Now it’s most likely clear that you have already heard of and have seen the “elbow play” by Los Angeles Lakers forward, Metta World Peace (Ron Artest). However in case you haven’t, here’s what happened.
It was on a fast break when World Peace drove to the basket and landed a powerful dunk with Oklahoma City Thunder forward, Serge Ibaka trailing on his back. The dunk brought a huge cheer from the home Laker crowd as their team was trailing by only one, 48-47 as they were looking to gain the lead before halftime.
Though as the Lakers’ fans were celebrating and cheering on World Peace, he too also responded to the loud cheers of the fans as he began a celebration himself as he pounded his chest and then caulked back his elbow which then hit Thunder guard, James Harden resulting in Harden falling to the floor.
World Peace continued to run down the floor as he didn’t know that he hit Harden and as a result the whistles blew and the Thunder players, especially Ibaka responded because Harden remained lying on the court.
As for World Peace he stepped up to the confronting Ibaka as he looked shocked as to why Ibaka was trying to fight him. Luckily for both teams and the NBA the confrontation between the two would be broken up.
As for Harden, he would be helped to locker room and wouldn’t return. As for World Peace he would be ejected from the game. As far as if there will be further punishment for World Peace, the NBA as yet to say.
Here is the video of the entire play:
Now as you can see from the live camera view, it looks like just a routine celebration that Harden unfortunately just got in the way of. However, after watching the replay it looks completely different as you can see that before World Peace threw the elbow, the two collided so World Peace did know that he was there.
Though, to World Peace’s defense he only had about two seconds to react to Harden’s presence and that’s not really enough time as World Peace was already beginning is usual routine celebration.
After the game, World Peace would address the media saying that it was unintentional.
“During that play I just dunked on (Kevin) Durant and (Serge) Ibaka and I got really emotional and excited and it was unfortunate that James had to get hit with an unintentional elbow,” World Peace told reporters. “I hope he’s OK. The Thunder, they’re playing for a championship this year, so I hope that he’s OK and I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden.”
World Peace would go onto add saying, “You know, it was such a great game and it was unfortunate so much emotion was going on at that time. … That’s it for today.”
As for Ibaka (The one who World Peace dunked on) he told the media that he didn’t know why World Peace did it? “I saw it happened and it was a very hard hit,” Ibaka said. “That’s the first I’ve seen anything like that happen live. I was surprised. I went up to him to ask him why he did that and he wanted to fight me too. I don’t know what he was thinking. I have no idea.”
Then after the media left and assuming when World Peace returned home, he went to twitter where he said this:
Hope James Hardin is ok… I remember when I hit by Marc Gasol the same way.. I was spitting up blood and a headache during the game…
— Metta WorldPeace (@MettaWorldPeace) April 22, 2012
I just watched the replay again….. Oooo..My celebration of the dunk really was too much… Didn’t even see James ….. Omg… Looks bad
— Metta WorldPeace (@MettaWorldPeace) April 23, 2012
The Lakers would go onto beat the Thunder, 114-106. As for the NBA, they have yet to respond to this matter.