Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups

5 Things We Learned From James Harden & Metta W. Peace

Last Sunday afternoon, during the Los Angeles Lakers Vs Oklahoma City Thunder game, a rambunctious Ron Artest Metta World Peace – fresh off of a trademark dunk – collided with OKC shooting guard James Harden, resulting in Harden developing a concussion. Well, actually Peace delivered a heavy blow, via elbow, to the base of Harden’s skull. After the incident (a literal one-hitter quitter), Metta was ejected (but not before squaring of with Serge Ibaka – who wanted no parts of that elbow) & Harden eventually left the game for good.

It was one of the illest moments in sports I’ve seen in awhile.

For umpteen minutes following, & the rest of the sports-related evening, the “scuffle” was the hot button topic. I watched the game with my dad, & what began as yelling at the refs & announcers eventually became an admittance that Metta Artest knew exactly what he was doing. In fact, the more they showed the replay, the more I was able to catch facial expression, muscle tension, etc. (Pause.) Ron Peace had plenty of opportunity to pull his arm back, hesitate, or even flinch after he completed an entire swipe of the arm, assuming he really didn’t see that huge beard in his peripheral. No dice, though. He hammered Harden down, relentlessly (shoutout to Queens!), & kept going as if he didn’t feel that poor guy’s head bounce off of his arm.

One thing’s for sure; Ron Artest is the craziest dude in the NBA. Perhaps Delonte West may give him a run for his psychotic money, but guns in a guitar case is totally different than having the balls to assault a man in the middle of the Lord’s Day. On ESPN on ABC.

Full disclosure: I’m proud of Ron for standing up for the team – because OKC usually smacks us around a bit – but that was unnecessary & a little too UFC-y for my liking. It makes the team look bad-a job that other people never tire of doing. Plus, it’s hard to defend the greatest sports franchise ever when one of it’s star players is having “Malice at the Palace” flashbacks.

I hope that when this unfortunate smoke clears, everyone involved will have learned something. I did.

5. Hasidic Beards Are The New NBA Tattoo
Nothing fancy here. I just wanted to share my observation.

4. “Smarts” Always Loses To “Wisdom”
A smart man sees a problem he can possibly fix. A wise man knows that all problems aren’t yours to solve. & with that said – once again – the proof is in the replay. Harden knows he’s a smart ballplayer, & in a perfect world, a good baller translates his court skill to the real world. For instance, he knows to pass when the pressure’s too intense. & while Harden is indeed a smart player, he wasn’t wise enough to move when he saw this trainwreck of emotion flailing in his direction. If nothing else, it’s close to the playoffs. Protect your neck, so to speak.

3. Don’t Judge A Man (Or Woman) By His Age
I’ve noticed that most young people are under the impression that older heads are weak, or that time somehow deactivates one’s ability to lose control, or wild out as the young people say. James Harden is 23. Metta World Peace is 32. It won’t be for another seven years until James realizes that he was a kid when he was 23. Those youthful, arrogant challenges to slightly older cats can turn into melees fast. (& I use the word melee because most cats born in the 70’s don’t fight fair. We They melee.)

2. Reputation Is Real
There’s no valid excuse to ever walk up on Metta World Peace Ron Artest during a basketball game. Why? Because he has admitted to having issues with his mental stability. Also, remember when he hulked out in 1994 in Auburn Palace? If you watch Sunday’s replay carefully, you can see the exact moment when a slight trajectory change would’ve easily resulted in a less dramatic outcome. (This avoidance method is true of most circumstances in life, by the way.) Harden, young & proud, probably doubted that this was the same man from 1994 (quite some years ago), & fearlessly marched forward. We see these types of stand-offs happen on the court all the time, but in this particular instance, James seems to have ignored all the “crazy Ron Artest” jokes (read: holds the record for longest game suspension) & his reputation as a hooligan. If word on the street is that someone is crazy, go on that until you have proof of the opposite.

1. Shit Talking Comes With Consequence
When the Lakers played OKC earlier in the “season,” Durant, Harden, & Westbrook engaged in 3-way shit-talking to Kobe Bryant like I hadn’t seen at all this year. It happened in both games that the Thunder won, & both times I said to my wife, “Where the fuck is Ron Artest?!” This third time was obviously the charm, because if I saw those boys popping smack from all the way over here on my couch, I know Ron Ron caught wind of it. In the second meeting – to his credit – Ron did walk over & stand diligently by Kobe Bryant. Apparently this time, though, World Peace didn’t need Kobe to be the catalyst.

Now for the record, I don’t condone this type of parking lot foolery on the court, but it’s almost time for the playoffs, am I right?



13 comments on “5 Things We Learned From James Harden & Metta W. Peace

  1. realnagan
    April 24, 2012

    that blow was pretty crazy. a couple of inches to the right and he would of hit, as what my martial arts school refers to as the “Gateway to Heaven”. Death and/or permanent paralysis are a pretty likely result. Harden was lucky he only had a concussion #ninjashoptalk


    • Tony Grands
      April 24, 2012

      I knew it was a real hit when I saw the sweat fly from his mohawk…


  2. markdub7
    April 24, 2012

    Now Grands, I KNOW you’re a Laker fan through and through…and I wouldn’t jump in front of the crazy train that is Ron Artest either, but C’MON….you KNOW that dude oughta be suspended forever-ever (forever-ever?). I don’t care how much shit-talking the Thunder collectively spoke to Kobe in x amount of games; nothing justifies that shit. If somebody laid hands (or crazy, celebratory elbows) on Kobe for every time he talked shit, his career would’ve been over in his second season. They should #FreeRonArtest alright….free his ass back to whatever asylum let him loose.


    • Tony Grands
      April 24, 2012

      I’m sure I made it clear I don’t condone it, Mdub.


      • markdub7
        April 24, 2012

        Point taken, T. Grands. Harden still shouldn’t have jumped in front of the crazy train. I don’t think anyone else will be foolish enough to any time soon.


        • Tony Grands
          April 24, 2012

          Like I tell the Grands Clan: there’s right, there’s wrong, but don’t be an idiot…


  3. Pingback: How KONY 2012's Big Event Fizzled Out | Day & A Dream

  4. Capital G
    April 24, 2012

    Elbow was crazy vicious. With that being said, I don’t think Ron Ron deserves to be thrown out of the league. If you watch closely, he doesn’t even look when he throws that ‘bow and Harden was a step in back of him already. It was almost a lucky shot. Harden should thank Artest for giving him the gift of a replay that will be shown forever, thus keeping Harden’s mohawk, beard, and neck in conversation for eternity.


    • Tony Grands
      April 24, 2012

      Yeah, cats beat their spouses & pull guns & don’t get expelled. He shouldnt either, regardless of history. If he was that bad, he shouldn’t have been allowed back in after “attacking” fans. They know what type of liability he is. Or was.

      He deserves to be held accountable though. & did y’all see on the news, he was TWEETING about it..!


  5. Soulrise
    April 24, 2012


    • Capital G
      April 24, 2012

      Lol. Someone has too much time on their hands to be putting a song and video together like that.


  6. Phlip
    April 25, 2012

    And late to the discussion comes Phlip…

    I agree that Harden was the unfortunate person in the wrong place at the wrong time. At no point after having dunked on two all-stars with his off-hand and entering his “king kong ain’t got shit on me” tirade, during which he was OBVIOUSLY on another planet in his mind did Artest even LOOK at James Harden, while Harden was fully cognizant of his location and proximity to a documented (yeah, papers and all) madman.

    Harden impeded Metta World Beast© and his celebration, and Harden became Lil Mac to his Sandman, if you smell what I’m steppin’ in. Look at Artest’s face and eyes, though. It would not have mattered WHO was right there right then; referee, teammate, coach, his own damn mother, SOMEONE was getting elbowed. That does not excuse the elbow one bit, but Harden had as much a hand in GETTING himself hit as World Beast© had in hitting him.

    Now David Stern gets a chance to suspend one of his favorite subjects again.


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