Metta World Peace Suspension Fair?
Seven games. Fair, in my opinion.
The seven-game suspension handed down Tuesday for the Lakers’ Metta World Peace for elbowing Oklahoma City’s James Harden in the head sent the appropriate message that such dangerous acts cannot be tolerated.
But the NBA also did something else very important: It didn’t overreact.
The play I kept thinking about in mulling over the past two days how hard David Stern and Stu Jackson would come down on World Peace was Andrew Bynum’s forearm that blasted J.J. Barea out of midair during the playoffs last season. Bynum got five games for that reprehensible act, and I thought that was a fair point of reference in dishing out punishment to World Peace.
One could make credible arguments that each play was worse, more dangerous and warranted the stiffer penalty. Bynum’s hit was in the course of a basketball play, as Barea drove to the basket. But it was not a basketball response; it was an act of violence and frustration. Plus, Barea is, oh, half Bynum’s size and was defenseless in midair.