Thunder notebook: Metta World Peace says 'I don't shake substitutes' hands'

Lakers forward Metta World Peace, who was suspended for seven games for elbowing the Thunder's James Harden on the left side of the face on April 22, told ESPNLosAngeles.com he has no interest in visiting with Harden at the outset of the second-round playoff series against OKC.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: May 13, 2012

Lakers forward Metta World Peace, who was suspended for seven games for elbowing the Thunder's James Harden on the left side of the face on April 22, told ESPNLosAngeles.com he has no interest in visiting with Harden at the outset of the second-round playoff series against OKC.

"I don't shake substitutes' hands," World Peace said of Harden, a near-unanimous selection as this season's Sixth Man of the Year.

World Peace issued an apology following the incident and told reporters he attempted to reach out to check on Harden's health through a third party. However, World Peace and Harden have yet to speak.

"I'm not worried about him, or what he has to say," Harden said Sunday.

World Peace claims Thunder players ignore the mutual sign of respect before tipoff with a handshake or fist pound.

"I shake everybody's hand before the game, but Oklahoma City, they don't shake hands," World Peace said. "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. (Westbrook) used to shake hands, but now he don't shake hands anymore."

Oklahoma City's Nick Collison responded: "Shaking hands is, like, so low on our concerns right now, it's not really an issue. We're going to be ready to play. You've got to win four games. That's our job. You can't win four until you win one."

HOSTILE TERRITORY

World Peace said he was not worried about a hostile environment at The Peake, particularly toward him.

"That's not my concern," World Peace said. "That's their concern. Freedom of America, freedom of speech, freedom to really do what you want to do. That's why it's a great country."

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