How Hard Will the NBA Come Down on Metta World Peace After Harden Incident?

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IApril 23, 2012

James Harden.
James Harden.Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Metta World Peace may have a target on his back once again as the NBA will most likely closely review his elbow that connected with the back of James Harden’s head during the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game Sunday afternoon.

World Peace was celebrating a dunk and swinging his arms, although looking at the replay, it appeared that he may have known that somebody was nearby before throwing an elbow in the direction of Harden.

As a result of the flagrant foul 2, World Peace was ejected from the game immediately while Harden slowly tried to get himself together.

World Peace did apologize for his elbow on Harden (who sustained a concussion), but the league may still not be convinced.

World Peace has been in trouble with the league before for his physical play and hard fouls, and for his role in the Pistons-Pacers brawl that took place in 2004 when he was a member of the Indiana Pacers. He was suspended for the remainder of the season by David Stern.

Since that time, World Peace has managed to keep his emotions intact, and it got to the point where things were going really well. He signed with the Lakers in 2009 and was focused on winning a championship.

World Peace was on his best behavior when he helped the Lakers win an NBA championship in 2010.

World Peace has shown that he can be one of the best defenders in the NBA, as he is able to guard multiple positions and is strong enough to jockey for position with bigger opponents.

However, once again, his past behaviors have hurt him and garnered him a reputation as being a “dirty” player.

This latest incident with Harden may have opened up those doors once again and the NBA could come down hard on World Peace as a result.

What decision the league makes will be interesting as the regular season will end this week and the playoffs are right around the corner.