Almost three weeks ago we watched the NBA's Sixth Man Player of the Year, James Harden, get clobbered with a vicious elbow that left him with a concussion. There was nothing good about that foul. It was definitely intentional and no one was surprised by the seven game suspension given to Metta World Peace.
Due to the countless replays the incident left many speechless. In the real world you'd ask yourself, what was the intent and motive behind that play? But in the world of sports, it's a flagrant foul 2, which results in immediate ejection and suspension.
Now, the Los Angeles Lakers are desperate to find a way to prevent their season from ending. So what's the solution? The same guy who pissed off millions of viewers with a heartless attack on Harden is the unsung hero in turning things around for the Lakers in game 7.
The message was clear, this is a must win! Kobe Bryant's comments after game 6 were harsh. 'The only person I can count on is Metta World Peace.' The Denver Nuggets fought back to tie the series 3-3, it's time to hit the panic button because without their top defender moving past this round is looking bleak.
Very interesting how one comment can turn an entire team around, Bryant's faith in World Peace led to a collective group effort from all in eliminating the Nuggets after a 96-87 win. Still a top defensive player in the league, World Peace proved that in his return. He scored 15 points and unleashed four 3-pointers to spark the energy and defense.
The Lakers advanced and will face the Oklahoma City Thunder in round 2 of the NBA Playoffs. The wait is over, the last time these two teams played against each other was April 22, 2012. Is it perfect timing or a coincidence? Nope. Everyone assumed both of these teams would meet again in the playoffs. This time the emotions, ego and competition will be at an all time high.
However, the recent win doesn't erase his colorful past. The unforgettable brawl that caused World Peace to miss 86 games, the longest for an on court incident in NBA History. The melee between his former team, the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons created a "bad boy" persona with a proceed with caution clause. The next five years were spent on the road with various NBA teams.
Then the sea parted, an opportunity to play along side Bryant and the Lakers became the golden ticket. Life got better because in the 2010 NBA Finals Metta World Peace won his first NBA Championship. He felt so in tune with the universe that he changed his name in the offseason from his birth name Ron Artest.
So, whose the guy that suits up everyday for battle on the court? The former "bad boy" Artest or revamped Metta World Peace. I'd say there is no change, just a player who uses bad judgement in the heat of the moment. On the floor he's going to give you 110 percent, the consequences may result in an incident that can make World Peace go from 1 to 10 in seconds. But in the world of sports, sometimes it's worth it.