Tag Archives: Los Angeles Lakers

Suspending World Peace?

Huffington Post Sports reported yesterday that Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) was ejected from last night’s Lakers-Thunder game for a “flagrant foul 2” when he elbowed James Harden of Oklahoma City.

Late in the second quarter, World Peace raced across the court to dunk on Kevin Durant. An exciting play…and even more noteworthy due to the events following. In celebrating his dunk, World Peace backed up, facing the crowd, beating his chest. He payed no mind to Harden standing behind him after his dunk and his elbow flew right into Harden’s head. Immediately following, a fight nearly broke out among the players. While the refs were deliberating the consequences of the play, World Peace appeared to be telling one of the refs that it was an accident and he was completely unaware of Harden’s location at the time. However, if you look at the video above, he clearly bumps into Harden before swinging his elbow. And once, his elbow knocks out Harden, World Peace continues to celebrate while Harden falls to the floor.

In response, World Peace issued a statement via ESPN:

“I got real emotional and excited, and it was unfortunate that James had to get hit with the unintentional elbow. I hope he’s OK. Oklahoma, they’re playing for a championship this year. I apologize to the Thunder and James Harden. It was just unfortunate.”

Later ESPN noted he tweeted:

“I just watched the replay again….. Oooo.. My celebration of the dunk really was too much… Didn’t even see James ….. Omg… Looks bad.”

Metta World Peace could be facing a lengthy suspension; the ball is in NBA Commissioner David Stern’s court. Pun intended.

Suspension or not, World Peace is facing some serious scrutiny. The former notoriously aggressive player attempted to transform his image when he changed his name to Metta World Peace before the current season. This incident has seemed to not only amplify the irony of his actions and his name, but also brand him as a lier and a dirty player. It’s going to take a lot more than a statement or a tweet like those (or a name change) to get World Peace back on track in the public eye.

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Good job, Joakim

Has anyone else had it with the derogatory slurs and comments that have been spilling out of the NBA lately? Earlier this month I wrote a post about LeBron’s “retarded” comment. A month before that, Kobe called a ref a “f*&^ing f@##*t” in response to an unfavorable call. Yesterday afternoon, Chicago Bulls forward Joakim Noah was fined $50,000 ($50,000 less than Kobe) for directing an anti-gay slur at a fan during game three of the Eastern Conference Finals.

I’m going to set aside my disappointment in these three players, or general distaste (who likes LeBron since he left Cleveland, who likes Kobe except Lakers fans and I haven’t liked Noah since his Florida days), for just a second and say Noah handled this situation rather well.

First he apologized, and he didn’t wait to do it either, he was honest and sincere. Pardon my cynicism, but I think sincerity and honesty are a big deal in professional sports. Furthermore, after the fine, the player admitted that his punishment was fair. In a Forbes article about the incident, Noah is quoted saying, “I made a mistake, learned from it and move on.” People make mistakes and remember athletes are people too, just really famous ones with tons of money. Lets just commend Noah for taking responsibility and holding himself accountable.

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Think before you speak…and after

Editor and weekend blogger for SBNation Andy Hutchins posted an article comparing Miami Heat star LeBron James’ “retarded” comment to Kobe Bryant’s gay slur.

For those of you who don’t know, here’s the story. During a post-game interview on Saturday, James called a reporter (or the question she was asking to Dwyane Wade) “retarded.” A little over a month prior, Bryant responded to an unfavorable call by calling the ref a “f*&^ing f@##*t.”

So while others decide which comment is worse, I’d like to ask the question: why can one be let off the hook? Both slurs were derogatory, offensive and downright disrespectful. And it’s not as if these two are new to the media game. James’ announcement to move to Miami from his home-team of Cleveland was named one of the biggest PR blunders of 2010. Bryant was taken to court for allegedly raping a girl (not his wife) years ago branding him for the years to come. My point is, these boys should know better.

When you’re skating on thin ice, the worst thing you can do is jump.

Last night, James apologized saying, “First of all, I want to apologize for using the ‘R’ word after Game 3. If I offended anyone, I sincerely apologize.” If you offended anyone? Nice try. I’ll give James a little credit for taking responsibility for his mistake, but I’ll also say his apology could have been more sincere. When you’re apologizing for a mistake, the last thing it should sound like is someone is making you say it.

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Be Facebook fan-worthy

Artest's profile pic on his Facebook fan page

My classes at the University of Oregon have been discussing social networking a lot lately. So, because it’s on my mind, I thought I would present a little case study, if you will, about how to not use Facebook.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest (or someone who works for him) maintains his Facebook page that could use a few helpful pointers. Here, I’ve put together three rules to follow when in charge of a Facebook fan page.

1. Keep a current picture. Artest’s picture is from when he played for the Houston Rockets. Not exactly current since he was signed to the Los Angeles Lakers in July 2009. This is his only profile picture.

2. Monitor tagged pictures. Some of Artest’s tagged pictures are of him playing, rapping, in ads, little kids wearing his jersey and so on. The real problem comes when people tag him in advertisements that have nothing to do with him. Unless he wants fans to think he’s endorsing a discount show website or random iPhone apps, the tag should probably be removed. Also, pics of girls who want him to call them…delete.

A "photo of Ron Artest" according to his Facebook fan page

3. Spark two-way conversation. Artest’s fan page does not create posts of its own. One of the many benefits of social media is creating a conversation between you (the brand) and consumers. Posing questions and statements regarding sports or rapping or the values of the brand are what position you as a thought leader in your respective industry. Without initiating discussion, the fan page turns into a static wall filled will content created by others unmonitored yet attached to your brand.

If you’re going to commit to social media, you need to commit wholeheartedly. Content becomes outdated much more swiftly on the web, so neglecting it for a week is not acceptable. Above all, protect your brand.

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