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Give World Peace the silent treatment

John Rohde Published: May 13, 2012
  Ron Artest Metta World Peace has been hated throughout the NBA. There's no way to calculate the tonnage of boos that have be thrust upon him. But what if there were no boos? When Metta World War is introduced Monday night prior to Game 1, a sellout crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena no doubt will boo him like they have booed no other. It will arrive at 10 times the force that will greet Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant, which is heavy stuff. If venomous boos are a drug, then MWP very well might overdose in OKC. But what if there were no boos? Metta Give Peace A Chance defied his new name and human decency on April 22 when he delivered a wicked elbow to the face of Thunder guard James Harden, who was sidelined the final two regular-season games with a concussion. The elbow also delivered a seven-game suspension for the Artest Formerly Known As Ron. World Chaos is in his wheel house right now. The opposing fans can't stand him, he knows it, he loves it, he embraces it, he is motivated by it. But what if there were no boos? Imagine the deafening roar if silence greeted What's His Name tonight. Imagine the pain silence potentially could inflict on this villain. It would be like Dracula awakening at sunrise. "At forward, from St. John's, Metta World Peace." And cue the crickets. There's no way in blazes this will ever happen, of course. Thunder fans are nuts, even rooting for a 23-59 team during its first season. Their affection toward Harden will be even more intensified tonight with his first appearance since being named Sixth Man of the Year. Bedlam repeatedly has shown how maniacal fans are in this state, but is it possible to tuck away all the boos and hisses when Whos Its steps onto the court? Not only would the silent treatment be taking the high road, it would be taking a road fans never travel. If boos fuel this Malice At The Palace headliner, couldn't silence have the opposite effect? Ignoring somebody, particularly a pro athlete, can be incredibly insulting. Silence would signal that nobody inside The Peake gives a hoot about That Dude Who Elbowed James. It would be akin to introducing the Sacramento Kings, who drew nothing but crickets when they were introduced in the Thunder's penultimate home game this season. The sound of silence would only work if all 18,203 fans cooperate, because even a smattering of boos would kill the intended impact. (And if you're a Lakers fan at the game, it's probably best to keep quiet on this particular subject.)  Of all the joyous moments in The Peake this season, the loudest fan reaction potentially could occur when a basketball thug hiding behind a different name is introduced. There's something seriously wrong with that. Why give the World Wide Leader Of NBA Suspensions the satisfaction? Become proud passivists. Again, this request will never happen. It's a pipe dream, but worthy of consideration. If OKC fans want to be viewed as different, why behave precisely like every other fan base would? Be different. Don't boo. Remain silent when Mega Cheap Shot is introduced. Heck, turn your back on the guy. Literally show him the back side of the complimentary T-shirt you'll be wearing. Take the road never traveled. If you truly want OKC to get noticed on national television, give the nation crickets.

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