The more I see Ron Artest’s elbow to James Harden’s head (and I’ve seen it at least 200 times now), the angrier I get and the more I think his suspension was justified. Maybe even too soft.
I was watching the game live when I saw it happen, it looked vicious then but with each replay, it gets worse. When it first happened it looked to me like an accident. It looked like he had just gotten caught up in the emotion of the game and was celebrating. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt, because I know how emotional games can get.
Now, after seeing it over and over again, I’ve totally changed my mind. Even if you were wrapped up in the game, totally overcome with passion, if you hit somebody in the head with your elbow accidentally, you immediately stop. If it was unintentional, the second he made contact with Harden’s head, he would have stopped dead in his tracks, thought “Oh crap, what have I done?” and instantly rushed over to Harden to see if he was all right. But Artest didn’t do any of those things, he continued running down the court, pounding his chest like an idiot, hoping he could play off his tirade like it was all part of the game.
What kills me now, is that after Artest has seen the play, been handed his suspension, and had time to think about it, he still shows no signs of remorse or regret at all. He says he didn’t “lose it,” and that he was just playing the game and it happened. He says he reached out to a “third party” to find out about Harden’s status. He says he didn’t want to call him because they might see each other in the playoffs and he wanted to “stay competitive.” Screw that! He should be calling him up and apologizing himself!
This guy has no class whatsoever. During an interview about the elbow, he’s focused on how great he’s playing right now and how terrible the timing of the suspension is, and it’s in an afterthought that he throws in his concern for Harden.
“It was just the worst timing for me. The way I’m feeling right now, (I’m) back to that elite level. It’s funny because a lot of guys that was able to guard me early (in the season), they have no chance now. They can’t guard me. My game’s feeling great. It’s just the worse timing for me right now, but I’m happy that James is OK.”
You poor baby, Ron. I’m sorry that your 14th career suspension got in the way of how well you’re playing right now. I have to say, I’ll be rooting for whoever the Lakers play in the first round, just so we don’t have to see his face again.