There Metta World Peace sat, yucking it up on Conan O'Brien's TBS show Monday night. He had planned for this appearance two weeks ago, but he figured it might be bad timing to appear on a late-night comedy show. After all, World Peace had just earned a seven-game suspension for throwing a vicious elbow at Oklahoma City guard James Harden.
Since that time, World Peace has endlessly watched the replay in which he cocked his arm before elbowing Harden and giving him a concussion. World Peace wouldn't say to reporters days later whether he thought he deserved a seven-game suspension, but he admitted feeling "surprised" on his own podcast about the length.
"The elbow was too much and I deserved the suspension," World Peace said on O'Brien's show. "I don't know if I deserved that many games."
World Peace then questioned why Minnesota forward Kevin Love was suspended for only two games earlier this season for stomping on the head of Houston forward Luis Scola. He also took offense to the various NBA player analysts who have criticized his foul. World Peace didn't call them out by name, but he appeared to take most offense at TNT analyst Reggie Miller criticizing him, considering that they had played together with the Indiana Pacers.
"There's a lot of hypocrites," World Peace said. "The regular media, I'm like, OK, they can have their judgement because that's what they do.' But when you get a player where you were in the same locker room with, talking about you on TV because he has a new gig and a new job, it's like, 'Come on man — you were in the locker room when you asked me to protect you.'"
World Peace claimed ignorance on the damage he caused Harden, citing that he had flopped earlier this year when Dallas center Tyson Chandler accidentally ran into him. World Peace stuck to his story that he had swung his elbows merely out of celebrating for throwing down his third dunk, though the replays clearly showed he had intent to hit someone. And he refused to apologize to Harden directly, going through unspecified third parties to check on his condition simply so he could maintain a competitive edge when the Lakers will probably meet the Thunder in the Western Conference semifinals.
The Laker forward might be justified in lamenting that such an incident prompted some of the public to question the sincerity behind raising money and speaking on mental health issues. But everything else surrounding his foul on Harden rightfully prompted O'Brien to jokingly question his logic after seeing his horrified look as he watched the replay.
"You're reacting the way everyone in America reacted," O'Brien said. "But you're the guy who did it."
"When I did it, I didn't realize anybody was going to be behind me," World Peace contended. "When I got to the locker room and I saw the tape, I was like, Ohh. That was nasty."
"You had to get to the locker room to realize that?" O'Brien asked. "Didn't you feel a man's head on your elbow?"
"Well, not really. I felt something, but I didn't know it was an actual head," World Peace said. "It could've been a shoulder. I knew somebody suffered something at that point. But I didn't know it was Harden until I got in the locker room. Actually, he does that a lot, not to me, he runs into people's elbows and puts his chin out there.
"Yeah it's all his fault," O'Brien deadpanned. "By the way, you said that was a celebration. By the way, I never want to be at your birthday party.
"I'll bring some elbow pads," World Peace said with a smile.