Lakers' forward Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) was suspended seven games without pay on Tuesday by the NBA, following an incident during Sunday's 114-106 win against Oklahoma City in which he elbowed Thunder guard James Harden in the head late in the 2nd quarter. Harden missed the rest of the game with a concussion.
Said NBA Commissioner David Stern: "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. 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."
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak released following statement upon receiving the news of the NBA's announcement of the seven game suspension of Metta World Peace:
"Metta has for the most part been a model citizen both on and off the court since joining the Lakers. Still, his most recent lapse in judgement is not to be condoned or accepted. His actions could have seriously injured another player, and his absence during this suspension will hurt our team as well. While we accept the league's decision, we will be supportive of Metta and try to help him be more professional on the court."
The Lakers final regular season game takes place on Thursday at Sacramento, which means they'll have to do without their volatile guard for at least the first six games of the playoffs. This is World Peace's 12th career suspension.
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