"This building brings out the Ron Artest in Metta World Peace."
Pistons longtime announcer George Blaha uttered those words after World Peace was involved in an altercation with Pistons guard Brandon Knight and it appeared World Peace clearly threw a punch, a left uppercut to Knight late in the second quarter.
Knight and World Peace had their arms locked underneath the basket and, as Knight tried to dislodge himself, World Peace's fist made contact with Knight's chin.
After video review, the officials gave World Peace a Flagrant 1 foul, but by rule, World Peace should've been thrown out for throwing a closed-fist punch. All flagrant fouls are reviewed by Stu Jackson, executive vice president of basketball operations.
Knight usually is very measured when addressing the media after games, but Sunday, the 21-year old was clearly agitated at the incident — and definitive about what he felt World Peace did to him.
"I was surprised the ref didn't see it. He definitely threw a punch," Knight said. "It felt like a punch. That's why I reacted like I did, I'm not gonna react — guys always get tussled up, even though he grabbed me around the neck."
A foul was called away from the ball before Knight and World Peace got engaged. Even in boxing terms, it's illegal to throw punches while being engaged and separated, so it wasn't exactly a show of toughness from World Peace, who has four inches and 70 pounds on Knight.
"The play was over, the whistle blew and if somebody grabs you around the neck, you're not gonna let that happen," Knight said. "You do what you have to, to get the person off you."
Knight appeared off his game for the remainder of the half, missing his next shot and committing two turnovers in the final minute.
"Nah, it didn't rattle me," Knight said. "I know what type of player he is. That stuff happens sometimes and you have to continue to be focused."
When World Peace went by a different name, Ron Artest, he was the main participant in the infamous November 2004 brawl at The Palace as a member of the Indiana Pacers.
"I don't really remember," World Peace said when asked about it.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130203/SPORTS0102/302030353#ixzz2JwDFkWL2
Lakers' Metta World Peace punches Pistons' Brandon Knight during game
Detroit News | Feb 4