NEW YORK — The NBA handed Lakers forward Metta World Peace a one-game suspension after determining he grabbed the neck of Detroit guard Brandon Knight and struck him in the jaw, an incident Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni proclaims he didn’t see.
“I didn’t really watch it,” D’Antoni said. “I saw a little bit of it, but the angle wasn’t that good. I have faith they looked at it and felt it was worth it.”
But that didn’t stop D’Antoni from wondering the NBA’s motives. World Peace has a well-documented behavior history, most notably drawing an 86-game suspension after the former Ron Artest rushed into the stands after a fan threw a drink at him in the infamous Palace brawl eight years ago. World Peace also drew a seven-game suspension last season after throwing an elbow that former Oklahoma City guard James Harden.
Did World Peace’s past reputation hurt him?
“I’m sure that goes into it,” D’Antoni said. “I think from their philosophy and polices that everything go into it. They look at the play and look who did it with past experiences.”
The NBA rulebook actually states that it determines the severity of flagrant fouls and suspensions based on the severity of the contact and if it caused any injuries or altercations afterwards.
World Peace picked up a flagrant foul type 1 with 1:43 remaining in the second period after locking up with Knight before shoving him. Although the NBA’s review confirms Knight’s charge that World Peace punched him, the contact looked fairly limited.