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Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace Realize That Oklahoma City Will Be 'Intense' Upon Lakers Return

As the Los Angeles Lakers roll into Oklahoma City to play the Thunder on Monday night to open the second round series between the two franchises in the 2012 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers realize they will be walking into a very hostile arena. Not only are the Lakers among the more polarizing franchises in the NBA, but it's also the return of Metta World Peace to play James Harden after being suspended for hitting him with his elbow.

"That's not my concern," World Peace said. "That's their concern. Freedom of America, freedom of speech, freedom to really do what you want to do. That's why it's a great country."

The Lakers biggest star also acknowledged that the crowd's response to the hit and suspension will play a role. He just hopes to focus on playing well.

"It's going to be intense," Bryant said. "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 just got to keep our poise and do what we do."

The game starts at 8:30pm CT on Monday.

For more info on the Oklahoma City Thunder, check out Welcome To Loud City. For more on the Lakers, check out Silver Screen and Roll.