LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 22: Metta World Peace #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers leaves the court after being ejected for hitting James Harden #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on April 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 114-106 in double overtime. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Metta World Peace is in a world of trouble, and now isn't the time to thank his psychiatrist or even Queensbridge. Given his prior history, you never know what to expect from a man who is a bit wacko, up and down, and constantly losing his mind.
Remember when he got an 86-game suspension in 2004 -- the longest ban for an on-court-related incident in NBA history -- for jumping into the stands to attack fans when a boorish fan had thrown beer on him while lying on the scorer's table at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, known as the Malice at the Palace? Remember when he was arrested and charged for domestic violence that resulted in a lengthy suspension with the Sacramento Kings? Remember when he aggressively slammed J.J. Barea last season? Remember when he used to verbally exchange words with opposing players, the get-in-your-face kind of nonsense?
But now, he's supposed to be an inspirational veteran, a role model serving as a charity worker, when instead he's still a psycho and could snap at anytime. This latest episode has worried the Lakers, and time and time again, he's been involved in an altercation, enough to make Phil Jackson and even his successor, Mike Brown literally shake their heads in disgrace. The mind is a funny thing, but one would like to figure out the variations of World Peace's mind. If you truly believed the psychotic days were over, perhaps you may want to second guess.
Now, again, he's the Ron Artest of old. His latest incident was ugly, vicious and unnecessary. It comes as no surprise that he's been punished harshly for his actions -- whether he knows the difference from right or wrong. The punishment perhaps -- whether he likes it or not -- was issued to send a message, a strong message to World Peace, knowing his prior history of on-court troubles. He wasn't on his best behavior, and now he's paying the price. If you do the crime, you must do the time.
At some point in the near future, he'll realize that the NBA responded to his latest actions with a seven-game suspension for player safety, and more importantly, send a message to World Peace, who had a lapse in self-control and keeping his composure, letting his emotions get the best of him that could doom the Los Angeles Lakers. One can often wonder whether it has suffocated the Lakers' postseason. The timing couldn't be worse, of course, for the suspension. It won't only hurt his wallet, but may punish the team as a whole. And it's unfortunate the Lakers have to pay consequences for the wrongdoings of someone else's foolishness.
His stupidity and poor judgment was solely a way to lose every ounce of credibility and dignity, when he acted selfishly and violently, knowing he was a key component. It's hard to forget about his troubling past, when he continues to wrongfully provoke trouble with his inability to conduct himself as a decorous player and not a nutcase. The vicious elbow to the head of James Harden, who later suffered a concussion during the Lakers’ double-overtime win Sunday, was unacceptable and aggressive enough to result in a lengthy suspension.
"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 said 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."
Yes, indeed, he has had a history of on-court troubles. And even after changing his name to World Peace, earning the Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award last season mainly for donating his salary to mental health charity foundations, he's not at peace, he's at war. Once again, he's not thinking. He's acting foolishly. He's acting like an angry kid at recess. He's throwing childish tantrums by landing the elbow on another player’s head. It's too late after the effect, and he realizes that now, as World Peace will miss the regular-season finale on Thursday in Sacramento and six playoff games.
It's unfortunate for the Lakers, but not for World Peace, who again, is punished and rightfully so. This time, after helping the Lakers win it all in 2010, he won't be available. The league wasn't buying into his vicious elbow being unintentional, as he and his teammates only believe the incident was inadvertent. He's a competitor and perhaps the Lakers will miss his competitiveness. This blow inevitably could let his teammates down. Didn't think about that, huh, Ron Ron?
The absence of World Peace raises much concern, inserting doubt into our minds and leaving the Lakers in limbo, although the team may have enough with the greatest finisher in the game in Kobe Bryant, with the emergence of Jordan Hill and with Ramon Sessions at the point. It seemed he was a feel-good story, a tale of inspiration, but he angrily erupted. It seemed he was a changed man, especially when he changed his name to peace. It seemed he was giving back to charities and funding humanitarian trips overseas, but all of this is washed away by his dirtiness and on-court troubles. Long ago, his convenient excuse used to be that he grew up in the projects in Queens and had been traumatized by seeing abuse as a kid.
But as the playoffs are nearing, he gets suspended. And at least he had sense enough to apologize, but forgiveness is not good enough. Punishment is, and because of his selfish, juvenile, senseless actions, Metta Wacko Peace has to pay.