Metta World Peace is no stranger to flagrant fouls, but he wants to make it clear that the one he received on Feb. 25 — and all others he’s received in the past — is just an example of the Lakers forward being aggressive, not dirty.
That line may be blurred, but MWP crosses it pretty often as shown by his track record. His latest defense of his own play comes after he elbowed Kenneth Faried in the third quarter of the Nuggets-Lakers game, and the NBA retroactively upgraded the hit to a flagrant 2 foul. Denver head coach George Karl thought the hit was “premeditated,” but World Peace disagreed, saying it’s just part of his game.
“We grew up wanting to play with passion,” he said. “So, when the guys say we’re dirty, we’re just playing hard. We’re not playing dirty. We’re just playing. We’re reacting. We’re going hard. We want to win.”
World Peace and teammate Dwight Howard are now tied for the most flagrant fouls in the league with five each, but he believes Howard is actually the victim. MWP thinks the All-Star center’s big stature leads to him being on the receiving end of tougher fouls and those tougher fouls were the cause of his offseason surgery.
“You have to push him,” World Peace said. “With that being said, sometimes he gets hurt. So, those are intentional fouls. Those are intentional when he’s getting hurt. He got hurt when he got pushed in Orlando and that’s why he had the back surgery.”
World Peace has already been suspended one game this season for punching Detroit’s Brandon Knight, but the league did not suspend him for his latest offense.