Metta World Peace speaks on elbow

Updated: May 8, 2012, 4:56 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

When Metta World Peace wanted to know how James Harden was doing after he had leveled Harden with an elbow to the head, he didn't call Harden directly, the Los Angeles Lakers forward told Conan O'Brien in an interview that aired Monday night.

World Peace, who was suspended seven games by the NBA for the incident, which left Harden with a concussion, told O'Brien he sought out the Oklahoma City Thunder guard's condition through indirect means.

"When it happened, you know, I didn't realize he was that hurt until the day after, because guys in the NBA flop," World Peace told O'Brien in an appearance on "Conan". "So I called some third parties, and they said he was OK.

"It's so competitive, you know, I wanted to make sure he was OK first, so I did that. But to call him to make sure he's OK? I didn't want to do that."

World Peace and Harden could meet again on the court soon, as the Lakers are one win away from advancing to a seven-game Western Conference semifinal series against the Thunder. They can solidify that matchup with a win against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.

World Peace' suspension started with the Lakers' last regular-season game, making Tuesday night's playoff game the sixth of seven games he must sit out. If the Lakers clinch their first-round series Tuesday night, World Peace would miss Game 1 and would be eligible to return for Game 2, at Oklahoma City.

In the interview, World Peace told O'Brien that Harden "runs into people's elbows. When somebody dunks, he puts his chin right there. He did it to (Knicks center) Tyson Chandler."

As for the elbow itself? "I felt something, but I didn't know it was his actual head," World Peace told O'Brien.

World Peace was originally scheduled to be a guest on O'Brien's late-night talk show on April 23. But he canceled that appearance, as it would have come on the heels of the seven-game suspension.

"Thanks for the invite Conan O'Brien. Today was not good timing for me to do your show.... I wanted to do comedy but not much is funny now," World Peace said on Twitter at the time.

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