s overt celebration of what was a great move for a dunk. Metta World War: you owe the game an apology. How can the Lakers keep a continual offender like Artest?

  6. sourcesclosetothesituation - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Too bad it didn’t knock that moronic beard off of him.

  7. seaochickens - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    If you let a Guy who is willing to jump into the stands and fight fans back into the league, this is what you get.

  8. hoytdadd64 - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    What a dumb unfortunate play. I’m a Laker fan but I’m not just sticking up for Ron-Ron here, you never want to see a player hurt like that. After watching the video clip multiple times a couple things stick out. One, Harden does take an extra two steps to get in front of Metta. Two, MWP was not just pounding his chest on the last one, that was definitely an elbow being thrown. Three, it didn’t appear to me that his intention was to clock Harden in the face. Does it deserve a suspension? Most likely, but 5 games or more could be taking a little too far. Look D Wade throws a forearm into Rip and knocks him to the ground and I don’t remember hearing anything about a suspension there. Now I know he didn’t catch him in the face but the intention was obvious. And some one please correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t recall Jones catching a suspension for his flagrant in that game either. So if no suspension handed out for those two plays why should MWP get 5 or more games? 1 to 3 maybe?

    • tundra11 - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:55 PM

      Stop being a Laker homer. Had this exact same play had happened to Kobe you Laker fans would want the guy banned for life.

    • fm31970 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      That’s not a “play”, that’s an assault on another player. If it wasn’t a “conscious” act on MWP’s part, he SHOULD be banned for not being able to control himself. If it was intentional (it looked like it to me, and Mike Breen knew it the second he saw the replay), he should still get banned. There is a huge precedent with MWP, and he already has two strikes on his record. The NBA doesn’t need guys like this, so I hope Stu Jackson busts out the ban hammer on MWP.

    • passerby23 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:03 PM

      There’s a big difference between this and a shove of Rip Hamilton to the ground. First of all, there was an injury here that could affect OKC’s team significantly. Second, it’s considerably more violent and potentially debilitating than shoving a guy. Third, unlike the Rip-Wade incident, Harden did nothing to instigate this.

      I think MWP should get a 10-game suspension and $100,000 fine. You’re dealing with a guy with a long history of this kind of stuff and the NBA has to set a precedent here. This is more violent than anything he got suspended 80 games for. Andrew Bynum got suspended 4 games for throwing a cheap shot at Barea in last year’s playoffs and that’s nowhere close to this.

      The last thing I would say is I would MAYBE buy the unintentional elbow excuse if MWP had stopped in his tracks after realizing what he’d done and turned to see if Harden was ok. Instead, he continued parading down the floor celebrating as if he’d done nothing wrong. And if he suggests he didn’t know that he did it, the man is completely deranged.

      • hoytdadd64 - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        Would you feel the same way about the play had MWP caught him in the back instead of the head? If James Jones hockey style check of Noah caught him in the face breaking his nose would you think Jones should be suspended for 10 games? Is the suspension simply due to the outcome of the hit or an issue that happened a long time ago? And the idea that Harden did nothing to instigate the situation makes me think you didn’t watch the same video clip. Harden takes two steps sideways to get in front of MWP and puts his arms up to block him. Does that make what Ron-Ron did acceptable? No, not at all. No more acceptable then what Wade and Jones did. So let’s not go overboard with out idea’s of fair punishment here.

  9. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM


    • lyndseymarieee - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:56 PM

      yeah. has it coming when he is standing there waiting for the in-bound pass. you’re a joke.

    • truprof - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      and Artest has a big suspension and fine coming, well deserved I might add! The less we see and hear of this loose cannon, the better!

  10. dallasstars9 - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    I love that “World Peace” is throwing elbows. Artest is a joke and every announcer in the league should just call him by his real name, the name his momma gave him!

  11. tjh1942 - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Metta World Peace my ass. He is a dirty, thug, scum bag that has no place in sport or in life for that matter. What a piece of work.

  12. metalhead65 - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    he does not play again until harden is able and then 1 more.

  13. naterdame - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    He should be banned for life he is a thug. He gave a bull crap I’m sorry they need to send a message that hits to the head are not acceptable. He is a dirty player always has been always will be

  14. trevormcnamara - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    @beachball not at all, the hit was directly to the side of hardens head and could have had career ending implications

    • truprof - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      that’s how Beachball got his name, a vicious elbow upside the head and he hasn’t been the same since! Essentially nothing but air between the ears.

  15. bjtmeyer - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    How about a lifetime ban? I’m tired of Metta Weird Peace (as Jon Barry said). His actions are inexcusable and he has had numerous chances to get things right. He apparently hasn’t changed and if David Stern was smart, he would ban Artest for life.

    • tundra11 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:03 PM

      At a minimum he needs to go for the rest of the season. He’s a Laker though and after we all saw how the Lakers got Kobe out of his rape mess, getting Artest out of this should be a piece of cake.

  16. thevza - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    First off, the elbow was indefensible, and as a Laker fan I definitely agree MWP deserves suspension. However, I hope the NBA takes into account the fact that Harden initiated the action by getting up in MWP’s face. Why was Harden even getting that close? OKC was taking out the ball after a score, and Harden was on offense! Why body-up on a defender who is running back down the floor? Obviously, Harden provoked it. Now, of course the elbow was a disgusting, violent reaction by MWP, but all I am saying is that he did not seek out Harden and hit him. So I believe the suspension should be no more than 5 games.

    • jrillah10 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:21 PM

      You’re a moron. Harden went out of his way to get in Meta’s face? They never even made eye contact. You’re probably the same dumbass who defended Bynum’s CHEAPSHOT on Berraea last year.

      • hoytdadd64 - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:47 PM

        Watch the video again, Harden took two steps sideways then put his arms up to block MWP. If Ron-Ron’s elbow had caught him in the back and not the face there wouldn’t be this up roar. MWP shouldn’t have thrown the elbow to begin with but no one knows if he was aiming for his head or not.

  17. supershpa - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    How can you say that was a flop that was a completely blatant cheap shot to James harden the bottom line is that as good as “meta world peace” has been over the past few years he is a dirty player and should be kicked out of the league

  18. dgbk - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:35 PM


    he got in his face? he was running up to get the ball because he have been killin the lakers D up until than wat better way to catch a team off guard than when their pounding their hest……. he made no eye contact with artest nor did he run up talkin sh!t… artest was celebrating but saw a moment to drop an elbow on harden… he provoked it by slighting bumping artest?? if thats the case and u truly believe that why not a shove harden away why elbow like its the wwe

  19. ddtla - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    2 games at the most Jason smith his hit on Blake griffin was way worse. Btw why was harden approaching him anyway? People hate the lakers that much. As far as the brawl in the palace please Jim gray even said it himself that Ben Wallace was the cause. But guess what he got a slap on the wrist. A ban? A lot dumb bloggers out there look at what harden did he came over which was stupid u can’t do that he tried to get something started and he as at some fault.

    • tundra11 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:54 PM

      You have to be joking. When anyone, Lakers fan or not, start defending actions like what Artest did today, something is very wrong. What would the Lakers do if it was their precious Kobe that got slammed like that. they would want charges brought against the player that threw the elbow.

    • redbullenergydrink - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:17 PM

      I’m assuming you’re a Lakers fan?

      If so, I’m sure your perspective would change completely if Artest (yes, I know that’s his old name) was with the Rockets still and he elbowed Kobe in the same fashion. One look at that replay, and it’s obvious the hit was malicious. Don’t even attempt to defend him.

  20. doctorfootball - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    How anyone can honestly say they thought it was unintentiional is beyond me. Harden clearly touches Artest, as he tries to defend him on the inbound pass. So Artest clearly knew he was there when he threw the elbow. The guy is just plain dirty. He should be suspended for the upcoming playoffs. Dirtbags like him have no place in the NBA

  21. maumontav5 - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Loved how the tv announcers immediately took this as a chance to call him Ron Artest again haha, every time someone on tv has to call him MWP they inevitably cringe.

  22. maumontav5 - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    So many people seem to totally miss that this guy has had a psychiatric/personality disorder for most of his life. Add the insane amount of emotion involved in the game and it’s just a ticking time bomb. This is as much on him as it is on his team, the NBA and why not, the fans. Stop being ¨disgusted¨ like everyone is. This guy needs serious clinical help, not a lifetime ban.

    • sabatimus - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:22 PM

      So you’re saying he’s allowed to get away with this scott free, then?

      • maumontav5 - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:52 PM

        No, I’m saying his punishment needs to involve some kind of treatment because he is ill.

  23. jr9901 - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    If he is sorry that may influence the league a little, but it doesn’t change what he did. That was CRIMINAL ASSAULT. Players are not free to do whatever they want on the court. I think the question here is ‘should he be charged criminally, or not?” — not just how long he’ll be suspended. He attacked and injured someone in a way that had nothing to do with the game being played. How is that not a crime?

    Note too: When some of the OKC players started to come over to him after the incident, Artest’s stance was that of a boxer, ready to rumble with anyone who dared get close. Watch the tape. The man is fundamentally violent and dangerous. Imo, this was criminal assault.

  24. chargerdillon - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Why would anybody be shocked. Ron Artest is famous for physical play the way Dennis Rodman was famous for rebounds the same way jungle Jim Loscutoff was for the Celtics decades ago.

    Ron’s job is to be in there to settle things down, that’s what he does. He’s not a great defender, he’s not a great shooter, he’s not even a great all around player. Ron Artest is there to intimidate to create overly physical play.

    Guess what, the Lakers won, DO THE MATH. Everybody outside the locker room slams Artest for his dirty play, everybody inside the locker room pats him on the back knowing he did exactly what he was there to do.

    Stop overthinking it. This is the Lakers first win over the Thunder this year, reason being an elbow

  25. progress2011 - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    NBA Bounties !!!

    When will the investigations begin, to uncover ” Bounties” in the NBA !

    This type of tactic, to take out instrumental players, is being taught & paid for, in the locker rooms !

    Especially in the laker locker room. Remember last year, as the Mavs were bringing out the brooms. The lakers started delivering obvious cheap shots every game. Bynum topped it off with his assault on the 5’5″ point guard.

    As tsi431 stated above, if the lakers lose “Ron Artest” but take out the Thunder’s 3rd best player…its a win/win for them.

    Stern and the NBA have to prosecute the “Bounties” by suspending Ron and his jail-house ball, for the rest of the season, to send the right message.

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