LA Lakers: 7 Game Suspension Too Light for Metta World Peace

Andre Khatchaturian@AndreKhatchCorrespondent IIIApril 24, 2012

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.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The NBA has suspended Metta World Peace for seven games for his vicious elbow on James Harden during Sunday afternoon's Los Angeles Lakers victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder

Right after an explosive dunk, Metta started pumping his chest with his fist in a celebratory fashion, then as James Harden walked past him, World Peace fired an elbow right to Harden's head which leveled the Thunder player to the floor.

Metta was ejected and Harden would not return to the game.

The disgraceful act by Metta World Peace was reminiscent of his previous despicable actions he committed back when he was called Ron Artest. 

There is no question that Metta was a repeat offender and it's really surprising that he was only suspended seven games.

First of all, the elbow clocked Harden right in the head. Not his back or chest, but his head.

When you elbow someone that hard in the head of all places, it warrants a tougher punishment than if it were anywhere else. Just because Harden wasn't seriously concussed and knocked out, it doesn't mean that it couldn't have been a seriously detrimental issue. 

Secondly, one must take into account that World Peace is a large 6'7" athlete. His elbow is a dangerous weapon.  

In the NHL, if you intentionally strike someone in the head with a stick, your punishment will be more severe than if you sucker punch him in the head.

Finally, as mentioned before, World Peace is a repeat offender. He's had a gruesome past and just because in the last few years he's cleaned up his act, it doesn't mean he should get off lightly.

Had an intentional elbow to the head by a repeat offender taken place in the National Hockey League, the suspension might have been for over 25 games in a more physical sport.

Recently, Raffi Torres of the Phoenix Coyotes was suspended for 25 games because of a dirty hit to the head. Torres was a repeat offender and his hit was deemed intentional. 

This instance, despite being a different sport, is extremely similar to Metta World Peace's inexcusable strike. 

Let's not forget that basketball is not supposed to be as aggressive as hockey. We're not supposed to see someone getting clocked on the side of the head in a basketball game. It may happen in hockey because of the sport's nature. 

Metta World Peace should have been suspended for the rest of this season and playoffs and part of next season, as well.

This should've been a 25-30-game suspension.

Seven games is a slap on the wrist for a guy with World Peace's resume when it comes to a hideous action like this. 

If the NBA wanted to send a message, then a more severe punishment was necessary. A seven-game suspension does not change behavior. The NBA must do what the NHL did to Matt Cooke. The oft-troubled winger has been suspended on numerous occasions for his actions on the ice. He's on the brink of pretty much never playing in the NHL again if he crosses the line one more time.

When you constantly have to think about that, you're less likely to lose your head like World Peace did. 

It just makes sense to come down hard on repeat offenders. That's how it is in the courtroom, and that's how it should be in sports.