Metta Sandiford-Artest had a lot of aggression during his playing days. Sometimes, a bit too much. It can be perfectly determined by the incident that happened in 2012 against then-Oklahoma City Thunder star James Harden.
It happened in an NBA playoffs match between OKC and the Los Angeles Lakers. During the playoffs, every player and team is much more intense as compared to the regular season.
At one such moment, Artest smacked Harden with a hard elbow to his head. Artest tried to celebrate after scoring a hard-fought two points inside the paint.
Recently, the former player talked about it and revealed he never had any intentions of elbowing the Beard.
"It wasn't meant for James. I didn't even know who was behind me. I just felt someone push me; I didn't know who it was. It was very unfortunate."
Following a vicious elbow on Harden, Artest was rightfully ejected from the game. Additionally, he received a seven-game suspension as well.
The Thunder went on to defeat the Lakers and made it all the way to the 2012 NBA Finals. Unfortunately, the young trio of James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant were no match against the Miami Heat Big 3 featuring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
That was the last time that Harden donned an OKC jersey as he was traded to the Houston Rockets next season. Since joining the Rockets, Harden has completely changed his career. He went from being a third option on the Thunder to becoming one of the best players in the modern-day NBA.
He has amassed 1x regular-season MVP, 9x All-Star appearances, 3x Scoring champs, and many more accolades on his decorated resume.
But the only thing that the former MVP is missing is an NBA trophy. He joined the Brooklyn Nets last season to end that drought, but the Nets failed to accomplish that last season.
With the 2021-22 NBA season almost underway, Harden will have but one goal on his mind - To lift the glorious Larry O'Brien trophy. Will he be able to accomplish that? Well, the Nets are one of the favorites to win it all this season.