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.
“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.