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Metta World Peace mocks James Harden for late foul on LeBron James

By Ben Golliver | Blogger

James Harden blew it during Game 3 of the 2012 NBA Finals and an old nemesis was right there to let him know about it.

With 16 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and Harden's Oklahoma City Thunder trailing the Miami Heat 88-85, Harden was whistled for a foul that sent LeBron James to the free throw line to make it a two-possession game. The foul came after much of the shot clock wound down and left Oklahoma City trailing by four points after James converted the second of two free throws.

The Thunder's strategy was clearly to let the possession run out and play defense straight up. The alternate strategy would have been to foul early. The worst case scenario -- play defense straight up for most of the possession, then commit a foul after the time ran off -- is what wound up happening.

Harden was dinged as he pressured James' dribble near mid-court. James appeared to initiate the contact and Harden fell to the ground, but the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year was still hit with the foul call.

Shortly thereafter, Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Pace -- formerly known as Ron Artest -- provided this analysis on his Twitter account: "No brain All beard." The message was sent to his more than 400,000 followers.

Of course, World Peace and Harden have a history dating back to April, when World Peace was suspended for seven games by the NBA for elbowing Harden in the head while celebrating a dunk. World Peace maintained it was "unintentional" and that he was simply celebrating a dunk but Harden was eventually forced to miss some time with a concussion.

Although he apologized for the elbow, World Peace later suggested that Harden flopped on the play.

"He does that a lot," World Peace told late-night host Conan O'Brien. "He runs into people's elbows when somebody's dunking; he puts his chin right there. He did it to Tyson Chandler."

World Peace -- who has been suspended by the NBA on numerous occasions, including for his role in a 2004 brawl with Detroit Pistons fans-- also said that he would refuse to shake hands with Harden when the Lakers and Thunder met in the Western Conference semifinals.

The Heat went on to win Game 3 91-85 to take a 2-1 series lead over the Thunder. James finished with a game-high 29 points. Harden scored nine points and shot just 2-for-10 from the field.

 
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