Lakers forward Metta World Peace offered an apology to James Harden for a hard elbow to the neck and head that got World Peace ejected from the Lakers' 114-106 win over the Thunder on Sunday and knocked Harden out of the game with concussion-like symptoms, but labeled his action in the first half "unintentional."
Here's a transcript of the statement World Peace gave to reporters after the game:
During that play, I just dunked on (Kevin) Durant, and (Serge) Ibaka, and I got real emotional, real excited, and it was unfortunate that James had to get hit with an unintentional elbow. And I hope he's okay. The Thunder, they're playing for a championship this year, so I really hope that he's okay, so I apologize to the Thunder, and to James Harden. Such a great game, and it was unfortunate that so much emotion was going on at that time. That's it for today.
World Peace also took to Twitter to apologize.
Hope James Hardin is ok... I remember when I hit by Marc Gasol the same way.. I was spitting up blood and a headache during the game...— Metta WorldPeace (@MettaWorldPeace) April 22, 2012
World Peace likely faces a suspension of significant length for the elbow, and any suspension of more than one game will mean he misses playoff games for the Lakers.
For more on Metta World Peace and the Lakers, visit Silver Screen and Roll and SB Nation LA. For more on Harden and the Thunder, head over to Welcome to Loud City. Be sure to stick with SB Nation NBA for the latest on the fallout from Sunday's incident as it becomes available.