Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Ron Artest

Mike D’Antoni says past actions from Metta World Peace factored into his latest suspension


Metta World Peace was forced to miss the Lakers’ contest in Brooklyn on Tuesday, thanks to the one-game suspension the league handed down for his subtle punch to Brandon Knight during the team’s win over the Pistons on Sunday.

At the time of the incident, however, the referees only assessed World Peace with a flagrant foul — no flagrant-two and an ejection, and this was after the officials reviewed the play multiple times at the scorer’s table via replay.

Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni said on Tuesday he believes the suspension came as a result of some of the things World Peace has done in the past.

From Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles:

“I’m sure that goes into it,” D’Antoni said when asked if he felt that World Peace’s history of on-court transgressions led to the suspension. “I think from their philosophy or policy that everything goes into it. They look at the player, they look at who did it and past experiences and they go over it like that.”

To me, there was no question that the shot to the face delivered by World Peace — however gentle — was intentional.

Anytime a player like World Peace gets into a skirmish, situation, or altercation with a player of the opposing team, they try to do things that on the surface may seem innocent, but in reality are meant to escalate the situation and cause the opposing player to lose it.

A shot to the face certainly falls into that category, and I’m not sure the league needed to look much further than that into World Peace’s past to feel confident in handing down that suspension.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.