May 12, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) and small forward Metta World Peace (15) react in the final minutes of game seven of the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center. Lakers won 96-87. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Metta World Peace takes verbal shot at James Harden

Metta World Peace isn’t making any friends in Oklahoma City. When Game 1 between the Thunder and Lakers tips Monday night, he will hear just how much the best crowd in the NBA hates him.

World Peace elbowed James Harden in the head at the end of the regular season and was dealt a 7-game suspension for the act. He returned to action for the first time since the incident Saturday night for the Lakers’ Game 7 win against the Denver Nuggets.

World Peace never apologized to Harden in any way unless you count Twitter and still stands by saying it was an accident when it clearly wasn’t.

World Peace now has caused some more stir with his recent comments about Harden and the Thunder.

“I don’t shake hands with substitutes,” World Peace said. “I shake everybody’s hand before the game, but Oklahoma City, they don’t shake hands. Only some of them, but I don’t think they really shake hands before the game. Kendrick Perkins and now (Russell) Westbrook don’t shake hands either. (Russell) used to shake hands, but now he don’t shake hands anymore.”

World Peace thinks he’s making a jab at Harden because he comes off the bench. Like the Sixth Man of the Year winner isn’t talented enough to start in this league or something.

Harden said earlier this week on the Dan Patrick show that he won’t look to shake hands with World Peace before the game either or speak to him at all.

The stage is set for the Thunder and Lakers. There are many storylines and the return of World Peace against this team is at the top of the list.

One thing is for sure is that the Thunder are going to come out very motivated against this team not just because of World Peace. They’ve been on a mission all season and one of the hungriest young teams in the league.

They know that knocking out the Los Angeles Lakers is part of taking that next step to becoming a championship team.

By the end of the series I’m sure that the Lakers and their fans will wish that World Peace would have elbowed Harden just a little bit harder.

Tags: Elbow Game 1 James Harden Los Angeles Lakers Metta World Peace Oklahoma City Thunder Second Round Suspension Western Conference Semifinals

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