The NBA responded to Metta World Peace’s latest act of aggression with a seven-game suspension that will lighten the Los Angeles Lakers troublemaker’s wallet and playoff schedule.

World Peace was suspended Tuesday for throwing a vicious elbow at Oklahoma City’s James Harden, keeping the Lakers’ starting small forward sidelined for most of the first postseason round.

World Peace was ejected from Sunday’s game against the Thunder for striking Harden in the head with the back of his elbow, giving Oklahoma City’s top reserve a concussion. The former Ron Artest claimed the blow was an accidental, overzealous celebration of a dunk, yet even Kobe Bryant and his Lakers teammates weren’t defending his inexplicable actions.

”It’s hard to get into a guy’s head and know exactly what happened in that situation,” Bryant said. ”I haven’t really spoken to him about it. You’ve really got to ask him.”

World Peace will miss the Lakers’ season finale on Thursday at Sacramento and the Lakers’ next six games. The playoffs open Saturday, and Los Angeles is likely to be the Western Conference’s third seed – and Oklahoma City is locked into the No. 2 seed, meaning the clubs could meet right after World Peace’s suspension ends in the second round.

He will lose nearly $348,000 in salary if he serves the entire suspension this year. If the Lakers exit the playoffs swiftly, the remainder of the suspension must be served next season.

~AP

Posted By: @BrookLynnDiva

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