It was vicious and brutal, violent and brazen. It was indefensible, incomprehensible and intentional. And no matter how much Metta World Peace (aka Ron Artest) has mellowed during three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, the elbow he threw Sunday harks back to his past transgressions.
After a nice dunk during the Lakers’ home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, World Peace began celebrating on his way back up the court. He pounded his chest with his right fist as Thunder guard James Harden bumped him ever so slightly while headed in the opposite direction. World Peace drew back and unleashed one of the ugliest, hardest elbows you’ll ever see, hitting Harden flush in the side of his head.
Harden dropped to the ground as if he had been shot. World Peace, who squared off as Thunder players rushed to confront him, was ejected from the game and awaits a league ruling on his likely suspension.
“During that play, I just dunked on [Kevin] Durant and [Serge] Ibaka,” he told reporters afterward. “I got real emotional, real excited. It’s unfortunate that James had to get hit with an unintentional elbow. I hope he’s OK. The Thunder, they’re playing for a championship this year. I really hope he’s OK, and I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden. It was such a great game. It was unfortunate so much emotion was going on at that time. That’s it for today.”