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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    NBA officials’ decision to punish Metta World Peace is a slam-dunk

    The NBA did the right thing by suspending Los Angeles Lakers player Metta World Peace. Whether or not his violent behavior on the basketball court was intentional, he earned the penalty not only for his actions, but also for showing the negative repercussions of showboating and celebrating.

    It’s not enough to sink a basket anymore. Players have to rub their opponents’ faces in it. Families across the country tune in to watch the games between these multimillionaires, and the NBA officials acted properly to show that cockiness and bad sportsmanship can have serious consequences, no matter the platform.

    World Peace is suspended for seven games after making a dunk and “pounding his chest with his right fist as he turned upcourt and, finding (Oklahoma City Thunder’s James) Harden in his way, hitting him squarely in the head with a windmilling left elbow,” according to The New York Times. ESPN reports that Harden got a concussion.

    World Peace’s reckless behavior left Harden with a serious injury. Part of playing the game is about respecting the opponent. World Peace was so overly enthusiastic that his pride severely harmed his opponent.

    It’s been accepted that showboating is a part of the game, but World Peace’s actions show that people can go too far. The NBA should consider instituting a rule similar to the NFL’s, which penalizes players for excessive celebration. It’s disrespectful and has now injured another player.

    The players may forget that they have young fans watching them, but the NBA shouldn’t.

    When it comes to the NBA as a business, younger viewers are the ones keeping professional sports alive. Adolescents aspire to be like the athletes that win all of these games, keeping the highest level of national athletics on a pedestal.

    Young people deserve to see people worth idolizing in sports. World Peace can make as many difficult shots as he can, but this elbowing fiasco just shows how his hasty decision to celebrate at the wrong time and the wrong place led to the severe injury of someone who just happened to be in his way.

    Behavior like the antics exhibited by World Peace is not something that today’s youth should view as OK. He received his due punishment, but the incident should push the NBA for further consideration of a possible association-wide policy and penalties.

    The younger viewers watching these games see harmful actions in what is supposed to be a constructive and unifying sport. Because NBA players can’t monitor their own behavior, rules should be implemented to protect players and to protect the spirit of the game.

    — Megan Hurley is a journalism junior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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