Do you know who Metta World Peace is? Neither did I; in fact, I had never heard of said person until I overheard the name while listening to sports on the local news a week or so ago and they were talking about the Lakers game. Apparently MWP plays for the Lakers. He looked vaguely familiar, though, so naturally I Googled him. Turns out MWP is one Ron Artest, who legally changed his name to Metta World Peace last September.
MWP is a pretty good ball player. Very good, in fact. But MWP is probably best known for his involvement in the infamous Pacers-Pistons player/fan brawl on November 19, 2004. Here’s the Wiki recap:
With less than a minute left in the game, a fight broke out between players on the court. After the fight was broken up, a drink was thrown from the stands at then Pacers player Ron Artest while he was lying on the scorer’s table. Artest then entered the crowd and sparked a massive brawl between players and fans.
The repercussions led to nine players being suspended without pay for a total of 146 games, which led to $11 million in salary being lost by the players. Five players were also charged with assault, and eventually sentenced to a year of probation and community service.
Artest was given the longest suspension; he was suspended for the remainder of the 2004–05 NBA season, a suspension which eventually totaled 86 games (73 regular season and 13 subsequent playoff games), the longest suspension for an on-court incident in NBA history
Artest,,,sorry, Metta World Peace, has had a colorful disciplinary history in the NBA:
Artest was suspended for three games in 2003 for destroying a TV camera at Madison Square Garden, and for four games the same year for a confrontation with Miami Heat coach Pat Riley. He was also suspended for two games in the early 2004–05 season by Pacers coach Rick Carlisle after he allegedly asked for a month off because he was tired from promoting an R&B album for the group Allure on his production label. He previously had been suspended 12 times in his 13-year career but only once, for one game, in his three seasons with the Lakers.
MWP latest disgraceful incident occurred last night during the Lakers 114-106 victory over Oklahoma. As MWP stood pounding his chest after making a dunk, Oklahoma’s James Harden walked by him toward the sidelines. MWP cocked his arm and delivered a powerful blow to Harden’s ear with his elbow. Harden fell to the floor, and had to be taken to a hospital for check for a possible concussion. MWP was immediately ejected from the game.
MWP claimed that the incident was accidental. During an after game press conference he delivered this disingenuous explanation:
“During that play, I just dunked on Durant and Ibaka. I got real emotional, real excited,” World Peace said after the Lakers’ 114-106 double overtime victory Sunday over the Oklahoma City Thunder. “It’s unfortunate that James had to get hit with an unintentional elbow. I hope he’s OK.
Watch the slow-motion at 1:02 in the video and see if you think it was incidental contact.
I watched it several times and believe it was entirely intentional. If anyone else did that to someone outside of a professional basketball arena they would be arrested for assault and battery. MWP should have been arrested as soon as he hit the locker room.
I’m not a basketball fan but I have always thought the Lakers are a class outfit; they obviously have been the most successful sports franchise in LA history. Why they would hire a clown like MWP, with all his baggage and potential for trouble? Undoubtedly, he will get a lengthy suspension for his latest outrage. I hope he gets a permanent ejection from Los Angeles sports.