Metta World Peace's violent foul: How severely should the Laker be punished?

The player formerly known as Ron Artest levels Oklahoma City's James Harden with a brutal elbow to the head, recalling past violent behavior from the troubled forward

Metta World Peace leaves the court after being ejected for elbowing James Harden in the head: The star forward has been suspended 13 times over his career.
(Image credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Metta World Peace's violent past has resurfaced. In the final minutes of the first half of Sunday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Lakers forward was ejected after committing a vicious foul. World Peace celebrated a dunk by throwing his elbow with jarring force at Oklahoma City forward James Harden's head, leveling him and taking him out of play indefinitely with a concussion. (Watch the video below.) World Peace, who changed his name from Ron Artest in 2011, apologized for what he called the "unintentional elbow." Still, he has a history of violent behavior, including 13 suspensions throughout his career. Most infamously, in 2004, Artest, then a member of the Indiana Pacers, was involved in a fight between his team and the Detroit Pistons; when a spectator tossed a cup at him, Artest lept into the stands and began punching two fans. The Lakers have one game left before the playoffs, and the NBA has yet to decide what World Peace's punishment will be. How should he be penalized?

World Peace deserves a major suspension: If World Peace isn't suspended indefinitely, a harsh 10-game suspension is the only other option, says Jemele Hill at ESPN. If it was any other player, that would be too severe. But World Peace's turbulent past must factor into this decision. The foul on Sunday reveals what his "true on-court character" is. He's a repeat offender, and, despite his strides to repair his reputation in recent years, there's no guarantee that he won't revert to this kind of behavior again.

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