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Metta World Peace ejected for Flagrant Two elbow to James Harden’s head

Apr 22, 2012, 5:24 PM EDT

It was not calculated. It was intentional. It was excessive. And man, was it brutal.

In the second quarter of the Thunder’s game against Oklahoma City, Ron Artest/Metta World Peace drove for a dunk and slammed it home. He began to celebrate by pounding his head. James Harden wound up behind him. And then…

Good God.

So that’s going to be the end of the regular season for Ron Artest/Metta World Peace. The question now turns to two questions.

1. What is Harden’s condition? ESPN reported during its telecast that Harden passed all concussion tests and would play, but when he went to the floor, developed a headache and returned to the locker room. He will not return. If further tests reveal a concussion, that could impact Harden’s season significantly. Concussions are an injury we still are struggling to understand and the timing of symptoms is still nebulous.

2. How many games will Artest/MWP get for this? This opens up a Pandora’s Box of issues with regards to the play, Artest’s intent, and his past history. People will want to say that Artest’s history should not render as a factor here. That’s a nice thought, and impossible. It presents a disturbing event in a long history of events, regardless of his positive changes over the past four years. The suspension will almost certainly impact playoff games, it just depends on how many.

The league is likely to render a decision in the next 24 hours.

That’s a play that simply cannot be allowed. “The Punch” on Rudy Tomjanovich by Kermit Washington was an intentional punch but the devastating effects were the result of a bad combination of physics and circumstance. That’s why the league has to protect its players the way it does. And that’s why you’ll see the league respond as it will. This isn’t about the spirit of the game. This is about real-life injuries that can potentially impact lives. Thankfully Harden doesn’t seem to have suffered any long-term, permanent damage.

But this has just become the biggest story in the NBA for all the worst reasons.

(HT: EOB)

113 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. sabatimus - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    How Peaceful for Metta World.

  2. berbes - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    all these children posting positive for artest probably don’t remember this, because it’s before their mom’s were impregnated in the alley:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2011/05/lakers-moments-kermit-washington-and-the-punch-heard-round-the-nba.html

    at least the la crowd reacted correctly on that one.

    • stickesabado - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:45 PM

      oh yeah, again, who let the kids in here right… haha you’re a joke..

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:03 PM

      Why sink to their level?

    • sabatimus - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:50 AM

      Who’s Artest?

    • mightyquinn69 - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      That doesn’t have squat to do with anything! That BS is old as dirt, and doesn’t needs to be brought up all the damn time. It was a damn punch that accured in the heat of a braw. Kermit has been paying for that much longer the most get fot f-ing murder.. SO STFU!!!!

    • mytthor - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      To add to the rest of the responses, I’d like to point out that you were the second commenter, and at that point no one had actually posted anything in support of MWP.

  3. dirkified - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Stay classy Ron. If he was not in the NBA he would either be in prison or flipping burgers.. If you want to punch people in the face or elbow them, step in the ring and prove your tough.. Sucker punches.. weak.. lame..

    • mytthor - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      So your problem is that he didn’t challenge Harden to a boxing match? MWP may be a lot of things, but not tough sure isn’t one I’d thought of.

  4. stickesabado - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    you all are idiots.. don’t dare try to say harden was going to get the ball to try to justify your points, he clearly was trying to bump into MWP and be a punk… plain and simple

    He still shouldn’t have elbowed him, and saying it was an accident is classes, but harden get’s what he deserves…he started it…

    that’s just my opinion, i am a Laker fan and don’t agree with MWP’s actions, and I love Hardens game, I have nothing against the guy but Harden isn’t innocent.. it takes two… classless of Ron but if it the scenario were switched, you haters would be saying “well MWP instigated that and bumped Harden blah blah blah he deserves it” so just cut it… definitely will be a suspension but a lifetime ban-rest of season/playoffs, come on…

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

      Harden did not start that in the least, that kind of contact with players going back up court after a play happens almost every time down.

      • jedtw - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:49 AM

        What MWP did was unconscionable. No excuse for it and he should be suspended.

        The fact remains that Harden steps in a gives a bump to an opposing player after made layups like that all the time. He does it on live ball situations and Perkins does it on dead balls. The referees never make a call because the contact is slight (for 200 lb+, exceptionally strong athletes). It is done to punish the opposing player for making a shot and annoy the opposing team.

        Harden didn’t start anything of that magnitude, and he didn’t deserve to have his head taken off. He did step in to take a little cheap shot that he knew the referees would allow. MWP was way out of line, but he was provoked.

    • jolink653 - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:59 AM

      of course you’re a lakers fan trying to justify this somehow…you’re the idiot for trying to figure out how this was somehow harden’s fault for instigating…bumping into someone is not in anyway malicious and harden wasn’t trying to start anything he was getting in position for the inbounds pass while ron artest was pounding on his chest like a total moron…outside of the basketball court something like this would have gone as an assault and artest would have been arrested…this was simply artest being himself and seriously injuring someone who happened to get in his way…he should be suspended for the rest of the season and the playoffs

  5. fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Laker fan here.

    That was totally uncalled for Ron Ron. I don’t see that elbow swing necessary or an integral part of your chest-beating histrionics.

    Harden was there preparing for the inbound pass.

    Back to the NBA Doghouse for you.

  6. hoytdadd64 - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:09 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?

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

      You are right, but nobody is listening. Everyone is focusing on that one elbow Ron threw because it was so obvious. Harden was looking almost directly at Artest and was moving in front of him. Why, because he was playing aggressive basketball, maybe a little too aggressive. Basketball is a contact sport and far worse hits happen all the time without any fouls being called. Ron took an elbow to the nose early in the game and it took him a few minutes to recover. No flagrant foul called, no ejection, no suspensions, because refs let this stuff go. It’s a tough sport, and now you have people on here whining about it. Suspension for Ron, sure, but why all the whining and crying on here. The league lets this stuff happen and the refs let this stuff happen.

  7. metcalfthebeast - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Ron “world peace” Artest is a dirty player. PERIOD. I hope he gets kicked out of the NBA just like Pete rose got kicked out of baseball. Maybe then he will realize that he has to grow up.

    • sasquash20 - Apr 23, 2012 at 5:31 AM

      He should get the life time ban that he should have gotten for attacking the fans in Detroit. What a POS! This guy is scum.

      • mightyquinn69 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:03 AM

        I tell you what. Let me be playing in a game and you throw something at me. I will leave the game and beat the brakes off you a$$. Period. Don’t start none! Won’t be none! Theres always some puck a$$ like you talking smack. Always thinking you can say what you want, or do what you want without Consequences and repercussionsand. You and your right of intitlement way of thinking.

  8. t8ertot - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Ghetto trash

    • mightyquinn69 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:06 AM

      “Ghetto trash” Is that so? Is that because he is Black, a Laker, or both?

    • mytthor - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      Being crazy and being ghetto are not the same thing.

  9. bjtmeyer - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Even though Harden got up in Artest’s grill, doesn’t give Artest the right chop him in the head and give him a concussion. That was a pu$$y move on Artest’s part.

  10. ddtla - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Berbes your comment was stupid d wade has done way worse but bc of personal hatred we get upset and tee off on people look at the replay harden was up to something btw Jason smith incident way worse

  11. greenbigs - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    The NBA features some of the most fluid, talented athletes in any sport on the world. It’s simply deplorable that this piece of shit compromises and degrades such a wonderful game. Will the commissioner allow this game to become like hockey with goons taking out talented opposing players? Artest needs to suspended for the remainder of the year, playoffs included and the first month of next season. An inadequate penalty will work to promote this flagrant activity and allow this scum (Artest) to possibly change this great game for the worse.

    • trollaikman8 - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:01 AM

      >run into Ron Artest celebration
      >expect to not get put to sleep

      I mean seriously. Sometimes people forget that Artest is not to be messed with. Every once in a while Ron has to stretch out and remind people that he is not all fun and games.
      Harden was caught slipping. He messed up. Let’s move past this. You can’t dangle raw meat in front of a tiger and not expect consequences. This is as much of Harden’s fault as anyone.

      • sasquash20 - Apr 23, 2012 at 5:34 AM

        Are you blind? Or just retarded?

  12. cheers4ablumpkin - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Get over it. As much as it wasn’t needed and uncalled for. Meta still
    Didn’t see him. If he would of saw him, none of this bs would of happen.

    • shaggytoodle - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      I promise you that if that Kobe, or any other Laker for that fact, they wouldn’t have been on the ground.

  13. djfinch8423 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    It’s sad to see Ron at this way,
    Men getting paid millions to act like thugs.
    Sad really sad………

    • sabatimus - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM

      Who’s Ron?

      • progress2011 - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:16 AM

        The jailhouse thug, that has been a menace to society since entering this world. A menace to fans and fellow NBA Players alike.

        Nobody cares if he changed his name on his jersey, he will always be a low life ! Lower than simple bacteria.

    • mightyquinn69 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      Why do you call Ron a Thug? Is it because he’s Black? Or maybe you have no idea of what a Thug is?

      • jolink653 - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        seems like constantly trying to hurt people on the court and jumping into the stands to beat up fans would be the definition of a thug…

  14. deadwoodcity - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Peace was playing out of control here. Since Harden was trying to step in front of him, Ron should have just ran him over.

  15. jolink653 - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    anyone who thinks that wasn’t intentional and is trying to justify it in any way is either stupid, ignorant or both…he wound up with the elbow after feeling someone behind him and couldn’t have cared less about how harden was as you can see when he walks away and tries to justify what he did to the refs…he should be suspended for the rest of the season

    the lakers fans completely embarrassed themselves by cheering this moron walking off the court and they shouldn’t get too excited about winning this game because with harden in the game the thunder would have blown the doors off this overrated team…i can’t wait to see the thunder play the lakers in the playoffs where they can slap these idiots on an even bigger stage

  16. anhdazman - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    If you’re banging on your chest like Tarzan, your elbow does fly out to knock someone out. This was totally intentional.
    Last week, MWP threw an elbow vs. Dragic during a screen that wasn’t detected by the referees. He’s always pulling this stunt. He deserves to be suspended.

  17. sabatimus - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Why refer to him by his new name if it isn’t accurate in the slightest?

    • p1nch3dloaf - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:34 AM

      I agree, maybe a name change is in order…

      I’ll start off with…

      Elbow Metta Head

  18. jr9901 - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    Playing basketball doesn’t give anyone immunity from the law. That was an assault on another human being, and it had nothing to do with the game. So why isn’t this a crime? I think it was. Criminal assault. There are no excuses. He’s sorry? Good, that should help reduce his punishment… but it doesn’t change what he did.

  19. trollaikman8 - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Dang there’s a lot of butthurt rage going on in this thread.

    All of you Laker-haters need to watch the video without emotion. Clearly Artest/World Peace did not see him. He even said it was “unintentional”. Would you call Ron Artest a liar? To his face?

    This is just a case of classical physics. The bigger object acting on a smaller one. Let’s just move on from this, it was helluva a game.

    If you want to dwell on violence on the court, let’s talk about Westbrick’s assault on the iron. If anyone set basketball back to a savage era, it was that guy.

    That will be all.

  20. megaballer23 - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    He will be gone for the rest of this year (including playoffs) and fined $150,000. Lakers weren’t going anywhere this year anyways. Ebanks played well and can fill the role.

    • gmsingh - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:29 AM

      He shouldn’t be fined cash, he should be made to change his name to “Metta Elbow to the Head”.

  21. diablito0402 - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    Its a game of grown men, and this kind of stuff happends, baseball bench clearing brawls, football thuggish fights, hey if you guys cant watch this stuff, turn to the disney channel for some hannah montana of something!!!!

    • 1historian - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:36 AM

      very manly words from the safety of cyberspace

  22. drewdatwit84 - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    Harden is an idiot for messing with MWP in the first place. I mean come on, EVERYBODY knows he’s mentally off up there. I mean seriously, would YOU pick on the retarded kid sitting in the back of the class with the wires and baking soda muttering to himself??? Huh??? Would u want to piss THAT retard off???

    No, right? Then WHY oh WHY Harden, would u mess with THAT dude??? Fool, u just about ASKED for that elbow.

  23. gametight78 - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    I dont think he did it on purpose or was aware of what he was doing this is the same guy that thanked his doctor after LA won. I think hes just crazy, why would he intentionally do that with such force that hasnt been in his charcter for some time now. Its not like him and harding got into a physical confrontation before that or they have a history. He didnt get caught in anger and do it, he was celebrating.

    • jeffinstlouis - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:27 AM

      He wasn’t celebrating. He threw an elbow and followed through. It’s been “in his character” since he was a Pacer and attacked fans in Detroit. I think you meant it “hasn’t been in his public relations window dressing for some time now.”

  24. nofumbles1 - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    That was brutal. He should be suspended for the playoffs too.

  25. be1078 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    I’ve been hit harder at a pick up game! These drama queens with all there flopping, how do you know it even really hurt him. It was unnecessary from metta but these divas play the role too. Suspend artest and let’s get on with it!!!!

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