Normally when the topic of world peace is brought up within the media, it pertains to situations about solving conflicts between foreign countries. Over the past week, it has been Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, who has filled the headlines for elbowing Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden in the head Sunday.
NBA Commissioner David Stern gave World Peace a seven-game suspension, which will keep him out of the Lakers’s regular season finale Thursday and will make him ineligible for the team’s first six playoff games. If the Lakers lose their opening series in four or five games, World Peace’s suspension will carry over to next season.
After World Peace completes his suspension, he will have been suspended for 116 games in his career, 86 of which he served from his role in a brawl between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons in 2004.
Some people believe World Peace has improved his image over the past few years, but I disagree. In 2011, World Peace did win the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, which is the league’s highest tribute for citizenship and community service, but his inexcusable antics on the court have continued.
Just weeks after winning the award, World Peace clotheslined Dallas Mavericks guard Jose Juan Barea in the 2011 NBA Western Conference Semifinals.
He changed his named to Metta World Peace in September 2011. In an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, World Peace explained the name change.
“Metta is going to be the first name and it means like friendship, love and kindness,” World Peace said. “World Peace is going to be the last name, so everybody can get ready to buy their World Peace jerseys.”
It doesn’t seem like World Peace is promoting world peace if he’s worried about fans buying his jerseys. His actions of late still show he can’t control his emotions.
I don’t think a seven-game suspension will get the point across to World Peace. There is a chance the Lakers and Thunder will meet in the Western Conference Semifinals and World Peace would be back for most, if not all of the series.
The NBA playoffs should have exciting matchups, but players like World Peace need to keep their cool. The playoffs need to be peaceful this year, and the less World Peace plays, the more peaceful they will likely be.