AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Metta World Peace was hit with a flagrant foul 1 in the Lakers’ 98-97 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday for getting tangled up with Pistons guard Brandon Knight, and Knight doesn’t believe that punishment was severe enough because he was hit with a fist.
“The play needs to be reviewed because he definitely threw a punch,” Knight told reporters after the game. “It felt like he threw a punch. That’s why I reacted the way I did.
“The play was over and he grabbed me around the neck. If someone grabs you around the neck, you’re not just going to let that happen. You do what you need to get that person off you.”
World Peace and Knight tussled under the hoop with 1:43 remaining in the second quarter while going for the rebound after Greg Monroe was called for a shooting foul on a shot attempt by Pau Gasol. Play was stopped and an official timeout was signaled so the referees could assess the situation, no doubt bearing in mind the “Malice at the Palace” incident that World Peace was involved in as a member of the Indiana Pacers in 2004.
"He's a small guy," World Peace said after finishing with eight points and nine rebounds in the win. "(Knight) was trying his hardest to keep me off him. He worked hard, man. That kid, I don't know where he's from, I don't know what school he went to, because he was guarding me and I was crashing the boards. He's a tough kid, man. He tried to keep me off the glass and he did a good job. That's all I can say. He's a tough kid, very great. He's a tough point guard or shooting guard or whatever he is."
It was the first flagrant foul of the season for the sometimes volatile World Peace, who was suspended for seven games last season for an elbow to the head of Houston Rockets swingman James Harden, who was playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder at the time.
"They got tangled up and they determined that he was a little bit more aggressive than the other other guy," said Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni. "It happens."