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Artest is a barbarian

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OUCH!

MY head hurts just watching James Harden get the smithereens blasted out of his noggin' by Ron Artest on Sunday. Don't tell me his name is Metta World Peace. There was nothing peaceful about that. I'll be referring to him by his real name from now on.

Go ahead. Call me Thunder-bias. Yes, I like in Oklahoma and watch more Thunder basketball than Lakers basketball, but what we saw on Sunday was not basketball at all. It was more MMA/WWE than hoops. It'd be safer to play dodge ball with a cannonball than lace ‘em up with Artest.

James Harden is lucky he can still see out of his left eye. He's lucky his jaw still works. He's lucky he got up.

Artest deserves all the venom that's coming his way.

He's also lucky that Serge Ibaka didn't decapitate him right there on the Staples Center floor. Did you see Air Congo getting ready to throw down!? Yeah, Artest is a beast (6-foot-6, 250+ lbs) but Ibaka looked enraged after he saw his boy Harden hit the floor like a rag doll after a run in with a bulldozer.

The most incredible thing about this assault is that Artest tried to play it off as if it was an accident. I've played enough basketball and been caught with and handed out enough accidental/inadvertent elbows to know that, if it REALLY was a mistake, then you stop to see if the guy is alright.

While Harden was down on the floor wondering what day it was and what planet he was on, Artest was trying to cover up his sins to the ref down at the other end of the floor with a ridiculous King Kong, chest beating explanation.

Last year, Kevin Durant called Miami PF Chris Bosh a "fake tough guy". Maybe the same label should be slapped on Artest. He's not tough. He's a barbarian. If that happened anywhere else – outside a bar or a grocery store or a library or a pet store or his mom's house – he'd be in JAIL.

Suspend him for the rest of the year. When you load up and intentionally try to hurt someone the way Artest did, you're getting off easy with that punishment.

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