Michael Garcia - April 26, 2012
I just can't call him Metta World Peace when he does stuff like what he did to James Harden on Sunday. The old Ron Artest was back in full force, much like the force of the elbow he planted right behind Harden's ear.
So the NBA suspended Ron Artest for seven games. That doesn't seem long enough for a lot of people, especially all of us who have watched Artest become the most suspended player in NBA history. Artest has been suspended for a total of 111 games, with 86 coming from the 'Malice at the Palace' player/fan brawl in 2004.
He got off easy in this one.
Artest's vicious elbow to Harden's head was obviously intentional, despite his weak post-game apology and insistence that he was overly excited and just celebrating when he accidentally concussed Harden.
Artest thinks we're all dumb. Any rational person can watch the video and come to the conclusion that he once again came unglued and crushed Harden for no apparent reason.
The NBA should've given him at least ten games, if not more. For most players, I would argue that you can't take their past transgressions into account if they do something worthy of a suspension again.
This is Ron Artest, you have to take his past actions and consider them while punishing him again. The Lakers have one more regular season game, then they'll start the playoffs. They're most likely not going to sweep whomever they play in the first round, so basically that's all Artest will miss.
Harden is still going through the process of getting cleared by the NBA after getting a concussion. He's missed one game, and will most likely miss tonight's as well. Harden, a serious contender for Sixth Man of the Year, will be a huge missing piece for Oklahoma City until he comes back. Hopefully he's back on the court before Artest.
Article by Eric Gray
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