I’ve seen the replay a hundred times. It’s horrifying to watch. He hits him so hard, it looks like his head should just separate from his body and go flying across the court.
Here’s an explosive .gif of what it probably felt like to Harden. After the game, here’s what Artest had to say over twitter.
Yeah, Ron. It does look bad. Real, real bad. You can expect a suspension from Stern. I get that Ron gets excited and has trouble containing his emotions, but good grief… this is awful. Was it an accident? Sure doesn’t look like it. Did Artest seek it out? No, it was circumstantial and he just went with it… way too far. I will say this: Ron is so messed up in the head, he might actually believe it was an accident. I love watching Artest play… his passion. And if we know anything about him, we know that he battles some serious demons. He’s kept them in check pretty well since his days in Indiana and Sac, but they came out in full force this game.
Here’s what I believe… we, as individuals, are accountable for our actions. So Ron will pay the price for what he did with a suspension, and he deserves it. However, I also believe that we are not defined by single moments of losing our cool. This was bad, very bad. But regardless of Ron’s clarity on what his intentions or non-intentions were… I believe that he is sorry, as he said in the postgame interviews, and I believe that he will try hard to right the wrong he did.
You lobsters played sports, you know what it’s like to lose your cool. Just last week, my first week back from that brutal ankle roll, I got back out on the pick-up basketball courts and in the heat of play, I called Mac an a*hole. Is Mac an a*hole? No. Do I think he is? No. Did I say he was? Yes. Because I was stupid and in the heat of the moment and you say/do things that don’t make sense. Is it a little bit idiotic to compare name-calling amongst your good friends to throwing a devastating elbow to someone’s head? Yeah, a bit… but you get the point. We all do stupid crap when we’re playing sports and we sometimes lose our cool. In the same way that I know Mac has moved on from our verbal sparring on the court.. he’s forgiven me… I hope that fans, and even James Harden, can come to a place where we all forgive Ron… for being an idiot in the heat of the moment. That is assuming his apology is sincere… which I believe it is. I really hope he can come back, contain his emotions and passion and be the person that he’s shown him self to be the past couple seasons.
In addition, I really hope and pray that Harden is okay. Just a brutal blow. Oh, and the Lakers won… which is a big deal against the Thunder. Also, if I hear/read one more person make a Metta World Peace not living up to his name joke… “Metta World not-so Peace-ful” or some crap… I will start throwing elbows to heads.