It was the elbow heard 'round the sports world.
When Metta World Peace, the Laker formerly known as Ron Artest, violently elbowed James Harden of the Oklahama City Thunder, sports fans momentarily thought the worst: that Metta World Peace had fallen back into his angry bad-boy past.
But World Peace -- who has spoken candidly about his personal relationship with mental health and who even thanked his psychiatrist after winning the 2010 NBA finals -- knew he had made a mistake.
"I'm not one to give excuses," said Metta World Peace, reports the LA Times.
"I was 110 percent wrong," he continued in an interview with Zev Yaroslavsky's site. "People can say what they want. I’m not going to get down on myself because I made a mistake. I’m not perfect. But it’s not going to stop me from talking about mental health."
Taking responsibility on and off the court has provided Metta World Peace with an authenticity that makes him relatable to his fans.
Even though he is still suspended from participating in games, World Peace has not suspended his efforts of encouraging the public to seek out mental help professionals in times of need, as seen in his new billboard campaign [see above].
World Peace seems to be having a little fun during his unexpected break from the court. Last night, the basketball star was spotted on Hollywood Boulevard, as seen in the TMZ video above.
BEFORE YOU GO
Browse other athletes who have opened up about their psychological struggles in the slideshow below: