A play that isn’t getting enough attention from the Los Angeles Lakers’ 119-108 win over the Houston Rockets last night happened a little over two minutes into the second half. As a result of a steal by Kobe Bryant, the Lakers had the ball in transition with a four-on-one advantage which led to a foul by Jeremy Lin to prevent Metta World Peace from an easy bucket to push the Lakers’ lead to eight. Lin’s foul was a hard foul but it was not extreme. World Peace must have thought so as he followed up the foul by throwing his arm around with the intent of hitting Lin. Metta immediately grabbed Lin after the strike in an apologetic manner, and World Peace was charged with a technical foul on the play.
The former Ron Artest is known for having a short temper and retaliating towards opponents (e.g. his elbow to the head of James Harden last season). Watching the video repeatedly, it is clear to see that World Peace turns his head, sees where Lin is, and then purposely swings his arm around to hit Lin in the head. The referees agreed that it was intentional, and David Stern and the Board of Governors should consider fining or even suspending the Laker player.
World Peace needs to understand that he cannot continue to disregard other players’ safety and throw elbows without being reprimanded. His elbow that struck Harden last season earned him a seven-game suspension, but it’s clear that “World Peace” has yet to learn his lesson. Fans of Los Angeles should welcome another suspension of Metta despite his astounding play early in the season. World Peace is averaging 13.1 points, and 4.9 rebounds per game this season, but the Lakers need Metta to keep his emotions in check. He must learn his lesson early in the season, or risk throwing more elbows late in the season, or even in the playoffs, which will earn him much more costly suspensions. World Peace must look in the mirror and start living up to the name he claims to represent.
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