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Metta World Peace: Cheap Shot Nominee

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers
James Harden #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder lies on the floor after being hit by Metta World Peace #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers as referees separate Thunder and Lakers players at Staples Center on April 22, 2012. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Just a few weeks ago, I posted a video of a disgraceful cheap shot delivered by a Yavapai Community College leftfielder in a spring college baseball game. Thanks to Metta World Peace, we have a new entree into the Cheap Shot Hall of Shame. In the second quarter yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers small forward delivered an elbow to the head of Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden, knocking him to the floor. Why? Because MWP was celebrating a dunk and “didn’t notice” that Harden was next to him when he landed the vicious elbow.

As you can tell by the video, Peace (the artist formerly known as Ron Artest) had plenty of time to react after delivering the hard elbow to Harden, and he showed no remorse afterward. Why should he? Throughout his NBA career, MWP has been suspended countless times for various offenses. As a member of the Indiana Pacers, he missed 86 games for his role in the 2004 “Malace at the Palace.” However, in his three years with the Lakers, MWP has been relatively well behaved on the court and avoided confrontation. It helped repair his image, which is another reason why his actions yesterday are so mind boggling. Expect Commissioner David Stern to punish MWP later today and I think 10 games could be the penalty. That could have a huge effect on the Lakers’ playoff run.

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