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Metta World Peace suspended seven games for elbow to Harden

Apr 24, 2012, 7:59 PM EDT

UPDATE 10:06 pm: Metta World Peace issued his own statement on his Web site (coincidentally named

“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.”

7:59 pm: The NBA came down fairly hard on Metta World Peace — not as hard as some had hoped, but more than fellow Laker Andrew Bynum got for laying out J.J. Barea in the playoffs — with a seven game suspension for his deliberate elbow to the head of James Harden of the Thunder Sunday.

The Lakers have one game left in the regular season (Thursday against the Kings) so this means World Peace will sit the first six Lakers playoff games. That likely means the entire first round and could go into the second round if the Lakers advance.

“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,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said. “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.”

“Metta has for the most part been a model citizen both on and off the court since joining the Lakers,” said Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak in a released statement. “Still, his most recent lapse in judgement 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. While we accept the league’s decision, we will will be supportive of Metta and try to help him be more professional on the court.”

For comparison, Bynum got five games for his hit on J.J. Barea in the playoffs and Delonte West got 10 games for his weapons charges away from the game. The longest recent suspension was to Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton for bringing weapons into the Wizards locker room.

Harden has not yet been cleared to play following concussion symptoms and is out for the Thunder Tuesday night. However, he is expected to be able to play in the playoffs starting this weekend.

  1. bozosforall - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    So when are we going to see the same level of punishment for the cheap shots that Kevin Garnett continually takes on opponents?

    • stickesabado - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:16 PM

      Love it.. great point..

    • andyhr17 - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      Lakers are overrated and won’t be winning anything this season…or anytime in the near future.

      • stickesabado - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:25 PM

        yeah overrated.. haha cute… Kobe’s overrated too huh?? keep hating.. we may not win but I’m hapoy with the many years of winning they have brought to me and my fellow Lakers fans..

      • andyhr17 - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM

        It’s called sarcasm. Not meant with any seriousness.

      • bozosforall - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:07 PM

        Maybe not this season, but at least they will have all of their stars for the near future. The Celtics won’t…but you are too stupid to see that. The Lakers will still contend in the near future while the Celtics will just suck for the long term. Admit it. loser.

      • andyhr17 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:34 PM

        You really need anger management.

    • doctorhoops - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      Who can forget this three-year-old classic when Kobe elbowed the player formerly known as Artest, who charged across the court to confront him. Artest got tossed, and Kobe played on without any penalty. My, how the worm turns…

      In addition to the suspension, the league should send Hardin’s neurologist bills to Metta. Just to remind him.

      • bozosforall - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:19 AM

        Right after they punish Kevin Garnett for grabbing other men’s junk on the court. Then again, up in Boston that is normal behavior.

  2. doctorfootball - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    I agree on Garnett. Love his game, but he’s as dirty as they come in the NBA.

  3. doctorhoops - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Celtic bell rings…

    Pavlov’s dog instantly drools within 60 second.

    Fascinating. There is a doctoral thesis in this.

  4. ddtla - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:17 PM


    • doctorhoops - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:34 PM

      Another possibility: Insult bot… After all, seems devoid of any insight aside from automatic anti-Celtic take on any post, regardless of content. This post, for example, is about Metta intentionally delivering a blind-side elbow that resulted in concussion. Hard to argue in favor of that. Easier to change the subject.

  5. xxakshunxx - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Seven games for a repeat offender is a joke especially for basically intentionally causing a concussion.. Stern is scared to see the Lakers bounced early so they gave a light sentence here.. Stern sucks and needs to be out of the NBA.. Any other player on another team would get just as worse of a suspension even if they had no priors.. Keep catering to LA

    • svupper - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:54 PM

      Im not a Laker or MWP fan in any way, but dude u gotta stop the hating, MWP have done a lot of good things since joining the Lakers and really tried to better his image, but all people look at, is what he has done wrong.. Not saying that in any way justifice what he did agains Harden, cause that shit doesnt belong in the NBA..

      And really.. u gonna play the Lakers get it all card? Didnt i follow the offseason, when Stern royally fucked them in the CP3 trade?

  6. thegamecocker - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Get this piece of garbage out of the league! Enough already Mr. Stern! How can you turn your back on this maniac! He’s a thug and there should be no place in ANY league for Artest! He’s a maniac!

  7. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Should have been one or two max. Mike Breen influenced this decision.

    • wakiash - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:21 PM

      It should have been criminal assault charges and a lifetime ban from playing professional sports. With his history, the miscreant is obviously a psychopath and needs to be institutionalized in a facility for the criminally insane!

  8. nightrain42 - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    5 games wld be more in line. Garnett never gets nada. Just like Rip tried to hit Dirk Friday nite…no ejection, no fine, nuthin from Adolph Stern. If he was pro Laker…CP3 wld be in purple/gold now. Whoever posted he wanted LA to advance is talkin out of there a$$

  9. glink123 - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    I actually think Stern got it right on this. I think he might’ve only gotten 5 games if Artest would’ve owned up to it as a lapse in judgement, instead of hiding behind the lame story of it being inadvertent. It’s an emotional game, just admit you list your cool, and man-up.

    • stickesabado - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:58 PM

      I agree

  10. sourcesclosetothesituation - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Too bad he didn’t hit Blake Griffin.

  11. chuckj1234 - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Ron Artest should have been suspended well into next season. He is not on salary in the playoffs. just a percentage of the winnings. Hit him in the pocket book.were it hurts.

    • dormied9027 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:52 PM

      The title of the article was ‘NBA SUSPENDS WORLD PEACE’! Who does Stern think he is, King Obama?

      I’m a Laker fan and wouldn’t be offended if Ron Artest was suspended for the rest of the season… and then traded!

  12. chibimike - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Wow. 7 games for intentionally concussing an opponent. A little light given off the court that would be felonious assault. Way to maintain the league’s image.

  13. cowboychris5xchamps - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    It should’ve been 10 games for this bipolar, all braun no brains idiot f@#k who isn’t smart enough to know where his own d!#k is! He could’ve literally ended Hardens’ career.

  14. jimeejohnson - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Kudos to the Lakers for supporting World War. Something must have set him off as that vicious elbow was a reaction to something and Metta declared war on whatever or whoever it was. They might have to make a special wing for him at the Hall of Fame and some Los Angeles or Oklahoma City psychiatric facility. In any case, it was a cheap shot and just another sign of World War’s schizophrenia. Heck, nobody’s perfect. He might even play again this season since the Lakers are capable of beating any team on any night WITH KOBE. Without Kobe, stick a fork in them, they’re done!

  15. bigndumb - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    7 days for assault… yeah the real world he would have been locked up. People wonder why some athletes have issues outside their sport. Between players mentioning they need to be paid to play basketball in the olympics and this, which is considered by most Americans to be an honor I am officially done with basketball. I know a lot of people who have given up their season tickets because the league is a joke.

  16. abchome - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Now the suspension is decided, but his name still has to be changed. Maybe he can just keep MWP, for Mental Wrong Punk.

  17. sailbum7 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    What should be happening is that the local DAs should be charging these guys with criminal assault for flagrant fouls like this. Missing a few games and losing a few bucks does not get the point across. The theat of prison time will put a stop to this garbage pretty quickly.

  18. sourcesclosetothesituation - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Do you think the punishment would have been more or less harsh if he knocked that moronic beard off of Harden?

    • xLith - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:24 PM

      You’re just jealous that your peach-fuzz is no match for a man’s beard. Fear the beard.

  19. sdb74 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    If Artest still played for Pacers or was with Thunder, Spurs, Grizzles, etc, etc he would be out for the postseason. Stern is a joke.

  20. mlblogscubfanbudman621 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    WoW! What a F K NG JOKE! 7 games? Monkey Thug Nugs like artest need to be Traylon’d!

    • andyhr17 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:38 PM

      I do believe that you got a 50% success rate on spelling in that post. Congrats. You should be proud.

      And what did poor….Traylon?…ever do to you?

      • mlblogscubfanbudman621 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:43 PM

        traylon, taylon, tylon, trevon, latreylon, shantayvon, sholonvon…think you got the point.

        and TRAYVON never did anything to me, but he did break a man’s nose(with his elbow) bash his head in the ground several times before zimmerman “STOOD HIS GROUND!”

      • andyhr17 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:51 PM

        Yeah, we get it. You’re an ignorant racist. How about you leave now and take your hate elsewhere.

  21. jwocky1 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    David Stern should be suspended for allowing this tool to continue to play in the NBA.

  22. bentjo47 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Mr. Wright 212…you’re right about Mike Breen. He’s a good broadcaster, but my GOD, what a DRAMA QUEEN. My guess is that he has been incredibly scarred…. because he was actually at that Pistons-Pacers game at the Palace..AND…if that wasn’t enough to scar him, he also called the Knicks-Nuggets game when a fight broke out on that one, too.
    Mike let’s himself get too carried away with himself and immediately gets on that soapbox of his, as if he’s never ever seen a fight break out. It sucks because he TOTALLY takes the focus off a great game that may be playing, and FORCES people to have to listen to his overinflated feelings of dissapointments.
    He has to realize that his REACTION to Mette’s elbow is almost as alarming as the elbow itself.
    Relax Mike. Take some pointer from Marv Albert who has seen his share of fights break out. He NEVER does anything to alarm the audience!!

  23. bertilfox - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    That “Traylon” (it’s Trayvon, BTW) comment is way outta line! Nevertheless, Artest can’t escape the fact that he is a chronic and unapologetic buffoon, even by changing his name to that silly moniker. He apparently can, however, escape the true justice that he was clearly due in this case. He should’ve been shelved for the Season AND the Postseason. World Peace…puh-leeze!

  24. sunsation3413 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    With less than a week to play in the regular season MWP takes out one of the best players on the Thunder who are expected to contend for a title this year. Coincidence? I think not. 7 games is not enough.

  25. yunkerimages - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    I hate the NBA…stopped going to games or watching that crap on TV last time they went on strike. Just another NBA thug!!!

    • Kurt Helin - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:32 AM

      I always enjoy the people who want nothing to do with the NBA but take the time to comment on an NBA blog about it.

      • yunkerimages - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        Kurt…I only said I hate the NBA. I didn’t say I don’t like reading about the problems in the NBA. I hope the issues continue until the league folds. Thugs, thugs, thugs….

      • yunkerimages - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        Kurt…I only said I hate the NBA. I didn’t say I don’t like reading about the problems in the NBA. I hope the issues continue until the league folds.

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