Metta World Peace is no stranger to suspensions, so it should hardly come as a surprise that the Los Angeles Lakers veteran is being forced to sit out a game.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the player formerly known as Ron Artest is missing Tuesday night’s contest at the Barclays Center against the Brooklyn Nets for contact with Brandon Knight of the Detroit Pistons.
The NBA has suspended the Lakers' Metta World Peace for one game for contact with Detroit's Brandon Knight. He will tonight's game vs. Nets.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 5, 2013
During an afternoon contest in the Motor City this past Sunday, a confrontation between World Peace and Knight quickly turned violent.
It started with 1:43 remaining in the second quarter, right after Pistons big man Greg Monroe fouled Lakers power forward Pau Gasol on a shot attempt.
This apparently prompted World Peace to grab Knight around the neck and jab him in the jaw while the two were under the basket.
Things remained ugly even after the competitors were separated, as Jason Maxiell and MWP mouthed off to one another. Eventually the referees hit the Lakers swingman with a technical and sent both teams to their respective bench with a timeout.
After the game, World Peace had nothing but compliments for Knight, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:
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.
This isn’t the first time World Peace has been disciplined for his actions at the Pistons home arena, as he was infamously suspended for an entire season due to his involvement in the “Malice in the Palace” back in 2004.
World Peace was also suspended for seven games at the tail end of last season and into the playoffs for his elbow to the head of James Harden—then with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Does World Peace deserve this one-game suspension?
World Peace’s absence is certainly going to hurt the Lakers, as he has been one of the most consistent players of their tumultuous 2012-13 campaign. Through 48 games, MWP has averaged 13.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.5 assists in 34.4 minutes per contest.
Without the two starters, it will be on Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol to find a way to win against the Nets.