Mark Jackson weighs in on World Peace

UPDATE: 5:00 p.m. The NBA has suspended Metta World Peace for seven games. The Lakers have one regular season game remaining, Thursday night in Sacramento. He will miss the first six games of the playoffs.

It was the elbow felt around the sports world.

Ron Artest  Metta World Peace leveled Oklahoma City’s James Harden with a swinging elbow that would have made most MMA fighters proud. The slow-motion replay of World Peace’s elbow striking the side of Harden’s head is tough to watch.

Instant reaction was for the NBA to drop the hammer on World Peace. Yes, I feel a bit silly writing that. At this moment, the NBA still has not announced the punishment.

[blackbirdpie id=194167088766656513] [blackbirdpie url=https://twitter.com/#!/DickieV/status/194854955507654656]

Even Metta jumped into the conversation after he watched a replay of the damage he caused.

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Now, Warriors coach Mark Jackson has added his thoughts to the controversy. This morning on The Rise Guys on The Game 95.7, Jackson was asked how he would punish World Peace if he were NBA commissioner:

“I don’t think you can say that it was intentional. You can guess that it was intentional — the footage shows that it was somewhat intentional. But at the same time, I think that he is the same way we treated him as Ron Artest in the past and said what his body of work said. We also gotta treat him as Metta World Peace.”

I disagree with Coach Jackson. Just because the guy changed his name doesn’t mean he’s a different person. His history wasn’t wiped clean. He’s the same guy, so treat him like the same guy. Ron Artest made an appearance when Thunder players confronted him. He assumed a fighter’s stance as if he was ready to fight them. Metta World Peace is Ron Artest with a stupid name.

Jackson wasn’t done:

“He’s done a very good job of putting his life back together and being sane on the basketball court and not have any issues. That being said, a punishment has to go forth. I’m not one of those guys that say ‘the rest of the way’ and ‘no playoffs’ and all that. I think that’s drastic. You punish him a couple of games and you move forward.”

Again, I disagree. I believe the punishment needs to be severe. World Peace gave an opponent a concussion. It could change the outcome of the playoffs if Harden misses playoff games. If it were up to me, I would suspend World Peace for length of the Lakers’ stay in the playoffs.

Punishments need to send a message that’s loud and clear, not only to the player being disciplined, but to the rest of the league.

3 Comments

  • Miles says:

    First of all, Mark Jackson is a religious man. Of course he is going to say something neutral and forgiving. An eye for an eye is never the answer.

    Second of all, there is no way anyone is going to convince me that his act was NOT intentional.

    For someone to make an effort in changing his name to something positive like Meta World Peace, Ron Fartest (not a typo) did exactly what he intended. Same old violent Ronny.

    There is no excuse for that type of aggression. A true hero never celebrates at the expense of hurting another player. Fartest saw Harden and made contact — with all the intention of flooring Harden with his elbow.

    Fartest’ comment: “I just watched the replay again….. Oooo..My celebration of the dunk really was too much… Didn’t even see James ….. Omg… Looks bad” should have been prefaced with an apology. End of story.

    Hope he is proud to join the dirty ranks of Pepe and other dirty players in UNprofessional sports. If Fartest doesn’t get the suspension for the rest of the season, then it is the NBA’s failure to do the right thing AND clearly, they have vested interests in the Lakers being in the championship.

    @metaworldpeace #stillaheadcase

  • warriors4lifez says:

    5 game suspension would be fair.

    Slow-mo makes MWP look malicious, but he definitely didn’t have intentions to legitimately hurt anyone. You can’t react fast enough in real speed to think, “Just did a crazy dunk, there’s James Harden, imma raise my elbows up and give him a haymaker to injure him.”

    He was celebrating, was pounding his chest so his arms were already coming up anyway, felt someone on him, and wanted to clear out so that he can continue his celebration (which of course isn’t right). Didn’t matter who was in his way. Had this been Perkin or Ibaka, there’d be no concussion and incident wouldn’t look as bad.

    Other things to consider:

    1. Howard elbow on Dalembert 2009 – knew who was on him, deliberate raising of elbow for a hit…1 game suspension.

    2. Jason Smith on Blake Griffen 2012- saw player from afar, calculated his action, delivered hit…2 game suspension.

    5 games would be appropriate. Along same lines of Bynum on Barea (also 5 games). Different from above because Harden got a concussion.

  • ahemahem says:

    Mark Jackson speaks as a mature coach, not as judge, jury, and executioner–and I applaud him for it.

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