The NBA has come down hard on Metta World Peace’s flying elbow to Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden. On Tuesday (April 24) the league suspended the L.A. Lakers forward for seven games.
“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 says in a statement. “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 incident happened during Sunday’s (April 22) game between the two conference rivals. Following a dunk, World Peace delivered a wild elbow that hit Harden squarely in the side of the head. The Thunder star was knocked out of the game and later diagnosed with a concussion.
In a statement on his website, World Peace writes, “I apologize to the Oklahoma City Thunder fans and the OKC organization. I look foward (sic) to getting back on the floor with my teammates and competing for the Lakers fans.”
With just one game remaining on the Lakers regular season schedule, this means that World Peace will miss most, of not all, of their first round best-of-seven playoff series. It will also cost him upwards of $350,000 in lost salary.
This suspension is World Peace’s tenth in the last 10 years.