Don’t expect any sort of peace accord between Metta, James Harden and his teammates when the highly-anticipated Lakers/Thunder Second Round series tips off tonight in OKC. Hostility on the other hand? Oh yes, there will be plenty of that. From the LA Daily News: “It didn’t take long for World Peace to fire the opening salvo late Saturday, when he said he wouldn’t shake Harden’s hand or acknowledge his presence whenever he enters the game because, as he said, ‘I don’t shake substitutes’ hands.’ … ‘My concern is executing the coach’s game plan,’ he added. World Peace then went on to criticize some of the Thunder players for refusing to engage in the customary pregame ritual of a handshake, a fist pound or a hug and a slap on the back. He said center Kendrick Perkins refuses to engage, going back several years. ‘I used to go and shake hands,’ World Peace said when pressed for details. ‘I’ve been playing against Kendrick forever. Kendrick will never shake your hand, so I’d have to go and find Kendrick and shake his hand. In Boston (when Perkins was with the Celtics during the 2010 NBA Finals), every game I’d have to go to him and say, `Hey,’ and then tap him on the butt. He don’t touch my hand. But I’m getting tired of making that walk.’ World Peace said he wasn’t worried about the reception he’s bound to receive tonight from Oklahoma City’s fans. Kobe Bryant acknowledged it and said it might be something the Lakers need to get past in order to play their game. ‘It’s going to be intense,’ Bryant predicted. ‘The crowd is obviously going to have a field day with that. I’m sure their players will generate some type of energy from it. For us, we’ve just got to keep our poise and do what we do.'”
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