- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 24, 2012

EL SEGUNDO, CALIF. (AP) - Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace was suspended seven games by the NBA on Tuesday for elbowing James Harden, meaning he could miss at least six playoff games.

World Peace was ejected from Sunday’s game against Oklahoma City for throwing an elbow that struck Harden in the back of the head, giving him a concussion.

World Peace will miss the season finale on Thursday at Sacramento, then the next six games for which he is eligible. The playoffs open Saturday.

Commissioner David Stern alluded to the former Ron Artest’s history of on-court altercations in announcing the penalty in a statement.


Artest got an 86-game ban in 2004 for jumping into the stands at the Palace of Auburn Hills, outside Detroit, to fight fans.

“The concussion suffered by James Harden demonstrates the danger posed by violent acts of this kind, particularly when they are directed at the head area,” Stern said in a statement. “We remain committed to taking necessary measures to protect the safety of NBA players, including the imposition of appropriate penalties for players with a history of on-court altercations.”