metta world peace lakers ejected NBA too slow in punishing Metta World Peace for elbow

By now you’ve probably seen L.A. Lakers Metta World Peace’s elbow to James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder. You’ve probably seen it in real time, slow motion, extra slow motion and impossibly slow motion. So what’s there to rant about? The even slower action by the NBA in assessing a penalty.

It’s entirely likely that the league office will make a decision Tuesday (April 24) on the punishment MWP will receive. But by the time the ruling is handed down, it’ll be nearly 48 hours from the moment of the flying elbow that knocked Harden out of the game. This means it’s 48 hours for every single sports outlet – TV, radio and web – to play and replay the horrific moment. This is a PR nightmare for the NBA. It could easily be solved by simply acting faster.

Considering the entire incident took just a matter of moments, how much research needs to go into determining the actual punishment? This is an issue that the league could and should resolve within 12-24 hours. All they need to do is watch the video, talk to the ironically-named World Peace, the head referee and Harden (assuming he remembers any part of the moment). After this, render a decision. And even if logistics present a delay, the least the league could do is indefinitely suspend World Peace pending a final ruling from the league office.

World Peace is a goon. He established that in 2004 at the now infamous “Malice at the Palace” when he jumped into the crowd and started punching a fan. And his elbow is inexcusable. But it is the NBA’s slow response that is preventable.

Posted by:David Eckstein