(CBS) – Metta World Peace has been suspended for seven games without pay for elbowing Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden, the NBA has announced.
He will begin serving his suspension on Thursday night in Sacramento, where the Lakers conclude their regular season. The remaining six games of the suspension will be served during the playoffs, should the Lakers make it that far.
” The concussion suffered by James Harden demonstrates the danger posed by violent acts of this kind, particularly when they are directed at the head area. ” NBA commissioner David Stern said. “We remain committed to taking neccessary measures to protect the safety of NBA players, including the imposition of appropriate penalties for players with a history of on-court altercations.”
World Peace served an 86-game ban in 2004 when he entered the stands at the Palace of Auburn Hills to fight fans.
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak issued a statement:
“Metta has for the most part been a model citizen both on and off the court since joining the Lakers. Still, his most recent lapse in judgement is not to be condoned or accepted. His actions could have seriously injured another player, and his absence during the suspension will hurt our team as well. While we accept the league’s decision, we will be supportive of Metta and try to help him be more professional on the court. ”