Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 4/23/12

It was the elbow heard around the NBA when Los Angeles Lakers' Metta World Peace decided to throw his elbow into Oklahoma City Thunder's James Harden after a dunk during yesterday's Lakers-Thunder game.

Peace was tossed (flagrant foul two) and could very well be facing a stiff fine and suspension. But according to him, the elbow was unintentional and was just a part of his celebration of a dunk.

"During that play, I just dunked on Durant and Ibaka. I got real emotional, real excited," World Peace said after the Lakers' 114-106 double overtime victory Sunday over the Oklahoma City Thunder. "It's unfortunate that James had to get hit with an unintentional elbow. I hope he's OK. The Thunder. they're playing for a championship this year. I really hope he's OK and I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden. It was such a great game. It was unfortunate so much emotion was going on at that time. That's it for today."

Unintentional huh Peace?

There is nothing unintentional about cocking back an elbow and swinging it directly to the back of Harden's head so I am not buying this "unintentional" act.

If anything, Peace is trying to spin it in the hopes the league offices hear his side of the story and not face a severe punishment. But this couldn't come at a worse time for LA. With the playoffs fast approaching, the Lakers do not need this kind of distraction. Just like last season when Peace clotheslined then Mavericks J.J. Barea during their playoff series.

However, this does present a silver-lining for the Lakers. Should Peace does get suspended, it will give other players a chance to shine and get valuable minutes such as Jordan Hill.

Moreover, his teammate Kobe Bryant feels Peace's past (for example his role in the Pistons-Pacers 2004 brawl) shouldn't be a factor.

"One play in the heat of the battle all of a sudden changes his perception as a man and as a person?" Bryant said. "All you guys know what a sweet guy he is."

This is a good point. Yes, we all know about Peace's volatile past but will that be a factor in the NBA's decision to punish him? Is it right to factor in a person's past for an incident done in the present? All this remains to be seen.

So as the Lakers wait for a decision from the NBA as to what punishment Peace will face, one thing is for sure, so much for peace from World Peace.

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This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

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