There will be a lot of invective unleashed as a result of Metta World Peace’s vicious elbow to James Harden’s head late in the second quarter of Sunday afternoon’s Thunder-Lakers game. The event was significant because of the teams involved, because of the players involved, and most specifically because of Metta’s history of violent, erratic behavior. If most other NBA players had thrown that elbow during a dunk celebration, people would be more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt that it wasn’t intended to connect to Harden’s head. This particular perpetrator used up his “benefit of the doubt cards” a long time ago.

From my perspective, Metta’s intent is irrelevant here and I’d feel that way no matter who threw the elbow. This wasn’t a basketball play where somebody was swinging his elbows while trying to secure a rebound. Metta irresponsibly (at best) launched his elbow to his side in a violent fashion, and Harden’s injury was a direct result of that action. It shouldn’t matter whether or not Metta meant to elbow him in the head.

The lesson that needs to be taught here is that NBA players need to be accountable for the ramifications of their actions on the court, regardless of whether they have ill intentions. If you want to celebrate after a dunk, that’s your prerogative. If your celebration causes injury to another player, you deserve a suspension just as severe as you would have received if the contact was intentional. To put it another way, you shouldn’t get to act a fool and not get called on it in this league.

To be clear, I’m not saying that players shouldn’t celebrate and pose and taunt after they make an exciting play — I love that stuff as much as anyone. But you don’t get to damn near knock an opponent out during that celebration and then get away with it on a “Whoopsie, I got carried away” technicality.

The range for the potential length of Metta’s suspension is larger than any similar event in recent NBA history. At the low end, he might get 10 games or so. At the high end, he might be permanently banned from the league. That high end might seem ridiculous to many of you, but ask yourself how safe you’d feel playing against Metta World Peace if you were an NBA player.

I don’t need to read Metta’s mind or his body language to determine if he meant to nearly decapitate James Harden with his elbow — I don’t care because it doesn’t matter. I know he’s a swell guy with a big heart off the court, but he’s a dangerous menace on the court who is more likely to end somebody’s NBA career than anyone else in this sport. I’m not advocating a permanent ban, but I won’t complain if that’s Judge Stern’s verdict.

Comments (123)

  1. Wade should at least get 5 games then, for slamming Rip Hamilton to the ground.

    • Or James Jones should get suspended 5 games because he went at the face of Noah before the ball hit the rim.

    • You guys have the right mindset. The Miami Heat are history’s greatest monsters. If anyone should be banned from the league, it’s LeBron for exercising his right as a free agent.

      Metta World Artest is a great guy. Don’t you guys remember that we love him now after he changed his name? Now let’s go criticize players who left their teams as free agents and ignore petty stuff like this.

      • Yeah seriously, how DARE Lebron leave Cleveland for a place where he’ll have a higher chance of winning a ring. Didn’t he get the memo that he’s supposed to be stuck in CLE forever and never win anything but people will like him because he “tried”?

      • Who said anything about LeBron? Wade blatantly shoved Rip to the ground (though obviously not as potentially injurious as throwing an elbow, still should be unacceptable) and James Jones hit Noah in the head for no particular reason.

        • Wade shoved Rip, Artest punched Harden with his elbow, he winded it up before, nba players dont get suspended for pushing other players. In my opinion MWP should be suspended for the rest of the season and the first round of the playoffs, so they could meet up with OKC in the west semis, that should be an epic series…

      • What the fuck are you talking about? Did you mistake Dwyane Wade for LeBron James?

        • Apparently sarcasm is lost on the modern forum poster.

          PBI’s point is what Artest did is WAY, WAY WORSE, and far more dangerous than any other Flagrant foul this season, BY FAR, so comparing it to other flagrant that were at the very least part of a basketball play is a disservice to rational discussion. Also that some people are letting their bias against the Heat affect their judgment.

    • How is this any different then when Griff from the clips used the side of Gasols face and neck with his elbo with ” intent” to score…. no one said anything

  2. I think that rather than ignoring intent, you need to ignore that fact that Artest was “celebrating”. (Yes, I’ve started calling him Artest again).
    He knew exactly what he was doing, and if he tries to use the fact that he was celebrating as an excuse, well then he deserves even more games on the sidelines. Look at it in slow motion, his intent was to hit Harden in the head, and as a result, we won’t be seeing Artest for the rest of the season, at least.

    • I was going to leave my own comment, but this one sums it up.
      It’s impossible to ignore intent here. He felt Harden’s body on his left side, so he knew he’d be making contact.
      I don’t know of any ‘celebrations’ that have caused an injury. As soon as World Peace finished beating his chest, his celebration ended.

      • When the ball was being taken out why was harden going at the defender Metta? It looks to be 40% flop 60% oh shit what hit me…be a man harden

    • It is always good to meet absurd excuses with absurd judgment. If Artest claims he was just celebrating for a slam dunk then to protect all the other players on the court Artest should either be banned, or given a suspension for the rest of the season and when he comes back from that suspension he should be banned from ever dunking the basketball again.

  3. Now Scott, I usually like what you write.

    But a permanent ban? That’s just silly and even immature coming from a respected expert/journalist such as you. It seems to me you’ve lost your sense of ethic and professionalism with that article.You didn’t even take day or even a few hours to meditate on the event, you reacted on the spot with sheer emotion instead of objective analysis like any professional would. I’m sorely disappointed.

    And to answer your question whether I’d want to play in the NBA if Ron Artest was on the court, the answer is obviously yes. I wouldn’t feel more threatened by him than by any player in the league, and I’m being 100% honest about it.

    • And yes, he will suspended from the rest of the season, probably the first round of the playoffs and maybe, but just maybe, more (whole playoffs? 5-10 games next season? That’s all I would accept, and that’s a stretch.)

    • How is this not objective analysis? If you disagree with the conclusion, make the case, don’t attack the author.

      Metta has been on permanent probation since the Palace incident (maybe not officially but he’s obviously on the radar), and to me this incident is worse than a fight, as it was an assault on an unsuspecting player. He knew exactly what he was doing, then after he gets caught he tries to pretend like harden got in the way of his chest thumping. Sentencing in justice systems takes things like remorse, intent, and potential future behavior into account, and this should be no different. A year suspension would be acceptable, and I’d be fine with a ban as well.

      • What’s objective in this article?

        “From my perspective, Metta’s intent is irrelevant…” (opinion)
        “Metta irresponsibly (at best)…” (opinion)
        “You shouldn’t get to act a fool and not get called on it in this league” (opinion)
        “But ask yourself how safe you’d feel playing against Metta World Peace if you were an NBA player” (answer his own “question”)
        And finally :
        “I don’t need to read Metta’s mind or his body language to determine if he meant to nearly decapitate James Harden with his elbow — I don’t care because it doesn’t matter” (“I don’t care because it doesn’t matter”, How the fuck is that journalism?).

        I’m attacking his report, not the author himself. I don’t think this was a well-written piece of journalism, it didn’t provide anything remotely useful to any thinking basketball fan, only a man’s distorted (the way I see it) view of a basketball incident.

        As far as making my case, I already stated that Ron should get 5 (what I would give him) to 15 games (a stretch but I can see it happening). For Christ’s sake didn’t Jermaine got 15 games for punching a fan in ’04 (it was 25 but was reduced to 15)? How is Ron’s elbow even close to punching a fan?

        • It’s not just the incident itself, it’s his history of violence that has lead up to this.

          “If most other NBA players had thrown that elbow during a dunk celebration, people would be more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt that it wasn’t intended to connect to Harden’s head. This particular perpetrator used up his “benefit of the doubt cards” a long time ago.”

          • Yeah that’s the argument we’ll hear the most in the next hours. Although I’m not entirely convinced that prior history should factor in THAT much in this event. It should not be ignored, of course, but I don’t think it’s necessary to bring up the ’04 brawl or some relatively old event that has no link to this particular situation. But that’s just me, and I can’t really blame people for bringing up this argument.

        • There are times when journalists do not need to be 100% objective. Nor can they be. One of the reasons we read sports journalists is to here their opinions and analysis. In fact, the author could not have analyzed this happening without giving some kind of opinion on suspension and intent, or else the analysis would be bare and dissapointing. What should he say here if he is being 100% objective??? “This event happended.”

          NO. Because good journalism is not 100% objective.


          • I never thought I’d see the day where people would resort to insulting each other on a TBJ comments section. Your first paragraph made a somewhat convincing argument, but then you ruined its credibility with an all-caps-lock completely unnecessary insult.

            And if you took the time to read what I said, I don’t blame him for not being 100% objective, those excerpts were an answer to AT’s “What’s not objective in this article” question.

            I blamed him for being very unprofessional in how he handled the event, or his reaction to the event. As I said, he didn’t even take a day or even a few hours to meditate on the event, he reacted on the spot with sheer emotion. That’s what bugs me about it, not the fact that he has an opinion.

        • uhhhhh . . . this is a blog. who said he needs to be objective?

        • yea, stupid blogs writing opinion pieces. next thing you know they will be using sarcasm and goofy photo shop images to make bad puns.

        • I’m sorry if I insulted you, however you very clearly insulted the author of this post (whether or not you want to admit it) by saying that he has lost his sense of professionalism and ethics. I’m saying that you are taking it too far by saying that. I don’t think a permanent ban is a totally subjective, irrational belief (as you seem to do).

          Also, even though you say that you aren’t attacking him for being objective, this quote from you suggests otherwise: “you reacted on the spot with sheer emotion instead of objective analysis like any professional would. I’m sorely disappointed.”

          I’m just saying, if you are going to attack an author for reacting with sheer emotion, I would take a few mintues before responding with sheer emotion. And I’m sorry if I insulted you. I guess I reacted with “sheer emotion” too.

        • This is an editorial/opinion piece, by definition it is not objective. I would think that quite obvious from the jump…

          Further a lot of these opinions are common sense.

          Throwing an elbow isn’t irresponsible?
          Players shouldn’t be called out for acting like fools?
          Would you feel safe playing against Artest given this & his history?

          You’re arguing nonsense. If you don’t want to read opinion articles you are on the wrong site, this isn’t a conventional journalism blog.

          • You’re right, it isn’t objective. That’s not what I am arguing. I am saying that journalism does not always need to be objective, like here.

            All I’m saying is this is not just a subjective opinion, but a well thought out, empirically based opinion.

  4. Who was Artest trying to fool? (besides everyone). From the angle here:

    Harden was bumping him, so he knew an OKC player was there and he obviously tried to be sneaky about getting a cheapshot in.

    All those high-res/super-slow-motion replays kind of cements his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

  5. Artest should be suspended for the duration of the playoffs and not immediately be reinstated for next season. It’s impossible (and frankly wrong) to ignore Artest’s history, and this was one of the worst things to happen on an NBA court since the Detroit brawl.

  6. This is definitely bad, but Andrew Bynum’s shove on JJ is just as bad. Worst thing since detroit brawl is a longshot.

  7. Intent Should Matter. Just look at the Justice System. If a surgeon stabs a man in the heart accidentally the punishment should be far less severe than if a serial killer did it.

  8. I’m trying to be 100% objective, but from my perspective, Metta’s intent is irrelevant here only because it’s 100% clear that his intent was to elbow whichever OKC player was beside him in the head. I don’t see how he could argue otherwise and have any reasonable person believe him.

    • “I’m trying to be 100% objective . . . but from my perspective . . .”

      more like 50% objective ehhh?

  9. What was Harden doing running into MWP? He should know better than to run into that guy after a dunk. He could have avoided him. MWP still wrong.

    • Guys do this all the time. Virtually every posession. Don’t even hint at some BS “Harden was asking for it”-rationale.

      • Yeah but maybe he is too young to know how crazy MWP is. He went into the stands to fight spectators. I am just saying protect yourself.

    • Watch it again. He was getting ready to get the inbounds pass. Players bump into each other under the basket all the time. Him throwing elbows was completely unnecessary.

    • are you saying after someone makes a great dunk, everyone else should give him some space to flail his arms recklessly? plus harden was running to that end of the court following the play and was looking for the inbound pass after the dunk. players bump into each other in basketball all the time. harden shouldn’t have to avoid bumping into mwp just because he made a dunk

  10. I can’t defend Metta/Ron’s actions, but anybody who deliberately bumps up against a screaming and celebrating Ron Artest is arguably the crazy one.

    • You bump up against a player PRECISELY when he’s screaming and celebrating because you’re TRYING TO DRAW THE FOUL. Welcome to the game of basketball.

    • There’s no way that Harden bumped into him deliberately! Watch it again

  11. In my opinion the ban will be complete playoffs and then some. At least the next 15 games – no way Harden has to play against RonRon again this season.

    • I just don’t see how persons can just assume he meant to hurt him and his team. When was the last time he has been in this situation? Artest as you knows does have a mental condition concerning low self esteem. I think 10 games is too many. But because he is not liked by sport writers he will not get the pass as wade of LeBron will because he is just not liked.

      • So MWP deserves to play after taking Harden’s head off BECAUSE he’s crazy?

        In what world does that make sense?

      • That excuse is the VERY best of all excuses there are. He’s got a mental condition concerning low self esteem. Boo-hoo, I am pretty sure 60 % of all people have a rather low self esteem. Low self esteem does not make you throw a fucking elbow at an unprotected head.

  12. Yeah, Harden was just giving him a little bump, it happens all the time during a game. Still, that’s a pretty excessive retaliation.

  13. I really think the league needs to come down very hard on Artest. I have been a fan of his for a number of years after he was able to re-habilitate his career. When I saw the play in real-time I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but when you see the slow motion close-up replay it is clear that he meant to do harm with the elbow.
    Honestly, I think it would be severe, but I would be fine with him being thrown out of the league. At the very least, I think he needs to (and will be) suspended for all of the playoffs., and maybe 10 games next year. The bottom line is, I think you would have a difficult time making an argument that he can be trusted on the court.

  14. While I agree this was a very foolish and violent play by Ron Ar… World Peace that warrants a suspension, IMO to say intent shouldn’t be factored in as it is in all walks of life is irresponsible. Murder and Manslaughter are two different offenses with different consequences for a reason.

    Suspend him for the last game of the season, and maybe a playoff game or two. The play was vicious, not malicious.

  15. looked to me like he just tried to elbow harden off of him after bumping into him, not smoke him in the neck. you can see his elbow hit harden high on the shoulder and then continue to the neck/head. regardless, it ended up being a really dangerous play and artest deserves whatever he gets.

  16. Since you wanna eliminate intent from this whole thing, I guess It’s curious how tiy didn’t have a post up 1 hour after Griffin’s foul-dunk on Gasol. The impact doesn’t seem to have been much less severe, and I elbows on the head while in the air are a far more common occurrence.

    Also, previous history shouldn’t count here. Regardless of where one stands regarding Artest’s effort to rehabilitate himself, I would like to see him get the same punishment Lebron or Tyrus Thomas would get in a similar situation.

    • Previous history should absolutely count. Dude is a certified nutcase. He went after a fan for god’s sake! If someone who’s regarded as a saint in the L did this, it’d be different, i.e. Tim Duncan/D Rose. They would have checked to see if Harden was okay, as almost everyone else would. MWP didn’t even care he knocked him out.

      • Why shouldn’t previous history count? Serial criminals deserve stiffer penalties than first-time offenders. Wouldn’t you agree?

  17. I think you probably should’ve waited a few hours and mediated on the incident, instead of rushing out to write something in the heat of the moment. You might have gained a little more perspective. I have no issue with a 10-15 games suspension, but I’d definitely complain about a permanent ban.

    And although the issue of intent is irrelevant in this situation, as Artest definitely intended to hit Harden with his elbow, the issue of intent in general, in evaluating other incidents of this nature is definitely relevant. We don’t issue the same punishment for manslaughter as we do for 1st degree murder, and that template should be no different when evaluating fouls and rough contact in the NBA.

    • No, this is effectively a sucker punch from the guy on the thinnest ice in the NBA. Perma-ban is definitely in play.

    • I think you are forgetting how big of a deal the “Malice in the Palace” was.

      • Personally, I wouldn’t ban MWP for good, but I can definitely see why SC thinks it’s warranted.

        Also, you’re right about the manslaughter vs. 1st degree murder penalties, but remember, the person you’re dealing with here isn’t exactly a first-time offender. A serial killer charged with manslaughter would/should definitely get a stiffer penalty than a first time first-degree murderer.

        If you’re going to bring in more variables, then you can’t stop short at including the variables that make YOUR case.

  18. Ron needs to be gone for entire regular season and playoffs. I have supported that guy all the way back to Indiana days, but this crap was disgusting. I like physical play but hitting him the way he did, ron…. I personally don’t want him to see him wear a Lakers jersey again. Only good thing for Lakers is that Ebanks looked good stepping up.

  19. I think that from the view of David Stern and the league Artest was essentially on permanent probation after going into the stands in Detroit. I.E. there would have been a conversation that went something like , “Ron, if you F up again, you’re done”.
    If it had been done by someone else the elbow would probably have been worth maybe 10-15 games. But Ron Ron is a very special case. He probably won’t get banned from the league, but Stern is not going to cut him any slack, even though the fight in Detroit was 8 years ago.

  20. A permanent ban is crazy. Not going to happen. For an act with questionable intent, a permanent ban is just stupid. I think even your low end suspension is ridiculous. Id give him a minimum of 3 games, with a max of 5.

  21. No way it’s less than 5 games
    he completely tried to act like he didn’t deliver a KO elbow.. If infact he didn’t mean to do it he could have at least turned around to see if Harden was okay.

  22. Ok ok ok, let’s fast forward to the good part and imagine what will happen the next time Harden plays the Lakers with Artest in the lineup.

    Assume he puts up monster numbers. What would be the most entertaining, but legal, taunt he could throw out?

    I’d love for him to do the pro wrestling preparatory elbow tap, as demonstrated by Will Smith at 0:36 in this video:

    Harden should do it after every shot he makes as far as I’m concerned, but once would suffice.

  23. This is definitely intentional, unless Ron Artest just became the first person to deck someone and not even realize it, knowing full well he just threw an elbow. This isn’t a TV or WWE show, someone doesn’t just get knocked out by another person by accident. Artest even tries to start up with Ibaka afterwords. Artest is certifiably crazy. If I was a player, i wouldn’t want to play with Artest. Not because I would be afraid of him, but I would be afraid of what I might do if it was me or a teammate who was dropped.

    Out for playoffs and 1/4 of next year

  24. The only saving grace for Artest here, is he didn’t know WHO he knocked over.

    I think this was just his anger instinct throwing an elbow, and a pro athlete should be able to control it.

    Regardless of intent, it deserves a minimum of 5 games.

  25. Look Scott, I like the work that you do here at TBJ at thescore and I enjoy the blog immensely but a life time ban is not a reach? You gotta be fuckin kidding me. Look I want to get this out of the way, I like Ron Artest. I think that he has grabbed the torch from Allen Iverson in the guy that I would love to cover for a week in the NBA. I think that that as a society we want results and don’t take into consideration what actually happened. Was it dirty? Yes I’m not an idiot. and he should be suspended for 3-4 games but just because he’s Ron Artest doesn’t mean we should now throw the book at him and make him an example just because the league has never been less physical and the media would salivate in making a scapegoat out of this man once again.

    I mean he’s not and I don’t want to do a cross sports comparison but he’s not Raffi Torres and he doesn’t have a rap-sheet of trying to kill people like Torres does beside the malice in the palice and I somewhat understand why he did what he did in Detroit that faithful night.. The whole “Do I feel safe playing against Ron Artest” question is bullshit because what makes this anymore dangerous than what happened with Latrell Sprewell and PJ. He didn’t get a permanent ban. How about his buddy Andrew Bynum’s shove towards JJ Barea. He only got five games. How about Gilbert Arenas? He got a half year ban for bringing guns into the locker room and bringing more harm than what Ron could almost possibly do on the court. Heck let’s just fuckin throw the book at anyone who throws a really questionable elbow and god forbid let the game dictate itself with some physicality. It seems that as a society we want to make a story out of something that wasn’t that big of a story.

    Just because the whole narrative of concussions is sweeping up the Stanley Cup Playoffs doesn’t mean that as a result of a play that should be a suspend-able offence we now have the authority to get on our high horse and say “This is the old Ron Artest, He’s not fully reformed as a human being, throw the gauntlet at him.” News flash, people have at times had relapses in their judgement. Ron Artest did. Latrell Sprewell did and heck Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers had a relapse after becoming sober for a couple of years. Guess what, They’ve turned out fine except for the whole I can’t feed my family thing with Sprewell.

    Look again I like you Scott and I don’t want this comment/rant to become an attack on everything that is Scott Carefoot and again he should be suspended for 3-4 games but again I think this is another example of the media and I guess in this case yourself trying to cloud what was an excellent game that made me have to channel flip with Bruins-Caps with an incident that wasn’t egregiously violent as many want it to be.

  26. Holy crap. My understanding is Ron dunks, Harden is “all up in his grill” and Artest’s efforts to push him away are excessive. “Get outta here, I just dunked it. Yeah, boi.”

    He wasn’t thinking. Stupid mistake. I say suspend him for 5-10.

    This stuff happens in Aussie Rules footy all the time – you’d probably get three or four games in footy, so 5-10 in bball would feel appropriate.

  27. Daaaammnnn that messed up….


    Harden fouling Artest’s elbow with his face like that.

  28. Stop being a drama queen, Carefoot

  29. It will be interesting to compare the reaction of NBA administrators to this incident and that of the NHL to the incident involving Raffi Torres and Marian Hossa.

    Both Harden and Hossa were unprepared to defend themselves, nor should they have expected to need to.

    Both Torres and Artest have history which was and no doubt will be a factor. The difference being that Torres’s history includes repeated incidents of something that the NHL considers as happening all too often (hits to the head), while Artest’s history includes something comparatively uncommon (a player entering the stands to fight fans).

    That distinction, combined with the expectation of physical play associated with basketball to be less intense than that of hockey, could mean that Artest receives a suspension which includes both the remainder of this regular season and playoffs, as well as 1/4 to 1/2 of the regular season next year.

    Had Harden been taken from the court on a stretcher with a head injury that would obviously have long(er) term implications, a permanent ban of Artest would not be surprising. Since that wasn’t the case, yet a suspension which only included games within the calendar of this season could result with the incident being a less significant memory, a suspension which includes a significant portion of next season will likely be sufficient to keep the topic prominent not only when/if Artest returns to an NBA court, but beyond that.

    A suspension which includes significant portions of multiple seasons sends a stronger and more memorable message, without the appearance of an excessive reaction that a permanent ban could obtain, should Harden not be gone long term with a severe concussion.

    • Glyphs, you make some strong points but again it’s apples and oranges. Torrres left his feet, Targeted the head, the puck was gone already by over 5 seconds and charged into him with no play for the puck. Artest had a moment of stupidity and just clocked a guy for no good reason. One guy has become the new Matt Cooke for really iffy hits to players and one has to his credit turned his appearance in the media around and as a result won the J. Walter Citizenship award for his work with mentally disturbed people.

      Why should we suspend him multiple seasons when the NBA didn’t do it for Sprewell choking his coach. How about when Glbert Arenas brought guns to the locker room, he got half a year and his contract wasn’t even void. I don’t think it’s fair that we put him as the symbol that associates with thuggery just because of an incident that as a result of the media will overshadow how much Artest has come over the last 3-4 years as a person

  30. It’s interesting to me that so many commenters don’t seem to be taking Metta’s prior record into account here. Name another NBA player who deserves less leeway with this kind of incident.

    I linked this on Twitter earlier, but here is MWP’s list of fines and suspensions throughout his NBA career: At some point in time, you have to stop giving certain people chances to prove they’ve redeemed themselves.

    Again, I’m not advocating a lifetime ban and I don’t think he’ll get one, but I won’t shed any tears if MWP is forced to play ball overseas because of this incident. We reap what we sow.

    • So this is his third incident in the last 5 years, one of which was being late to a practice? Wowzer. This guy is an animal I tell you!

  31. Rhetorical question: Do NBA players have immunity from prosecution for their actions on the court? This was assault, pure and simple. It had NOTHING to do with the game of basketball. Why shouldn’t Artest be charged criminally for his action? He blatantly and with no provocation attacked and injured somebody in a way that was wholly unrelated to game play. How is that not a crime?

    • because if we go by that judgement half of the league would have been behind bars by now. Hell Stephen Jackson would probably not be in the NBA anymore, same thing with Ron Artest, Jermaine O’neal, Jamaal Tinsley, even Carmelo and Nate Robinson cause of their fight 5 years ago. People have to accept the fact that the NBA is not so much above the law as more of a separate entity to the Judicial law in the U.S.

  32. Kevin Love stomped a dude in the face. He actually stomped his face. Who called for his lifetime ban? Give Artest 2 games just like Love got and quit pretending like Harden didn’t put himself up there to draw contact on Artest right when he turned around. Harden pulls that Crap all the time.

    How often does Perkins throw elbows. Thankfully he doesn’t land them. so should he get suspended everytime he swings? It was in the moment, not premeditated. 2 games is fair.

    • The stomp to the face didn’t have to potential to cause serious spinal or brain damage because a) a foot has wider surface area (less concentrated impact) than an elbow, and b) the cheek provides tons of cushion before you’re compromising bone/brain integrity, whereas the back of one’s head has little cushion.

      • Listen to yourself. Stomping on someone’s face has less potential damage than an elbow?


      • Scene 1:
        Kid: “Hey mom, I was playing basketball and some guy came over and intentionally stomped on my face when I was on the ground.”

        Mom: (turns to husband) “Call the cops, I want that little turd arrested. This is aggravated assault. That kid is a criminal.”

        Scene 2:
        Kid: “Hey mom, I was playing basketball and got hit with an elbow. It hurt pretty bad.”

        Mom: “I’m sorry honey. Are you ok? Let’s go get some ice.”

        I’ve played basketball for 25 years. I’ve played against NBA players (Tayshaun Prince). I cannot count how many times I’ve been hit with elbows, forearms, etc. It happens all of the time. They call it “throwing ‘bows”.

        To the best of my knowledge there is no term for “stompin’ face”. Because it’s so far out there that NOBODY does it. Please track down the last time someone got suspended for stomping a guy in the face on the court.

        I say this to demonstrate how overblown this is. If you weren’t waving banners and having demonstrations in front of city hall when Kevin Love did the running man on Scola’s face, then maybe you should reexamine your motives.

        • I don’t think its overblown. yes in basketball ‘throwin bows’ happens all the times usually trying to clear out space. and oftentimes players get hit in the face and head inadvertently. those impacts come with far less force though than what mwp threw. he wound up, swung, and followed through with this elbow into the head of harden. that is completely different and much more dangerous. The side of the head where the temporal bone is the weakest part of the skull, and a swing like that to the neck or head has the potential could cause permanent brain damage or paralysis, not the same as “got elbowed today playing basketball.’ what mwp did is a very serious offense and i think deserves more than just 2 games. i say 5-10.

        • That’s not even the same thing. I can’t believe you’re trying to compare the two. Ya, people throw elbows all the time, but those are all basketball related plays. Normal things players do when trying to create space or rebound the ball.

          There is no comparison, AT ALL, between that and when a guy purposely elbows a guy to the head AFTER a play when he’s inbounding it.

    • I just watched the Love foot stomp video. He hit Scola in his chest and with barely any force. It was bush league, I thought it could have been more than two games, but it didn’t put him at risk for serious injury. The severity of Artest’s hit was definitely worse and will probably be worth a couple more games. (Artest’s suspension will probably depend in part on how serious Harden is injured; if he got a serious concussion and misses the first series, you can bet Artest will too.) Factoring in Ron’s history will add a couple more games. No way Artest gets out with less than 5.

      • No, you’re right, it was the face. Probably should have been more than 2, but the severity was still clearly less than Artest’s elbow.

    • you name links to, you are biased

      • Oh completely. Unabashedly biased. I don’t deny it. But just because I run doesn’t mean Carefoot’s not biased too. And biased or not I’m still representing legitimate points that should be considered.

        MWP has flown below the radar for YEARS. You people are freaking out about an event that happened 8 years ago. He’s never had anything remotely close to that occur since then. He’s obviously a different guy and I don’t see one isolated incident as “Oh boy, well he fell off the wagon – looks like he’s probably going to shoot up a convenience store tonight.”

        NBA players throw elbows EVERY. SINGLE. GAME. It’s unfortunate that Harden got tagged in the head. I don’t think MWP should have swung back. But seriously people? Banned for life? 10 games? Are you kidding? Hitting a player running on a fast break when he’s in the air and low bridging him is FAR more dangerous than this – and nobody goes crazy over that when it happens regularly.

        Again, I go back to the McHale hit. McHale was NOTORIOUS for being extremely physical fouling the hell out of guys on the court. That shot on Rambis could have left him a wheelchair. Fortunately Rambis is tougher than an army of zombie vampires and can shake off what would kill a normal man. So using Carefoot’s logic, McHale should have been considered for a banned-for-life situation. Dumb. As a Laker fan (and I hate the Celtics more than anything) I don’t think McHale should have been banned or suspended for more than a couple of games.

        So many of you are still stuck on 2004 Ron Artest. He’s a different dude – if he wasn’t we’d have seen all of this crap continue throughout his entire career.

        If you know basketball and you’ve watched OKC, then you know that both Perkins and Harden consistently bump and stand right in front of guys after shots and at whistles – daring them to do something. Don’t pretend like Harden wasn’t trying to tweak MWP, he just got much more than he planned on. Look back on the last OKC/LA game in OKC. Harden was constantly talking smack and antagonizing Kobe throughout the game. He’s that kind of player.

        Again, I don’t condone a hit to the head, but Harden was intentionally putting himself in a position to bump MWP and mess with him. It’s how Harden plays. I understand it, Kobe has his own mind games he plays with dudes on the court. So does KG. Just understand that there are some players out there who won’t take that crap lying down.

  33. I can’t believe anybody calls him World Peace. That motherfucker was on the Mobb Deep DVD! I ain’t callin’ anybody on the Mobb Deep DVD World Peace!!! I cringe every time I hear that shit!!!!

  34. Well, according to Carefoot’s link to suspensions Artest will get 1-2 games. That’s what he got years ago. The handful of 1 game suspensions were for flagrant fouls, which pretty much every player commits several times in their career. Over how many years was this? He’s been pretty quiet since the Kings. Definitely changed his demeanor…and I’m not sure if for the better. I missed Ron the warrior. I thought it had been too long since guys were scared to play him.

    What about McHale’s clothesline takedown of Rambis in the 80′s? Banned for life? Scott, you’re simply a Laker hater and it shows pretty clearly here.

  35. The link within Scott Carefoot’s post to a list of Artest’s previous incident indicates this will be his third elbow related suspension, or perhaps more, depending upon the details of the domestic violence incident(s).

    So much for Dwight Howard being the favorite to win Wanker of the Year.

  36. Why is anyone taking Artest seriously when he says he was celebrating and inadvertently hit Harden? That is a pathetic and totally ridiculous excuse. He clearly wound up and struck him with his elbow as hard as he could. Argue about the suspension, whether the league’s too soft, whether other people have done things just as bad, whatever. But to pretend that Artest’s “intent” is debatable is just silly.

  37. Wow … Scott … that’s one long-ass penalty list!!! Now i wonder how is this dude still in the league… maybe Stern is too leberal-minded.He needs at least to be suspended for the rest of the year if you ask me.Who does he think he is to throw elbows at the back of the head of other players?You clearly can see in his eyes on the replay his problematic mental condition,looked like a sociopath with no regrets of what he had done.And his new name is just so ironic… Metta World War would suit him more.And all of the people saying that is Harden fault that he aprooched him are just idiots or lakers fans(i forgot that is the same thing for most of the fans).Good for Harden that he’s one tough mofo!If that was a pg or a smaller player he propably would have ended at least in hospital or the worst (you know what).This is clearly Ron Artest from Detroit … people can’t change!NBA should take actions on this!

  38. Hey guys, someone save a pitchfork for me! I brought some torches, now let’s all get him at his house! World Peace, my ass!

  39. What troubles me most is how he doesn’t respond after hitting Harden and hearing the referee’s whistle. He keeps running down the court. I mean, he just thunked his elbow into a skull! Wouldn’t that hurt his funny bone pretty bad?

    There are two options here:

    1. He deliberately he did it out of emotion, realised it was gonna look bad and tried to play it down by ignoring that it happened and pretending like he was in a zone.

    2. He accidentally did it (hard to argue why he would raise his elbow so high to “break free” of Harden after feeling him and then swing violently, but hey) and was so mentally absent from reality that he didn’t notice his elbow crack into bone, nor the stoppage of play. This option scares me much more. Remember how so many people said that during the Auburn Hills melee his eyes were glazed over like he was completely disconnected from reality?

  40. Damn! That was a cracker. My best wished go out to James Harden, I hope he doesn’t have any lasting effects. That looked like something out of Saturday night’s MMA fight, not a Basketball game. I would say 10 games feels right.

  41. Banned from the league. With his history he is clearly a danger to the players and to the league. No other fair option will suffice and if he ever suits up again it will be a disgrace to the NBA.

  42. Watch it in super slo-mo.
    Then lock him up for attempted murder.
    Seriously. Harding may never be the same and could have died from head trauma.
    And please don’t compare this to sports with helmets or gloves…

  43. 1. Doesn’t the NBA punish punches that don’t connect ? They punish the intent, right there.

    2. imo the injury shouldn’t matter : if the guy was fine, would that make his move any less dangerous ? no. It’s the same argument as flagrant.

    So yeah, you kinda have to judge on intent

  44. We all know what his intent was, he was pumped up, Harden didn’t change the way he was moving and knew he was going to get bumped, Artest decided he’d swing for his head.

    It was frankly disgusting, Harden wasn’t braced for it and it was a cheapshot.

    10 games would be about right in my eyes.

    I am hardly a basketball aficionado, but what with this being at a reasonable time to watch in the UK and actually get some use out of my league pass I decided to settle down and watch it. I like Metta’s off-court persona, his interviews are always good value, but it’s just a cold cheapshot that you can’t defend in any case.

    I don’t even think you have to take into account the Malace etc. On just this incident alone it’s a 10 game ban, minimum.

  45. IMO, artest’s actions seem reminiscent of someone coming off medication.

    to me, the athlete he resembles most is mike tyson. he was medicated in the months leading up to a fight, so he could be kept under control & wouldn’t do anything stupid to put the fight at risk. but as fight day drew near, they’d wean him off his meds so he’d have his ‘edge’ for the fight (the meds generally have a dulling effect, physically, emotionally & mentally)…which is usually when he’d have some crazy interview, or, y’know, bite off someone’s ear in the ring.

    artest’s behaviour indicates that he seems to be off his meds, in an attempt to ‘sharpen up’ for the playoffs.

  46. Scott, you need to calm down. Carmelo PUNCHED A GUY IN THE FACE! He only got 15 games…

    • ya but melo didnt run into the stands and beat down a drunk fan… and remember all the other crap Metta did (even changing his name to metta). I think we should just dress him up in a hockey jersey and play for the NEW brian burke leafs. he can beat ppl senseless for no reason there.

      • So what’s the official rap sheet that one needs to have to warrant the extended ban/suspension? MWP didn’t run up into the stands and beat down a fan here. He already did his time for that 8 YEARS AGO. Quit putting him on trial for the same crime.

        The logic for changing him name as another reason for the ban? Genius. Can we hit Magic Johnson with that one too?

  47. As much as i like Metta and his crazy antics, this is to much. If they suspended for the playoff and a season, im ok with that. 10 games is not enough.

  48. It will be eight (8) games in my opinion.

    The eight game penalty will guarantee he misses the entire first round and if the Lakers sweep Dallas or Denver (unlikely) he will miss three of the following series.

    It was stupid and intentional (IMO, but I’m not MWP) and he deserves to be suspended for it.

  49. This is ridiculous.

  50. fuck artest ..this shit was wrong on so manny levels ..only this crazy mofo does shit like this mostly every game attention every game some things up whit him and this time he goes nuts..if i woulda been on the thunder team you woulda have to pull me off him rip my arms to get me off..this was blatent and discusting thing..he didnt give a fuck he showed no remorse ..i trully see insanity in him when he does it pravoke just out of pure insanity ..there is something trully wrong whit this fool..i would be fine if he never plaid again..its a privilege to be in the nba not to act like a total moran..insane…

  51. With the combo of Stern and Artest’s history, I would be shocked if he wasn’t suspended at least the rest of the season and entire playoffs. I would be surprised if it was a lifetime ban because he’s generally been well behaved on and especially off the court, but I could see the suspension carrying over into next season too. Maybe the first 20 games or something.

    You can’t ignore a guy’s prior history, so the people making comparisons to one-off incidents are totally out to lunch. I don’t care about intent either. That a guy with his history could just be so mind bogglingly reckless, generously assuming that’s all it was, is disturbing enough.

  52. I don’t understand the notion of intent in play here. A lot of people are acting like taking “intent” into account would somehow exonerate Artest, or would at least lower the penalty. I don’t get it. It’s obvious Ron Artest intentionally elbowed James Harden with full force.

    Suppose Harden got a concussion. Did Artest intentionally give him a concussion? No. But in intentionally striking someone, one rarely intends to produce a specific injury. The relevant question is whether or not the strike is intentional. And in this case it clearly was.

    I would be ok with a permanent ban on Artest. If someone at my workplace knocked me out for no reason whatsoever I would expect them to be fired on the spot.

    And you have to take into account how dangerous this was. Artest could have ended Harden’s career. Artest is a 250 lb behemoth who wound up and threw one of the hardest parts of his body full force into Harden’s head. This could have been a Rudy Tomjonovich-like incident. One punch can be all it takes to shatter someone’s entire face.

    • PastryPride… really Rudy tom-like I have seen far worse, I think there was ” Acting” involved you must be ” A ban wagon watcher”

      • “ban wagon”–that’s a clever pun (since I said MWP should be banned from the league).

      • And actually, I think this was *much* worse than Kermit Washington’s punch. when Washington punched Tomjanovich, a fight was already underway in his vicinity and Tomjanovich was running towards him. I’m not saying he did the right thing throwing that punch, but he can reasonably claim that he believed he was going to be attacked. There are no extenuating circumstances for Ron Artest.

  53. lots of comments. lots of useless arguments. Looks like a little violence gets everybody’s blood going. The ethical one-upping and the logical pretzels here are just a thin cover for this crowd’s obvious delight in violence. After all, another professional sport popular around here is based on concussion whuppings. It’s good for the sport making money, for the sportswriters to write….. be honest. look in the mirro wouldn’t it be best to just ban professional basketball?
    —I blame Rob Ford. Not for “Metta.” For these postings. The whole town’s cultural IQ has been lowered, into a pit lowered.

  54. I think he should be suspended for the remainder of the playoffs, and then at LEAST 15-20 games at the start of next season.

    It was a dirty hit, plain and simple. Much worse than Bynum’s foul on Barea, and he only got 5 games for that. Anything less than a 15 game suspesion would be shocking.

    And, I wouldn’t say that he was just celebrating, he knew what he was doing. What else would he have run into on the court that he felt the need to elbow?

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