According to Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times, Metta World Peace is defending his style of play in lieu of the league designating him with a “flagrant foul 2” for an elbow to Kenneth Faried in a game last Monday against the Denver Nuggets:
“The young generation coming up is being mixed with this old generation that’s kind of slowly going out. And George Karl knows. Come on. He’s been in this NBA longer than me. He knows the era of basketball.”
World Peace went on to explain how he himself was a victim of such play earlier in that game as Javale McGee “flared” him across the face:
“But I’m not going to say, ‘Call it in’ [to the NBA]… I’m not that type of guy. A couple years ago, Marc Gasol flared his arms, broke my nose. Spitting up blood and coughing up blood. I’m not going to call it in.”
He then explained how he grew up playing basketball, and how he’s an “old school” type of player, and not a “monster” as many current fans and/or coaches often label him:
“I came to the NBA in ’99. I started watching NBA basketball, like, in ’95. The Knicks, Miami, I was a fan of those type of playoff series that took place in the NBA on TV and I wanted to play in that atmosphere. So as a young kid I had to make a decision: I’m not going to be scared to play in that type of game. That’s my mind frame. You look at [Michael] Jordan against Detroit, Jordan had to grow. They were bullying him. So I’m like, ‘OK, that’s never going to happen to me. When I get to the league, I dare somebody from, like, the Detroit Pistons to try to bully me.’
I was in the league when I was a rookie, I remember Alonzo Mourning saying, ‘You come in here again, young fella, blahblahblah.’ I went in there again. Nineteen years old. Do it.”
World Peace definitely is a “throwback” type of player, but his reputation after a long list of incidents early in his career have certainly followed him. Unfortunately, his reputation will never vanish, and any slip-ups he may have going forward will certainly be carefully examined by the league.
Currently, World Peace has five flagrant foul “points.” If he gets one more “flagrant 1,” he’ll be suspended for one game and if he receives another “flagrant 2,” will be suspended two games.
Although his passion for the game and physicality are traits many Lakers fans absolutely love, World Peace will have to limit these kinds of incidents as best he can going forward so the team can remain focused on making the playoffs; as Metta is an intricate part of the team whose abilities are sorely needed on the front lines in Pau Gasol’s absence.