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NBA - High price for World Peace


PhilBoxing.com


TWO days after he violently threw an elbow to the side of the head of Oklahoma City Thunder forward James Harden, LA Lakers forward Metta World Peace got his deserved punishment Tuesday afternoon when the NBA meted him a 7-game suspension.

World Peace makes $6.7 million this year and since his suspension is without pay, the penalty will cost the mercurial forward roughly $82,000 a game. He will miss his team's final regular season game this Thursday in Sacramento as well as the Lakers' first six playoff games.

Formerly known as Ron Artest, the 6-foot-7, 260-pound Metta is a 12-year pro who is averaging 7.7 points. 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per in 64 outings this season. His absence will be sorely missed by a Lakers team with serious bench depth issues.

Metta has a well-documented history of violence. He was a central figure in the infamous 2004 Malice at the Palace, a nasty brawl involving the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. World Peace got an 86-game suspension for his actions, which included jumping into the stands and fighting with fans at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan.

That ugly blot, however, has since become a distant, fading memory. At 32 years old, Metta has gently matured into a model player who in 2011 won the J Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his work on raising awareness on mental health issues.

But his random act of violence on Sunday, which he contends was purely unintentional, was an extremely dangerous offense that unfortunately overshadowed his team's thrilling double-overtime win. And Harden, who escaped great bodily harm, has not yet been cleared to resume play.

NBA Commissioner David Stern saw through the gravity of Metta's infraction and issued this statement -- "The concussion suffered by James Harden demonstrates the danger posed by violent acts of this kind, particularly when they are directed in the head area. We remain committed to taking necessary measures to protect the safety of NBA players, including the imposition of appropriate penalties to players with a history of on-court altercations."

Metta and the Lakers won't appeal the NBA's ruling and Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak issued a statement saying Metta's "lapse of judgement cannot be condoned or accepted." The same statement said that while the Lakers accept the league's decision, "we will be supportive of Metta and try to help him be more professional on the court." (Homer D Sayson)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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