That is a whole lot of follow through for something unintentional.
That blow above gave James Harden a concussion, according to Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman. Which means to get back on the court he is going to have to be cleared by the league neurologist after passing a battery of tests. That could happen before the playoffs, or maybe not. Concussions are things that heal on their own schedule, one we don’t really understand.
After the game, Metta World Peace (the baller formerly known as Ron Artest) apologized for the elbow. Here is his direct quote.
“On that play, I just dunked on Durant and Ibaka, and I got really emotional, really excited. And it was unfortunate that James had to get hit with the unintentional elbow. I hope he’s OK. The Thunder, they’re playing for a championship this year. So I really hope he’s OK, and I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden. Such a great game, and it was unfortunate so much emotion was going on at that time.”
Lakers staff stepped in and made sure World Peace did not answer any reporters’ questions.
Caught up in the emotions of the moment or not, that elbow was simply unacceptable — and it was intentional. You cannot watch the video with an unbiased eye and see it any other way.
The question is how many games he is suspended (my guess is five, but more would not be a shock).
Without their third best player — and best shot creator — the Thunder went on to lose 114-106 in double overtime to the Lakers.