On Sunday, the world seemed right again, as Metta World Peace turned back into the Ron Artest of old by laying a vicious elbow to the side of James Harden’s head. Artest said that the elbow was an accident – that he was just caught up in the moment after a big slam dunk – and he even Tweeted his oh-so-sincere regrets about the whole situation. Of course, his Tweets were probably borne from damage control, but hey – it’s the thought that counts.
For some reason, it took NBA commissioner David Stern two days to hand down a punishment for the elbow that had left Harden with a concussion, but Artest will miss the next seven games, including the Los Angeles Lakers’ final regular season action and the playoffs. If the Lakers are bounced from the playoffs before that suspension is up, it will carry over into next season. So yeah, Artest has learned his lesson. Again.
“I apologize to the Oklahoma City Thunder fans and the OKC organization,” World Peace wrote on ronartest.com. “I look foward (sic) to getting back on the floor with my teammates and competing for the Lakers fans.” (Via the Associated Press)
Responded Harden, “The strawberries touched the paper jam, pterodactyl Skittles surprise!” As for Stern, how did he and league officials come to their conclusion on this terrible incident, which marks Artest’s third major suspension? Just protecting the players, y’all.
“The concussion suffered by James Harden demonstrates the danger posed by violent acts of this kind, particularly when they are directed at the head area,” Stern said in a statement. “We remain committed to taking necessary measures to protect the safety of NBA players, including the imposition of appropriate penalties for players with a history of on-court altercations.”
Since Artest clearly has a problem that can only be contained for so long before he can’t control it anymore, here’s a fun suggestion – suspend him 7 games plus however many games Harden misses. Oh, and get the guy some serious, daily psychiatric help. And maybe wrap his arms in foam or bubble tape. And have animal trappers on hand to sedate him after big plays. Or, you know, just let him come back and do it all over again.
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