Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace has long been known for his aggressive play. (Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace has maintained for awhile that his style of playing shouldn't be looked at as dirty, but as aggressive even though he was retroactively slapped with a flagrant-2 foul by the NBA for a hit on Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried during the Lakers' 119-108 loss to the Nuggets on Monday.
Of course, Nuggets coach George Karl disagrees with World Peace's sentiments saying he though the hit was "premeditated" after watching it on film.
"As I get older, I'm learning how to just play hard," World Peace said to ESPN.com. "It's not like I brought this aggression to the league. I didn't invent this. This is what we watched, this is what we saw. The Bill Laimbeers and the [Dennis] Rodmans, they play hard and they wasn't trying to hurt anybody. They played hard. They played with passion. We grew up wanting to play with passion. So, when the guys say we're dirty, we're just playing hard. We're not playing dirty. We're just playing. We're reacting. We're going hard. We want to win."
World Peace is averaging 12.6 points a game, his highest scoring average in four seasons, to go along with 5.5 rebounds for the Lakers (29-30), who are 2 1/2 games behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.