No World Peace for the Lakers vs. Nuggets
Metta World Peace was suspended by the NBA for the Lakers’ final regular-season game Thursday in Sacramento and six more games — whether they are playoff games this season or regular-season games next season.
World Peace’s elbow to the head of Oklahoma City’s James Harden was what prompted the suspension, which NBA commissioner David Stern said was tailored specifically toward the former Ron Artest considering his many previous incidents.
“If it had been somebody that got tangled up and threw an errant elbow, would that have been different than this? You bet it would have been,” Stern said. “It’s really very serious stuff and it does take in account the fact that the perpetrator is who he is and has the record that he has, and this called for, in our view, a very stiff penalty. And we think that seven games, which only includes one regular-season game, is such a stiff penalty.”
The Lakers lost to the Sacramento Kings, 113-96, in a largely meaningless finale Thursday with Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol all resting instead of playing.
They’ll be back, starting Sunday, for the Lakers’ first-round playoff series against Denver. But World Peace’s suspension means he’ll miss at least the first six games of the playoffs.
“I was just way too emotional,” World Peace said. “It seemed like anger but it was a lot of passion involved. But it was erratic. It was erratic fire, it was erratic passion. It was way too much. Way too much.”