The Lakers’ Metta World Peace has been suspended for seven games without pay for striking the Thunder’s James Harden in the head with his elbow, the NBA announced today.
The incident, which resulted in a Flagrant Foul Two and ejection, occurred with 1:39 remaining in the second quarter of the Lakers’ 114-106 victory over the Thunder on April 22 at Staples Center.
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,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said. “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.”
The Los Angeles Lakers have issued the following statement from General Manager Mitch Kupchak following the NBA’s announcement of the suspension of Metta World Peace:
Metta has for the most part been a model citizen both on and off the court since joining the Lakers. Still, his most recent lapse in judgement is not to be condoned or accepted. His actions could have seriously injured another player, and his absence during this suspension will hurt our team as well. While we accept the league’s decision, we will be supportive of Metta and try to help him be more professional on the court.”
World Peace will miss the regular season finale against Sacramento, and 6 playoff games.