World Peace says he’s aggressive, not dirty
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — There was plenty to digest at Los Angeles Lakers practice Saturday, not the least of which was the status of Kenneth Faried’s mouth after the Denver Nuggets forward ate the elbow of the Lakers’ Metta World Peace on Monday.
That one play, in which the player formerly known as Ron Artest flailed his left arm up while boxing out and left a cut on the inside of Faried’s mouth that pains him still, did more than add yet another flagrant foul to the infamous résumé of one of the game’s most physical players. It inspired a long and fascinating diatribe from a player who, like him or not, remains one of the most colorful and candid in the game.
“It’s not like I (brought) this aggression to the league,” World Peace said. “I didn’t invent this. This is what we watched. This is what we saw. The Bill Laimbeers and the (Dennis) Rodmans. They played hard. And they wasn’t trying to hurt nobody. They just played hard. They played with passion. And we grew up wanting to play with passion. So when guys say we’re dirty, we’re just playing hard, man. We’re not playing dirty. We’re just playing, we’re reacting, we’re going hard. We want to win.”
World Peace wasn’t hit with the Flagrant 2 penalty until three days after the game, as the Nuggets alerted the league to the play and the decision was then made. And when Nuggets coach George Karl kept the topic alive by calling World Peace’s elbow “premeditated,” World Peace spent nearly 20 minutes discussing the wussification of the NBA and how Karl should know better than to contribute to that unfortunate cause.
“You could complain every single time,” World Peace continued. “You guys could take footage of every single NBA game, take every little action out there and complain about it if you want. … But the game is aggressive. It’s a fast-paced game.
“The same game where I boxed out (Faried) and got upgraded to a Flagrant Two, I got flared (with an arm) by (Denver’s JaVale) McGee in the face. Same game. … [For more on Metta World Peace defends play as aggressive, not dirty, click here.]