By Ben Golliver
Lakers forward Metta World Peace "sonned" Nets coach Avery Johnson by rubbing his head to celebrate a three-pointer during the fourth quarter of a Tuesday night game at the Staples Center. Johnson, who played 16 years in the NBA as a 5-foot-10 point guard, was standing on the sideline, surveying his team's defense. World Peace hit a left corner three and jogged past Johnson, applying the head rub with his right hand, before heading back to play defense. Johnson did not respond.
World Peace had reason to celebrate. His three-pointer, which came at the 4:39 mark, was the Lakers' first field goal of the fourth quarter. The Lakers went on to defeat the Nets 95-90 in Mike D'Antoni's coaching debut. World Peace finished with 17 points on 6-for-13 shooting in 39 minutes.
The head rub has been taken as a sign of disrespect. Back in January, Lakers big man Pau Gasol angered the Clippers' Paul by rubbing his head during an in-game conversation between the crosstown rivals.
"I got a son of my own," Paul told the Los Angeles Times after the incident. "I don't know if Pau got kids, but don't touch the top of my head like I'm one of your kids. I don't know what his intentions were, and it doesn't matter. I don't know if he's got kids, but I'm not one of them." Gasol apologized and said there was "nothing mean about it."