Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea, US Presswire
As a followup to ESPN’s Hubie Brown and Jon Barry addressing Metta World Peace’s seven-game suspension (linked here), the question was also put to TNT’s Steve Smith and Chris Webber , two former players (neither of them a former Ron Artest teammate): From what you know about him as a guy and a player, is the punishment fitting the incident and could it change his behavior?
Steve Smith: You’re asking us to be psychologists. When you start to look at it, a seven-game suspension, for me, was the right amount. The league did an excellent job of taking their time, assessing it. Looking at Metta World Peace, he had 109, 110 games suspended before this with the Pacers, (with the) Rockets there were no games, and only one (previously) with the Lakers, now he gets seven. Obviously we can’t speak for Metta. It was unfortunate what happened to James Harden. The bigger picture is hopefully he can recover from this but I think seven games is appropriate with what the league dished out for Metta.
Chris Webber: I agree with Steve. It was appropriate. That play was uncalled for. The league took their time and made their decision and hopefully James Harden will be able to play at a high level.