|James Harden was left flattened by a Metta World Peace elbow. (Getty Images)|
One of the NBA's most notorious rule-breakers is sorry that he lost control again.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace apologized after decking Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden with a vicious elbow to the head during the second quarter of a game at Staples Center on Sunday. World Peace was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 for the play and was immediately ejected. Harden was later diagnosed with a concussion.
"During that play I just dunked on [Kevin] Durant and [Serge] Ibaka and I got really emotional, really excited," World Peace said in the locker room after the game, in comments captured on a video posted on Lakers.com. "It was unfortunate that James had to get hit with an unintentional elbow. I hope he's OK. The Thunder, they are playing for a championship this year, so I really hope that he's OK. I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden. It was such a great game. It was unfortunate that so much emotion was going on at that time. That's it for today."
The Los Angeles Times reported that a Lakers public relations official stepped in to prevent World Peace from taking further questions.
On Sunday evening, World Peace posted two messages on his Twitter account -- @MettaWorldPeace-- about the play.
"Hope James Hardin [sic] is ok... I remember when I hit by Marc Gasol the same way.. I was spitting up blood and a headache during the game... I just watched the replay again..... Oooo.. My celebration of the dunk really was too much... Didn't even see James ..... Omg... Looks bad"The Oklahoman reported after the game that Harden suffered a concussion on the play and that his status for OKC's two remaining regular season games is "uncertain."
World Peace hit Harden with a hard, swinging left elbow as he celebrated a dunk during the second quarter. Harden did not return to the game after undergoing concussion tests.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com writes that World Peace could face a multi-game suspension from the NBA league office for the play.
"That's not a basketball play, man," Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant said during a halftime interview televised on ABC. "It's unfortunate that he hit James like that. Really can't talk too much about that one, it was tough to see... We're just going to play. We're going to play our game. We can't let that affect us. I'm sure James is alright back in the locker room. We just have to play our brand of basketball."
The Lakers went on to defeat the Thunder 114-106 in double overtime.
Here's video of Metta World Peace's elbow to the head of James Harden.