The NBA has decided to suspend Metta World Peace seven games for the elbow he delivered to the side of James Harden's head during the Lakers vs. Thunder Sunday afternoon clash. From the NBA's official announcement:
"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 necessary measures to protect the safety of NBA players, including the imposition of appropriate penalties for players with a history of on-court altercations."
The suspension will begin with the Lakers' next game at Sacramento on April 26. The remaining games of the suspension will be served over the next six games in which the player is eligible and physically able to play, including this season's playoffs.
Following the announcement, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak released a statement of his own:
"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 this 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."
The Lakers are currently in position to face the Denver Nuggets in the first round. NBA Playoffs start Saturday.