Metta World Peace: I never called Harden
If the Los Angeles Lakers advance past the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA playoffs, Lakers forward Metta World Peace will get his first chance to discuss the nasty elbow he threw at James Harden’s head when they face off with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
That’s because World Peace never reached out to Harden after the incident.
Taking a break during his seven-game suspension, World Peace took the time to stop by Conan O’Brien’s TBS show Monday night when the topic came up.
World Peace said he did not reach out to Harden directly to check on him, in an attempt to keep a competitive edge should the two meet again in the playoffs.
O’Brien asked World Peace whether he’s thought any about giving Harden a call.
“No,” World Peace said. “When it happened, you know, I didn’t really know he was really that hurt until the day after because, you know, guys flop in the NBA, so you don’t really know.”
He added, “I called some third parties, and they told me he was doing OK.”
World Peace followed up by saying he wanted to keep his edge on Harden, referring to himself as “The Hulk.”
“I can’t call him right now because we have games to play,” World Peace said.
World Peace knew he would get suspended for the action, but he didn’t think it would be for seven games.
“The elbow was too much, and I deserved the suspension,” World Peace said. “I don’t know if I deserved that many games.
“When I did it, I didn’t realize anybody was going to be behind me. When I got to the locker room and I saw the tape, I was like, ‘Ohh. That was nasty.'”
World Peace called former players who are now TV analysts “hypocrites” because of how critical they were of him, despite knowing the things that go on in locker rooms.
“When you get a player that you played with that you were in the same locker room with that’s talking about you on TV because he has this new job . . . it’s like, ‘Come on, man — you were in the locker room when you asked me to protect you,'” World Peace said. “People that called me their little brother, you know, just family . . . to see them on TV like bashing me, I was like, ‘Wow.'”
When World Peace maintained his stance that the elbow was just a “celebration,” O’Brien deadpanned that he never wanted to be invited to one of his birthday parties.
“I’ll bring some elbow pads,” World Peace joked.