Lakers News: Metta World Peace's Punch Is Another Blow to Forward's Reputation

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 3, 2013

Stop me if you heard this before—Metta World Peace lost his cool playing the Pistons in Detroit.

The Los Angeles Lakers forward punched Pistons second-year guard Brandon Knight in Sunday's game, according to what Knight told ESPN after the game. A flagrant foul 1 was called on World Peace, who was shocked at the call.

“The play needs to be reviewed because he definitely threw a punch,” Knight told reporters after the game. “It felt like he threw a punch. That’s why I reacted the way I did. 

“The play was over and he grabbed me around the neck. If someone grabs you around the neck, you’re not just going to let that happen. You do what you need to get that person off you.” 

Late in the second quarter, Knight and World Peace got tangled up underneath the hoop and it appeared that the Lakers forward hit Knight in the jaw with his left hand in a very subtle manner. 

While World Peace wasn't removed from the game, officials stopped to look at the play for nearly two minutes as commentators noticed his punch upon replay.

This is how World Peace responded to questions of the alleged punch after the game to ESPN

"He's a small guy. He was trying his hardest to keep me off him. He worked hard, man," World Peace said. "That kid, I don't know where he's from, I don't know what school he went to, because he was guarding me and I was crashing the boards.

"He's a tough kid, man. He tried to keep me off the glass and he did a good job. That's all I can say. He's a tough kid, very great. He's a tough point guard or shooting guard or whatever he is."

If World Peace's punch was intentional, it wouldn't be the first time he came out of control in The Palace of Auburn Hills. His eruption back in 2004 will be remembered for some time and is even popular enough to have its own Wikipedia page.

Let's just say that when a google search of your name precedes "fight" in the first search choice, you probably aren't the most loved guy out there.

World Peace advocated himself as a changed man after receiving psychological help and changing his name from Ron Artest, but it hasn't shown in recent instances. Just last season, World Peace was suspended seven games for an elbow on then-Oklahoma City star James Harden.

His reputation has been questioned countless times throughout the 33-year-old's career, and instances like this only add fuel to the fire for his critics.

This may not be up to par with the "Malice at the Palace," but it's undoubtedly worth looking into after the type of career World Peace has had. 

Whether this instance was intentional or not, it's obvious World Peace hasn't changed as much as he says he has. Words only go so far when your actions on the court prove otherwise, time and time again.


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