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Nov 5, 2012 8:47pm
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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Von Miller Jersey . – The NBA responded to
Metta World Peaces latest act of aggression with a seven-game suspension that
will lighten the Los Angeles Lakers troublemakers wallet and playoff schedule.
World Peace was suspended Tuesday for throwing a vicious elbow at Oklahoma Citys
James Harden, keeping the Lakers starting small forward sidelined for most of
the first post-season round. World Peace was ejected from Sundays game against
the Thunder for striking Harden in the head with the back of his elbow, giving
Oklahoma Citys top reserve a concussion. The former Ron Artest claimed the blow
was an accidental, overzealous celebration of a dunk, yet even Kobe Bryant and
his Lakers teammates werent defending his inexplicable actions. “Its hard to get
into a guys head and know exactly what happened in that situation,” Bryant said.
“I havent really spoken to him about it. Youve really got to ask him.” World
Peace will miss the Lakers season finale on Thursday at Sacramento and the
Lakers next six games. The playoffs open Saturday, and Los Angeles is likely to
be the Western Conferences third seed—and Oklahoma City is locked into the
No. 2 seed, meaning the clubs could meet right after World Peaces suspension
ends in the second round. He will lose nearly US$348,000 in salary if he serves
the entire suspension this year. If the Lakers exit the playoffs swiftly, the
remainder of the suspension must be served next season. World Peace still hasnt
answered media questions about his actions, but he issued a brief statement on
his website, promising to follow up with a podcast. “I apologize to the Oklahoma
City Thunder fans and the OKC organization,” World Peace wrote on ronartest.com.
“I look foward (sic) to getting back on the floor with my teammates and
competing for the Lakers fans.” Commissioner David Stern alluded to Artests
lengthy history of on-court altercations and strange behaviour in announcing the
penalty in a statement. Although Harden appears to be recovering well, he hasnt
been cleared to return to the Thunder. “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.” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said the team
accepted the latest suspension for World Peace, who has two years left on his
contract with Los Angeles. “His most recent lapse in judgment is not to be
condoned or accepted,” Kupchak said after praising World Peace as largely a
model citizen with the Lakers. “His actions could have seriously injured another
player, and his absence during this suspension will hurt our team as well,”
Kupchak added. “While we accept the leagues decision, we will be supportive of
Metta and try to help him be more professional on the court.” The suspension is
the third career ban of at least seven games for Artest, whose rap sheet might
not fit on a basketball card at this point. He got an 86-game suspension in 2004
—the longest ban for an on-court incident in NBA history—for jumping into
the stands at the Palace of Auburn Hills in the Detroit suburbs to fight fans,
and he served a seven-game suspension in 2007 for his no-contest plea on a
domestic violence charge. Even before his odd decision to change his name to
promote peace last year, he had largely rehabilitated his image during three
seasons with the Lakers, winning the NBAs top citizenship award last spring for
his charity work in mental-health awareness. Yet World Peace also slammed his
forearm into the face of Dallas guard J.J. Barea in the closing minutes of a
home playoff loss to the Mavericks last season, earning a one-game post-season
suspension. World Peace levelled Harden moments after dunking over Serge Ibaka
and Kevin Durant in the second quarter of the Lakers double-overtime victory
over the Thunder. While pounding his chest with his right arm, World Peace
cocked his elbow and threw it at the back and side of Hardens head. He claimed
the elbow was completely accidental in a brief postgame statement, but later
acknowledged on Twitter that the blow “looks bad.” World Peace didnt speak to
the media after the Lakers practice Tuesday, heading to the locker room at the
moment media members entered the gym at the Lakers training complex. But Bryant
acknowledged the obvious problem for the Lakers, who lose a starter and their
defensive stopper right before the post-season. “Its an unfortunate situation,”
Bryant said. “James, from what I hear, is OK. As far as Metta goes, he has to
focus on himself, and however many games they give him, they give him. He just
has to be prepared, and when he comes back, just step right in and be ready to
go.” Bryant and the Lakers are clearly torn between supporting a teammate and
recoiling from World Peaces actions. Harden and Bryant are friends. Oklahoma
City coach Scott Brooks declined to make a significant comment about World Peace
before the Thunder hosted Sacramento on Tuesday night. Brooks didnt weigh in on
the possibility World Peace could return from suspension for a second-round
matchup with the Thunder. “Im not concerned with who we play, as long as we play
as hard as we can and play to the best of our abilities,” Brooks said. “You cant
focus on matchups. You cant focus on individual players.” Lakers coach Mike
Brown, who professed ignorance of what happened after the game, said he finally
viewed a replay and spoke with World Peace about it briefly, but said he didnt
attempt an in-depth evaluation of what World Peace was thinking. “Youre
concerned about it,” said Brown, an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers when
Artest precipitated that infamous brawl in the stands. “Hes a starter for us,
and hes important to what we do. ... What was going through his mind, I havent
talked to him. What Metta said is he shouldnt have done it. Hes got to keep his
cool.” Brown said World Peace gave him the same explanation of the elbow as an
excited accident. “What am I supposed to do, call him a liar?” Brown asked. “He
said it was accidental. Now was it accidental or not? I dont know.” The Lakers
will be further depleted in Thursdays finale without Matt Barnes. The Sacramento
native and backup swingman is out with a sprained right ankle, but the team is
optimistic hell be back for the playoffs. With World Peace and Barnes both out,
second-year pro Devin Ebanks will get more playing time. Ebanks, who should be
fine after dropping a 55-pound weight on his hand Tuesday, played extensive
minutes against the Thunder, contributing little offensively but making two big
defensive plays in the final minute of the second overtime. Bryant realizes the
Lakers will miss World Peace, who entered perhaps the best stretch of his
up-and-down season when Bryant sat down for seven games to rest his bruised shin
earlier this month. World Peace is averaging 7.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per
game while regularly matching up against the Lakers opponents top scorer. “He
was playing extremely well,” Bryant said. “It happened. When he comes back, hes
going to be playing the same way he was playing before he left, if not better.
Hell have time off. Hell have a chance to get in even better shape. He might be
better when he comes back.” Peyton Manning Womens Jersey . The atmosphere
was festive as they exchanged handshakes and hugs with their new teammates about
three hours before Detroits game against the Indians. John Elway Jersey . Tate is the wild card in
this years playoffs, the unknown. There are only three games of film on him for
the Esks to study, and he has never played in a playoff game at this level.
Three games ago Calgary head coach John Hufnagel made the tough decision to
bench last years most outstanding player, Henry Burris, and roll the dice with
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. There was no collision, but a lead horse for the team of driver Chad Harden
suddenly went down, bringing two others horses with him and sending Harden and
an outrider flying through the air. Peyton Manning Jersey . The open house would
offer Formula One fans access to Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Thursday, giving
racing lovers a chance to see cars up close, tour the pit lanes and get
autographs from some of the drivers. Instead, it was scrapped due to security
concerns. Von Miller Youth Jersey . Even so, he has a
good feeling as the post-season approaches. “I think we learned so much from
last year,” he said. “I think as a group, were more confident this
year.COLUMBUS, Ohio—Patrick Marleau has played 1,076 games in the NHL, yet he
still gets a charge out of seeing a puck on the end of his stick and an almost
vacant net. Marleau scored off a rebound with 2:57 left to lead San Jose to a
2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night, extending the
Sharks point streak to eight games. “You dream of those, thats for sure,” he
said of his game-winner. Ryane Clowe also had a goal for the Sharks, who are
6-0-1 in the new year and 6-0-2 in their last eight games. Thomas Greiss had 25
saves to beat the Blue Jackets for the second time in his only two starts since
Dec. 3. He also defeated Columbus by the same score in San Jose on Jan. 5. But
about all anyone wanted to talk about in the Sharks dressing room was a vicious
shoulder-to-head hit by the Blue Jackets Dane Byers on San Joses
Andrew Desjardins three minutes into the second period. A groggy Desjardins had
to be helped to the dressing room. Brad Winchester jumped to Desjardins defence
and fought Byers, who was handed a match penalty. Desjardins did not return to
the ice, but later said he was feeling better. “I feel for Dezzie,” coach Todd
McLellan said. “Hes really starting to fit in and play real well for our team.
Hes getting more penalty-kill time and is a very competitive guy. To see him get
hit like that, thats exactly what we want to eliminate from the game—
exactly.” The Sharks had nearly scored with 3:20 left in regulation when
Jamie McGinn fed Torrey Mitchell, who appeared to have an empty net in front of
him. But the puck scooted wide. Seconds later, Dan Boyle slid a quick pass to
Joe Pavelski, who carried the puck over the blue line and muscled a shot on
Columbus goalie Curtis Sanford. Sanford deflected it to the left wing where
Marleau pounced on it for his 17th of the year—and 374th of his career. “A
good play by Pav, and Boyler to hit him going up the ice,” Marleau said. “I was
just in the right spot at the right time, I guess.” Greiss was effective all
night, despite not seeing much action lately. He was making only his second
start since he gave up five goals on 35 shots in a 5-3 loss to Florida on Dec.
3. Antti Niemi started the next 13 games before Greiss gave up just one goal on
23 shots in the 2-1 win over the Blue Jackets earlier this month. “Greiss was
very good. His last two starts, both aggainst Columbus, have been exceptional,”
McLellan said. Peyton Manning Broncos Jersey. “It makes us
feel very good heading into this busy stretch.” The Sharks, now 18-1-3 when
leading after two periods, broke a scoreless duel with a power-play goal at
14:59 of the second period. Brent Burns hard, high slap shot from the right
point pinged off the far post, with Pavelski and Logan Couture scrambling to get
to the loose puck. Couture got there first and was able to chip the puck toward
the goal mouth from the left goal line. Clowe was there to reach back with his
stick waist-high to jam it into the net. Clowe hadnt scored a goal since the
last time the teams met, a 2-1 victory at home for San Jose on Jan. 5. Sanford
pointed his stick at Clowe instantly after the goal, hoping the official would
call a high stick. “You feel when youre sticks too high,” Clowe said after
scoring his ninth of the year. “I knew it was either at the crossbar or below. I
knew right away that it was good.” Burns stretched his points streak to four
games, during which he has three assists and a goal, while Couture has points in
the last three games after notching goals in the previous two. Rick Nash,
scoring his fourth goal in four games, evened it for Columbus at 6:53 of the
third with a lethal snap shot from the top of the left circle that sneaked just
inside the far post. “He put it in a good spot,” Greiss said with a laugh. A
night after picking up his first win as the Blue Jackets interim head coach
(Columbus fired second-year coach Scott Arniel on Monday), Todd Richards was
tagged with his first home loss. “Im disappointed with the result, losing a
game, but happy with the way the guys played,” Richards said. “We had to
overcome a lot of obstacles in the game. Having played last night and coming off
an emotional and physically draining win, when we needed the push in the third
we got as much as we could. Unfortunately, they made one more play than we did.”
NOTES: The Sharks won 2-0 at Winnipeg on Thursday night, then flew into
Columbus. McLellan sat in the press box and watched the Blue Jackets beat the
Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night, 4-3. ... That win was Columbus first regulation
home win since Nov. 25. ... The Blue Jackets claimed LW Colton Gillies off
waivers from the Minnesota Wild earlier on Saturday. He will likely make his
debut on Tuesday night at home against Edmonton. ’ ’ ’ 

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