|EDITOR’S CORNER: No surprise, Metta just can’t keep the peace|
|Written by Emily Warner, Daily Vidette Sports Editor|
|Monday, 23 April 2012 10:53|
What’s the difference between Metta World Peace and Ron Artest?
Celebrating a dunk on Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka, World Peace threw a hard elbow directly into the head of Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden, leading to a concussion for Harden and an automatic ejection for World Peace. The blatant roughness is reminiscent of Artest earlier in his career.
The elbow occurred with a minute to go in the second quarter. Why did he do it? Was it intentional? Well, it was before halftime, so he probably wasn’t drunk yet.
I mean, I’d be salty too if I was the first one voted off of Dancing With the Stars, but I doubt he would take that out on Harden.
Physicality is obviously a presence and a part of sports, but in the last week alone, it has been making extra headlines.
First most notably with Raffi Torres’ hit on Chicago Blackhawk Marian Hossa, resulting in a 25-game suspension, one that many view to be too harsh, perhaps with the exception of Chicago fans.
In this case, Hossa had to be carried off the ice in a stretcher and Torres has a history of dirty play — both are likely factors that contributed to the extensive suspension (in the playoffs!), since there have been other hits in the NHL that have not resulted in such long suspensions or even only resulting in fines.
As many are quick to point out, the NBA is not the NHL, where fighting is actually tolerated. World Peace’s actions are condoned by no one. Not even MPW himself … to an extent.
Following the game, World Peace tweeted, “Hope James Hardin is ok…” followed by “I just watched the replay again ... Oooo .. My celebration of the dunk really was too much ... Didn’t even see James ... Omg ... Looks bad”.
OMG is right. Nice try covering your tracks with the tweets, but there is no way that the flagrant foul and immediate ejection from the game is going to be the end result. He claims he had no idea James Harden was next to it, which almost everyone is calling BS.
Many ESPN analysts have broken down the play following the game, saying that if you watch it closely, you can see that Metta World Peace feels that Harden is there before he throws his elbow. There is also the fact that after he makes contact with Harden, he doesn’t even turn around to see what or who he just hit.
Of course there is a difference between watching it in slow motion and in real time. Throw in that World Peace does a nice job of acting shocked when a whistle is blown and it is up for interpretation.
That interpretation is likely going to be that it was an intentional elbow to the side of the head, likely resulting in a fine and suspension for World Peace. AKA, his bread and butter.
Throughout his career, the player formerly known as Ron Artest has been suspended a total of 13 times combining for 111 games—not to mention the chunk of change he is missing from fines related to all of those suspensions.
Most notably is the time in 2004 where, as an Indiana Pacer, Artest jumped into the stands to fight a Detroit Pistons fan, leading to a huge brawl between players and fans.
In recent years, World Peace has been better behaved at least when it comes to getting physical. He did get in trouble last year for giving Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea the ole’ clothesline.
So if World Peace’s history is taken into account like Torres’ was for his suspension, what is the appropriate punishment?
There is little doubt that he won’t get a suspension, the question is how long? Five seems like a consensus, but that depends on if his history is taken into consideration. Five games doesn’t seem that bad considering what World Peace (oh the irony of his name) did was assault had it not been on a basketball court.
Regardless of the punishment handed out, the Chicago Sun-Times put it best with the headline, “Metta World Peace goes Ron Artest on James Harden.” At the end of the day it just goes to show that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.