Lakers' fans defend MWP elbow

I've been reading comments on ESPN and SilverScreenandRoll and I'm just shocked at the Lakers' fans reactions. Some of them are excited that Metta World War nearly killed James Harden. The reason? Harden is a punk. Harden was "provoking" him. Harden was "asking for it". Oh, and it was accidental, MWW didn't know he was there, it was a natural celebration action, etc. Having watched the replay a dozen times, I am just shocked at how bias can effect how you see something. I have no love for the Lakers or the Artest formerly known as Ron in particular, but consider myself fairly capable of fairly judging a particular situation, and I don't see it the way the Lakers' fans do.

Metta World War Levels Harden

First there was the dunk. Then there was the celebratory chest thump with the right arm. Both elbows were well down during this move, nearly by his sides - very normal for a chest bump. Then the left elbow (still down) made contact with Harden. What was Harden doing? I don't know exactly. Lakers' fans say he was giving MWW a bump. It didn't look like that to me. It looked to me that he was screening him off of the inbounds pass, checking him so he didn't try to steal an inbounds pass (he was still below the charge line), because I've seen Parker do the same when he is trying to get an inbounds pass, or our other guys doing it, to screen for another to get the inbounds pass. Harden reached out with his hand(s) like he was trying to establish and maintain contact with MWW, and then he started moving backwards with MWW, like guys do all of the time when guys come down the court, so that you can cushion the bump, or keep contact with the guy, while you can see what is going on elsewhere. Harden was watching the passer. Guys that are trying to make a statement bump, don't do that. You don't bump with your arm extended. You bump with your arm tucked into your side, and you hit them with the body and shoulder. You don't bump going backwards. You bump going forward, and/or you quickly twist your body to drive your shoulder forward into the other guy. That didn't happen. Not even close.

Metta had his left arm kind of extended, felt the contact of Harden's arm on his left arm and he drew his arm back twisting his torso away from Harden and raising his arm up high, his elbow about his own eye level. Harden's body came in contact with MWW's body (Harden was moving backward more slowly than MWW was moving forward), and Harden was maintaining contact. Metta drove that elbow up down a little, right into Hardens head. He drove his elbow hard, twisting his whole body to drive full force into Harden's head. Even though he is a little bit taller than Harden, he had to have his elbow up above even his shoulder level to get it above Harden's shoulders. So he wasn't just trying to "bump" Harden in the shoulder like some of his defenders have said. He wasn't trying to move him. This wasn't incidental contact. Checkout the follow through.

Now, I'll tell you, I'm willing to give MWW a little bit of rope on this. Instead of charging him with a premeditated crime, I would charge him with a crime of passion. But that's not all. I'm even willing to go farther and say that there is a possibility that he isn't quite right in the head, and really doesn't know what he is doing sometimes. But if that is the case, then somebody needs to take responsibility for him.

If you have an animal that maims somebody, you are responsible but might get off lightly if it is a first offense with no indications that this animal had such tendencies. If you keep a clearly dangerous animal (for instance a tiger), or if your animal has show a tendency to be aggressive (Rottweiler or something), then you bear a much, much higher level of responsibility if the animal kills or maims somebody.

If Ron Artest is not in control of his faculties all the time, then if an organization wants him to play, some individual needs to bear responsibility. I vote on it being the General Manager of the organization. If Artest punches or elbows somebody like this again, Kupchak (GM of Lakers) serves time for assault and battery. If Artest kills somebody, Kupchak goes away for a very long time, while Artest would get off relatively lightly, going to an asylum for the criminally insane. If that were the deal I would put money on MWW never finding employment in the NBA again. It's one thing to know you have a chippy player on your team. Quite another to know that this guy is actually a danger to other people.

Peace to you all.

This is fan-created content on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at Pounding the Rock.

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