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Peck
07-16-2008, 03:30 AM
Ok, everybody I want to explain something up front before I start.

Frankly I want to turn over a new leaf, I want to put the past 7 seasons behind me and just jump headlong into the future of our club.

In doing this I want to make a commitment to myself, I want to stop talking about Ron Artest, Jon Bender, Jermaine O'Neal, the 61 win season, Brad Miller, the brawl, Donnie Walsh, etc., etc.

I'm not saying that I know I will hold true to this but I want to try.

But I know before I even try to do this that there are several several posts left in me on these topics. So instead of trying to supress them and have them boil over at some point in time in the future, I think what I want to do is have a series of posts where I ask some questions and get feedback from people and also I will give my opinion.

My goal is to have this done by the end of Summer so that when we go to camp I want to be focusing on the future.

I say this because for the first time in 7 seasons I feel that the future is bright and there is no one on the team that I either dislike or frankly hate.

I may end up just talking to myself here as I'm sure most of you are bored with seeing me talk about this stuff anyway. But I want to try it this way just to see if it works. If nothing else it will be something to talk about.

So upfront I want to warn people. I am not going to hold back, in fact I am going to be the exact opposite of holding back on these because like I said I want to let it all out and let it go.

So fair warning to Arcadian, Anthem and a few others of you that tend to frown whenever I express strong opinions. Enter this at your own risk. You will be seeing me say some things you won't like.

I will start this series off with something that we discussed at the forum party.

Frankly I did a p!ss poor job of getting this one out there because of my timing and by trying to combine to many topics all at once.

I won't bother to rehash how it went bad at the party, I will just try and refocus here.


STATEMENT

While I believe that the economy, the winning % and apathy played a major portion into fans lack of attendance last season I also believe that there was a % of fans, no matter how small, that chose to punish the franchise for years of intollerable off court and on court behavior.

I specifically believe that a certain % of fans were not punishing the franchise just because of player problems, but they were specifically punishing the management of the team and owners of the team for what they felt was breeding an environment where the players felt comfortable to have the off court on court issues.

I do NOT believe that it was just one thing. Yes many people were upset about the brawl and 8 second saloon and club rio, etc., etc. etc.

But I believe that it was a culmination of these events coupled with both the owners and Donnie Walsh using lawyer speak instead of taking decisive action against the players.

Now I don't want to get into semantics about due process or mob mentallity. Those are all valid issues, but the empty seats spoke loud and clear as well.

So far we have been told that this season they have already significantly improved ticket sales.

This has been done without one more win on the board and without our economy making a major rebound.


THE QUESTIONS

1. Knowing that ticket sales have already increased can we just write off the fact that the culture of the team has changed and in changing this some of the fans are returning?

2. Was the win loss % the only reason for last seasons attendance?

3. Was the economy the only reason for last seasons attendance?

4. Was a combination of the economy and win/loss % the only reasons for last seasons attendance?

5. If neither of these or the combination of these was the reason, what other reasons are there?

Ok, that is the first part of the quesiton section.

Now I want a second section in this, probably could go up above but I want to seperate them.

Here is where I will draw the fire, but in the spirit of my wanting to be free of all of this I will only say this. Bring it on.


STATEMENT

I do NOT feel as though the owners of the Pacers or their subordinate Donnie Walsh ever took any real responsibility for the brawl, nor any of the ensuing off court incidents.

I speak only for myself here, I do not know if any other fan feels this way or not.

Frankly I was ashamed of our club the night of the brawl but I was even more ashamed at the reaction of the upper tier in handling this.

BillS made a wonderful point at the party in defense of Donnie and I absolutely agree with him. However in his defense of Walsh it also pointed out to me why I could not stand the way they reacted to the incidents.

Remember now I am not just talking about the brawl itself, I'm talking about the culmanation of all of the events.

Anyway, BillS point was that Donnie treated his players exactly how we would want our management or boss to treat us.

That is an admirable quality btw, and frankly Walsh was always great about this. However Donnie for the majority of his career here dealt with grown men who acted like grown men. Sadly, IMO, the last seven years he was dealing with children and spoiled children at that. What was an admirable trait turned around and bit him in the @ss. Whether it was Ron continuing his assinine ways or Jamaal or any number of other players. Donnie was always patient, considerate and first to defend his players. Again noble traits to be sure.

But there comes a point in time where people no longer deserve your defense and I think Walsh didn't realize it till it was to little to late.

We had this great argument at the party about whether or not the Pacers ever took any responsibilty for the brawl. Duke Dynamite came up with some artcile that just said the Walsh apologized for thier part in the low point of sports. However reading furthing into that article, which I can't find now but I know someone will post to prove me wrong, I read every excuse in the world other than our players being in the wrong. I have since looked up all of Herb Simons quotes on the brawl and he is even worse that Walsh, frankly if he never spoke of the brawl again it would be a good idea. He states that we are going to back our players all the way.

Now here comes the second part of my questions and understand I have no intention of rehashing the brawl, but if it happens then so be it.


1. Am I wrong to feel that the team (owners and Walsh) never took actual responsibility for the actions of our players?

2. If I am wrong, remember these are about feelings not facts, then was I the only person who felt that way? Or is it possible that a few others out there felt the same way and that this combined with other incidents where the management didn't respond with dissaproval of the players, might have kept a couple of people away?

3. Was Ron Artest as popular at the fieldhouse as he was online?

4. Was Steven Jackson unfairly painted by his actions at the brawl?

5. Was Jermaine O'Neal an innocent vicitim of the brawl?

There, feel free to answer whatever you want and feel free to flame away at me.

Again, my goal is to talk about this now so that soon I will never have to talk about this again.

Will Galen
07-16-2008, 03:46 AM
Nothing I really want to reply to, because that was then and this is now. Still a good post!

BobbyMac
07-16-2008, 03:56 AM
"Frankly I was ashamed of our club the night of the brawl but I was even more ashamed at the reaction of the upper tier in handling this."

Most of the time in this forum I just post an occasional "Go Pacers" type of post. However, I feel that I must react to this. After the game, the analysts in the studio were doing things like calling the Detroit fan punks and saying that it was an outrage for there to be no security. It was not until the next day that anyone started blaming the Pacers. I am embarrassed that we as Pacer fans, and the team management, let the league and the media get away with this. The day after the attack I sent the following letter to Stern. I stand behind what I say in this letter and am real tired of the Pacers being blamed without any of the blame being levied on the Pistons, their fans, or their lack of security, not to mention the horrible job of handling this by the refs. Do I think Ron did the right thing, no....However, if you throw a cup full of beer into my face I'm going to react. Now considering that I haven't been in a fight for better than 40 years, that is quite a statement.

David Stern November 21, 2004
Commissioner NBA
Olympic Tower,
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">645 5th Ave.</st1:address></st1:Street>
<st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">New York</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">NY</st1:State> <st1:PostalCode w:st="on">10022</st1:PostalCode></st1:place>
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
Dear Sir:
<o:p></o:p>
As I write this I am awaiting word of your actions in regards to the basket ball game between the Pacers and the Pistons last Friday night. I realize this will not reach you in time to affect that decision but I feel moved to make my feelings known. I saw several things in this game that I have never seen in an NBA game. The security was non-existent, the only police I saw were standing out at the center of the floor. I saw a stadium security or usher punching Ron Artest from behind. I saw no effort by either the Pistons team or the Stadium officials to break up the fights or to protect the players. This is an outrage! Based on the provocation involved I feel that the FIRST thing you should do is suspend NBA basketball operations in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Detroit</st1:place></st1:City> until the Palace and the Pistons can guarantee the safety of players from opposing teams. Unless you do this you are sending the message to those fans who started the incident that they can affect the outcome of the NBA season (in their teams favor) by starting provoking a fight with the players.
<o:p></o:p>
AFTER you deal with the Pistons, then you should levy the expected suspensions against Artest, Jackson and Wallace. Jermain O’Neal should not be punished as he was the victim of a felonious assault when the chair was thrown at him. He was simply acting in self defense. Based on what has been done in the past I would think that 10 games for Artest, 15 games for <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Jackson</st1:City></st1:place> (he was not provoked like Artest) and 10 game for Wallace for starting the whole thing would be a proper action.
<o:p></o:p>
Regards,
<o:p></o:p>

Bball
07-16-2008, 04:34 AM
There's too much to digest right now to properly address everything but I'll talk about the brawl a bit.

IMHO the Pacers found the one true WRONG way to handle it. TPTB actually found a way to handle it half-assed. I guess I shouldn't be surprised with that. They ended up making it easy for the league to solely steamroll the franchise, and frankly, gave them a good reason to do it (because we weren't doing anything ourselves).

IMHO TPTB should've been far more active on the PR front.

As part of that, I believe they should've gotten out in front on the punishments and handed down our own punishments and put some public pressure on Detroit to do likewise and share in the blame. Our punishments should've come before Stern ever set before the mic and announced the league's decision. If anything, TPTB should've been begging and pleading with Stern to allow for the smoke to clear while the press and public disected our own self-imposed penalties (and whatever pressure we could share with Detroit), before making his own official decision and announcement. Buying a couple of days for a cool-down period wouldn't have hurt anyone.

I'm not saying we should've given Artest 5 games and hoped that was good enough. I'm saying we should've handed out our own very serious penalties... but stopping short of totally gutting the team or even suspending Artest for the season. And with the team enforced suspensions add some anger management and medical interventions. Require Artest to actually meet some goals before his reinstatement.

MAYBE Stern STILL would've cracked down on the Pacers the way he did.... But IMHO had we taken serious responsibility up front there's at least some chance he doesn't add to the suspensions or if he does, he gets put in a bad PR light by the public and press considering them too draconian or one-sided in light of the Pacers' own upfront and quick handling of the issue.

But since the Pacers essentially did nothing, they left Stern with a clean slate to work with. ...And we were certainly the best option to take the entire hit. If you can minimize the NBA amd NBA champion's role in this and let the Pacers take the fall, you do it.

EDIT: I also should add- You don't stop with the PR effort there and then pretend nothing happened. The next step would be cleaning up some of the mess that allowed the situation to brew in the first place and you do that either at the trade deadline or in the offseason. The Pacers did none of that either.

Kraft
07-16-2008, 04:50 AM
Not to spoil Peck's fun -- by all means, have at your answer searching -- but, personally, I wonder what percentage of fans have out-and-out moved on from the whole thing. And moreover, how long ago did that happen?

I know I did ... probably at least two years ago. I know what I saw, I know what I read and I know how I felt about it. I just didn't have a desire to punish myself over it.

Any leftovers we've had since the troubled period ... well, I've known they were on borrowed time. This whole sequence of the past few years have been easy to predict. I couldn't have told you what players and exact results, but the end result seemed inevitable.

Some answers, though.

-- Absolutely some of the changes have resulted in a ticket upswing. Basketball didn't suddenly become more popular. You can write it off.

-- No, the record was not the only reason for last year's attendance. That's silly.

-- Economy alone? Nope. That's silly, too. There's always a ton of reasons for changes like that.

-- Artest, Jackson and O'Neal are gone. That's all I need to know. It doesn't seem like it can be that simple. But it can be.

-- The owners, and by proxy, the GM, aren't always in the business of doing the right thing. There could've been tons of reasons they reacted the way they did to the brawl. No. 1? They hadn't been in that situation before. They're human.

TheDon
07-16-2008, 04:54 AM
I remember the night of the brawl and it just ends up depressing me. For once Ron actually backed away from Wallace and everything was fine, sure Ron laying on the scorer's table was a bit much but enough to get stuff thrown at him? Back then I was willing to defend everyone on that team for any action they took cause it was just chaos and there is no telling what anybody would do given the situation. The night of the media seemed to be blaming both teams equally(IIRC), then down the road ron went even more crazy even wanting to box wallace and then eventually asking for his trade, jackson had his off-court issues along with cussing out rick, tinsley became the bum that he is, and having off-court incidents of his own. While the pistons went on to being a dominant team and have no problems afterwords, which in retrospect made it easy for the media to paint us as the bad guys.

I think that's what ticked me off the most not the brawl but the fact that the fans stood by the team and then the team made the fans look like idiots for ever defending them. I also think our lack of success mixed with having to see reggie leave without a ring amongst all that was going on with the team jaded a lot of the fans.

I'm sure as far as fans showing up the economy did have something to do with it as it has all over the country but the way the team has performed/behaved in recent years probably made the decision a little easier.

I really don't want to forget about these hard times as a pacers fan. I think it will make the good times that are yet to come that much sweeter.

Peck
07-16-2008, 06:15 AM
A couple of quick points I want to make before I step away.

1. Remember I am speaking of all of the issues, not just the brawl. Don't let the fact that the second part of my questions focused on the brawl distract from the fact that I am speaking about all of the incidents.

2. I agree that a large portion of fans have moved on, moved on quite awhile ago and never want to look back. This is just my way of trying to do this as well.

RWB
07-16-2008, 09:13 AM
1. Knowing that ticket sales have already increased can we just write off the fact that the culture of the team has changed and in changing this some of the fans are returning?

No

2. Was the win loss % the only reason for last seasons attendance?

No

3. Was the economy the only reason for last seasons attendance?

No

4. Was a combination of the economy and win/loss % the only reasons for last seasons attendance?

No

5. If neither of these or the combination of these was the reason, what other reasons are there?

Simply the Mrs. and I did not like the Indiana Pacers anymore. As many of you already know we've been going to Pacer games as a married couple since 1980. And after all those years we may have shook our heads in amazement on how bad they were during the Irvine years but we were never ashamed. We still went to the games when they were winning only 20 games.

This last year we got more enjoyment waiving at Gnome and Hicks in 212 from our seats in 216. And as many know from private conversations we still went to games only because frankly we had the tickets and we couldn't even give them away in the Terre Haute area. We would usually drive to Plainfield and check out Metropolis shopping center for awhile. After the first quarter we would finally head on in to Indy and make it there at the start of the 3rd quarter. Shoot we were still paying the 8 buck parking fee so the economy factor while irritating still did not keep us away.

You know I can't say we were trying to punish management or make some kind of statement especially since they already had our money. It is just hard for me to think as much as we love the Pacers they were able to make us loathe them that much.

Back to the sunshine however. That's what was great about this forum party. You could sense it, people were smiling, put away the dour depressed feelings from the last ones because it was obvious there is a new direction and it's ok to put on those blue and gold shirts again (though hell we're diehard Pacer fans and never put them away in the first place

P.S. On the brawl....Peck my friend I'm over it and have been for awhile. We've always pretty much been on the same page when it comes to Walsh and you know I believe the Donald should have had dirty knees after kissing Larry Brown's butt so much for saving his job.

Putnam
07-16-2008, 09:17 AM
This is good stuff for a slow off-season.



1. Knowing that ticket sales have already increased . . . what reasons are there?

There are as many answers as there are empty seats. A full house at Conseco includes a wide variety of diehards, blowhards, blind followers, lap dogs, casual fans, company seat users, free ticket users, one-time visitors, fans of the visiting team, people who came for the love of basketball, people who came for the love of giant foam fingers and thunder sticks, people who thought Reggie Miller was still on the team, people who came because their child was performing in the pre-game show, etc. There can't be a single answer. And quite honestly the answer of the diehard, multi-year season-ticket holders is no more important to the Pacers bottom line than the answers of those other people.

I've felt all along that character was vital. I disagreed with Seth and others who said that winning was the only thing that matters. We now have a resurgence of interest in and support for the team during an offseason, without a single additional win. So it becomes clear that character has played a part in that resurgence. I was right. Would the Winning-With-Thugs plan have also succeeded? Maybe. But the answer given by RWB just above mine suggests not. We'll never know.

The economy does not explain a drop in ticket sales. People were not spending LESS on Pacers games because they couldn't afford it. They were spending their money on DIFFERENT things because the Pacers were unappealing. I want you to understand that the people of Marion County spend over $2 billion a year on amusements. To sell out 41 home games at Conseco (average ticket price $48) would take only about $34 million.

At most, the Pacers are seeking to capture 1.7% of the recreational spending of Marion County, and the area from which the Pacers draw attendance is actually much larger than Marion County. Isn't it evident that there is plenty of money out there? If the Pacers don't get enough of it, it is their fault, and not the fault of the economy.

Last point: recreational spending overall dropped in Q2 of this year. It was the first drop in a long time (I can look it up if anyone demands to know). And it was during that decline in recreational spending that interest in and support for the Pacers has begun to rebound. Less total money spent on recreation: more spent on the Pacers, even while they they continue to look like a 35-40 game winner.

Unclebuck
07-16-2008, 09:19 AM
1. Knowing that ticket sales have already increased can we just write off the fact that the culture of the team has changed and in changing this some of the fans are returning?

I am just going to briefly (I think) asnwer all your questions. I question if we really know ticket sales are increasing. We have heard tickets were sold at the draft party, and I think we can assume tickets have sold OK since. But one thing to keep in mind is a lot of businesses are cutting back on expenses, and probably Pacers tickets. So maybe while the sale to the general public is going well, sales to companies is probably dropping off. So I guess I'm not expecting tickets sold to be any better that last season. Probably fewer no-shows though

But to address your question, I think the trade of JO and the realization that Jamaal will follow has fans excited.



2. Was the win loss % the only reason for last seasons attendance?

No, it was a big reason though. The amazing thing is how many people think that 36 wins is a horrible -



3. Was the economy the only reason for last seasons attendance?

No, it wasn't much of the reason at all. Most tickets are sold before the season starts and the economy wasn't that bad last summer and early fall. Economy will be a bigger factor for this upcoming season.



4. Was a combination of the economy and win/loss % the only reasons for last seasons attendance?
No, not at all.



5. If neither of these or the combination of these was the reason, what other reasons are there?
The brawl, the overall feeling that the players were thugs and that they weren't very good players either.





1. Am I wrong to feel that the team (owners and Walsh) never took actual responsibility for the actions of our players? Dead wrong



2. If I am wrong, remember these are about feelings not facts, then was I the only person who felt that way? Or is it possible that a few others out there felt the same way and that this combined with other incidents where the management didn't respond with dissaproval of the players, might have kept a couple of people away?

I'm sure others believe as you do, but I don't think it is very widespread. But probably more accurately, fans don't think it through quite as far as you - fans know who is on the team and they blame the Pacers for that - whether they take responsibility - doesn't matter too much to most people. But when the players are no longer on the roster people notice that



3. Was Ron Artest as popular at the fieldhouse as he was online?

I have heard you and Diamond mention about how unpopular Artest was at the fieldhouse. I never ever saw any indication that he was unpopular. Oh sure some didn't like him - but most fans were big fans of his until he asked to be traded. In fact I think he was more popiular at the fieldhouse than he was online.



4. Was Steven Jackson unfairly painted by his actions at the brawl?

No, his actions directly helped esculate things



5. Was Jermaine O'Neal an innocent vicitim of the brawl?

No, he didn't start it, but he threw a security guard over the scorers table and rushed in to punch that one fan. In order of Pacers responsible - Artest - Jackson then JO. (I won't get into Pistons or Pistons fans responsibilities.

Ramitt
07-16-2008, 09:28 AM
1. Knowing that ticket sales have already increased can we just write off the fact that the culture of the team has changed and in changing this some of the fans are returning?
I think having moved most of the players involved in past issues and bringing in som enew exciting players is helping drive sales. I know I am planning on attending games again this year after skipping the last several.

2. Was the win loss % the only reason for last seasons attendance?
no

3. Was the economy the only reason for last seasons attendance?
no

4. Was a combination of the economy and win/loss % the only reasons for last seasons attendance?
no

5. If neither of these or the combination of these was the reason, what other reasons are there?
I tend to think it is a combo of the economy, a bad team, and the lingering effects of many years of player issues that have contributed to this.
1. Am I wrong to feel that the team (owners and Walsh) never took actual responsibility for the actions of our players?
No, I agree with you. I think history shows that as the probelms just continued.

5. Was Jermaine O'Neal an innocent vicitim of the brawl?
I do kind of feel that way, the little punk he KO'd came on the court in a riot. Jax and Artest earned there suspensions going into the stands, though I kind of understand where Jax was coming from, but I also can see the leagues point, the rest was bogus. The Pistons got off way to light compared to the Pacers, Stern wanted a quick scapegoat and he picked the Pacers.

Haggard
07-16-2008, 09:42 AM
I remember the night of the brawl and it just ends up depressing me. For once Ron actually backed away from Wallace and everything was fine, sure Ron laying on the scorer's table was a bit much but enough to get stuff thrown at him? Back then I was willing to defend everyone on that team for any action they took cause it was just chaos and there is no telling what anybody would do given the situation. The night of the media seemed to be blaming both teams equally(IIRC), then down the road ron went even more crazy even wanting to box wallace and then eventually asking for his trade, jackson had his off-court issues along with cussing out rick, tinsley became the bum that he is, and having off-court incidents of his own. While the pistons went on to being a dominant team and have no problems afterwords, which in retrospect made it easy for the media to paint us as the bad guys.


I think a huge problem with the brawl was that it broadcast internationally live. Living in Australia I never missed a Pacers game when they were broadcast on ESPN. Back then I was lucky enough to get one every couple of weeks. The brawl game happened to be the one they broadcasted live and I can tell you since the brawl there has been 2 games played on our airwaves.

Twes
07-16-2008, 09:46 AM
If youíre trying to fill a swimming pool with a garden hose and you realize the hose is full of leaks and all youíre doing is pumping water on the groundÖ

You shut the freaking hose off. You use the water someplace else.

You can make the case the collection of guys on the Pacer team that lost control in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comhttp://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/ /><st1:City w:st=Detroit</st1:City> were maybe good enough to win it all. But at this point itís clear even if that was true they didnít have the character to do so. Not even close.
<O:p
So what. They gambled and it didnít work out and they didnít respond well as an organization.
<O:p
It remains to be seen whether they still have the ability to work out of this. Itís not a given. They may suck for the next 30 years.
<O:p
People feel good about steps taken but they have a looooooong way to go to get back to what they once enjoyed.
<O:p
They need to catch a break with talent. They need the next special player who can get them back and they need smart enough people to keep talent flowing around him to build winning teams. With no murderers.
<O:p
If they win people will all be back full force. Fans have never been the problem here.

mboyle1313
07-16-2008, 09:54 AM
Peck,

Very well written and on point. If only I could get that same type of thoughtful, literate commentary from callers to the radio program.

MJB

Unclebuck
07-16-2008, 09:57 AM
As part of that, I believe they should've gotten out in front on the punishments and handed down our own punishments and put some public pressure on Detroit to do likewise and share in the blame. Our punishments should've come before Stern ever set before the mic and announced the league's decision. If anything, TPTB should've been begging and pleading with Stern to allow for the smoke to clear while the press and public disected our own self-imposed penalties (and whatever pressure we could share with Detroit), before making his own official decision and announcement. Buying a couple of days for a cool-down period wouldn't have hurt anyone.

I'm not saying we should've given Artest 5 games and hoped that was good enough. I'm saying we should've handed out our own very serious penalties... but stopping short of totally gutting the team or even suspending Artest for the season. And with the team enforced suspensions add some anger management and medical interventions. Require Artest to actually meet some goals before his reinstatement.

MAYBE Stern STILL would've cracked down on the Pacers the way he did.... But IMHO had we taken serious responsibility up front there's at least some chance he doesn't add to the suspensions or if he does, he gets put in a bad PR light by the public and press considering them too draconian or one-sided in light of the Pacers' own upfront and quick handling of the issue.

But since the Pacers essentially did nothing, they left Stern with a clean slate to work with. ...And we were certainly the best option to take the entire hit. If you can minimize the NBA amd NBA champion's role in this and let the Pacers take the fall, you do it.



I think that is far off base. First of all we had no time to do anything. The league essentially suspended everyone involved within a few daylight hours of the brawl. (The brawl took place at around 10:55 PM Friday night - temprorary suspensions were put into place I believe by 1:00 PM Saturday. Stern announced his ruling around 5:30 Sunday - I'll never, ever forget that weekend and where I was when the brawl happened and when the Stern announcement was made. I think it is unrealistic (to say the least) to think if the pacers had suspended polayers it would have changed anything the league did. No, nothing short of suspending the entire franchise would have helped.

Jonathan
07-16-2008, 10:07 AM
Peck,
Look at the NFL (Roger Goddell is cracking down on player misconduct)
What is Stern Doing?

TPTB have their hands tied, they cannot just cut ties with a player b/c of the guaranteed contracts. Tinsley would be long gone if they could.

The whole problem is this the NBA Culture vs Hoosier Values. Several of my coworkers compare the NBA to Street Ball. They are in the crowd 40 + & are the one purchasing the lower level seats and they will never embrace the current NBA Culture. If we start to win; they will jump back on the bandwagon but why pay good money to watch a team of "thugs" lose? Is the question this generation asks.

Unclebuck
07-16-2008, 10:12 AM
I have posted on many occasions that Indianapolis might be a great basketball area, but not a great NBA city. In general people here do not like the NBA. Even a lot of die-hard pacers fans are pacers fans but still they don't like the NBA.

idioteque
07-16-2008, 10:32 AM
This is a good idea Peck. This will be, hopefully, my last post concentrating on the brawl. I will answer your other question in full detail at a later time as well, as they give a little bit more to chew on than brawl-related questions.

1. Am I wrong to feel that the team (owners and Walsh) never took actual responsibility for the actions of our players?

I think the way that this question is framed puts the brawl in the wrong context. From what I remember fans were not outraged right after the brawl occurred. In fact, they laid much more blame on Ben Wallace, John Greene, and the lack of security at the game than they did on Ron Artest or any of the former (that feels good to say) Pacers involved. I went to a Pacers-Timberwolves game around Thanksgiving that year and the Fieldhouse was packed and everyone was rallying around our reserve players. The brawl did not become a sticking point for fans until after some of the off-court incidents began happening. Only then, did anyone look back at the brawl and say "they are a bunch of thugs for doing that." People did not get offended until the incidents in Indianapolis, rather than Detroit, started to occur.

And I think that letter TPTB issued after the brawl was sufficient. What else are you gonna do, really, to take responsibility for it?

2. If I am wrong, remember these are about feelings not facts, then was I the only person who felt that way? Or is it possible that a few others out there felt the same way and that this combined with other incidents where the management didn't respond with dissaproval of the players, might have kept a couple of people away?

I think it is arguable concerning who was responsible for the brawl and there wasn't much more the team could do to those players after Stern's suspensions anyway. But yes, there is no doubt who was at fault during the other off court incidents: the players involved! Absolutely TPTB should have taken more action when those incidents happened. They ended up taking appropriate action by trading Stephen Jackson but that took a bit of time. But after the brawl happened should they have done something else? No.

3. Was Ron Artest as popular at the fieldhouse as he was online?

No idea.

4. Was Steven Jackson unfairly painted by his actions at the brawl?

No. Ben Wallace and John Greene were at fault for starting the brawl, but Stephen Jackson is at fault for taking it to a whole other level. No one provoked him to go into the stands like with Artest. The whole scuffle that led to Artest laying down on the table thing may not have never happened on the level it did if Jackson wasn't stomping around ripping out his jersey and cussing at Pistons players and pissing them off. If he really wanted to help his team in that situation he would have led Artest toward the bench rather than provoking Pistons players and as a result of that, provoking the fans too.

5. Was Jermaine O'Neal an innocent vicitim of the brawl?

I think that he was. Look, if you're a famous professional athlete in a situation like that and someone threatens you, what else are you supposed to do? That guy could have had a knife or a gun. It's not like JO started stomping on the guy after he hit him or anything. He had to lay that guy out though because for all JO knew that guy was going to come after him with a switchblade. To say JO did anything wrong in the brawl is ridiculous.

---

The brawl was a very ugly situation and I try to forget about it in terms of what it did to our team but I will never forget about it in regards to how much it has made me hate the Pistons and Ben Wallace. I tried rooting for the Pistons during the ECF this year but after seeing the brawl again I realize now I hope that franchise never wins anything again, gets stuck with the 10th pick of the draft every year, and eventually moves to Las Vegas. Screw those guys. It hurts bad to see that franchise succeeding after the brawl while it set our franchise back so far. To me, a loss to the obviously much more talented Pistons even in the regular season hurts more than any Colts NFL playoff loss to the Pats.

Arcadian
07-16-2008, 10:40 AM
Peck makes me so angry.

Obviously we needed a change and we got the change. I'm truly thrilled that Indy seems to like the Pacers again.

Unclebuck
07-16-2008, 10:49 AM
Don't forget to blame the refs. And also keep in mind that the NBA changed the way they instruct their refs to handle situations like that. Just wish Joey Crawford had been working that game - he would have taken control of the situation and none of it would have happened. Sad really

idioteque
07-16-2008, 10:56 AM
Watching the brawl again (ugh) I forgot how big of a role Ben Wallace really played. After shoving Artest that hard you still have to go after him even more and start the whole scuffle between both teams? Really?

I've never been able to stand Ben Wallace after the brawl but I didn't realize what he did was so blatant because I haven't watched the video in over a year. I don't want him to die or be crippled or anything, but if he landed badly on his knee and was never able to play again, I wouldn't care either and would feel a bit vindicated.

Instead slapping Tinsley in the face like a *****, Rasheed should have been more of a peacemaker too. The way he was acting in that scuffle pissed the Pacers off even ore.

And it's a shame I have to hate that franchise because I like Billups, Hamilton, and Tayshaun as individual players.

rexnom
07-16-2008, 11:21 AM
I wasn't here during the brawl, so I missed the initial debates...

But, for me, the most confusing part of PD has always been the people that feel that Ron Artest was unfairly punished for the Brawl. I've watched that video literally at least 100 times and the notion that he deserved anything less than the rest of the season has never crossed my mind.

Yep, the I remember my initial reaction being..."WHAT THE ****!?!?!"

It sucked. Bad. But much like the Jerryd Bayless incident, after I gave it 24 hours it made complete sense. (And, yes, the initial games give to JO may have been a little high, but he only served 15 games after appeal -- and he did sprint across the court just to cold-**** a 5'11" guy -- and Jack definitely deserved 25 for his role for repeatedly punching fans in the face.)

Blame crappy security, blame punk-*** Piston fans, blame whoever you want...But that wasn't an Indiana/Detroit fight, it was a fight between Indiana Pacer players and fans. And it was started by Ron Artest, accelerated by Stephen Jackson and voluntarily participated in twice by Jermaine O'Neal.
And that's the truth. I just think that Ron should have been reinstated for the playoffs and Wallace should have been given more games.

JayRedd
07-16-2008, 11:24 AM
Sorry...you quoted that right as I was trying to delete it. But I didn't want to change the thread into that debate.

Carry on.

idioteque
07-16-2008, 11:26 AM
For me:

Started by Ben Wallace, accelerated by Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson, and accelerated again by John Greene, Ron Artest, and Stephen Jackson.

Really there are so many people blame that you can't blame one side fully. But the Pacers were the only team that was punished.

There was no precedent to suspending Ron for the whole season when you look at the Vernon Maxwell incident. He should have at least been reinstated for the playoffs.

And Ben Wallace should have gotten the same 15 games as JO.

Ok, I'll shut up now and start thinking about Peck's other questions.

JayRedd
07-16-2008, 11:28 AM
Agree to disagree.

Jonathan
07-16-2008, 11:50 AM
I do not think JO7 did anything wrong in the brawl, That loud mouth fan ran into the field of play. He had no right to be on the court.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 12:07 PM
1. Knowing that ticket sales have already increased can we just write off the fact that the culture of the team has changed and in changing this some of the fans are returning?

A: Yes, agree.

2. Was the win loss % the only reason for last seasons attendance?

A: No. Don't forget, the summer before we were promised "big changes" and Public Enemy #1 (Jackson) and Public Enemy #2 (Tinsley) remained on the roster. Speaking for myself, that - along with the retention of Rick Carlisle - was my decision to cancel my tickets, but it came at the end of that season.

3. Was the economy the only reason for last seasons attendance?

A: No, but it contributed.

4. Was a combination of the economy and win/loss % the only reasons for last seasons attendance?

A: No alone, but were probably two of the strongest reasons.

5. If neither of these or the combination of these was the reason, what other reasons are there?

A:
- Dissatisfaction with players/ management/ image of the franchise/ direction of the franchise.

- Dissatisfaction with appearance of corruption in NBA officiating/ David Stern.

- Competition from popular football team in town for scarce entertainment spending.

- Compeition from popular college team down Ind-37 that was having a resurgence (amidst controversy that added to the appeal).

- Dissastisfaction with overall level of play in NBA (dilution from overexpansion, declining skills/fundamentals, infatuation with potential and athleticism over proven skill, selfishness/ lack of team play.)


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

1. Am I wrong to feel that the team (owners and Walsh) never took actual responsibility for the actions of our players?

A: No - since we didn't take resposnbility internally, the league took it for us. *We* should have been suspending Ron/Stephen indefinitely and then tried harder to release them without further pay. At that point, the league could have put an "untouchable" tag on them. You're right, the Pacers' press announcements after the event did not help the situation. And yes, while taking a drastic action, we should have also pinned some blame on the lack of security and poorly behaved fans in Detroit. But Pistons fans aren't dumb, they knew Artest and Jackson would take the bait.

2. If I am wrong, remember these are about feelings not facts, then was I the only person who felt that way? Or is it possible that a few others out there felt the same way and that this combined with other incidents where the management didn't respond with dissaproval of the players, might have kept a couple of people away?

A: Absolutely. We had created a culture that tolerated disruptions, incidents, selfish play. Our "fall in love with talent" culture meant that a talented player (Artest, Tinsley, Bender, whomever) could do whatever they wanted without consequence.

3. Was Ron Artest as popular at the fieldhouse as he was online?

A: No. Not at all. I remember him getting boo'ed early on in a game against Miami, picking up his second and third fouls in the first five minutes of the game by fouling the guy that just made a long outlet pass - 60 feet behind the ball. Then he came back into the game and nearly had a quad-double. The fans recongnized his talent but his mental demons were far more obvious in person than via television.

4. Was Steven Jackson unfairly painted by his actions at the brawl?

Yes. He should have been suspended for the entire season. The leniency he was given made him look like a much better citizen than he actually is, and that is an unfair portrait of him. I'd tell you how I really feel about Jackson, but then I'd have to give myself an infraction.

5. Was Jermaine O'Neal an innocent vicitim of the brawl?

Innocent? No. Victem? Yes.

For those of you that want to say the NBPA would never allow what I suggested in answer #1 above, just remember the only player they really attempted to defend against the huge suspension was JO (and his was reduced by ten games). They gave a token defense to Artest and Jackson, but they know Jackson was lucky to not be suspended for the entire season.

= = = = = = = = = = = = =

In summary, I agree with many of your key points. This team has been flunking PR in recent years. The PR they needed was hard-working players that embrace teamwork and the community. With a bunch of rotten citizens on the roster, it didn't matter what their PR efforts said/ did. Nobody believed them.

Perhaps we need to bump the "Its up to us" and "One Goal" marketing campaign threads. Nobody on here thought those were sincere with the flaky people that were on the roster on the time. And we're the hardcore fans.

In summary, UB has a point. Indy is a great basketball city, but it doesn't really embrace the NBA. The general basketball fan, who isn't an NBA fan, could see right through the marketing/ PR b.s. and found something better to spend thier entertainment dollars on. But the solution is to put a likeable young team together that the fans can feel good about watching them grow up together. Its like 1998-92 all over again right now. Oh sure, a lot of people jumped on board in 1994, but it was even more enjoyable to those of us that watched Reggie, (Chuck), Rik and Dale grow up together.

Naptown_Seth
07-16-2008, 12:17 PM
that chose to punish the franchise for years of intollerable off court and on court behavior.
I don't think it was that direct. I think the image built up, fans legitimately bought into some of it, were hyped into buying other parts, and developed a sincere feeling that the team was dirtbags, period.

I don't think they were saying "I'll show you", I think it was simpler than that. Just "I can't root for guys like that and won't support them".


And like most things there is a delay on pop culture images. It takes casual fans time to get on board, which explains why so few fans even KNEW that Diener was on the team and starting at PG for many games.

It's not going to be a case of "you can't buy me off, you're still being punished for 4 years ago", it's going to be a case of "I don't like that Artest or Jackson guy so I won't go to games".

Seriously. I truly think many casual fans still don't know who did what. It was just "a Pacer" and that means that you 100% can not fix the issue by moving ANY player. "A Pacer" shot a gun at Rio, not Jack. "A Pacer" was chased from Cloud 9 and shot at, not Tinsley. "Some Pacers" went into the stands in Detroit, not Ron and Jack.

That's been the problem and remains the problem.

The counter is to win enough to create buzz, which in turn leads to hearing about players like Danny, Mike or Jeff, as well as to slowly and painfully work the PR fronts as hard as possible.

You can't have a void. Moving the bad doesn't solve the problem until you replace the bad stories with good stories. It's the same reason why you only had 9000 people going to see Reggie, Chuck, Det and Rik....they still "sucked" because they had yet to do something special enough to fill the sub 30 win season image.

Putnam
07-16-2008, 12:20 PM
4. Was Steven Jackson unfairly painted by his actions at the brawl?

Yes. He should have been suspended for the entire season. The leniency he was given made him look like a much better citizen than he actually is.

Good for you, Jay.



I truly think many casual fans still don't know who did what. It was just "a Pacer" and that means that you 100% can not fix the issue by moving ANY player. "A Pacer" shot a gun at Rio, not Jack. "A Pacer" was chased from Cloud 9 and shot at, not Tinsley. "Some Pacers" went into the stands in Detroit, not Ron and Jack.

It is 100% true, but only for one slice of the Pacers' potential ticket-buying public. There will be a vanguard of movement back toward the team by those of us casual fans who do know the details and can once again say, "My team is on the floor."

And we will talk about the Pacers to people who aren't reading the sports page or reading this forum, and we will take friends with us to games who would not go otherwise.

Winning -- or at least some good effort -- will surely help. My last effort at being a Pacers misionary was on Monday, Feb. 5, 2007. I invited and paid for the ticket of an old co-worker who had lost interest in the Pacers. Well, that was the game against Golden State where Stephen Jackson got his revenge on us, the Pacers fell behind by 25 points and looked like they didn't care, and then Tinsley went out afterwards and celebrated the humiliating loss at 8 Seconds Saloon. Needless to say, my friend's interest in the Pacers wasn't rekindled that day. But I'm going to be trying again this coming season (assuming Tinsley is gone).

BillS
07-16-2008, 12:26 PM
This has never been an easy thing to answer, and this question (much more detailed than what you asked at the party, by the way, but you can do that here and not as easily there) brings up a lot of points. Hopefully this won't turn into an epic, but I'll try to pick and choose the quotes carefully to keep it brief.


1. Knowing that ticket sales have already increased can we just write off the fact that the culture of the team has changed and in changing this some of the fans are returning?

2. Was the win loss % the only reason for last seasons attendance?

3. Was the economy the only reason for last seasons attendance?

4. Was a combination of the economy and win/loss % the only reasons for last seasons attendance?

5. If neither of these or the combination of these was the reason, what other reasons are there?

Here's an answer I've constructed since the forum party.

Perhaps it is truly a combination of all things (I'll address the brawl below).

What I think is key is that PS&E was being thwarted every time they tried to market the team to change expectations and generate interest.

Every time we tried to put an incident behind us, something different would come up. Think of it this way - after the brawl, we thought getting rid of Artest would clear things up. Then Jackson gets into more trouble, with Tinsley. We tried to clear Jackson up. Then Shawne gets into trouble.

Each of those was different, but they brought into play something that negated the ability to portray the Pacers as something positive. In each case the team management could have been draconian before everything played out, but how fair is that? Modern belief in Trial By Media aside, to punish someone before a complete hearing is simply wrong.

The biggest difference is that so far this year, we've been able to build positive on positive and that has given PS&E something to hang their hats on. It may be interesting to note that the comments about the removal of Jermaine have not focused on him being one of the last of the thugs. For most people it has been seen as an action saying we want to change the on-court look of the team in a very positive way. I think this indicates strongly that, while people left due to off-court issues they weren't coming back until on-court issues were addressed as well.

So, my answer is that the increase (if across the board) is because the marketing folks have actually been able to generate a buzz about the team without having it killed off. Yet.

Even with that, though, and as was stated at the party, it will take only one incident to derail everything again. We forget, I think, that there was some optimism going into last season until Shawne's September screwup.

Heck, if I was connected and wanted to see an NBA team in Las Vegas I'd about think seriously of hiring some guys to follow one of the newer guys around and shoot at them publicly. That'd destroy the positive momentum and guarantee the team couldn't afford to stay in Indianapolis.



1. Am I wrong to feel that the team (owners and Walsh) never took actual responsibility for the actions of our players?

I think so. I feel like you wanted someone in the Pacer franchise to say "it's all our fault, there were no extenuating circumstances, no one else was to blame, I Donnie Walsh will fall on my sword." That wasn't going to happen.


2. If I am wrong, remember these are about feelings not facts, then was I the only person who felt that way? Or is it possible that a few others out there felt the same way and that this combined with other incidents where the management didn't respond with dissaproval of the players, might have kept a couple of people away?

I don't know. I think it was the combination of events, not just the brawl. I also think most fans weren't punishing management so much as becoming disinterested in a team that no longer reflected them. Management needed to take care of that, but as we saw just taking care of the individuals involved or being harder on individuals who get into situations was not enough unless there was some other positive momentum.

I guess I'd agree that many fans were driven away by the brawl and subsequent incidents but I disagree that more than a very few had any intention of definitely coming back once x, y, and z actions took place. For the most part they will come back when they can be sold on the idea of coming back.


3. Was Ron Artest as popular at the fieldhouse as he was online?

Sure sold a lot of shirts and there were an awful lot of people wearing them.

I'd say that people at the fieldhouse may have given up on Ron sooner than some of us (and I include myself explicitly in this) on the forum. I think if there is a difference between "casual fans" and those die-hard enough to participate in the forum it is that the forum is more willing to analyze, represent all views, and try to work out a solution or see what gets worked out. "Casual fans" want to get back to winning, right away, or they are not coming back.


4. Was Steven Jackson unfairly painted by his actions at the brawl?

No. I am on the side of those who believe his actions were worse than Ron's.


5. Was Jermaine O'Neal an innocent vicitim of the brawl?

Interesting how you changed the framing of the question in order to get the answer you want.

I think Jermaine O'Neal was to an extent unfairly painted by his actions. I think the league recognized that when they reduced his suspension. I think if the constant injury situation wasn't involved, most of us would have forgiven Jermaine a long time ago.

I moved this next part down here because I wanted to touch on it separately and after my answers.


Anyway, BillS point was that Donnie treated his players exactly how we would want our management or boss to treat us.

That is an admirable quality btw, and frankly Walsh was always great about this. However Donnie for the majority of his career here dealt with grown men who acted like grown men. Sadly, IMO, the last seven years he was dealing with children and spoiled children at that. What was an admirable trait turned around and bit him in the @ss. Whether it was Ron continuing his assinine ways or Jamaal or any number of other players. Donnie was always patient, considerate and first to defend his players. Again noble traits to be sure.

But there comes a point in time where people no longer deserve your defense and I think Walsh didn't realize it till it was to little to late.

I'll be honest that I think what happened to Donnie fits the classic definition of a tragedy - a downfall caused by a fatal flaw. Even more, that fatal flaw is something that would be considered a strength 99.9% of the time.

I really think Donnie felt that if the organization backed the players, the players would do the right thing. I think he felt this so strongly that he could literally see no other option or direction. I think when it became clear this wasn't going to happen, Donnie had no answer for it. Knowing he had no answer, he lost faith in his own management style and in the players themselves.

Without knowing Donnie or talking to anyone who knows him personally, I would still venture to say this was a career crisis for him on a personal level as well as a job level. I think it took away his joy in the job and that meant he could neither react himself nor mentor other personnel in the manner he had done previously. I think this led to the 2-headed monster. I think this kept some things from being done as quickly as they could have been (player movement in particular).

This is why his own move to the Knicks was so important. If he is able to bring some order to that franchise (and as much as I love Donnie I hope it comes close but doesn't get over the top), it will restore his own confidence. Since he learns from his mistakes, I don't think he'll fall into the same traps in New York.

When you think about how this affected us as fans, bear in mind that through his time here I believe Donnie was as big a fan of this franchise and the reputation he had built as anyone else. To say that it completely knocked him off his feet is not too drastic.

While I don't agree that an absolute strategy of immediately disowning and punishing players involved in any incident or accusation would have been correct (and I never will), in hindsight it is easy to say that other actions could have been taken, or actions that were taken could have been taken sooner.

Donnie erred on the side of trust for his players and erred in believing the things he saw through personal contact with them would be obvious to the fan base. All in all there are worse ways to fail as a manager and as a human being.

BillS
07-16-2008, 12:28 PM
:
:
:
I don't think they were saying "I'll show you", I think it was simpler than that. Just "I can't root for guys like that and won't support them".
:
:
:

Once again Seth says it succinctly where it took me pages.

Naptown_Seth
07-16-2008, 12:29 PM
I think that's what ticked me off the most not the brawl but the fact that the fans stood by the team and then the team made the fans look like idiots for ever defending them.
I agree. Ron was the MOST POPULAR guy at the Fieldhouse the year after the suspension. FanJam, home opener, the fans felt like his return marked the beginning of the Pacers, and by proxy the fans, revenge on Detroit and Stern.

The Pacers easily could have rode that wave with the help of wins and become not just popular but beloved in Indy. It was right in their grasp.

It was Ron's betrayal with the trade request, Jack's betrayal with Rio and his attitude, Tinsley's betrayal with his incidents, attitude and injuries, and JO's betrayal with his injuries and underachievements that turned the fans most of all.

Remember that many fans were ready to support Tins even after his first few injury/incident bumps. Like Ron he was going to return and prove a point...but it never happened.


So far the only guy to prove a point was Jackson, and that was in Golden State, which ended up making that GS trade yet another "betrayal" of the fans hopes and trust.


I don't think fans jumped right to "ownership never took responsibility". I think it was the opposite. Fans were so pumped to get some justice and fair due that it primed them to be even more let down than normal.



Once again Seth says it succinctly where it took me pages.
I think you miscounted my paragraphs. ;) :D



I disagreed with Seth and others who said that winning was the only thing that matters.
Let me tweek that a bit. It's not that I think winning is the only thing, just that it by far outweighs everything else. Winning is a feel-good story, period. Unless you win by beating up the other team or something.

Let's go post-brawl, Ron's return. Have that team win 60. Now don't just stop at the number and tell me it wouldn't have mattered. 60 is not a number, 60 would be a COLLECTION OF WINNING MOMENTS involving Ron, Jack, Tins, JO. It would have been those moments that would have altered the image and filled the void, or kept a negative image from taking hold in the first place.

If last year the team had won 55 it would have meant guys playing better defense, hitting more game winning shots, and having more big nights. It would be those moments, not the 55 wins, that would have made the news, caught the attention of the casual fans, and begun to refill the Fieldhouse.

You don't pencil in the win%, you must factor in the process of achieving it too.

BillS
07-16-2008, 01:03 PM
Let me tweek that a bit. It's not that I think winning is the only thing, just that it by far outweighs everything else. Winning is a feel-good story, period. Unless you win by beating up the other team or something.

Let's go post-brawl, Ron's return. Have that team win 60. Now don't just stop at the number and tell me it wouldn't have mattered. 60 is not a number, 60 would be a COLLECTION OF WINNING MOMENTS involving Ron, Jack, Tins, JO. It would have been those moments that would have altered the image and filled the void, or kept a negative image from taking hold in the first place.

If last year the team had won 55 it would have meant guys playing better defense, hitting more game winning shots, and having more big nights. It would be those moments, not the 55 wins, that would have made the news, caught the attention of the casual fans, and begun to refill the Fieldhouse.

You don't pencil in the win%, you must factor in the process of achieving it too.

This hits the nail on the head in so many ways. It explains why people continue to bring up the 61-win team as being important. It explains why winning builds momentum where losing in and of itself doesn't necessarily destroy a fan base.

count55
07-16-2008, 01:04 PM
Regarding the first part, I'm not sure what you're trying to establish. People stayed away, on core, because the team became unwatchable on the floor and largely unlikeable as both players and people. The franchise provided its own black cloud that made them unattractive to the general public. This was exascerbated by the economy, which made it more difficult for people to catch a random game or overlook the warts on the team. People, en masse, come to games because of a shared hope, so the culture changes we've seen over the last year are definitely helping, but only to the extent that they have brought hope for both better quality play (and, eventually, more wins) and better quality character. While each individual may have a specific motivation for not coming, to try to assign a single one to the tens of thousands who stayed away is a fool's errand.

On to the brawl...

(heavy sigh)

Absolutely no one associated with the brawl, or the ensuing actions, performed admirably in any way, shape or form. Each successive mistake led to someone else's reactionary mistake. Let's take your questions in reverse order:


5. Was Jermaine O'Neal an innocent vicitim of the brawl?

Victim? Yes, to some degree. Innocent? No. He's responsible for his decisions. An excellent argument could be made for the fact that meeting and playing with Ron Artest was the worst thing that ever happened to Jermaine. Had those two never come together, it's highly likely that Jermaine would have a sterling reputation as quality character guy and good citizen, even if there were (often valid) complaints about his durability and payscale. However, the decisions underscore why he fell short of deserving the mantle Reggie tried to pass to him. I understand the (appropriate) urge to stand by your teammates, but he would've served the Pacers best by trying to control the situation, by trying to restrain his fellow mates and get them to the locker room safely. It's not that his actions weren't understandable, or even arguably justified. It's just that the true leader of the franchise needed to show a cooler head. Could I have done it? Probably not...I probably react the same way JO did, but that's why I'm not qualified to be in that role.


4. Was Steven Jackson unfairly painted by his actions at the brawl?

I believe he was fairly characterized as being a jackanape that night. However, I do feel that, over the course of his career with the Pacers, he probably took more criticism than he actually deserved, and that his contributions on the court were greater than people are generally willing to recognize. As a contrast, Tinsley has had many more chances than Jack was afforded, despite the fact that Jack has several qualities Tinsley sorely lacks: durability, willingness to play defense, even leadership (though occasionally misplaced). While I think it was appropriate to move Jack out of Indy, I never felt he was the villain many made him out to be. The brawl was a catalyst, but Jackson contributed with some of his actions and his occasional inappropriate demeanor on the court. He's somebody that the Pacer fanbase may have been able to embrace better in another time, but certainly not during such bad times.


3. Was Ron Artest as popular at the fieldhouse as he was online?

Depends on when you're talking about. I think that before the brawl, it was fairly even in both places. After the brawl, there was the "Jesse James"/"Us against Them" factor that drove some support, misguided or not. However, it became harder to be supportive of Artest at the games as you saw the damage his absence was on the floor. After the trade demand, the only place I ran into Artest supporters was online.


2. If I am wrong, remember these are about feelings not facts, then was I the only person who felt that way? Or is it possible that a few others out there felt the same way and that this combined with other incidents where the management didn't respond with dissaproval of the players, might have kept a couple of people away?

The short answer to this is yes, or at least probably, yes. I'm assuming that if you stayed away, then this was your reasoning. It's pretty likely that a couple of other people had similar reasoning. I can't help but infer from this question that your seeking some validation on your viewpoint. Why? If that's why you stayed away, why does it need to be the reason anybody else did?


1. Am I wrong to feel that the team (owners and Walsh) never took actual responsibility for the actions of our players?

It depends on what you mean about taking "actual responsibility". What I infer from this question is that you wanted the Simons and Walsh to say, "Hey, we knew we were spoiling these guys, and it was our fault that this happened." They didn't, and they shouldn't have. Is it possible, if not likely, that they did not step up to their fair share of culpability? Yes. However, it feels like you wanted them to fall on their sword for the entire mess, and I don't think that's warranted.

We act as if the front office collected a bunch of hoodlums and sold their souls to get a title. Maybe that's true, but let's at least acknowledge how fondly we recall the ABA Pacers...who signed a guy literally on the day he got out of prison (Reggie Harding)...who wore cowboy style six-shooters, loaded, into the lockerroom...who were in nasty on-court fights several times a year that made any on-court fight you can think of that the NBA Pacers have had look like a junior high dance...who had players and a coach who drank and caroused to all hours of the night. Those Pacers deserve our adoration for what they accomplished, but they weren't angels.

What should've happened is that everybody involved should've been held responsible for their part in it, an honest accounting given, and practical, sound solutions to the underlying problems be developed. Unfortunately, we don't live in Strawberry Shortcake land.

From the moment it happened, everybody ran for cover. It became about avoiding liability rather than addressing the issue directly. The night of the brawl, the head of The Palace (I forget his name) was shameless in the way he danced away from any responsibility he and his security staff had in how quickly things got out of control. Other than some initial comments from ESPN studio announcers, the Pistons and the Piston fans involved escaped (comparatively) unscathed. While Artest (and Jackson) certainly set off the events, there's no question in my mind that the Piston fans (the ones involved, not all Piston fans, by any stretch of the imagination) were responsible for making it as catastrophic as it was. When I think of this I think of four specific examples:

1. Ben Wallace's brother (IIRC) wailing on Fred Jones from behind when it was obvious Fred was just standing there.
2. The jackass who threw the folding chair.
3. The middle-aged sales rep/exec in the Polo and khakis in the endzone seats who, after it had broken up and JO was being escorted back to the locker room, decided to drill JO in the side of the head with a cup without direct provocation.
4. The kid who scrambled across people and seats to get to the archway so he could dump his Mountain Dew on the retreating Pacers.

All of these things took this event from a horribly stupid mistake made by a couple of knucklehead to a disaster of as epic of proportions as it could get when you're only talking about basketball.

Nary a harsh word for the referees, who were exchanging recipes at mid-court while Ben Wallace was still screaming at Artest and throwing his towel.

Finally, there was the NBA and Stern, who acted the shocked and apalled innocent victim. What nonsense. The seeds of this brawl, or something like it, have been growing for years in the soil fertilized by the NBA's tacit approval of a more and more physical game. There were instances earlier, but the real see change (IMO) came with Riley's Knicks, the "No Layup Rule", and the general philosophy that the officials won't call a foul every time down the floor. This constant physicality and subverting the rules through the sheer deluge of infractions led to a slower, uglier, and ultimately, more intense game. By the time that the Pacers played the Pistons in that meatgrinder of an ECF in 2004, it had reached a fever pitch.

On November 19, you had two teams with little regard, if not outright hatred of each other, playing in front of a fanbase that hated the opponent with a fiery passion (which would've been true in Indy, as well), and each knowing the other stood in their way of reaching the pinnacle in the NBA. Add to that another physical game, a couple of cheap shots by the Pistons (Rip & Ben), some typical Artest and Jackson horse****, and you've got the NBA equivalent of a Molitov cocktail. Liberally mix in some alchohol-fueled bravado in the crowd and a general disregard for the basic humanity of others, particularly in opposing colors, strike one knucklehead brand match, and...KABOOM!


While subsequent bad acts and stupid decisions of their own made the wound deeper and more gangrenous, the reaction by the NBA vis a vis the Pacers, by itself, was arguably pretty fair. The Pacers probably got what they deserved. The problem is that virtually nobody else did, and that is what impacted, IMO, the Pacers' FO willingness to own up to their full part in the debacle.

None of the underlying issues were addressed. Security at games is still little more than a token effort. While the game has gotten freer, there is still ample evidence of the clutch and grab approach employed throughout much of the 90's. Officiating has come under scrutiny for being crooked, but the more basic, broader reaching problem is that they are inconsistent and don't adequately control the game. The NBA couldn't come down on the Palace or the Pistons because they would be admitting their shortcomings in meeting their responsibility as a sanctioning body to guarantee the security of the players and patrons. The NBA was the equivalent of the coach who lets players scuffle during practice, because he likes the intensity and fire he thinks it gives them. However, when the star player gets a message foul in practice and is out for a month, they take no responsibility for it.

Instead of actually trying to fix the problem, they created plausible deniability by adopting the (forgive me for this) "Crazy Black Guy" defense. Ron was the perfect "Crazy Black Guy", and it played perfectly with the audience they were trying to appease.

As a result, the Pacers took the full weight of the consequences, resulting in the Pacers' FO saying, "Now, wait a minute...". As to whether they actually shirked their responsibility here, or it just looked like it because they were reacting to the perceived inequities in the punishment is difficult to tell, even with time and distance. However, I simply have a hard time laying this whole thing at their feet.

You want the Pacers to say their players were wrong, unequivocally, and it's not going to happen. "Backing your players" doesn't necessarily mean that you want your players to get off Scot-Free. It may just mean that you want to make sure they are treated fairly and appropriately. How it gets viewed by each of us is skewed by how we feel about the parties involved.


Again, my goal is to talk about this now so that soon I will never have to talk about this again.

This goal is not going to be attained through this thread. You (and I, and everybody else) can only get to this by individually deciding not to talk about it. Did you expect this thread to be cathartic? Did you expect to suddenly change the minds of everyone who disagrees with you? Did you expect someone to suddenly tell you the one thing that will turn you completely around on this issue? Each of us brought, and maintained, our previous attitudes and prejudices to the table. In the absence of any earth-shattering new revelation, everybody's positions have hardened to stone. Everybody's right, and everybody's wrong. There are people who will read what I just wrote and view it as smoke-filled, coffeehouse bull****, and others who will view it as incredibly insightful and nuanced. Hell, depending on what mood I'm in, I might find it to be a gross rationalization from time to time.

I have my view of what mistakes were made by the Pacers, and you have yours. They aren't going to change, materially, in the next few pages in the next few months. So...own 'em. If the subject comes up again, either weigh in and defend your position, or sail right past it. We are years away from getting out from under the brawl. It is too large and too important to the trajectory that the Pacers have been and will continue to follow to be simply "have it out and be done with it." It will inform every decision made by the front office for as long as the Simons own the Pacers, and may ultimately lead to a change in ownership and possibly a franchise move. How can you ignore it?

On the other hand, I'm sure that everybody's heard just about enough from me on this subject, so I should probably just sit back and listen for awhile.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 01:15 PM
In doing this I want to make a commitment to myself, I want to stop talking about Ron Artest, Jon Bender, Jermaine O'Neal, the 61 win season, Brad Miller, the brawl, Donnie Walsh, The Phoenix game, etc., etc.


Fixed. :p

Naptown_Seth
07-16-2008, 01:31 PM
We now have a resurgence of interest in and support for the team during an offseason, without a single additional win. So it becomes clear that character has played a part in that resurgence.
Sorry Putty, didn't mention this. Excellent point, this is the way to shut me up. :) I like logic.

Again a tweek, as that thread I started about the PR push stated, it's pretty clear the team has been proactive about proclaiming changes. They just added a good draft pick and pulled off another big trade (ignoring the swap of picks). Those are big PR items too, especially if they are viewed as successful moves.

So in that way they are "wins". The team has done something. Watch how quickly the interest in these new, nice guys fades if they only win 30 games. It's the "win on paper" syndrome which always generates buzz and interest.

And the corollary to that is the lagging Colts ticket sales during the Manning era prior to the SB run. Even after establishing themselves as a top contender with star players worth watching the Colts STILL had a couple of non-TV games in 2003.

Why? The "anti-win on paper", as in "sure they have those guys but I don't expect them to win". And the Colts weren't facing character issues during that time frame.


This is not meant to discount your character image point, just to expand that image to add "ability to win or be interesting" to it.

Frankly the buzz on draft night wasn't about getting rid of bad character guys, it was about adding quality assests for the first time in years, and partly due to having the highest pick they've had in awhile and the promise of trades for additional picks.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 01:31 PM
I do NOT feel as though the owners of the Pacers or their subordinate Donnie Walsh ever took any real responsibility for the brawl, nor any of the ensuing off court incidents.


DISCLAIMER: I IN NO WAY ENDORSE JAMAAL TINSLEY AS A PLAYER ON THIS TEAM.

About the Brawl:

What did you expect them to do? The league did everything when it came to discipline. As far as I'm concerned TPTB tried to defend their players as much as they could, in result helped lower Jermaine's suspension by a few games.

In fact, it really wasn't TPTB's responsibility to take any kind of responisbility since it wasn't the Simons or Donnie Walsh going into the stands that night.

Donnie Walsh publicly apologized for the incident, in which it wasn't his role to do in the first place, nor was Larry's. Not only did this incident hurt the fans, but it hurt the front office as well. They were the victims along with the fans.

Club Rio:

I feel like they did enough. When it came down to it, they were not going to punish Jax for anything he wasn't proven he did. When the time came, he was already off to Golden State. Then the League came down on him with that what, 5 game suspension? Fair.

8 Seconds:

Tinsley and Daniels did sit out the next game after the incident. I really stopped paying attention to the news after the Club Rio incident, but from what I understood that it was the same situation with Jackson, innocent until proven guilty. I think more could have been done, but that is in the past.

Downtown Shooting:

Tinsley was a victim. No doubt in my mind. Not deserving of disciplinary action.

In conclusion, I feel like the front office has done all they could to the point in what the league has already done. If you get a stiff enough punishment from the NBA, there is no need for further team action unless it's taking away practice time or participation in team functions.

I can't really say that TPTB were too light on the players involved in these events.

Naptown_Seth
07-16-2008, 01:33 PM
Peck,

Very well written and on point. If only I could get that same type of thoughtful, literate commentary from callers to the radio program.

MJB
Mark, if you're prepared to blow past commerical breaks I'm prepared to use/waste 20 minutes of air time with a call. :D

Dr. Goldfoot
07-16-2008, 01:33 PM
In an effort to mimic Peck, I too will let it out.



The brawl was awesome. The Pacers took on an entire stadium of fans that night. Mel Mel was swinging the dustpan, fans were throwing cups of beer at the team, players and coaches in suits were involved, Piston players families were involved, children were crying, JO laid some dude out big time, Larry Brown was nearly in tears trying to calm the place down, that dude on the PA actually gave up the mic for a few minutes, Freddie the Duck was getting tagged in the back of the head, David Harrison was trying to get over the scorer's table and all the while Ronnie and Jack looked like that scene from Slapshot where one of the brothers catches the keys in the face..."Is this him?" "No" "Is this him?". The suspensions were ridiculous. The talking heads spun their take on the subject 180 degrees within 24 hours.

I haven't been that excited about the NBA...ever.

The stuff that happened in the following years was comical to me. Jack gets his by a car and shoots his gun into the air. Jamaal, Quis & McLeod get into a fight at a traditionally country bar. Joey Quatro gets shot in Both elbows after a car chase downtown. Shawne Williams harbors a wanted man and oversleeps for his court date. You can't make this stuff up.

It was fun while it lasted and I wish they would have pulled it together because they were a talented bunch.

rexnom
07-16-2008, 01:43 PM
Agree to disagree.
Whale's vagina...carry on with the debate.

Hicks
07-16-2008, 01:44 PM
The brawl was awesome.

.......


I haven't been that excited about the NBA...ever.

.......

It was fun while it lasted

I'm sorry, but that's........ well, there's a lot of words/phrases I could use to finish that thought, and none of them are positive.

In summary:

:puke:

Dr. Goldfoot
07-16-2008, 01:50 PM
It may not of been great basketball and it certainly wasn't good for the Pacers, but for a dude in his mid-30's who sits around and watches 82 basketball games a year with a group of like minded beer drinkers we had a great time that night. It was awesome.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 01:51 PM
The brawl was awesome.
I haven't been that excited about the NBA...ever.




That has got to be the most uneducated post...ever.

In no way did that brawl have any positive implications for the fans, city, and franchise. I feel like mostly everyone else, that the brawl was the first step in creating the monster of a reputation that has taken us 4 years to try and repair.

I will now quote from the movie Billy Madison:


Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Dr. Goldfoot
07-16-2008, 01:53 PM
What can I say, I though it was fun to watch. I still think it's fun to watch.


Edit....I'm actually being serious. I'm a big basketball fan, too. You just don't see that ...ever.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 01:56 PM
What can I say, I though it was fun to watch. I still think it's fun to watch.


Edit....I'm actually being serious. I'm a big basketball fan, too. You just don't see that ...ever.


Yeah....okay :hmm:

Umm...a big no on that one, sport.

BillS
07-16-2008, 01:58 PM
Peck,

Very well written and on point. If only I could get that same type of thoughtful, literate commentary from callers to the radio program.

MJB


Mark, if you're prepared to blow past commerical breaks I'm prepared to use/waste 20 minutes of air time with a call. :D

In all seriousness, it strikes me that there are a number of well-informed and very articulate fans on this forum (Seth, UB, Peck, among others) as well as some who just articulate (like me). Focusing one of the call-in shows or even one of the talk segments with either in-studio or remote appearances by a few of them as representatives of the active fan base for the Pacers would seem to be a great idea.

BillS
07-16-2008, 01:59 PM
In an effort to mimic Peck, I too will let it out.

*snip*



In some ways that's more :blush: embarrassing than the brawl.

Dr. Goldfoot
07-16-2008, 02:03 PM
Why? The group of guys I watched that game with still talk about how crazy that was. We were so revved up that night. We kept getting closer and closer to the TV, louder and louder "Oh my gawd. Did you see that?" "Yes! Yes!....No! No! what are you doing?....Yes!" "Oh can you imagine JO running full speed and clocking you in your jaw like that?" "Check out Tinsley. He has a dustpan!" We actually made my dog pee all over the place that night. That was hilarious.

Too bad it was our team, but I wouldn't have been able to see it live otherwise.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 02:05 PM
In all seriousness, it strikes me that there are a number of well-informed and very articulate fans on this forum (Seth, UB, Peck, among others) as well as some who just articulate (like me). Focusing one of the call-in shows or even one of the talk segments with either in-studio or remote appearances by a few of them as representatives of the active fan base for the Pacers would seem to be a great idea.

Since I have such a long drive home from the games, I usually make it a habit to pop in on Kevin Lee's show. I am always amused at the array of obvious questions that are asked, especially after Kevin has addressed that particular topic in a previous call.

With all that said, I've tried to throw in some "thinkers" (for the common folk) from time to time to stimulate the dullness of the show. Just some things that are other than, "Who do you think we will trade Jermaine for?" or "When are they going to bench Tinsley?".

If it weren't for the blasted cell phone reception (or lack therof) every so often, we'd have ourselves a great show.

Dr. Goldfoot
07-16-2008, 02:06 PM
I think some of you guys just take it too damn serious. It is just entertainment afterall. I'm a huge Pacer fan. I can still see the joy of watching a professional basketball team get into a brawl with a stadium full of fans.......and I'm certainly not the only one.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 02:07 PM
I think I vomitted at the end of the end of brawl, before going to bed and not sleeping. It made my stomach turn.

To each their own, I guess.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 02:07 PM
Why? The group of guys I watched that game with still talk about how crazy that was. We were so revved up that night. We kept getting closer and closer to the TV, louder and louder "Oh my gawd. Did you see that?" "Yes! Yes!....No! No! what are you doing?....Yes!" "Oh can you imagine JO running full speed and clocking you in your jaw like that?" "Check out Tinsley. He has a dustpan!" We actually made my dog pee all over the place that night. That was hilarious.

Too bad it was our team, but I wouldn't have been able to see it live otherwise.

Of course you guys were loving it. Alcohol and fighting go hand in hand. You guys were drunk and wanted to see a show.

It doesn't matter. You don't have to try and rationalize your glee for the brawl. It was dumb, end of story.

Is it lonely in your hole?


I think some of you guys just take it too damn serious. It is just entertainment afterall. I'm a huge Pacer fan. I can still see the joy of watching a professional basketball team get into a brawl with a stadium full of fans.......and I'm certainly not the only one.

I'm taking it seriously because it has been over 4 years since I've seen good basketball. I'm not wasting my money to see crap like this happen.

You aren't the only one because there were thousands of people drinking that night when that happened. Of course people are going to like that. Save me another 4 years of embarassment and harassment for being a supporting fan and let it go.

If you want to watch a fight, go to a boxing or UFC match. There you can get drunk and beat up on all your friends in the parking lot.

I'm sure it won't hurt.

Hicks
07-16-2008, 02:10 PM
It may not of been great basketball and it certainly wasn't good for the Pacers, but for a dude in his mid-30's who sits around and watches 82 basketball games a year with a group of like minded beer drinkers we had a great time that night. It was awesome.


What can I say, I though it was fun to watch. I still think it's fun to watch.


Edit....I'm actually being serious. I'm a big basketball fan, too. You just don't see that ...ever.


Why? The group of guys I watched that game with still talk about how crazy that was. We were so revved up that night. We kept getting closer and closer to the TV, louder and louder "Oh my gawd. Did you see that?" "Yes! Yes!....No! No! what are you doing?....Yes!" "Oh can you imagine JO running full speed and clocking you in your jaw like that?" "Check out Tinsley. He has a dustpan!" We actually made my dog pee all over the place that night. That was hilarious.

Too bad it was our team, but I wouldn't have been able to see it live otherwise.


I think some of you guys just take it too damn serious. It is just entertainment afterall. I'm a huge Pacer fan. I can still see the joy of watching a professional basketball team get into a brawl with a stadium full of fans.......and I'm certainly not the only one.



That is pathetic.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 02:12 PM
That is pathetic.

Very.

Dr. Goldfoot
07-16-2008, 02:22 PM
I'm sure my perspective of the night would come off better in person. I'm not some drunken, fightin' immature kid. My skin is thick enough to take the potshots some of you are throwing my way, though.

To answer one of the original questions people quit going to games when it became unfashionable to attend a Pacer game. Right now, you're cool if you have Colts tickets because they're good and have a new stadium and some transcendent players just like it was when the Pacers had Reggie, a new fieldhouse and were contenders.

Naptown_Seth
07-16-2008, 02:24 PM
I'm sorta with Goldfoot on this one. I don't think it was right and I hated what it did to the Pacers, but on the other hand people LOVE watching a John Ford western break into a bar brawl. That's good wholesome fun if Wayne's decking some guy.

Mentioning Slap Shot is great because it's true, people see those moments as funny, POSITIVE character moments. They like to see the hero dish it out even to people that in real life wouldn't deserve it.

That NY/DEN thing had us all buzzing when it happened during a PD get together. These things do draw attention and interest.

This is not the same as seeing someone truly hurt, that's when it turns ugly and disgusting. And I agree that as you let that Detroit thing go you were running a high risk of serious injury.

It's just that the moral outrage is stupid from a fan base that runs right back out to watch Jackie Chan in action or runs down to an Ice game to hoot while the hometown wing decks the goalie out of nowhere.

Fans CHEERED when Dale Davis ran down to help Tony and choked the hell out of whoever that was (I forget).



And as I always do, I turn to the Colts as the counter to any arguments that clear the fanbase's name in this matter. These people left PEYTON FREAKING MANNING high and dry on many games. They skipped games and called into shows to say that he and Dungy were big game chokers.

One of them was named Shade and had a meltdown right before the SB run began. ;)

If the city had this history of outstanding sports support then you could use them as a measuring stick for the team. But the fact is they don't.

MSA curtains were the NORM. That says it all and long before these incidents. Let alone the pining for the ABA team that did like to have a drink, pose in undies for a calender or mix it up with someone on a rough night.

Unclebuck
07-16-2008, 02:26 PM
I think some of you guys just take it too damn serious. It is just entertainment afterall. I'm a huge Pacer fan. I can still see the joy of watching a professional basketball team get into a brawl with a stadium full of fans .......and I'm certainly not the only one.

Wow, I must strongly disagree. Seeing Artest run into the stands was one of the scariest things I have ever seen and I'll never forget the way it made me feel - sort of like seeing a close friend driving down the wrong way of a one way street and knowing impending doom was just ahead. The whole incident was scary and it impacted me a great deal that night and what almost 4 years later - no it will be a night I'll never forget.

But then I don't like to see fights - not sure what it is but the certain gene that males have that allows them to enjoy fights - I just don't have that gene I guess. Hockey fights do nothing for me. In movies it is a little different because it is fake

ABADays
07-16-2008, 02:28 PM
1. Knowing that ticket sales have already increased can we just write off the fact that the culture of the team has changed and in changing this some of the fans are returning?

Tinsley still represents one of the significant links from the past. I think true fans see the culture change. When Tinsley is gone the more casual fan fan will come back and if they put together some kind of season all will be well.

2. Was the win loss % the only reason for last seasons attendance?

Partly

3. Was the economy the only reason for last seasons attendance?

No

4. Was a combination of the economy and win/loss % the only reasons for last seasons attendance?

No

5. If neither of these or the combination of these was the reason, what other reasons are there?


1. Am I wrong to feel that the team (owners and Walsh) never took actual responsibility for the actions of our players?

I'm sorry but I don't agree with assuming responsibility for idiots. Dealing wth them is another issue. I always had a feeling the Simons were holding the front office at bay trying to deal with this at the league level.

2. If I am wrong, remember these are about feelings not facts, then was I the only person who felt that way? Or is it possible that a few others out there felt the same way and that this combined with other incidents where the management didn't respond with dissaproval of the players, might have kept a couple of people away?

I agree that following incidents and the appearance of not doing anything contributed.

3. Was Ron Artest as popular at the fieldhouse as he was online?

Apparently

4. Was Steven Jackson unfairly painted by his actions at the brawl?

Absolutely not. His body language showed me he was looking for a fight.

5. Was Jermaine O'Neal an innocent vicitim of the brawl?

I think to a large degree yes.

I still think to this day David Stern was just be a napoleonic pr*ck. I was enraged then and not much better now about the Pistons being held virtually blameless.

I think it is important to say here that a lot of the sunshine brigade had returned to me this season. Efforts are being made that I think are virtually perfect. Restore the Pride!

count55
07-16-2008, 02:29 PM
Fans CHEERED when Dale Davis ran down to help Tony and choked the hell out of whoever that was (I forget).

Michael Smith

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 02:34 PM
Wow, I must strongly disagree. Seeing Artest run into the stands was one of the scariest things I have ever seen and I'll never forget the way it made me feel - sort of like seeing a close friend driving down the wrong way of a one way street and knowing impending doom was just ahead. The whole incident was scary and it impacted me a great deal that night and what almost 4 years later - no it will be a night I'll never forget.

But then I don't like to see fights - not sure what it is but the certain gene that males have that allows them to enjoy fights - I just don't have that gene I guess. Hockey fights do nothing for me. In movies it is a little different because it is fake


I have to agree with John Candy here and say that my heart sunk into my stomach that night watching those events unfold.

As much as I hate every other team, I would not wish that upon any franchise. Drunk or sober.

Watching the Denver/NY fight, only made the images of the Detroit Brawl look more and more realistic. That and the fact that they were saying, "Remember, not too long ago this in Auburn Hills happened..."

So no, it's not a funny joke. This is one thing I can not look back and laugh at, either.

JayRedd
07-16-2008, 02:35 PM
To echo, Goldfoot, Ph.D....The brawl in and of itself was fantastic.

Had it been Bucks, Rockets or Knicks players throwing haymakers at Piston fans, there would have been no downside.

Well, except for the fact that you sort of need a guy like Tru Warier involved. Okay...Had it Had it been Bucks, Rockets or Knicks players plus a back-from-retirement Anthony Mason throwing haymakers at Piston fans, there would have been no downside.

Hicks
07-16-2008, 02:35 PM
There's a HUGE difference between NBA men slugging it out on the court, resulting in small suspensions, and what happened that night, with players going after fans, and the consequences of that night. Huge, still-paying-for consequences.

:scream:

*edit* Looking back on what it did to our reputation, to our team, to our title hopes, etc. to call it awesome is offensive, to put it nicely.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 02:37 PM
To echo, Goldfoot, Ph.D....The brawl in and of itself was fantastic.

Had it been Bucks, Rockets or Knicks players throwing haymakers at Piston fans, there would have been no downside.

Always welcome to at least 1 comment from the peanut gallery.

count55
07-16-2008, 02:39 PM
I think some people are pushing buttons, and some people are getting their buttons pushed.

LoneGranger33
07-16-2008, 02:41 PM
I prefer fights of the on-court variety. No fans involved.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 02:42 PM
I think some people are pushing buttons, and some people are getting their buttons pushed.

Some people are supporting the brawl, what do you expect?

LoneGranger33
07-16-2008, 02:44 PM
Only one reasonable solution to this argument - AN ALL-OUT BRAWL!

Naptown_Seth
07-16-2008, 02:46 PM
Hicks, I was much more disturbed by the uncontrolled masses, especially at the tunnels.

Guys mix it up, even with a "fan" if that fan tries to interject himself into the situation by throwing, grabbing, or whatever.

As a kid one of my favorite moments was when the Rangers (or was it Islanders) jumped the glass in Boston (IIRC) when a fan took one of their sticks. The guy ended up upside down getting beat with his own shoe.

Even writing that I find it funny and just. I don't fully approve of violence as a solution, but I do acknowledge it.

Looking back at it I'd rather have Jack punching some beer throwing jerk in the face than shooting off a gun at 3 AM while a car races toward him.


Had those rowdy Pacers redeemed themselves by coming together as a team and winning big time, not only would we love them but so would the country. Double that if they had gone on to win the ECF in Detroit that next season.

That's what sports legends are made of.

Instead they mostly punked out and spun the whole thing into the gutter.


Just make sure to skip Batman. I hear there's simulated violence in it and no one likes to see the simulation of someone being hurt or killed.

Dr. Goldfoot
07-16-2008, 02:47 PM
I'm not supporting the brawl. I just refuse to act like I didn't find some pleasure in JO knocking the block off some a-hole in a $200 jersey with $15 dollar jeans who thought it was a good idea to step up on the behemoth that is Ron Artest.
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/UF8vjZYnPOw&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/UF8vjZYnPOw&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 02:50 PM
I'm not supporting the brawl. I just refuse to act like I didn't find some pleasure in JO knocking the block off some a-hole in a $200 jersey with $15 dollar jeans who thought it was a good idea to step up on the behemoth that is Ron Artest.


You are too supporting the brawl, you've said so in previous posts. Just the past few you are trying to recognize the fact that some of the punches and action were good.

NO.

Naptown_Seth
07-16-2008, 02:51 PM
Some people are supporting the brawl, what do you expect?
Duke, Goldfoot has been around here and the Star a long time and he's one of the most reasonable posters I typically read.

What's happening is that people love to comfort themselves with a black and white painting of something which ignores the subtle and sometimes contradictory nature of things.

Unless WWF/E matches stopped outselling Pacers games in Conseco.


So first Goldfoot was somewhat satirical and then has gone on to point out some legit truth to the fact that to some degree that brawl could have been seen as an embarrassing but slightly comical situation. The media really fueled the outrage fire with their typical Walton-esque hyperbole.


Hicks - I 100% agree that given the tangent it sent the team off on it was a disaster, but I'm sure Peck will happily read me say that the fact is the brawl didn't really do that, it was the players themselves. They were always headed that direction it would seem.

Even in my slight defense of Jackson (simply as not that bad sometimes) I can still see and agree that the mix of players and attitudes clearly stunk and just got worse.


Hands up, who stopped rooting for Reggie after the Jordan face claw or the Lakers bench body slam or the night he was with Barkley and a fan got tossed threw a window.

LoneGranger33
07-16-2008, 02:54 PM
The only funny part (and it was funny in a sick way) of the whole brawl was when Ben Wallace's brother started beating on Fred Jones.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 02:54 PM
Duke, Goldfoot has been around here and the Star a long time and he's one of the most reasonable posters I typically read.

What's happening is that people love to comfort themselves with a black and white painting of something which ignores the subtle and sometimes contradictory nature of things.

Unless WWF/E matches stopped outselling Pacers games in Conseco.


So first Goldfoot was somewhat satirical and then has gone on to point out some legit truth to the fact that to some degree that brawl could have been seen as an embarrassing but slightly comical situation. The media really fueled the outrage fire with their typical Walton-esque hyperbole.


Hicks - I 100% agree that given the tangent it sent the team off on it was a disaster, but I'm sure Peck will happily read me say that the fact is the brawl didn't really do that, it was the players themselves. They were always headed that direction it would seem.

Even in my slight defense of Jackson (simply as not that bad sometimes) I can still see and agree that the mix of players and attitudes clearly stunk and just got worse.


In all due respect, I don't care how long he has been around here. The fact of the matter is that he is making the brawl look like this glorious event that should have been recognized for the best fighting that there has been televised in a long time.

In no way did the brawl have a positive outcome. For the fans, city, or the franchise.

A lot of the people here know that I am typically one who ignores the media when it comes to these things, but it wasn't a bar fight. This was at an event. The media's job is to engage the viewer/listener. Of course they are going to do everythin they can to attract ratings. I don't care about that. The fact of the matter is that it happened.

You can't speculate that the players were already on a downward spiral even without the brawl. That is what it is...speculation. "What if?" "Maybe?" You just can't say that.

No. I stand strong on this topic.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 02:58 PM
Seth wins the thread.

The brawl, or something like it, was inevitable for that team. After months of selfish play, in-fighting, general lunacy and finding themselves in bad situations, they reached thier actual potential. It just wasn't the on-court glory we all hoped for.

In fact, if anything it was better for the fans. Had Artest attempted to kill teammate - specfically Jermaine (which I do think is a reasonable expectation for Artest) behind-the-scenes, you'd have a lot of people playing the misunderstood-Artest card for even longer. Between the brawl and subsequent trade demand, it was clear to almost everyone that Artest was real problem (admittedly, he wasn't the only probem, just the most obvious one.)

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 03:01 PM
Seth wins the thread.

The brawl, or something like it, was inevitable for that team. After months of selfish play, in-fighting, general lunacy and finding themselves in bad situations, they reached thier actual potential. It just wasn't the on-court glory we all hoped for.

Months of selfish play? They weren't even a month into the season! How can that even be taken into account?

The previous season was a great season. We started off strong the brawl season minus some of Artest's antics. That isn't enough to say that the team was going down anyway. There isn't enough triggers there to say that they were a falling team from the get-go.

Dr. Goldfoot
07-16-2008, 03:05 PM
This was at an event.

That would've all but been forgotten if the far more exciting brawl hadn't happened. Here we are still talking about it 4 years later. It's certainly a polarizing subject but still more exciting than the actual game. We aren't talking about game 4 of that season are we?

Bball
07-16-2008, 03:08 PM
Even in my slight defense of Jackson

I just looked up "understatement" in the dictionary and they are already using the above Seth quote as an example of the word!

;)

-Bball

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 03:09 PM
That would've all but been forgotten if the far more exciting brawl hadn't happened. Here we are still talking about it 4 years later. It's certainly a polarizing subject but still more exciting than the actual game. We aren't talking about game 4 of that season are we?

No, because we were 4-0 at that time.

We weren't too bad before the brawl, so saying that this team was in a state of "soon-to-be-failing" isn't a viable statement.

We were 6-2 before the Detroit game.

ajbry
07-16-2008, 03:11 PM
Seth wins the thread.

The brawl, or something like it, was inevitable for that team. After months of selfish play, in-fighting, general lunacy and finding themselves in bad situations, they reached thier actual potential. It just wasn't the on-court glory we all hoped for.

Come on Jay, you're better than this... Everyone was falling in love with the big three up until the brawl occurred.

http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=7037

ABADays
07-16-2008, 03:12 PM
I think some of you guys just take it too damn serious. It is just entertainment afterall. I'm a huge Pacer fan. I can still see the joy of watching a professional basketball team get into a brawl with a stadium full of fans.......and I'm certainly not the only one.

Seems somewhat of a paradoxical statement. I don't know how one could be a huge Pacer fan and enjoy something that brought the franchise to its knees. The ramifications could have even been worse.

JayRedd
07-16-2008, 03:15 PM
What's happening is that people love to comfort themselves with a black and white painting of something which ignores the subtle and sometimes contradictory nature of things.

Thank you. Jeez.

No one's "supporting the brawl."

That's as silly as accusing someone of "not supporting America" cause they criticize something about the country. The Brawl was horrible. It ruined my favorite team and your beloved local franchise for the better part of a decade (or at least initiated the ruination process).

And the notion of players fighting in the stands is of courese terrible. Kids could have gotten trampled. Someone could have died.

But...you know what? Neither of those things happened.

So whatever...Yall can take it as serious as you want. There were no Rudy Tomjonovich-like repercussions. Some of us enjoy chaos minus tragedy. Because it involved the Pacers, ultimately, the Brawl infinitely sucked. Yes. That's a given.

But just because I'm a Pacers fan it doesn't negate the fact that watching a bunch of 6'8" dudes throw-down with a bunch of drunk idiots (not to mention Freddy gettting pummeled in the back of the head) is a good time, IMO.

To some of of this is awesome:

lVMAnrZmZZA

And so is this:

8Yw8GTNOECY

And this:

78wwGbijFXw

And most of these:

dg9k_3gGAHA

And these:

GacYEtfI8MM


Another opinion is that all of these shenanigans are awful and bad for society. I, and some others here (I believe), don't share that belief. C'est la vie. You can disagree with us and that's fine. Just don't act like we're baby killers because we like to watch people smack each other around. This wasn't Rudy Tomjonovich, Joe Thiesman or Clint Malarchuk we're talking about.

And hey...It coulda been worse:

Z0QRWnaJqgU

BillS
07-16-2008, 03:17 PM
That would've all but been forgotten if the far more exciting brawl hadn't happened. Here we are still talking about it 4 years later. It's certainly a polarizing subject but still more exciting than the actual game. We aren't talking about game 4 of that season are we?

OK, that's just ridiculous.

We aren't talking about it because it was exciting and we love it and want to see it like that every year.

We talk about it because it was the seminal event leading to the collapse of our franchise. It destroyed a reputation it took years to build, it halted the momentum on the court completely. It and the personalities involved in it becme more of a focus than winning ball games. It was the most significant event of the season and probably the decade.

It was not an indication that all of us on the thread would love to trade in our NBA tickets for the WWE and screw the Pacers, what we want is fights and blood wooo hooo.

The belief in the media and around the city that it IS what the Pacers and anyone willing to be a fan are all about is what we've fought against for years.

I resent being told that any other answer than being excited or even ambivalent about the fight is trying to whitewash history.

I was disgusted and upset and knew that it'd be a cold day in Hell before we saw another Pacer game on national TV.

I watched the DEN/NY fight hoping that it would wipe the brawl off the map. It didn't, nor did anyone get punished even remotely as severely.

ajbry
07-16-2008, 03:17 PM
I'm not ashamed to admit I felt a certain sense of pride given the loyalty of the team and their willingness to stand up for each other in a harsh environment against your main rival. However, it doesn't excuse their incredibly hot-headed and misguided actions and the blatant disregard they had for people's safety. There's nothing to be happy about.

BillS
07-16-2008, 03:21 PM
JayRedd, fights between players and fights in the stands cannot be compared. I don't like baseball players climbing out of the bullpen. I don't like fans rushing the field to join a fight in football (American OR European). Players letting out frustration on each other is one thing - they are paid to be on the field. I wish there was less of it, especially in hockey, but there it is. I would never condone players going after fans any more than I condone fans throwing things at players.

JayRedd
07-16-2008, 03:22 PM
I'm not condoning it.

I'm just saying it looks cool on my TV.

grace
07-16-2008, 03:25 PM
That is pathetic.

And also why God created the ignore list.

The ignore this thread option is quickly gaining popularity.

avoidingtheclowns
07-16-2008, 03:36 PM
Only one reasonable solution to this argument - AN ALL-OUT BRAWL!

i should punch you in the face just for suggesting something like that.


I should probably just sit back and listen for awhile.

please don't. seriously. whether i agree with you or not (though more often i seem to agree), your posts are some of the most thoughtful on this board - especially your contribution to this thread.

Putnam
07-16-2008, 03:43 PM
And also why God created the ignore list.

The ignore this thread option is quickly gaining popularity.


Sadly.

It is a really good thread, actually, until it took a new focus at about post 34 or 39.

Putnam
07-16-2008, 03:46 PM
i should punch you in the face just for suggesting something like that.

please don't. seriously. whether i agree with you or not (though more often i seem to agree), your posts are some of the most thoughtful on this board - especially your contribution to this thread.



Can we restore Elgin56's, bulletproof's and Dat Dude's memberships, just for this thread?

avoidingtheclowns
07-16-2008, 03:49 PM
Can we restore Elgin56's, bulletproof's and Dat Dude's memberships, just for this thread?

i should punch you in the face just for suggesting...

Putnam
07-16-2008, 03:51 PM
i should punch you in the face just for suggesting...



Yeah? Well if you want to start the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny don't forget: I'm the closest thing PD has to Mr. Rogers!

Unclebuck
07-16-2008, 03:54 PM
It is interesting the direction this thread has taken - not unexpected though

Naptown_Seth
07-16-2008, 04:04 PM
I just looked up "understatement" in the dictionary and they are already using the above Seth quote as an example of the word!

;)

-Bball
I knew that was coming. :-p

But I seriously meant it to imply that I never gave the guy carte blanche. I OFTEN defended him, but I did not defend him to a great magnitude at any given time. I just think he cared more about winning than given credit, liked Rick and was liked by Rick more than his in-game outbursts suggested, and wasn't the full-blown thug people suggest.

I know a former neighbor of his. The guy was very nice and a good neighbor.

Again, subtle and sometimes contradictory. I just get so tired of the easy sweep into "pick one of two" all the time. I don't think Jack ruined the team and I think Jack could have flourished if he had been in Rose's spot with the 98-00 team. He's a streaky shooter, hot tempered, a sometimes active and capable defender that obviously is able to participate on winning teams.


I don't think there was going to be a brawl or some single incident, but I do think the brawl didn't actually ruin the team as much as it was already festering underneath. The Reggie, Rik, Dale, Jax team could have taken that brawl hit even if it had been Dale out all year for throttling Green. Those guys would have rebounded and solidified, which is exactly how they became a great team in the first place.

The brawl tested that 03-04 team and it was the first warning sign of failure. They didn't have a force capable of holding them together (JO) and had way too many disparate forces working against each other.



It is interesting the direction this thread has taken - not unexpected though
Did I miss the Princess Bride derail? :-p

Naptown_Seth
07-16-2008, 04:10 PM
Months of selfish play? They weren't even a month into the season! How can that even be taken into account?

The previous season was a great season. We started off strong the brawl season minus some of Artest's antics. That isn't enough to say that the team was going down anyway. There isn't enough triggers there to say that they were a falling team from the get-go.
Tinsley's instant falling out with Carlisle, putting Anderson as the starter instead.

The entire team's MASSIVE (like 2nd worst 2nd half record) collapse after the all-star break in Isiah's final year, involving nightmare Ron's main body of work and an embarrassing first round upset.

Rumors of JO and Ron not getting along (and actually fighting). Jackson going off in the locker room and then apologizing to everyone the next day. Al's carping about his role on the team.


The team was great at times, but you also kept seeing these indicators pop up that in hindsight look pretty obvious to me. And I defend that roster most of the time, I'm not the standard blaster like Peck or Bball are of them. But I have to concede that point to them, the roster had massive issues constantly stirring the pot.




I'm also saying that Goldfoot isn't trolling here. He didn't say (without satire) "Yay, the brawl was the best thing that ever happened to the team". He's just lampooning the total demonization of it. Everyone says Ron got the wrong guy, but he really didn't. If you go back and watch the pre-brawl you see that the dude Ron does grab was egging on the fight, pounding his fist and just as eager for it to get out of hand as Green was.

So in that way there is a sense of "ha, you asked for it and you got it". Do I feel happy about that kind of karma? Sure.

But let's be clear, there is no way I, Goldfoot or JayRedd would want that to come at the expense of some kid getting trampled.

HOWEVER, who the F-bomb had their kid in that drunken, rowdy, late night environment by that point anyway? Apart from team family members that is. You think I'd want to have my (not yet existing) 8 year old sitting within earshot of John Green's group of drunks, even before the hard foul? No thanks. Those dudes and many others needed to be booted long before the brawl.

This is not Ron and Jack chase a guy into a children's choir, this is Ron and Jack STUPIDLY try to fight 5000 people. It bordered on a scene out of Cannonball Run. If Dom Deluise popped out in his cap and said "Duh Duh Daaaaa, I'm here to save you" the scene couldn't have been more surreal and absurd.

That's the embarrassing part. You aren't "embarrassed" by real violence, you are ashamed and guilt ridden.

avoidingtheclowns
07-16-2008, 04:12 PM
Yeah? Well if you want to start the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny don't forget: I'm the closest thing PD has to Mr. Rogers!

trust me, after the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny you won't have any mcfeeling in your donkey hodie until at least next king friday the XIII.

Naptown_Seth
07-16-2008, 04:23 PM
3rd post just for the irony.

Peck starts a thread to forget the brawl and other incidents and we break out into an online version of that very brawl.

Goldfoot is Ron, I'm Jack, and I think JayRedd is getting punched in the back of the head by BillS. Sorry Duke, you might be John Green. And one of you is going to have to be Turtle in all this.

avoidingtheclowns
07-16-2008, 04:26 PM
Goldfoot is Ron, I'm Jack, and I think JayRedd is getting punched in the back of the head by BillS. Sorry Duke, you might be John Green. And one of you is going to have to be Turtle in all this.

magicrat waves a dustpan at the computer screen

LoneGranger33
07-16-2008, 04:28 PM
Z0QRWnaJqgU

Front row tickets: 11,850 Dinar
Two plates of pljeskavica: 700 Dinar
Replica Stanko Barac jersey: 4,000 Dinar

Finding out minutes before tip-off that your favorite player isn't going to play: Priceless

JayRedd
07-16-2008, 04:33 PM
Actually, I'm JO, Naptime.

I was really trying to stay out of the whole fiasco but, somehow, I found myself in the middle of a crowd just tryna protect a PD mate from taking a cheapshot when all of the sudden a chair comes flying at my head for no reason.


Front row tickets: 11,850 Dinar
Two plates of pljeskavica: 700 Dinar
Replica Stanko Barac jersey: 4,000 Dinar

Finding out minutes before tip-off that your favorite player isn't going to play: Priceless

...and lookie lookie at little ol' Turtle wandering out on the court to see what's going on.

BillS
07-16-2008, 04:49 PM
I don't think there was going to be a brawl or some single incident, but I do think the brawl didn't actually ruin the team as much as it was already festering underneath. The Reggie, Rik, Dale, Jax team could have taken that brawl hit even if it had been Dale out all year for throttling Green. Those guys would have rebounded and solidified, which is exactly how they became a great team in the first place.

I disagree here to an extent.

I don't care what team gets into the brawl, that many suspension games and disruption of the on-court momentum is going to take a lot of overcoming.

We consider the Reggie, Rick, Dale, Jax team to be filled with enough character that the <i>subsequent</i> issues would perhaps not have occurred - but rumor has it that Dale was into a toke or two, so imagine he gets caught, and suppose Rik never manages to be on court for significant minutes after that season due to his feet, and the incident with Reggie being out with Barkley during a fight happens ... now maybe we have the same compounding of issues from a team that actually seemed to mostly like each other and be well-liked by the fans.

Someone can make the point that the fans in Indy never embraced the team of the brawl like they did the Reggie, Rik, Dale, Jax team, but set this as happening in 1995-96 against the Knicks and suddenly you have a whole new world, one where those guys also never get to that "city falling in love with them" stage.

Yes, the underlying issues of the JO, Jackson, Artest team certainly contributed to the team brawling instead of backing off. The underlying issues contributed to the later problems that seemed to all hit at the wrong time. Certainly RonRon's treatment of the fans after they stood behind him felt like a stab in the back (props to TheDon for pointing this out).

If the brawl doesn't happen the other off-court issues might be able to be forgiven. If the other off-court issues don't happen, the brawl might be overcome. All of them together, timed perfectly to scuttle any marketing - not surmountable.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 04:49 PM
3rd post just for the irony.

Peck starts a thread to forget the brawl and other incidents and we break out into an online version of that very brawl.

Goldfoot is Ron, I'm Jack, and I think JayRedd is getting punched in the back of the head by BillS. Sorry Duke, you might be John Green. And one of you is going to have to be Turtle in all this.


Don't compare me to that pathetic piece of trash. I would never, ever do anything to disrupt a sporting event.

My love for the team will never die out, and I will never do anything to hinder myself from supporting the Pacers until the day there is either no team or no me.

Shame on you.

naptownmenace
07-16-2008, 04:50 PM
THE QUESTIONS

1. Knowing that ticket sales have already increased can we just write off the fact that the culture of the team has changed and in changing this some of the fans are returning?

No. That's definitely the number 1 reason.

2. Was the win loss % the only reason for last seasons attendance?

Nope. That's never the only reason.

3. Was the economy the only reason for last seasons attendance?

Nope. That's never the only reason.

4. Was a combination of the economy and win/loss % the only reasons for last seasons attendance?

Nope. That's never the only reason.

5. If neither of these or the combination of these was the reason, what other reasons are there?
All of the above. I don't see how anyone can answer otherwise. It's never just one or two things but a culmination of negative events that lead to the decline. You could also add the retirement of Reggie Miller and subsequent trade request by Ron Artest to that mix.



STATEMENT

1. Am I wrong to feel that the team (owners and Walsh) never took actual responsibility for the actions of our players?

I understand where you are coming from but totally disagree.

2. If I am wrong, remember these are about feelings not facts, then was I the only person who felt that way? Or is it possible that a few others out there felt the same way and that this combined with other incidents where the management didn't respond with dissaproval of the players, might have kept a couple of people away?

It's possible but I've never heard anyone complain about that before reading this post. I'd venture to say that David Stern and the NBA refs received 50% of the blame with the Pistons receiving 30%, Ben Wallace 10%, Artest 10%, and I don't think anyone complained about the Pacers brass at all after the brawl.

3. Was Ron Artest as popular at the fieldhouse as he was online?

Yeah. He was a fan favorite.

4. Was Steven Jackson unfairly painted by his actions at the brawl?

Yes, and by his actions at outside that strip club too. The man was punched in the face and hit by a car for crying out loud!

5. Was Jermaine O'Neal an innocent vicitim of the brawl?

Yes and no. Yes, he was guilty of punching that fan in the face but no I didn't have a problem with that and think the fan deserved it. JO shouldn't have got more than 5 games for it either.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 04:51 PM
Months of selfish play? They weren't even a month into the season! How can that even be taken into account?

The previous season was a great season. We started off strong the brawl season minus some of Artest's antics. That isn't enough to say that the team was going down anyway. There isn't enough triggers there to say that they were a falling team from the get-go.

Did you not watch the 2004 playoffs?

In spite of winning 61 games, the 2003-04 team had a lot of internal problems that were beginning to surface throughout the spring of 2004 and were already boiling over in the fall of 2004.

Let's see... Artest has a meltdown against Miami... won't board the team plane, gets upset/ feels disrespected that SVG uses his man to double (or triple) team JO, etc. And then there's the ECFs, with another meltdown, including flying commerical to Detroit. In a very win-able Game #6, Artest picks up a cheap flagrant against Hamilton, fires up a 30-footer with 19 seconds on the shotclock, and tries to dunk over Ben and Rasheed, and ignores his coach pleading with him to work the ball into JO.

And then in the offseason, we added Stephen Ballhog Jackson to the mix. Good plan... NOT.

You can't act like the 2004-05 team was assembled in the summer of 2004.

And even so, Artest had just returned from a two-game suspension after he announced he was quitting the team and then changing his mind a short time later. Really stable guy, huh? When he flew commercial to Minneapolis during his suspension, the team went to great lenghts to keep him and JO from being in the lockerroom at the same time.

If you want to dig around the archives, you will find I was never a believer that the 2004-05 team was destined for greatness. Maybe the rest of you were fooled. And I was hoping to be proven wrong, but I wasn't. That team reached the destiny I feared, albeit in a manner I couldn't have predicted.

If there wasn't a brawl in Game #9, there would have something else catastrophic by Game #20. We just don't know what it would have been.


Come on Jay, you're better than this... Everyone was falling in love with the big three up until the brawl occurred.

http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=7037

Not everyone. We were a small, vocal, unpopular minority.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 04:56 PM
Doesn't matter. The season that happened happened. I can't go off the basis that Ron Artest did this, Ron Artest did that. It's Ron Artest! He is a basket case.

I am still not sold on the argument that the season was destined to go down the tubes. At worst it could have a been a mediocre year.

BillS
07-16-2008, 05:21 PM
Doesn't matter. The season that happened happened. I can't go off the basis that Ron Artest did this, Ron Artest did that. It's Ron Artest! He is a basket case.

I am still not sold on the argument that the season was destined to go down the tubes. At worst it could have a been a mediocre year.

Agreed.

Without the Brawl Artest is at worst a distraction who ends up getting traded (and probably for more than we got) and at best things work out and he's our Rodman. Subsequent incidents don't have the pall of the brawl over them and are judged on their own merits rather than as part of a pattern. Maybe Jacksin is able to overcome the negative publicity and stay with the team - some think on a basketball level that would have been a better thing.

LoneGranger33
07-16-2008, 05:33 PM
Agreed.

Without the Brawl Artest is at worst a distraction who ends up getting traded (and probably for more than we got) and at best things work out and he's our Rodman. Subsequent incidents don't have the pall of the brawl over them and are judged on their own merits rather than as part of a pattern. Maybe Jacksin is able to overcome the negative publicity and stay with the team - some think on a basketball level that would have been a better thing.

Ajbry is going to love this.

rexnom
07-16-2008, 05:34 PM
Don't compare me to that pathetic piece of trash. I would never, ever do anything to disrupt a sporting event.

My love for the team will never die out, and I will never do anything to hinder myself from supporting the Pacers until the day there is either no team or no me.

Shame on you.
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/jsrtturiWrc&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/jsrtturiWrc&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
Btw, I love our historiographical analysis of the Brawl. People in this thread could write dissertations on the brawl.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 05:35 PM
Agreed.

Without the Brawl Artest is at worst a distraction who ends up getting traded (and probably for more than we got) and at best things work out and he's our Rodman. Subsequent incidents don't have the pall of the brawl over them and are judged on their own merits rather than as part of a pattern. Maybe Jacksin is able to overcome the negative publicity and stay with the team - some think on a basketball level that would have been a better thing.

You're right.

I've never been a "what if?" guy. I am just saying just because the in the past there have been some behavioral issues, doesn't mean that the season was likely to go down in flames even if there wasn't a brawl.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 05:36 PM
<OBJECT height=344 width=425>

<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/jsrtturiWrc&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></OBJECT></P>Btw, I love our historiographical analysis of the Brawl. People in this thread could write dissertations on the brawl.


Wow, I didn't get that kind of reaction during the forum party...

rexnom
07-16-2008, 05:38 PM
Wow, I didn't get that kind of reaction during the forum party...
No offense. Just trying to ease the tension. The brawl gets us all WAY too worked up.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 05:43 PM
No offense. Just trying to ease the tension. The brawl gets us all WAY too worked up.
None taken. But you'd understand if you were being compared to a douchebag.

Mourning
07-16-2008, 05:49 PM
I think some people are pushing buttons, and some people are getting their buttons pushed.

:nods:

Btw I thought your earlier (rather long) post was brilliant, particularly in the way the Brawl was handled. To me the Pacers mainly got what they deserved, but the Pistons, the refs, etc (io everyone else involved) basically got away with murder.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 06:06 PM
You're right.

I've never been a "what if?" guy. I am just saying just because the in the past there have been some behavioral issues, doesn't mean that the season was likely to go down in flames even if there wasn't a brawl.

We don't have to play "what if". The season DID go down in flames. And that team, in spite of on-court talent, never came close to recovering. But you are playing "what if"...

Less than ten games into the season and Artest had already been suspended by the team for two games and then by the league for the rest of the season. It isn't a stretch of the imagination at all to say that, if the brawl never happened, unless the team traded Artest by 12/1/2004, *something* else would have happened.

Ron and JO weren't on speaking terms. Unless you count, "F#$% you, quitter!" "No, F#$% you, overpaid baby!" as 'speaking terms.' They did have a mutual enemy, though, a guy named Carlisle who also didn't get along with Tinsley.

There is a reason I wrote, "This Team is Built for the Regular Season" back then. I don't claim to be a prophet, and could not have predicted the brawl, but I was predicting something catastrophically bad was going to happen. (My prediction was that Ron would deliver a career-ending injury to JO in one of their lockerroom fights).

You can bury your head in the sand and say this wasn't predictable. But there were a few of us at the time that kept saying, "we see more bad stuff happening, and each time it gets a bit worse."

If you are playing "what if", the worst possible assumption you could make was that the team would magically sail through the rest of the season without further incidents and then breeze through the playoffs. They were a dysfunctional mess, and had been for a long time. They did mask it with 61 wins. But we have learned that winning doesn't "cure" everything, sometimes it just puts a big enough band-aid on the wound (and some times it doesn't.)

It wasn't just Artest, even though his b!p0lar issues and selfishness were the most obvious. We certainly know by now that just about every player on those teams (except perhaps Reggie) contributed to the collective insanity that was going to drag that team down, one way or another.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 06:11 PM
We don't have to play "what if". The season DID go down in flames. And that team, in spite of on-court talent, never came close to recovering. But you are playing "what if"...



I never said what if, though!

I don't understand what you are talking about. I have said numerous times that I never go back and say "what if?".

I never assumed that particular season would go down in flames. I never said that we would go down in flames.

The only point I was trying to make to begin with was that the brawl was never a good thing, and wasn't funny or entertaining in any way.

We then got into the argument that the season was going to go down the tubes anyway. I said that there was no proof that it would, and obviously it didn't (in any other than the brawl).

You in particular, dragged me into having to give out an if statement. To that my main point was that, Even if the brawl didn't happen, there is no way in saying that the team was doomed any either way without something actually happening. Locker room skirmishes and selfish players don't always doom a team.

The brawl happened, I can't deny that, or say "What if it didn't?". No.

count55
07-16-2008, 06:18 PM
magicrat waves a dustpan at the computer screen

That's funny...

I thought he drove his sleek machine over the Jersey state line.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 06:21 PM
Agreed.

Without the Brawl Artest is at worst a distraction who ends up getting traded (and probably for more than we got) and at best things work out and he's our Rodman. Subsequent incidents don't have the pall of the brawl over them and are judged on their own merits rather than as part of a pattern. Maybe Jacksin is able to overcome the negative publicity and stay with the team - some think on a basketball level that would have been a better thing.

Take out the brawl, and you've still got a pattern:

A whole series of anti-team and wacky behavior in Chicago that was ingored because the Bulls were terrible. Jerry Krause was delighted to take on Jalen's contract just to get rid of his #1 troublemaker.

Leading the league in flagrant fouls.

Serious team meltdown in Isiah's last season.

"Conduct detrimental to winning."

The playoff meltdowns in Miami and Detroit in 2004.

The wacky 2004 offseason in which the team was shopping Ron but asking for an all-star (think: McGrady) in return.

Artest quitting on the team, getting suspended for two games, getting reinstated.

The pattern here is that each incident was progressively worse. You don't need the brawl to establish a pattern. The subsequent events would still have been measured in light of these precedent events. There were real problems in "paradise", even if a large number of people kept looking the other way because they, too, fell in love with talent.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 06:23 PM
But all-in-all, that is just Ron Artest.

Outside the brawl, he alone couldn't have been able to bring the whole team down. He could have done some things that wouldn't have looked good, but I highly doubt he would have killed the franchise that year.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 06:25 PM
Months of selfish play? They weren't even a month into the season! How can that even be taken into account?

The previous season was a great season. We started off strong the brawl season minus some of Artest's antics. That isn't enough to say that the team was going down anyway. There isn't enough triggers there to say that they were a falling team from the get-go.

Perhaps you didn't say "what if", but it is implied in here.

There IS/WAS sufficient evidence to say that team was destined to destroy itself in one way or another.

idioteque
07-16-2008, 06:28 PM
I'm done with the brawl. Forever, I hope. Here are my answers to the other questions.


THE QUESTIONS

1. Knowing that ticket sales have already increased can we just write off the fact that the culture of the team has changed and in changing this some of the fans are returning?

I didn't know ticket sales had already increased? Do you have any info to confirm that. And no you can't write that off if you're asking what I think you're asking. We're still on thin ice with the fanbase. If we mess up we're back at square one.

2. Was the win loss % the only reason for last seasons attendance?

I don't think so. I see the main three problems as:

1.) Win-Loss. It wasn't necessarily that the team was horrible. It was just that they were below average and the fans in Indiana really weren't used to that.

2.) Many players were viewed as "thugs" by the fans who therefore didn't want to support the team.

3.) We didn't really have any exciting personalities on the team that the fans enjoyed. The face of our franchise is a Mormon who wears Spiderman shirts in public and never really jaws with opposing players or does anything to pump the crowd up. Dunleavy seems nice enough but shys away from contact on the court and doesn't really put it all out there for the team sometimes, and is inconsistent. Deiner isn't that good. Murphy isn't an exciting player either. Most of the other players we had last year were either viewed by the fans as thugs or didn't really have any talent.

3. Was the economy the only reason for last seasons attendance?

I think Putty may be the only person on this board qualified to answer that.

4. Was a combination of the economy and win/loss % the only reasons for last seasons attendance?

See above

5. If neither of these or the combination of these was the reason, what other reasons are there?

See above

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 06:29 PM
Perhaps you didn't say "what if", but it is implied in here.

There IS/WAS sufficient evidence to say that team was destined to destroy itself in one way or another.
What in the hell are you talking about!?

I didn't imply it there. I just said that there was insufficent evidence of a team-wide failure.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 06:33 PM
But all-in-all, that is just Ron Artest.

Outside the brawl, he alone couldn't have been able to bring the whole team down. He could have done some things that wouldn't have looked good, but I highly doubt he would have killed the franchise that year.

Yep. On his own, he didn't quite kill the franchise in 2003-04 with his "me-me-me" meltdown in the playoffs, but it was close the team was interested in moving him in the offseason.

When combined with Stephen Jackson, the one player who offends me even more than Artest, it was definitely enough to kill the franchise for years to come.

Stephen Jackson came in talking about sticking up for his teammates and using fighting metaphores. Which you might expect from a kid with a gang past. What you got was that Stephen Jackson was more interested in fighting and defending his street cred than winning basketball games. Artest was selfish and a cheapshot artist. You mix gasoline, lighter fluid, and a match, and guess what... it explodes. Duh.

count55
07-16-2008, 06:38 PM
:nods:

Btw I thought your earlier (rather long) post was brilliant, particularly in the way the Brawl was handled. To me the Pacers mainly got what they deserved, but the Pistons, the refs, etc (io everyone else involved) basically got away with murder.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

Why, I am flattered, sir. Thank you.

If you haven't noticed, my posts are either one-liners or epic tomes going on for days.

Sadly, like many young players today, I have no "mid-range" game.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 07:00 PM
What in the hell are you talking about!?

I didn't imply it there. I just said that there was insufficent evidence of a team-wide failure.

First of all, there is/was ample evidence to predict a team-wide failure and some of us were doing so at that time.

Let me re-word these for you, because I don't see any other way to interpret these except as a "what if" statement.


What if there isn't a brawl? That isn't enough to say that the team was going down anyway.

and


What if there isn't a brawl? There isn't enough triggers there to say that they were a falling team from the get-go.

If you didn't mean, "what if there wasn't a brawl", then help me out here. I learned English at Greenwood HS, so I'm certainly open to the suggestion that reading comprehension is not my strong suit. Besides, Anthem sends me PMs all the time telling me so. :blush:

BillS
07-16-2008, 07:51 PM
Take out the brawl, and you've still got a pattern:

A whole series of anti-team and wacky behavior in Chicago that was ingored because the Bulls were terrible. Jerry Krause was delighted to take on Jalen's contract just to get rid of his #1 troublemaker.

Leading the league in flagrant fouls.

Serious team meltdown in Isiah's last season.

"Conduct detrimental to winning."

The playoff meltdowns in Miami and Detroit in 2004.

The wacky 2004 offseason in which the team was shopping Ron but asking for an all-star (think: McGrady) in return.

Artest quitting on the team, getting suspended for two games, getting reinstated.

The pattern here is that each incident was progressively worse. You don't need the brawl to establish a pattern. The subsequent events would still have been measured in light of these precedent events. There were real problems in "paradise", even if a large number of people kept looking the other way because they, too, fell in love with talent.

As duke dynamite says, those are focused only on Ron-Ron. If the problem in the year that keeps the team from having a successful season is limited to Ron's antics - say, we move the whole "trade me" crap from the next season forward - and associated locker room discontent, it does not catastrophically affect the team in future seasons. It doesn't lay a TEAM pattern down, only a Ron pattern.

Any what-if scenario is a guess, but had there not been a brawl involving so many players then Club Rio MIGHT have been looked at as a single incident. If there's no series of incidents then does 8 Second Saloon escalate at all? Even those who drop the team because they don't approve of Club Rio type activities don't affect the national perception of the team, only the local perception.

In other words, anything other than the brawl and the damage is contained. At worst, Donnie continues to give Ron more chances, damaging individual seasons, but even in that case as soon as Ron is gone it's pretty well done.

The biggest damage from the brawl was that it essentially took the entire season away without anything positive able to come from it. Therefore we were one more season below par without ever being able to catch up because we essentially started the next season with the same locker room. Could we have traded Ron right after the suspension? Probably, but not for much and not without taking the chance that it really was something he learned his lesson from. That's what falling in love with talent means.

Hicks
07-16-2008, 07:54 PM
Just make sure to skip Batman. I hear there's simulated violence in it and no one likes to see the simulation of someone being hurt or killed.

That was a low-blow, asinine thing to say, I'm sorry. Comparing a MOVIE to the Pacers' brawl to "win" a point. :goodnight

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 07:57 PM
First of all, there is/was ample evidence to predict a team-wide failure and some of us were doing so at that time.

Let me re-word these for you, because I don't see any other way to interpret these except as a "what if" statement.



and



If you didn't mean, "what if there wasn't a brawl", then help me out here. I learned English at Greenwood HS, so I'm certainly open to the suggestion that reading comprehension is not my strong suit. Besides, Anthem sends me PMs all the time telling me so. :blush:

I meant to say wasn't. I was going a mile a minute, so I didn't look back and correct that.

I wasn't around here when the brawl happened. I wasn't part of the conspiracy group who said that the team could or would fall down.

I am using the phrase "what if?" in a different context. When I say I never say "what if?", I mean that I never regret the outcome that we are faced with and wish for another.

I should have made that more clear to you. I apologize.

In this situation, my usage of "what if?" is at the defense that even with the signs of problems, that they weren't neccesarily going to happen.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 08:01 PM
As duke dynamite says, those are focused only on Ron-Ron.

Fine, then see my next post.

My point is always and has always been this:

Gasoline + Lighter fluid + match = explosion.

Ron is gasoline and SJax is lighter fluid. It doesn't matter who is the match, it could be Ben Wallace, John Greene, Jermaine O'Neal, Rick Carlisle or anyone else. It was going to happen. Not "if", but "when."

My other point for a number of years is that if there is one guy that could single-handedly take down a franchise its Ron Artest. Do you think Jerry Krause was doing backflips about taking on Jalen's contract? No, but he just got rid of the player that threw a heavy piece of exercise equipment at his coach during a temper tantrum. Its just a matter of time before "goes Sprewell" or worse on a teammate or coach - especially if he starts the season with the Kings.

Hicks
07-16-2008, 08:03 PM
As for those of you who come out with "it was awesome" or "most exciting thing ever", and then backpeddle, please. You glorify it when you come out with those statements. No if's in my eyes. Sure, later you say it was bad or whathaveyou, but I find it low-class and insulting to choose words like "awesome" "fantastic" or "exciting" as the first and foremost comments of that night (hell, even if they aren't first). God damn. I'm just left shaking my head here.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 08:06 PM
As for those of you who come out with "it was awesome" or "most exciting thing ever", and then backpeddle, please. You glorify it when you come out with those statements. No if's in my eyes. Sure, later you say it was bad or whathaveyou, but I find it low-class and insulting to choose words like "awesome" "fantastic" or "exciting" as the first and foremost comments of that night (hell, even if they aren't first). God damn. I'm just left shaking my head here.

And that was the way I didn't want to say what I said to Dr. Goldfoot.

ajbry
07-16-2008, 08:12 PM
It'd be impossible to pick through the last page or so and find something to say that already hasn't been said.

However, I'd like to quickly state one thing -- the brawl still hits a major nerve within the devoted Pacers fanbase. The on-court product next year will be dramatically different from the 04-05 squad and ideally there shouldn't be any PR difficulties for a while, but the brawl is still an incredibly contentious subject.

I don't buy Ron would've ruined the team if the brawl never occurred. The atmosphere in Detroit that night wouldn't have been duplicated again in the regular season and it's hard to imagine that Ron would go apesh*t regardless of the venue.

That team was going to win a ring.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 08:13 PM
I should have made that more clear to you. I apologize.

We're obviously struggling to achieve clarity here. I apologize as well.


In this situation, my usage of "what if?" is at the defense that even with the signs of problems, that they weren't neccesarily going to happen.

We'll have to agree to disagree, then. Something big and bad was going to happen and all of the evidence of problems made it obvious to some of us. And we said so at the time.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 08:15 PM
We're obviously struggling to achieve clarity here. I apologize as well.



We'll have to agree to disagree, then. Something big and bad was going to happen and all of the evidence of problems made it obvious to some of us. And we said so at the time.

I don't know who this "we" is, though. I never saw anything other than Ron being Ron. I may have heard of things going on in the locker room, but I ignore that. It happens all the time. Like I said, I never sat in with any of these conspiracy groups.

Hicks
07-16-2008, 08:18 PM
Ron inevitably would have ****ed us over eventually without the Brawl. He was no saint before or after that night. Look what he's doing in Sacramento right now, for example. He was also a problem in Chicago, and he was a pain in our *** in 2003 and in late 2005.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 08:22 PM
I don't buy Ron would've ruined the team if the brawl never occurred. The atmosphere in Detroit that night wouldn't have been duplicated again in the regular season and it's hard to imagine that Ron would go apesh*t regardless of the venue.

That might be true.

But the bigger issue was how to get through the next 72 games/ practices where JO and Ron refused to be in the lockerroom together without getting into fights.

Its hard to imagine Ron not going apesh*t on JO or Carlisle within the next two weeks. He'd already quit once just a few games before.

That's the biggest problem with trying to treat the brawl as an isolated incident. It wasn't isolated and it certainly can't be separated from the event that immediately preceeded it (which is an event that has always bothered me more than the brawl itself.)

If Ron wasn't already on edge from JO getting pissed off when he "retired"/ quit/ was suspended for two games (hopefully you all have gotten beyond the myth of "a month off to produce my music"), maybe he wouldn't have gone apesh*t in Auburn Hills either. The tension surrounding that team was outrageously high.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 08:26 PM
I don't know who this "we" is, though. I never saw anything other than Ron being Ron. I may have heard of things going on in the locker room, but I ignore that. It happens all the time. Like I said, I never sat in with any of these conspiracy groups.

"We" is you and I. You and I will have to agree to disagree. There was no conspiracy group, just me and a few others that were accused of being alarmists until the alarm went off.

= = = = = = = = = = =

I'm not going to ignore the lockerroom as if it doesn't matter, and it doesn't happen all the time. Further, it certainly doesn't happen to the extreme of what Ron brought to the Bulls/ Pacers/ Kings.

He's a menace with b!p0lar d!$0rder.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 08:28 PM
Ron inevitably would have ****ed us over eventually without the Brawl. He was no saint before or after that night. Look what he's doing in Sacramento right now, for example. He was also a problem in Chicago, and he was a pain in our *** in 2003 and in late 2005.
I really don't think he would have catastrophically caused the collapse with the team, without the brawl. He is nuts, yes, but he isn't capable of destroying a season without outside stimuli (i.e. John Green).

ajbry
07-16-2008, 08:31 PM
I really don't think he would have catastrophically caused the collapse with the team, without the brawl. He is nuts, yes, but he isn't capable of destroying a season without outside stimuli (i.e. John Green).

I'm starting to see Jay's point actually - :suicide4: - when you have Ron Artest, anything can set him off. Anything.

duke dynamite
07-16-2008, 08:34 PM
I'm starting to see Jay's point actually - :suicide4: - when you have Ron Artest, anything can set him off. Anything.

But to go as far as destroy a team for a season or two is a little far. I really think it had to be the brawl and the brawl alone that could cause something like that to happen and Ron be involved. Otherwise, it would happen more often than just that time.

I know, I know. His name pops up almost everyday, but the Kings aren't falling to the bottom of the bucket like we did. Yes, they are now having the same problems we have, especially with the news of Brad Miller getting in trouble again. But it isn't just up to Ron to destroy a team. It takes a little more than that.

This could obviously fuel the statement that the locker room problems and what-not could cause all that as well, but I am sold on the fact that just Ron alone cannot kill a team.

RWB
07-16-2008, 09:40 PM
All I know is while I personally waxed on about the greatness of Ron Artest before the brawl Jay was just the opposite and warned us all. Hey Jay, I never got to say you were right since you kind of took a leave of absence. Jay, you were right.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 10:12 PM
I'm starting to see Jay's point actually - :suicide4: - when you have Ron Artest, anything can set him off. Anything.

Be careful. We wouldn't want anybody to catch us agreeing on something.

:buddies:

Drewtone
07-16-2008, 10:55 PM
Agree to disagree.

"I think it means... Saint Diego"

Bball
07-16-2008, 11:00 PM
THE QUESTIONS

1. Knowing that ticket sales have already increased can we just write off the fact that the culture of the team has changed and in changing this some of the fans are returning?


Are we sure ticket sales have really increased? Either way it seems to me a positive buzz has occurred and I believe that can be attributed to the culture of the team (from top to bottom) changing.


2. Was the win loss % the only reason for last seasons attendance?

No. It was a part of it but another part of it was the fact that the team had been paying lip service to improving many things that needed improved yet in reality nothing was changing in past seasons. Fans needed to see proof that change was really coming.


3. Was the economy the only reason for last seasons attendance?

No.


4. Was a combination of the economy and win/loss % the only reasons for last seasons attendance?

No


5. If neither of these or the combination of these was the reason, what other reasons are there?

Malaise. Too much doing nothing or taking Llllllloooooooonggggg periods of time to address things. Too much using bandaids on gaping wounds. Then factor in the W/L record, the players that didn't seem to take any pride any being Pacers or even NBA players, the economy, off court antics, etc and you get- malaise.

I typed what I did last night as part of a setup for this next section of questions. I disagree with UB that we didn't have time to do what I suggested (getting out in front with our own punishments before Stern could act). Whether it would've worked or not is one thing, but there was time to get out in front of this and beat Stern to the punch on punishing our players as well as framing the event to share the blame.

I suggested serious punishments but NOT suspending Artest for the season (with the caveat of certain stipulations before he could return). There's no guarantee Stern doesn't still make the same determination he ultimately made but I like our PR position better on a couple of fronts if we would've made the first move.

I don't necessarily disagree with what ChicagoJ said about ridding the team of Artest and Sjax (and others even) but I think that could've been done at the trade deadline or in the offseason. I think the draconian suspensions handed down by the league were unfair to the fans, the city, and the organization. Even if you could argue the punishments were deserved... it's hard to see the wide ranging effects of the punishments as being deserved when they start impacting (thanks Jay!) more than just the guilty parties to the degree they did. It really was a death penalty type punishment.


1. Am I wrong to feel that the team (owners and Walsh) never took actual responsibility for the actions of our players?

No. They were clearly not in front of this. NOTHING of significance was done between the brawl and the opening of the next season that I recall (except lip service). It was clear at the home opener that Artest was having some type of issue already.


2. If I am wrong, remember these are about feelings not facts, then was I the only person who felt that way? Or is it possible that a few others out there felt the same way and that this combined with other incidents where the management didn't respond with dissaproval of the players, might have kept a couple of people away?

I'm not sure I follow that exactly but I know some people began feeling TPTB were not listening to them. Boos grew louder... and then ticket sales declined. That's a snowball situation right there when people don't like the team, management ignores the paying customers (who were right), and then the fans quit buying tickets.

I wonder how much of the Sjax trade was based on the above and how much it might've had to do with corporate interests putting their foot down? I know Naptown Seth has blamed management for making a knee jerk reaction to the fans, but was that really all it was? Also, it wasn't knee jerk IMHO, it was WAY overdue.


3. Was Ron Artest as popular at the fieldhouse as he was online?


Not sure. I don't think JO was ever as popular at the arena as he was online.


4. Was Steven Jackson unfairly painted by his actions at the brawl?

His subsequent actions have shown he wasn't.


5. Was Jermaine O'Neal an innocent vicitim of the brawl?

He's not nearly as culpable as Sjax or Artest but I never saw how his sliding punch of the fan really could be excused. I don't buy the argument that just because a fan is on the floor it makes him fair game to be punched. Grabbed? Tackled? ...Yeah.... OK... But punched? Also, didn't JO "reposition" a security person during the brawl? He wasn't exactly innocent in all of this.

NuffSaid
07-17-2008, 12:18 AM
First, Peck, let me commend you on your bravery for starting a thread that touches on issues I think many of us wanted to talk about, but were too afraid to rock the boat for fear of opening old wounds.

Now, for my 5-cents worth (inflation don't you know...:D )

Statement 1a & 2: Was there too much PC-talk and not enough straight-talk by Walsh and Bird? Yes, and I, for one, grew weary of it. Long before the Brawl but especially in the days since, all I wanted was for mgmt to tell it to me straight. Too often, what we got was cryptic messages where you had to be skilled at reading between the lines; too much guess work. And in the wake of the Brawl where frustrations were already high, no one needed their frustrations added to. However, in their defense, they almost had no choice. The reality was that even when TPTB got their top 3 players back (JO, SJax and Ron), they needed the players far more than the players needed TPTB in order to atleast try to make something good out of a series of bad situations/circumstances. Mgmt was in damage control all the way - from the Brawl to Ron's trade, to Peja bailing, to Reggie retiring, to JO/Tinsley's injuries, to the GS/Pacers trade, to where we are now. All of it was damage control because there was never a clear plan on moving the team forward. Unfortunately, mgmt's "PC-talking box" actions had little to no discipline behind their words and as a result the culture became such where the players were more in control than those writing the checks, i.e., if TinMan's play became erratic, he may have gotten benched for a game or two, but he was okay with it because he knew that the PG behind him wasn't ready to run the offense. Therefore, he was more than willing to wait it out and watch the team lose the next two games knowing RC would call on him again soon to bail them out (probably because Walsh/Bird gave him an ear full after they took heat for letting a multi-million dollar investment waste away on the pine instead of being out their earning his money. Problem was he (TinMan) probably wasn't really doing his job anyway. So, whether he cost the team a win by screwing up on the court or by not being on the Active List and out there on the floor, it really didn't make a difference. It was still money spent unwishly however way you slice it.)

Statement 2: Did the fans punish the owners (last year) by not attending games? Absolutely! Other things tied into this, of course, i.e., the economy, player poor performance or inappropriate behavior/conduct on and off the court, lack of timely or effective discipline by middle and upper mgmt, it all played into why the fans stayed away. It was just one frustration after another w/the fan's expectation of having a competitive team they could related to and support not being met that kept the fans away. To put it in perspective, the Pacers win-lose record decreased each year under Zeke, and yet the fans still showed up. Why? Because despite some of the negative things that took place, i.e., Ron smashing a camera, the fans expected mgmt to step in and take the appropriate disciplinary action. And when they didn't but instead gave their standard PC answer, we all accepted it as the way the Pacers franchise typically handled their business, i.e., in-house behind closed doors. Would it suprise many to learn that instead of mgmt handling the player, the players (through his agent) was handling mgmt? Probrably not...

I said of the GS trade it was all about restoring character to this team. The latest trade along with the draft was more of the same, but there's also the monetary aspect, as well as, restoring "Pacers basketball" back into this team and that starts with bringing in players who will play the right way. I'm glad Bird and Morray are finally giving the fans some straight-talk. And I'm proud of their efforts along with those of the Simon's, to restore my faith in this franchise.

Dr. Goldfoot
07-17-2008, 02:46 AM
As for those of you who come out with "it was awesome" or "most exciting thing ever", and then backpeddle, please. You glorify it when you come out with those statements. No if's in my eyes. Sure, later you say it was bad or whathaveyou, but I find it low-class and insulting to choose words like "awesome" "fantastic" or "exciting" as the first and foremost comments of that night (hell, even if they aren't first). God damn. I'm just left shaking my head here.

I assume you're talking to me. I haven't backpeddled from those statements. I saw it as awesome and exciting and still do. Sure it sucks that the team fell apart after that and I can see everyone else's point about "aftermath", "blackeye", "low point" etc... I've watched it again since my first post on this subject and my view remains the same. It was cool.

<<<<< Low Class:whoknows:

imawhat
07-17-2008, 03:02 AM
But let's be clear, there is no way I, Goldfoot or JayRedd would want that to come at the expense of some kid getting trampled.

HOWEVER, who the F-bomb had their kid in that drunken, rowdy, late night environment by that point anyway?


Seth, not really aiming this at you, but there are actual members of this forum, not kids, who were working that night and were injured as a result of the brawl, as innocent bystanders. Perhaps one of them can tell you about their cracked ribs [and another who has posted in this thread can tell you about their broken back].

This thread has become absurd and offensive. The brawl was completely sickening, and representative of most everything that is wrong about the NBA. I could never, ever support finding anything remotely entertaining about what happened. Of course people can say I "took it too seriously", but to me that is nothing more than deflection off of the ignorance in this thread.

duke dynamite
07-17-2008, 06:29 AM
Seth, not really aiming this at you, but there are actual members of this forum, not kids, who were working that night and were injured as a result of the brawl, as innocent bystanders. Perhaps one of them can tell you about their cracked ribs [and another who has posted in this thread can tell you about their broken back].

This thread has become absurd and offensive. The brawl was completely sickening, and representative of most everything that is wrong about the NBA. I could never, ever support finding anything remotely entertaining about what happened. Of course people can say I "took it too seriously", but to me that is nothing more than deflection off of the ignorance in this thread.

Bingo. Way to step up.

Hicks
07-17-2008, 06:55 AM
I thought the ribs/back was attributed to the same individual?

BlueNGold
07-17-2008, 07:39 AM
I assume you're talking to me. I haven't backpeddled from those statements. I saw it as awesome and exciting and still do. Sure it sucks that the team fell apart after that and I can see everyone else's point about "aftermath", "blackeye", "low point" etc... I've watched it again since my first post on this subject and my view remains the same. It was cool.

<<<<< Low Class:whoknows:

Would you find it cool if the Pacers moved? Or a player dies during a game? Nothing was *cool* about the brawl. It was a sad event and disgrace to the city, the franchise and particularly the players involved.

You can defend your statements if you want, but good luck. You might get away with using the terms "exciting" and "awesome" only because in some rare cases they don't have positive connotations. Even using those terms you know they are likely offending to most people, particularly on this board. But the use of the term "cool" is not cool...and yes, it is low class.

BillS
07-17-2008, 09:18 AM
That might be true.

But the bigger issue was how to get through the next 72 games/ practices where JO and Ron refused to be in the lockerroom together without getting into fights.

Its hard to imagine Ron not going apesh*t on JO or Carlisle within the next two weeks. He'd already quit once just a few games before.

That's the biggest problem with trying to treat the brawl as an isolated incident. It wasn't isolated and it certainly can't be separated from the event that immediately preceeded it (which is an event that has always bothered me more than the brawl itself.)

If Ron wasn't already on edge from JO getting pissed off when he "retired"/ quit/ was suspended for two games (hopefully you all have gotten beyond the myth of "a month off to produce my music"), maybe he wouldn't have gone apesh*t in Auburn Hills either. The tension surrounding that team was outrageously high.

You and I agree that Ron was going to cause more problems no matter what. At the time (pre-brawl) I was backing Ron and hoping it wouldn't happen, but in hindsight and going on current actions it is hard to deny that.

Where we seem to disagree is whether the brawl or something of that magnitude was the expected result or a lower probability catastrophic result.

The catastrophic result of the brawl to the team was that more than just Ron were involved in a culpable way. Thus the suspensions, thus the beginnings of reputation issues for the team.

If Ron-Ron goes off on his own, even a fight in the locker room or something else individual, then damage control is easier because it can all be heaped on Ron.

Therefore, while Ron still causes damage, it is limited in scope rather than the complete disaster it became.

I still believe that an explosion on the scale of the brawl was a low probability event. It had to be initiated by something OUTSIDE the Pacers - in fact, by something that had not happened recently (if at all) in any arena - a fan throwing something at a player while practically in his face.

count55
07-17-2008, 09:24 AM
Warning: I'm about to do something profoundly stupid.

I was sitting in a meeting yesterday when the steady stream of departing engineers from our plant was described as the following:

"Like hair out of chemo patient, they're just falling out."

This comment came just over two months after I lost my sister to cancer, and while my brother is currently between chemo treatments in his fight against cancer. I also lost my father to cancer when I was 10. Was it an insensitive statement? Yes. Was it offensive? No.

I understand and agree with the distaste for the brawl. I think it's entirely appropriate, and it was an incredibly dangerous and ugly situation. However, it is understandable that the event, when viewed through lens that says there were no serious injuries and that there was no personal involvement (beyond tangentially through the Pacers), that some people might find some of the events entertaining, compelling, "cool", or even somewhat comical. There's nothing evil or rotten or even wrong in the people who take this view, it's simply human nature. I know that Hicks took exception to (I think it was) Seth's comment about Batman, but that's the point he was trying to make. People take a natural, if occasionally disturbing, pleasure in other people's misfortune. The Germans have a word for it: schadenfreude. If you don't believe me, ask yourself why adventure movies like Batman are so successful, or watch an old Warner Bros. cartoon with Bugs or Daffy or Elmer Fudd, or consider why the Three Stooges are still known and somewhat popular some 60 years after their hey-day and over 30 years after their last member died. Why are blooper reels popular? Hockey Fights? Crashes at Auto Races? Horror Movies? Every person experienced that brawl through their own lens, and it generated wildly varying feelings and reactions with in each of us. Some could be considered in appropriate, but they were what they were.

This is going to **** some people off, but I believe that there is a difference between being offended and wanting to be offended. When the guy in my meeting made his comment about the chemo patient, I kind of raised my eyebrow a little. However, we work in different states, and he had no idea of my personal situation. He was using the type of offhanded, hyperbolic simile that is commonplace in today's language, and he meant absolutely nothing by it. I considered it briefly, and let it slide. Later in the day, in a separate conversation with others, he found out about my situation, was mortified that he'd made the comment and apologized profusely.

Now, consider Dr. Goldfoot's initial post. While Doc's post may have been insensitive, and outright distasteful to some, there's no reason to believe that he was trying to be intentionally hurtful. There's little room for interpretation, however, on the responses he received: a vomitting smilie, a comment about "the most uneducated post ever", a comment about it being "more embarrassing than the brawl", and being told he was pathetic. These were intentionally hurtful. Imagine if, instead of those, someone had said 5-pages ago:


Doc, I get where you're coming from, but I have to disagree with you. In my opinion, the brawl was an ugly event. I know it's easy to look at the tape and find it compelling, and occasionally comical, but I would ask you to consider that the people involved weren't cartoon characters. Also, if you consider the long-ranging effects on the franchise that is the sole purpose of this community, can you see why this audience might find your comments disquieting and, in some cases, hurtful? I know that you didn't mean anything by it, and I can't in good conscience ask you to change (or suppress) what seems to be honestly held view. However, I just ask that you consider that many others might be uncomfortable with your take on this. The only thing I can ask is that you re-consider the situation in terms of real people, instead of terms of strangers on a box. In all honesty, I found it fascinating at the time, compelling drama on the TV. However, as it sank in what happened, it quickly lost its entertainment value. Maybe you could help me understand why you still see it. Hell, it might help me move on from this. More likely, we'll probably end up agreeing to disagree (I hate that phrase), but at least we won't carry any of this baggage into other conversations.

While it's certainly possible the conversation could've still followed the same path, there would've at least been a chance that it could've been wrapped up quickly and with considerably less huffing and puffing. Goldfoot was immediately on the defensive, and Seth and Redd wandered in to basically take the position that it was, in effect, schadenfreude, and that while people here were upset about Goldfoot's comments about this situation, it was likely that each of us had, in their lives, taken pleasure or enjoyment in inappropriate things or been less than sensitive about the reality of the situation or to the feelings of the people involved. If you haven't, then you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

And, now, we're here.

It was not my place to say this. Any and all of you are welcome to tell me to go **** myself, and I'll just shrug and move on. However, I didn't really have a dog in this fight, so I had the luxury of seeing both sides of the issue. I freely admit that I have been guilty of exactly what I'm pointing out here from time-to-time. I did it to some degree to Taterhead in the OKC naming thread, or at least participated in it. I would hope that we could get back to some of the core conversation that Peck was trying to drive because (a) there were some outstanding points and side debates being made and (b) the finger wagging and defensiveness is (as always) tiring.

So, to those who say they still find the brawl entertaining, I say, I understand and empathize with the reactions initially, but really struggle with understanding how you can still find it that way after seeing how much damage it has wrought. I find the defense of schadenfreude more understandable, but I wonder if the zeal isn't a little over the top.

To those who were offended by Doc and the others, I say you're absolutely right to be upset, but I think you could've gotten more accomplished by approaching it just a little bit differently. Though I would love not to upset you with any of my comments, I fear some may have. In those cases, I decided it was better to be open and direct than to shade. I have no wish to disabuse you of your feelings on the subject. My only wish is that this thread move back to its original purpose. I can only offer my apologies.

With all that said, I will now kindly go **** myself.

BillS
07-17-2008, 10:11 AM
Can someone who expects to enjoy, at midnight tonight, a cinematic entertainment featuring fictitious depictions of malevolence and violence, explain why you are allowed to enjoy that, but Seth, JayRedd and Dr. Goldfoot are not allowed to enjoy the depictions of violence provided by the brawl? No animals, human or otherwise, were injured in the filming or production of either event! And those 3 guys clearly regret the harmful effects that came after the brawl as much as anyone else. So your answer needn't focus on either of those aspects and should focus only on the experience of watching filmed depictions of violence. Who can explain why you are allowed to enjoy violence but they can't?

Fictitious.

Fictitious fictitious fictitious fictitious fictitious fictitious.

And...

Who knew no one was going to be hurt ahead of time? This wasn't the WWE.

And...

No person was hurt but a franchise was wounded very badly. I could maybe understand a Detroit fan getting a kick out of it, but I have trouble understanding Pacer fans doing so.

And...

At what level of enjoyment does one begin to want to see it happen again? There are unhealthy levels of enjoyment and identification with fictitious violence, why would real violence lead to anything different?

And...

They can enjoy it all they want. I'm not offended by it. It saddens me and I'm embarrassed by it since it feeds the stereotype we'd really rather not feed.

rexnom
07-17-2008, 10:16 AM
I have to agree with the "three goofs." This debate reminds me of Mark Cuban's claim that the Kobe trial was "good for the NBA." Although, I wouldn't go that far, these things certainly put the NBA on the map.

After the brawl occurred, I had relatives all over the world asking me about the Indiana Pacers because they had seen the brawl on their local news and it had fascinated them. These relatives could probably only name the Pacers (because of the brawl) and maybe the Bulls (because of MJ) as NBA franchises right now. Like it or not, and I don't, the brawl put us on the map. That year, ESPN counted the 100 biggest sports stories. The brawl was number 2 in 2004 behind only the Red Sox. Not only was it the biggest NBA story of the year but the Red Sox had to win the World Series for the first time in almost a century to beat it!

And did the brawl destroy our fanbase and support? No, Stephen Jackson and Ron Artest did. Remember the fan support after the brawl and that next season? No coincidence that both those guys played huge rules in the brawl.

As for the entertainment value, there sure was great entertainment in it. Not so much for us Pacer fans, but definitely for the rest of the league. Come on, you didn't enjoy the Denver-New York "brawl"? It's ok to admit it. We like things out of the ordinary...we've devoted three threads (!) this off-season to talking about Brad Miller and pot and Ron Artest and loonyville. We've devoted more posts and lines to this thread than the two press conference threads combined. Did you guys know that the Pacers just got seven new players? Seven. And they aren't all scrubs!

You know what, for all the harm the brawl supposedly caused, the NBA is now back stronger than ever. It didn't really matter to anyone except for the Pacers in the long-run. It remains the biggest news splash the Pacers have ever made and probably will ever make. We could have won the championship that year but nothing else could have made my 70 year old farmer-uncle in Greece who was never watched a second of basketball or touched a basketball ask me about the Indiana Pacers like the Brawl did.

rexnom
07-17-2008, 10:21 AM
Fictitious.

Fictitious fictitious fictitious fictitious fictitious fictitious.

And...

Who knew no one was going to be hurt ahead of time? This wasn't the WWE.

And...

No person was hurt but a franchise was wounded very badly. I could maybe understand a Detroit fan getting a kick out of it, but I have trouble understanding Pacer fans doing so.

And...

At what level of enjoyment does one begin to want to see it happen again? There are unhealthy levels of enjoyment and identification with fictitious violence, why would real violence lead to anything different?

And...

They can enjoy it all they want. I'm not offended by it. It saddens me and I'm embarrassed by it since it feeds the stereotype we'd really rather not feed.
I hope you don't like boxing.

BillS
07-17-2008, 10:32 AM
I hope you don't like boxing.

Not particularly, but even at that the POINT of boxing is the fighting. At least the way I learned the game, that isn't the point of basketball.

rexnom
07-17-2008, 10:37 AM
Not particularly, but even at that the POINT of boxing is the fighting. At least the way I learned the game, that isn't the point of basketball.
But that's irrelevant to this debate, isn't it? The entertainment is still there. Just like a fight in hockey is incredibly entertaining and bench-clearing brawl in baseball is about the only thing exciting in that sport (at least to me). Actually, I went to Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway last season. I hate baseball and the game was a Yankees blowout so everyone was kind of pissy. By the 7th inning, however, Red Sox fans started to get into it with the outfielders and then with the Yankees fans, resulting in many fans being asked to leave the arena. That was easily the best moment of the game for me. I don't even remember the exact score or what happened in the game but I definitely remember the brawls and the cursing at Yankee players. Definitely good times.

Putnam
07-17-2008, 10:59 AM
Sorry. I posted that question, then realized that Count55 had already made the point sufficiently well. I deleted mine as BillS was writing his comment. (Just didn't want to appear that I was being devious.)

I lean toward the majority here, for what it's worth. I think I've only watched the brawl sequence 3 times ever, and I don't want to see it again. I watched the first 15 seconds of JayRedd's first fight scene and then skipped the rest. The mere concept of the Saw movies makes me want to hide in a closet and weep. But I have watched Saving Private Ryan 116 times (and no, it never seems to get any funnier).

Still, Dr. Goldfoot is in 3 bands: he oughtta know.

BlueNGold
07-17-2008, 11:08 AM
I can understand how someone can watch the events on TV and initially be fascinated. I cannot understand how someone can replay it...after fully understanding the ramifications and the disgrace of it all...and still be fascinated, excited or think it's cool.

I think if you still view the brawl as entertainment or cool, it just highlights some of the fundamental differences we have in society. Differences that I believe affect our culture and keep it from improving for the better.

Some of us are concerned that there have been 15 or 20 murders in the city of Indianapolis this month. Yawn? I'm sure a few people find that fascinating too...including some of the clowns shooting at people. Is that "cool" too? I ask that seriously. Would it have been cool if Artest had killed one of the fans?

Anyway, I'm disappointed in some of the views here. Does it feel good to you when other people suffer? Do you revel in it? Is that good for our society, or can we do a little better?

BillS
07-17-2008, 11:22 AM
But that's irrelevant to this debate, isn't it? The entertainment is still there. Just like a fight in hockey is incredibly entertaining and bench-clearing brawl in baseball is about the only thing exciting in that sport (at least to me). Actually, I went to Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway last season. I hate baseball and the game was a Yankees blowout so everyone was kind of pissy. By the 7th inning, however, Red Sox fans started to get into it with the outfielders and then with the Yankees fans, resulting in many fans being asked to leave the arena. That was easily the best moment of the game for me. I don't even remember the exact score or what happened in the game but I definitely remember the brawls and the cursing at Yankee players. Definitely good times.

No, it isn't irrelevant. The choice isn't "I love violence" or "I hate anything that has to do with violence", it is what level or type is acceptable or entertaining.

For me it is very much about intention on all sides. If everyone understands what is involved, that goes a long way toward making it acceptable. I may personally not find it entertaining or I may, depending on the specific context. I don't like fights on the ice in hockey, but I accept that they have become part of the game so I can get past them. I'm not a huge boxing fan but will occasionally watch a heavyweight match or the Olympics. I don't like WWE at all and have trouble understanding why people do.

Unintended violence, or violence against someone's will, or violence that has far-reaching consequences will always be unacceptable to me as a form of entertainment. A hockey fight that spreads into the stands, a fight between fans, a gunshot at a boxing match - I can't ever say that there would be a single circumstance under which I would enjoy those. If they destroy something I love, that makes it even worse, but I would feel the same way if it was the Knicks beating up on fans regarding some perceived entertainment value.

For me, schadenfreude is inversely proportional to the reality of damage to the unwilling.

Just because the line isn't 50 miles wide doesn't mean there isn't a line.

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 11:26 AM
Don't compare me to that pathetic piece of trash. I would never, ever do anything to disrupt a sporting event.

My love for the team will never die out, and I will never do anything to hinder myself from supporting the Pacers until the day there is either no team or no me.

Shame on you.
Duke, you've got to chill here. It was a freaking JOKE ANALOGY between this thread getting all heated and the night of the brawl. I didn't say anything about you actually doing that at a game since I was talking about IN THIS THREAD and again, as a joke.

Maybe that's why some people are all spun up and others come off as pretty comfortable with the discussion.




Hicks - you got the point with that Batman example which I would say is in no way a low blow. Quite the opposite, the fact that you know what I meant, that WE (you included) have a fetish for fantasy violence simulated to whatever degree, not to mention a good portion of Indy/US audiences having some degree of attraction to actual violence, came across to you loud and clear.

Social analysis is not legitimate when you cherry pick the application. Moral outrage is only just if it's equally and fairly applied. Otherwise it's just some personal opinion masquerading as a legitimately factual and provable truth.

And that's exactly why we have the contradictory reactions to spectating Ron grabbing Green's buddy and Dale Davis choking another player, as if being an NBA player implies that you should be subject to legitimate vigilante justice on the court.

Dude's still a person. Frankly I think it's normal and healthy to sense some allowable level of "vigilante" retaliation, such as "you called my wife a w**** and now I'm punching you in the mouth".

But that doesn't mean that the guy couldn't then pull a gun, shoot at you and miss and in doing so kill an innocent bystander. So now you're a big a'hole for punching the guy. I disagree. I think a person must be responsible for his reaction to instigation and Ron doesn't get relieved of his responsibility for stepping on someone on his way to get to Green.

But that also means that all those other fans are not relieved of their responsibility if they trample some child in order to get a shot at throwing something at Jackson.


There were SOME examples of people going too far during the brawl, but a good portion of it fell under the "some a'holes mixing it up" level. Not all actions that night are equal. I think G'foot, Redd and I can appreciate the stuff that stayed within bounds without condoning the people that went too far, and without denying that all of the actions helped increase the risk of some jerk taking it too far (though that ultimately would still be that person's responsibility).

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 11:34 AM
Unintended violence, or violence against someone's will, or violence that has far-reaching consequences will always be unacceptable to me as a form of entertainment.
This is my reaction to it as well. Ron, Jack and that Green section of jerks...they were all willing and all remained relatively safe at the level of violence they were willing to be involved with. So that falls into the John Ford western bar brawl.

Small child trampled by fans rushing to join in that fight - that's disgusting. And in America we do acknowledge that crowd reaction is a factor that a person is held responsible for, no different than if a rock singer provokes the crowd, gets a riot going and walks off stage.

So I'll give you that by choosing to react that way in that venue Ron and Jack were wrong.



But then we fall right back to Ben Wallace, the refs and security who all let things go on between the shove and the cup that had the crowd escalated. It went way more wrong there then it did afterward. Ben's brother (who clocked Fred in the back of the head) had ALREADY LEFT HIS SEAT and moved 2 sections over in an attempt to get to Ron before Ron got up.

Keep that in mind. Fans and players were looking for a piece before Ron allowed them to have one. In fact that's exactly what that cup throw was about.

This is how the debate always goes, if its about amping up the crowd into a brawl capable frenzy then you go right back to Ben and Green...and the NBA since it's refs and venue security did nothing to curb any of this build up or Ben/Green's actions.

Unclebuck
07-17-2008, 11:51 AM
I find it very interesting that the mavs have strong interest in acquiring Artest - you might think Carlisle would not want to coach Ronnie again, but he must be willing to

JayRedd
07-17-2008, 11:56 AM
I'm done with this nonsense topic...I really am.

If any of you that have read any of my nearly 10,000 posts on PD and still do not understand the manner from which I was speaking than I really can't explain it.

And while I think it's taking things a little too seriously...I in fact do respect the right of any and all of you to be offended because I publicly stated that I think a grown man swinging around a dust-pan as a weapon and a 6'11 grown man who has made more than $100 million professionally before his 30th birthday running across the court to punch a 5'11 guy in the face only to slip and fall like an idiot is humorous. If my sense of humor and characterization of a historically unprecedented NBA fight full of awkward moments on a message board as "awesome" for brevity's sake is the type of stuff that you find "pathetic," "supporting the brawl" or an "unhealthy level of enjoyment and identification with violence" then...well...I don't even know what to tell you. Go ahead and be offended.

I respect your right to have that viewpoint.

But, as count55 said so well, you realize half of you are just being pricks in how you express your opinion?


I think if you still view the brawl as entertainment or cool, it just highlights some of the fundamental differences we have in society. Differences that I believe affect our culture and keep it from improving for the better.

Really? I'm holding back society and our culture?

Honestly, that's a pretty highly offensive thing to say to someone.

But guess, what, I don't even care. It's a direct insult and stab at my character and my overall outlook on life, but, cool...whatever. It's certainly a giant prick thing to say to another person, but I'm not even offended. You have the right to debate any way you want.

But, seriously, I would really appreciate it if you consider directing your outrage elsewhere. There are more productive outlets if you're so concerned with the direction of our society and helping to lower the murder rate of your fine city. Not enough people care so deeply about our society to devote their own limited time to improving our country and civilization as a whole and some of you clearly have the moral character to make utopia a reality.

There really are some great causes out there that you could devote 10-15 minutes during your afternoon to rather than spending time writing message posts about my outlook on life. You too can stop dustpan-on-dustpan crime.

Because, guess what, trying to alter my sense of humor isn't going to be that productive at all -- especially not when you're insulting me in the process. I'm certainly not taking you seriously or even remotely considering your outlook when it's wrapped in prick-ese.

Or, in other words...

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/05/28/101-being-offended/



* Sorry your thread got hi-jacked, Peck. It was a good discussion for a while.

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 12:02 PM
As for those of you who come out with "it was awesome" or "most exciting thing ever", and then backpeddle, please. You glorify it when you come out with those statements. No if's in my eyes. Sure, later you say it was bad or whathaveyou, but I find it low-class and insulting to choose words like "awesome" "fantastic" or "exciting" as the first and foremost comments of that night (hell, even if they aren't first). God damn. I'm just left shaking my head here.
Who are "those of you"?

I didn't say it was awesome or most exciting thing ever. Neither did Redd. And Goldfoot's first post was clearly a satirical spin on Peck's original post.


You and Duke just ramped up way too much on this one. You know how frustrating it is to counter some hyperbole with "well, that's not ENTIRELY true" and get "NO! YOU SHUT UP! IT'S ALL (insert extreme opinion) AND YOU'RE DISGUSTING AND INSANE TO SUGGEST OTHERWISE!"?


Sorry the brawl wasn't 100% the most horrible act ever or the darkest day in the NBA. That's so freaking naive it's disgusting. I've seen teen gangs jump other guys and pummel them with a brick. I've seen a friend of mine dead on the ground with a pool of blood coming out of her smashed skull. Cripes, I know that Darfor and a million other things exist.

Those things just phoned in and said that outrage over the horrors of the brawl might be a tad exaggerated. Sorry your team fell apart, but just exactly who died or got shot at or run over by a car?

More people are mad and disgusted by the Pacers brawl actions (or anyone's actions that night) than were disgusted by a couple of criminals running down Jackson or shooting at Tinsley and the team trainer.

It's time for a reality check. That's been my point all along.


The fallout of the brawl sucked. Jay, myself and others think that fallout was probably coming anyway looking back at the sum total of incidents that followed.

But I still find sactioned and broadcast extreme fighting to be much more disgusting, and my guess is the viewership IN INDIANA for that is better than the Pacers were getting last year, although I admit I don't know that for a fact and would be interested in being proven right/wrong by the ratings numbers.

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 12:08 PM
Again on the irony level, seeing Redd legitimately worked up and angry just goes to show that this is in fact "the brawl thread about the brawl".

The verbal punches and cups have been flying for pages now, and I find that aspect extremely funny in a ironically satisfying way.

I can debate it hard and also laugh at it. I LIKE people here and I know Redd does, and I'm pretty sure Goldfoot does.


This will make Duke happy though, I'm recasting the Green role. That's going to Peck for tossing the cup and then stepping out of the way when Goldfoot came running up.
:p :D

Have a laugh at this and realize that we are debating real points that are pretty far down the scale from pulling out a debate killing Nazi reference or something. This is not the make or break of society, the Pacers or PD itself.

It's just some summer debating to purge stuff in preparation for a kick butt seasons, wins or not.

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 12:14 PM
On to Buck's "derail" of our fighting


I find it very interesting that the mavs have strong interest in acquiring Artest - you might think Carlisle would not want to coach Ronnie again, but he must be willing to

Well it's a tough call. Ron did go in the stands and did then act up the next year because he wanted more touches to ramp up his profile, and I think his pocketbook with endorsements.

But he also improved quite a bit from Isiah's final year, made his only AS team and won his only DPOY under Rick, and then in Sacto even said he'd changed his mind about what Rick was trying to do with him and would welcome a chance to be coached by him again.

Despite our brawl discussion, there was his initial reaction which I think nearly every Pacers fan at the time thought was a minor miracle. Instead of letting go like normal he backed off and let Reggie guide him safely to the side. When he tried to get up Reggie held him back down and he conceded.

So there is some evidence that the tiger was being caged.


But it's still a tiger and you still have to watch your a** when you walk by the cage. Rick must have a lot of confidence that he can keep him in moderate check and avoid previous pitfalls with how he handled him.

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 12:20 PM
The inevitable collapse.

I'm not putting it on Ron, Jack, and Tins. I'm adding JO, Al, how they felt about Rick, Freddie wanting to start, Harrison, who knows what else.

When Ron left REGGIE MILLER said that wasn't enough and that there were still issues.

My point was that this group of kids just didn't mesh well, period. Ron goes, still doesn't work. Jack and Al go, works even worse. Tins sits hurt, still doesn't work. JO is out, still doesn't work.

Team says "no more crap" and you then get Rio and Cloud 9/Conrad and Shawne.

So while I've always loved and defended that 61 win team, who I do think were legitimately great, I'm admitting to Jay, Peck at al that it was lighting in a bottle...a bottle filled with kerosene.

rexnom
07-17-2008, 12:31 PM
The inevitable collapse.

I'm not putting it on Ron, Jack, and Tins. I'm adding JO, Al, how they felt about Rick, Freddie wanting to start, Harrison, who knows what else.

When Ron left REGGIE MILLER said that wasn't enough and that there were still issues.

My point was that this group of kids just didn't mesh well, period. Ron goes, still doesn't work. Jack and Al go, works even worse. Tins sits hurt, still doesn't work. JO is out, still doesn't work.

Team says "no more crap" and you then get Rio and Cloud 9/Conrad and Shawne.

So while I've always loved and defended that 61 win team, who I do think were legitimately great, I'm admitting to Jay, Peck at al that it was lighting in a bottle...a bottle filled with kerosene.
Dum, dum, dummmm (suspenseful hum).

Hicks
07-17-2008, 12:59 PM
Fictitious.

Fictitious fictitious fictitious fictitious fictitious fictitious.

And...

Who knew no one was going to be hurt ahead of time? This wasn't the WWE.

And...

No person was hurt but a franchise was wounded very badly. I could maybe understand a Detroit fan getting a kick out of it, but I have trouble understanding Pacer fans doing so.

And...

At what level of enjoyment does one begin to want to see it happen again? There are unhealthy levels of enjoyment and identification with fictitious violence, why would real violence lead to anything different?

And...

They can enjoy it all they want. I'm not offended by it. It saddens me and I'm embarrassed by it since it feeds the stereotype we'd really rather not feed.

Thank you. And while I do find it somewhat offensive, even I fully acknowledge they can love it to death if they want to, no one's stopping them, but they sure as hell can and will take flak over it. But they can feel that way if they want to, naturally.

Hicks
07-17-2008, 01:01 PM
No, it isn't irrelevant. The choice isn't "I love violence" or "I hate anything that has to do with violence", it is what level or type is acceptable or entertaining.

For me it is very much about intention on all sides. If everyone understands what is involved, that goes a long way toward making it acceptable. I may personally not find it entertaining or I may, depending on the specific context. I don't like fights on the ice in hockey, but I accept that they have become part of the game so I can get past them. I'm not a huge boxing fan but will occasionally watch a heavyweight match or the Olympics. I don't like WWE at all and have trouble understanding why people do.

Unintended violence, or violence against someone's will, or violence that has far-reaching consequences will always be unacceptable to me as a form of entertainment. A hockey fight that spreads into the stands, a fight between fans, a gunshot at a boxing match - I can't ever say that there would be a single circumstance under which I would enjoy those. If they destroy something I love, that makes it even worse, but I would feel the same way if it was the Knicks beating up on fans regarding some perceived entertainment value.

For me, schadenfreude is inversely proportional to the reality of damage to the unwilling.

Just because the line isn't 50 miles wide doesn't mean there isn't a line.

Thank you again. You're saving me a lot of time and stress and saying it better than I would have.

duke dynamite
07-17-2008, 01:05 PM
Duke, you've got to chill here. It was a freaking JOKE ANALOGY between this thread getting all heated and the night of the brawl. I didn't say anything about you actually doing that at a game since I was talking about IN THIS THREAD and again, as a joke.


Sorry.

Hicks
07-17-2008, 01:07 PM
But, as count55 said so well, you realize half of you are just being pricks in how you express your opinion?

In all fairness, some of us view the comments that play up the Brawl the way some of you are as something a prick would do, too. And to those of us that love the Pacers and were devastated by that event, it's also highly offensive to us.

Now that I've broken my own rules out of anger, why don't we put that word back on the shelf in relation to one another, hmm?

Hicks
07-17-2008, 01:15 PM
Seriously, this whole thing is ridiculous, but to those of you dismissing some/all of our outrage, that is not going to make things better, it's just going to feed the flames. Telling me or the others to "get over it" or "there are worse things that happen" after flicking us in the eye (intentionally or unintentionally) is not going to calm us down. It just won't. Same for writing it off as a joke. When something you love goes to hell, it's just not funny.

I don't see a resolution here aside from agreeing to disagree, so I am going to simply do so and move on. I suggest you all (who have been involved in this thus far) do the same.

Dr. Goldfoot
07-17-2008, 01:21 PM
Of course, the major difference between my offensive post and some of yours is that I never singled anyone out and called them names like this was the Indianapolis Star board.

Peck's ?'s

I don't believe for one second that ticket sales have increased. I think it's a sales pitch and a weak one at that. I guess we'll find out when they start releasing attendance numbers next season.

As for questions 2-5, I think the generic all of the above applies. People don't want to see a bad team and that's what the Pacers have been for a few years now. When you don't make the playoffs in the NBA you're in the bottom half of the league and that's bad. Money is tight in this country and a dollar isn't worth what it was even a few years ago. That can't be overlooked. Apparently some people quit going to games or even following the team because of the actual dislike of players but not me or even you(all of you) for that matter. Can't forget the Colts or any other plethora of local sporting events that take place in Indiana from racing to college athletics to high school athletics to live music to nail biter cliffhangers on TV.

I also agree with Buck to an extent. This isn't an NBA town and the Pacers have provided an ample amount of excuses to no longer have to support the local branch.

I think I'll just avoid the second portion of questions at this time.


P.S. I'm in four bands one of which you can see live this Friday at Sam's Saloon in the lovely Fountain Square area. Look for a Bar Brawlers CD release show in late August.

Hicks
07-17-2008, 01:23 PM
Of course, the major difference between my offensive post and some of yours is that I never singled anyone out and called them names like this was the Indianapolis Star board.

I'll man up and admit I'm the biggest, if not the only, part of that. I was angry and I lashed out. It was wrong, and it felt good. But it needs to stop. I apologize for giving in to my emotions.

Los Angeles
07-17-2008, 01:27 PM
One minor point - it is not true that noone was hurt by the brawl.

Mark Boyle himself had a serious back injury when Ron ran over him, And everyone on the receiving end of a punch were also hurt. I can only imagine the emotional damage caused to the children in attendance.

MagicRat
07-17-2008, 01:28 PM
Really? I'm holding back society and our culture?

I've hired you to help me start a war. It's an prestigious line of work, with a long and glorious tradition.

ChicagoJ
07-17-2008, 01:36 PM
Let's get back to a different tangent, shall we? One that we can argue about in a good way. :D


You and I agree that Ron was going to cause more problems no matter what. At the time (pre-brawl) I was backing Ron and hoping it wouldn't happen, but in hindsight and going on current actions it is hard to deny that.

Where we seem to disagree is whether the brawl or something of that magnitude was the expected result or a lower probability catastrophic result.

The catastrophic result of the brawl to the team was that more than just Ron were involved in a culpable way. Thus the suspensions, thus the beginnings of reputation issues for the team.

If Ron-Ron goes off on his own, even a fight in the locker room or something else individual, then damage control is easier because it can all be heaped on Ron.

Therefore, while Ron still causes damage, it is limited in scope rather than the complete disaster it became.

I still believe that an explosion on the scale of the brawl was a low probability event. It had to be initiated by something OUTSIDE the Pacers - in fact, by something that had not happened recently (if at all) in any arena - a fan throwing something at a player while practically in his face.

What if he causes serious bodily harm to (or kills) a teammate?

How far fetched is that? Sprewell snapped and attempted to choke his coach. Is Ron loonier than Sprewell?

How far fetched is that? Ron snapped tried to crush his coach in Chicago with several hundred pounds of exercise equipment. Is Ron loonier than Ron? I guess it depends on the medications he wasn't taking.

Back to my point:

How far fetched is that? In the dysfunctional Pacers lockerroom, where Ron was clearly not top-dog (or top-dawg), its not very much of a stretch. We've continued to see that this particular assembly of players isn't very bashful about fighting and messing around with deadly force. Did the team have metal detectors outside the lockerroom?

Several hundred pounds of exercise equipment falling on and crushing JO's foot would have put the Pacers in the same fall-out.

Sacremento didn't have a player of JO's caliber, so Ron has been thier top-dawg. That has lessened (somewhat) this possibility.

= = = = = =

P.S. I've only seen the brawl once since the night of 11/19 - sitting at BW-3's in Chicagoland on a Saturday afternoon with my daughter a couple of years later (so she was probably five or six at the time), and ESPN put it on again.

My back was to the television, and I didn't know why she started sobbing, "Daddy, why are those guys fighting with the Pacers??" I turned around to see Ron Artest in the stands. Thanks ESPN, that was first class.

Unclebuck
07-17-2008, 01:51 PM
How far fetched is that? Ron snapped tried to crush his coach in Chicago with several hundred pounds of exercise equipment.


I remember the story being reported about the exercise equipment but I don't remember he was trying to crush his coach with it. From what I remember and from what Ron's history is he rarely lashes out at people - he more or less just destroys property. But I could be wrong and probably should stay out of it

NuffSaid
07-17-2008, 02:09 PM
Thanks, Peck, for opening up this can of worms. :-p

Naptown Seth,

I don't think the collapse as you say was inevitable, but what was clear almost from the moment Ron-Ron was acquired was that there would be drama. And as has been said several times in the past having two volatile personalities like Artest and SJax was NOT smart at all, but in hindsight who knew?

Good Idea: Acquiring two agressive, confident players with abundant energy who play with passion.

Bad Idea: Acquiring two agressive, confident players with abundant energy who play with passion and can't control their emotions.

I still contend that SJax was more to blame for starting the Brawl because things didn't begin to get out of control until he threw the first punch. UNTIL SJAX HIT THE FAN THERE WAS NO BRAWL. Until that moment, the situation was still limited to a "player/fan confrontation" - albeit the wrong fan(s).

Let's go beyond this particular "blame-game" for the moment because I agree with the majority that punishment by the league was very much loopsided. I also agree with Peck's initial assessment that Pacer mgmt did little to show the fans their displeasure over this dark day in Pacers history on two fronts: 1) the players (or specific players) poor actions and poor decisions, and 2) the league's harsh and unprecidented discipline. That goes back to the culture of "PC-Talk" by Walsh. Now, it's true that the timeframe he and Bird had to work with in order to hand out any in-house discipline was very short, but truth be told I don't think much, if anything, could have really been done by Walsh in this regard.

According to the CBA, Art VI, Sec. 12, "Player Conduct (on-court) and Art XXXI, Sec 8(c) as "on the court conduct" is defined, the league - not the franchise - has the "entitlement" to enforce rules that govern any and all misconduct that occur by a player while on the court. Now, I don't know if "the court" was defined in such broad terms in the 1999-2005 NBA-CBA, but as for the current CBA, the "court (or player conduct thereon)" is defined as “any area within an arena (including, but not limited to, locker rooms, vomitories, loading docks, and other back-of-house and underground areas...By way of example and not limitation, conduct “at” and/or “in connection with” an NBA game shall include conduct engaged in by a player within an arena from the time the player arrives at the arena for an NBA game until the time the player has left the premises of the arena following the conclusion of such game)".

Basically, the league tied their hands on this one and it was probably for the best when you look at the big picture as it relates to administering fair and impartial "good order and discipline". I'm sure that PS&E have their own rules that cover certain things like curfew (if any), infractions for being late to practise, etc., etc., things they truly can control, but instances like the Brawl...there's just no way any franchise could dispense fair and impartial punishment for such a thing. That said, I think the league screwed up big time and went overboard in punishing Artest because there was clear precedence on exactly how to handle such an infraction, but, I do agree w/Peck that neither Walsh (nor the Simons) were vocal enough to echo the outrage that was heard very loud and clear by the fanbase as a whole.

Getting back to the collapse of a franchise, again I seriously doubt anyone could have seen it coming, but it became painfully obvious to me that unless Artest was reeled in, especially after the camera incident, things with him would get terribly out of control. Instead of holding him to task and hitting him where it really hurt - playing time, max fine and insisting that he take certain steps to get his temper more under control and putting measureable stop-gaps in before he could return to the court - instead Zeke, Bird and Walsh all took the stance that the "league" set punishment enough and believed that it was better to have an angry Artest playing for you to maintain your chances of winning than it was to discipline the wrongful actions of the man and lose. The higher ground would have been to punish him and measure his progress on improving his behavior before he would be allowed to set foot on the court OR let him play but decrease his playing time (i.e., bring him off the bench vice starting him). I honestly believe that had TPTB took the high road and enforced discipline right from the start, we wouldn't have seen such off-the court recklessness from guys like Tinsley, SJax, Quis and others.

This is why I'm so glad Bird/Morray/O'Brien have all worked to be on one accord. I think everyone from the top down knows what to expect and won't hesitate to put their collective feet down if a player gets out of line. We'll see how much that holds true once the season starts, but I have a feeling they won't stand for any BS from now on.

BillS
07-17-2008, 02:13 PM
Let's get back to a different tangent, shall we? One that we can argue about in a good way. :D



What if he causes serious bodily harm to (or kills) a teammate?

*list*

I think you are missing my main point.

In each of these cases, Ron may mess up a season or mess up a talent or cause a tragedy but the incident does not risk people's feelings for the franchise as a whole. Since these are all Ron-Ron actions, they focus all the blame on Ron or at most on the management decision to keep him around.

Since the brawl involved more players than just Ron, both in action and in culpability, it laid the basis for an incident like Club Rio causing a "there they go again" and a "it happened twice, they must be thugs" mentality.

Again, I'm not saying Ron wouldn't have blown up and caused damage, perhaps even multi-season damage. I'm saying the brawl became precedent for fan response to the rest of the incidents involving the rest of the team - incidents which were local and might (because we can never know for sure) been able to be accepted as single occurrences rather than immediately being added to a pattern of thugishness. Certainly even with some local issues the national reputation of the Pacers wouldn't be in the toilet.

I'd venture to say if you asked anyone on the street with a basic knowledge of the NBA who the most violent team in basketball is, they would still say the Pacers and cite the brawl. If Ron only goes off by his lonesome it doesn't provoke that reaction.

Bball
07-17-2008, 02:26 PM
Oddly enough, for as much as I hold Artest accountable for, I don't ascribe as much blame to him for the brawl itself as some of you do. I don't think he reacted much differently than the majority of NBA players would have had a 'fan' threw a drink on a them (player) in a deadball situation. ...And he far from started the spiral towards that moment (tho laying on the scorer's table doesn't help his case any in hindsight).

It's just with Artest's history he was the last player in the NBA that could do this without serious repercussions. He'd long ago threw away his benefit of the doubt card. Even with mitigating circumstances, he got little traction with the league.

Where I put our internal problems is the reactions of some of our team to what Artest did. They joined him in the fracas rather than just trying to stop him or otherwise calm the situation. They expanded it and they caused many to look at the whole team with worrisome thoughts

-Bball

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 02:30 PM
Collapse - let's keep in mind that I didn't used to take the side I'm on now, I was just the opposite.

But considering the underlying issues with Tinsley that seem to have been proven out with a new coach, JO's injuries and issues with Bird, Al's clear complaining after his return (he got benched coming out of halftime remember), and so on, the evidence of big time dysfunction has built up pretty high. It's tough for me to deny now.

Sure the brawl set up new dynamics, but then Al kept complaining in GS, Jack kept playing what I think is decent enough ball while at the same time losing his cool, Ron kept being Ron, and so on. I think we have to realize that there was a core running in each of these players that was in existence before the brawl.

I mean one might question whether or not the 4-2 loss with home court to Detroit the year before wasn't "the thing" that had already set them off in a bad direction, with the brawl just being one part of that popping up.

You already had a failure to start a blame game with just from the ECF collapse and the previous years horrid tumble and upset.

I don't blame Donnie for the team reaction or what he assembled because I think you try to be a good guy and set the standard, and you are trying to win. I just think he got burned, simple as that.

I'd bet he took a lot of lessons away from the last 5 years.



I'd venture to say if you asked anyone on the street with a basic knowledge of the NBA who the most violent team in basketball is, they would still say the Pacers and cite the brawl. If Ron only goes off by his lonesome it doesn't provoke that reaction.
Which I said elsewhere or earlier in this thread I think actually. You don't fix the image by moving players because in fans' minds it's a PACERS thing, not a Tinsley thing. It's too late to be player specific.

What you need now is to create new, positive images associated with Pacer players. Like Danny makes the AS team, Dun wins 6th man, Rush gets rookie game MVP, Hibbert wins a game with a bucket and 6 blocks, etc.

Do these things while avoiding more negatives and SLOWLY you will start to repair the image via a replacement method. But there simply is no such thing as "erase the bad". There is ALWAYS an image associated in a casual fans mind. If you don't have a replacement then "trouble/suck" is going to remain.

NuffSaid
07-17-2008, 02:34 PM
I'd venture to say if you asked anyone on the street with a basic knowledge of the NBA who the most violent team in basketball is, they would still say the Pacers and cite the brawl. If Ron only goes off by his lonesome it doesn't provoke that reaction.
I think I understand where you're coming from, i.e., if Ron had limited his anger to destroying a(nother) camera or a picture in the locker room or kicking a chair on the sidelines, all fingers would have pointed towards "Ron-Ron" and not "the Pacers". But again, Big Ben struck the match to the Brawl (his retaliatory shove again Artest), Ron lite the fuse (ran wilding into the stands in pursuit of the wrong person), but it was SJax who ignited the explosion (struck the first blow!). Still, I hear ya'...

Naptown,

You're right! The love-lose btwn these two teams (Pacers/Pistons) started with that 4-2 lose by the Pacers in the '02-03 ECF. Everyone knew it - the players, the fans, mgmt on both sides. But no one really believed things would get that ugly. The so-called "evidence" was circumstantial at best. No one could have reasonably foreseen any of the last four years in Pacers history taking shape. Not even the laws of probability could have predicted it! So, I think you're a bit far-reaching on that point. Still, if your underlying argument is mgmt was too soft at times when they could - and should - have taken a more hardline stance on some issues, then we both agree there. But to theorize that anyone had a cyrstal ball and could have predicted these 4-7 yrs bad luck for this franchise...NO WAY!

We all had a good idea that Artest was a bit unstable, and we came to quickly realize that SJax wore his emotions on his sleeve, but dang! I think people expected one or the other to go off singularly like BillS eluded to, but to expect that the inappropriate actions of both would be the catalyst that would pulled this team down the sewer...no one could have predicted this!

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 02:40 PM
I'll man up and admit I'm the biggest, if not the only, part of that. I was angry and I lashed out. It was wrong, and it felt good. But it needs to stop. I apologize for giving in to my emotions.
No worries.

The debate may be personal in that you start making points to a specific person, but Goldfoot's right that this sure isn't the Star boards where clearly intentional attacks with no point toward the discussion run rampant.

Arguments get heated. My best friend and I still laugh about the time we came to blows over Ross Perot's advertising strategy. No, seriously. :blush:

And I'll admit, it kinda felt good. Violence is associated with emotion and the outlet of emotions is key to good health. Usually we just make sure to redirect it in a better manner. Hard to take a walk around the block in the interwebs. So you get what we had here today, which is the way we wanted it. Well, we get it. I don't like it anymore than you men.

Dr. Goldfoot
07-17-2008, 02:54 PM
and because I just never learn.........


There's a certain faction of fans who blame Rick Carlisle for ever letting the overall negativity fester to begin with. Whether those fans are right or not doesn't matter, cause they exist. Each player is responsible for their own actions but Rick was the boss. How many players spewed negativity during his tenure 50%? 75%? The main cogs of the team? The role players? All of them really. Many of them were just being selfish and I think some of them were frustrated and probably even a few just got backed into a corner, but it doesn't change the fact that he was in charge when the **** hit the fan. He did a poor job smoothing anything over while he was here and in some cases may have even been the cause. I'm not blaming him for brawls or off court stuff but he certainly had a hand in making being an Indiana Pacer in the early 2000's an undesirable job. Lockeroom animosity, selfish play, disrespect, unchecked emotions, public outburst, complaining to the refs, upstaging etc.... can all be linked to his inability to freaking lead the soldiers. I'm of the opinion he led them to the cliff and then they all just jumped right off.

Not blaming Rick entirely just saying he certainly owns a piece of the pie.

MagicRat
07-17-2008, 02:55 PM
Collapse

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

BillS
07-17-2008, 02:58 PM
Which I said elsewhere or earlier in this thread I think actually. You don't fix the image by moving players because in fans' minds it's a PACERS thing, not a Tinsley thing. It's too late to be player specific.

What you need now is to create new, positive images associated with Pacer players. Like Danny makes the AS team, Dun wins 6th man, Rush gets rookie game MVP, Hibbert wins a game with a bucket and 6 blocks, etc.

Do these things while avoiding more negatives and SLOWLY you will start to repair the image via a replacement method. But there simply is no such thing as "erase the bad". There is ALWAYS an image associated in a casual fans mind. If you don't have a replacement then "trouble/suck" is going to remain.

I agree, and what I'm saying is that without the brawl it probably doesn't become a PACERS thing. It very likely remains a Ron thing or a Tinsley thing or a Jackson thing, and we can be player specific - or, at least, moving the player makes it a lot easier to create positive reinforcement for the team even if another player screws up.

Jackson was right when he did that "we ride together" thing. As soon as the actions were seen as team actions or tendencies, not individual player tendencies, the job of cleaning it up became orders of magnitude harder.

JayRedd
07-17-2008, 02:59 PM
In all fairness, some of us view the comments that play up the Brawl the way some of you are as something a prick would do, too. And to those of us that love the Pacers and were devastated by that event, it's also highly offensive to us.

Fair enough. Just so you know, I never stated my opinion to rub people the wrong way. I just thought it was unfair the way yall were jumping on Goldfoot just for expressing a feeling shared by millions of NBA fans and I wanted to let people know that plenty of reasonable people can and do feel that way.

And, yes, I too love the Pacers and was devastated by that event.

But it was four years ago and I can break it down into different categories and joke about parts of it. Some parts are awesome, some are tragic and some are just funny...especially the more time passes. With basically everyone involved in the incident gone, it truly is part of the past now and not the present.

My grandfather died of Alzheimer's some years back. Towards the end, he couldn't really remember my name and did a lot of weird things like hiding my mom's shoes all over the house. She'd find them, and then the next day they'd be back under the sink or behind the fridge. At the time, it was incredibly tragic. Now, with time, it is something we can smile about.

Wounds heal and the past is not the present. We got TJ Ford now. JO is gone. Rush and Hibbert are a new wave. The Simons have stepped in to quell the shenanigans. Larry and J'OB are saying all the right things. We're probably not moving to Vegas. Life in Pacerland is nearing normalcy. We still aren't good, but we're almost just another mediocre team again and not the JailPacers. We'll be fine.

In summation...it's okay to think trying to hit someone with a dustpan is funny. And just because you think that's funny, it doesn't mean you think the fact that Mark Boyle's back got injured is funny. That is, of course, horrible. My condolences if (for God knows what reason) you're actually reading this absurd thread.

ChicagoJ
07-17-2008, 03:43 PM
I think you are missing my main point.

In each of these cases, Ron may mess up a season or mess up a talent or cause a tragedy but the incident does not risk people's feelings for the franchise as a whole. Since these are all Ron-Ron actions, they focus all the blame on Ron or at most on the management decision to keep him around.

Since the brawl involved more players than just Ron, both in action and in culpability, it laid the basis for an incident like Club Rio causing a "there they go again" and a "it happened twice, they must be thugs" mentality.

Again, I'm not saying Ron wouldn't have blown up and caused damage, perhaps even multi-season damage. I'm saying the brawl became precedent for fan response to the rest of the incidents involving the rest of the team - incidents which were local and might (because we can never know for sure) been able to be accepted as single occurrences rather than immediately being added to a pattern of thugishness. Certainly even with some local issues the national reputation of the Pacers wouldn't be in the toilet.

I'd venture to say if you asked anyone on the street with a basic knowledge of the NBA who the most violent team in basketball is, they would still say the Pacers and cite the brawl. If Ron only goes off by his lonesome it doesn't provoke that reaction.

I see the distinction you are making, I just think we get to the same place either way.

As UB hints at above, Ron's public displays of violence were typically demonstrated in flagrant fouls/ cheap shots/ dirty plays or attacks on innanimate objects. We knew he liked to fight with his teammates, but I don't know if it was a "trade punches now, trade beers later" type of relationship or not, although I doubt it.

Let's not forget the team took a culture of violence, fighting, use of deadly force, etc. to all-new unprecedented levels when Stephen Jackson arrived. That team cared much more about defending its street cred, rep, whatever you want to call it than it did about basketball. This became the "dream team" for violence and disarray. Which is too bad, because there was a lot of talent on that team, even with SJax's turnovers and terrible shot selection. :-p

RWB
07-17-2008, 03:53 PM
Let's not forget the team took a culture of violence, fighting, use of deadly force, etc. to all-new unprecedented levels when Stephen Jackson arrived. That team cared much more about defending its street cred, rep, whatever you want to call it than it did about basketball. This became the "dream team" for violence and disarray.

Makes you wonder what the team of 'Peace, Love, and Understanding' would look like?

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 04:07 PM
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
NO NO NO NO
No singing!
Look, just stay 'ere and make sure 'ee doesn't leave.


One day Rat, all of this will be yours.
What, the curtains?


But I don't like this thread.
Don't like it!? What's wrong with it?!
It's got fighting, it's got arguing, it's got HUUUGGGEEE.....posts of words.


PB incident averted. :devil:

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 04:09 PM
I agree, and what I'm saying is that without the brawl it probably doesn't become a PACERS thing. It very likely remains a Ron thing or a Tinsley thing or a Jackson thing, and we can be player specific - or, at least, moving the player makes it a lot easier to create positive reinforcement for the team even if another player screws up.

Jackson was right when he did that "we ride together" thing. As soon as the actions were seen as team actions or tendencies, not individual player tendencies, the job of cleaning it up became orders of magnitude harder.
I think I now disagree with that. I didn't used to but look, it didn't take a brawl to create Jailblazers.

I can't honestly buy into Ron, Jack, Tins, Shawne, Hulk, Quis, whomever all avoiding outside trouble and worse yet intersquad issues.

LoneGranger33
07-17-2008, 04:11 PM
Makes you wonder what the team of 'Peace, Love, and Understanding' would look like?

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2007/1030/nba_g_spurs_580.jpg

count55
07-17-2008, 04:17 PM
But, as count55 said so well, you realize half of you are just being pricks in how you express your opinion?


Wow...I said that? I'm really quite the *******, aren't I?

NuffSaid
07-17-2008, 04:35 PM
There's a certain faction of fans who blame Rick Carlisle for ever letting the overall negativity fester to begin with...

Not blaming Rick entirely just saying he certainly owns a piece of the pie.
I 50/50 on lumped RC in with Walsh & Bird.

On the one hand, he can only do what his boss(es) give him the authority to do. To that, I want to believe that he tried to enforce discipline but got shot down.

On the other hand, it's probably more accurate that RC was part of that "PC-talking heads" culture I mentioned earlier. Nonetheless, I can't help but recall this one radio show RC gave where he talked about some of the difficulties of being an NBA head coach, among them: having to please the players, their families, their agents, upper management and owners. This is why I don't blame RC that much.

I think we all can agree that the coach is the first line of discipline on any team, but that discipline is only as strong as the policies that are written and the authorities given to those charged to enforce them. In other words, if RC has to run to Bird who in turn has to run to Walsh on every disciplinary issue, well, what's the point in trying to reel these players in especially when all they do is circumvent RC and run straight to Bird or Walsh...depending on who has the more liberal "open door policy"?

Again, it's quite possible RC wasn't given much authority to go with his responsibility. But it's also very possible he became part of the soft disciplinary culture that, for a time, provaded the Pacers franchise.

BillS
07-17-2008, 04:47 PM
I think I now disagree with that. I didn't used to but look, it didn't take a brawl to create Jailblazers.

It took more than 3 incidents over 3 years, though. The JailBlazers had some 6 separate arrests and 4 convictions in 2 years.

Without the brawl there's no way the Pacers get tagged as worse than the Blazers.

P-man
07-17-2008, 04:50 PM
This post is very good and a lot to look at. Excellent.

Finally substance.

My question is where does the team end up if the Detroit malee does not happen? If I am rememebering this correctly. We were in first place and there was a, " Lets do it for Reggie", team feeling.

I strongly feel with all the bad boys on that team we were a Finals lock.

http://i29.tinypic.com/1zbyxl4.gif

MagicRat
07-17-2008, 04:56 PM
I think we have to realize that there was a core running in each of these players that was in existence before the brawl.

Am I going MAD, or did the word "think" escape your lips? You were not hired for your brains, you hippopotamic land mass.

avoidingtheclowns
07-17-2008, 05:14 PM
If any of you that have read any of my nearly 10,000 posts on PD and still do not understand the manner from which I was speaking than I really can't explain it.

all i really understand is that you need a hobby.

NuffSaid
07-17-2008, 05:53 PM
This post is very good and a lot to look at. Excellent.

Finally substance.

My question is where does the team end up if the Detroit malee does not happen? If I am rememebering this correctly. We were in first place and there was a, " Lets do it for Reggie", team feeling.

I strongly feel with all the bad boys on that team we were a Finals lock.

Well, the Pacers were the best team in the NBA going into the post-season for '03-04. Yeah, they lost to the Pistons (ECF), but they were easily rated among the top 10 teams in the league and many sports analysist had them winning their division and the East. They weren't necessarily a lock for a Finals championship, but they stood a good chance. And considering they still challenged the Pistons in the 2nd-round the following season ('04-05) with a beat-up roster, I think they could have won it all had things not gone so terribly wrong.

BillS
07-17-2008, 05:53 PM
My question is where does the team end up if the Detroit malee does not happen? If I am rememebering this correctly. We were in first place and there was a, " Lets do it for Reggie", team feeling.

I strongly feel with all the bad boys on that team we were a Finals lock.

This is where I cross back over and start agreeing with Seth and ChicagoJ and others.

I think as much as we would have wanted to go to the finals, something would have blown up in the locker room or on the floor to stop it.

I just don't think it would have been as drastic as the brawl.

ChicagoJ
07-17-2008, 06:01 PM
Bill,

We certainly agree to that point. I'm willing to connect the dots and take it one step farther and say something drastic would have happend anyway. You aren't. That's fine. Believe me, I know my position is out on the edge of a cliff. It doesn't have to be mainstream.

I think there is validity to how I've connected the dots, but of course there is room for differing opinions.

Leroy Staley
07-17-2008, 06:04 PM
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

A PB derail? Desperate times call for desperate measures. However, I fear the power of the thread is too strong.

Peck
07-17-2008, 06:47 PM
I love how this thread is everywhere, kind of reminds me of odd thoughts.:)

I want to address something because I have had a few of you p.m. me about the topic.

I am not offended by Dr. Goldfoot or any of those who found the brawl amusing.

I am also not offended by Duke Dynamite and others who are offended at Dr. Goldfoots position.

I truely believe in an open and fair exchange of ideas and thoughts.

While I am no great fan of the brawl I can't help but admit the site of Jamaal Tinsley coming up the vomitorium with a dust pan brings a smile to my face every time.

Does that make me a bad person? Maybe, but I just find it amusing.

Does that mean I take great delight in the brawl? Hell no, I was both disgusted and devastated all at the same time.

I deeply appreciate the lengths that many of you have gone to answer my questions and I am going to come back a little later and re-address them myself.

However in this short time I wanted to just kind of get out there my thoughts about the way the thread had gone. So for those of you who have apologized for taking the thread off topic either on here or to me via p.m. I say this, no need to appologize.

Whenever we are talking about something so emotional things are going to spill up from the bottom and people feel how they feel.

However though I want to end this on a positive.

Thank you everyone for a positive group discussion.

Also, is this a P-man sighting? I mean the true P-man from back in the star days? Wow!!!!!!!!!

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 06:53 PM
Holy crap, sidestepping John Green returns to the scene of the crime. :D



BTW, if I've offended anyone I forgot to mention that I'll be up for Most Offensive Poster 2008 in next year's vote* and you should really bookmark this as a reminder next year.

Also please don't put me on ignore, it's nearly impossible to pull the kind of votership I'm looking for with people ignoring my offensive comments.

This means you too Grace. It's going to feel so much better casting that vote than hitting that ignore button.









* Not officially a category but I have a plan, mostly involving schemes of bribary and blackmail and other skullduggery, that will rectify this unacceptable situation

Leroy Staley
07-17-2008, 06:59 PM
However though I want to end this on a positive.

Thank you everyone for a positive group discussion.


Did you find it cathartic?

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 07:00 PM
Am I going MAD, or did the word "think" escape your lips? You were not hired for your brains, you hippopotamic land mass.
In this world gone mad, we won't spank the monkey - the monkey will spank us. And after the fall of man, these monkey f***s'll start wearing our clothes and rebuilding the world in their image. Oh, and only those as super smart as me will be left alive to bitterly cry - "You maniacs! Damn yous! ******* yous all to hell!"

duke dynamite
07-17-2008, 08:11 PM
In this world gone mad, we won't spank the monkey - the monkey will spank us. And after the fall of man, these monkey f***s'll start wearing our clothes and rebuilding the world in their image. Oh, and only those as super smart as me will be left alive to bitterly cry - "You maniacs! Damn yous! ******* yous all to hell!"
http://www.matteworld.com/film/2001/images/sb04_Statue.jpg

Peck
07-17-2008, 08:21 PM
Did you find it cathartic?

I did actually, however I also find enema's do the same thing and often produce the same results. :cool:

Peck
07-17-2008, 08:23 PM
In this world gone mad, we won't spank the monkey - the monkey will spank us. And after the fall of man, these monkey f***s'll start wearing our clothes and rebuilding the world in their image. Oh, and only those as super smart as me will be left alive to bitterly cry - "You maniacs! Damn yous! ******* yous all to hell!"

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Mgl22q1pQ78&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Mgl22q1pQ78&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

rexnom
07-17-2008, 11:08 PM
"What's wrong with me?"
"I think you're crazy!"
"I want a second opinion!"
"You're also lazy!"

Classic.

Peck
07-25-2008, 06:17 AM
Well I thought I would come back and answer my own questions here.

1. Knowing that ticket sales have already increased can we just write off the fact that the culture of the team has changed and in changing this some of the fans are returning?

This may have been a flawed quesion. I was working under the assumption that it was stated as fact that ticket sales were up for season tix. I have not been able to confirm that, I was told that the draft party night was a huge success in terms of signing up new customers or getting others to renew but I may have falsely missunderstood this to be that the sales were up.

However, using the working assumption that the team has increased sales (which I still believe to be the case I just don't have proof of this) then no I do not believe that this can be thrown out. In all honesty let's look at what has occured. They've traded away an all-star very popular player and took back a group of players that are unknown at best to the general populace. They drafted a potential high scoring exciting player and then traded him away for a couple of utility players and a long time well loved and well respected manager has left the team to take the reins of an old rival.

On face value, to me anyway, that does not sound like something in a vaccum that would inspire new or old fans to return.

So to me, yes I honestly in my heart believe that some people are coming back because they see two things.

a. A change in the culture of the club

b. A direction that the club wants to take.

You can make a case for either being the most important and I won't dispute either.

2. Was the win loss % the only reason for last seasons attendance? Obviously it was a factor, that cannot be argued. I will even go so far to say that this might have been the biggest factor for the majority of the fans that stayed away. But no, I do not believe that this was the only reason.

3. Was the economy the only reason for last seasons attendance? It might have played a little part in it but I don't believe that the great number of people that stayed away was because of a job issue. Sure some, but no more than normal IMO. So again I will give a resounding no.

4. Was a combination of the economy and win/loss % the only reasons for last seasons attendance?

Again I will not dispute that either was a factor and that both combined was a factor. However again I will say, no these were not the only reasons.

5. If neither of these or the combination of these was the reason, what other reasons are there?

You could probably make a list of reasons but to me at the end of the day it pretty much boils down to a lack of percieved accountability. We live in a world where perception is reality, doesn't mean that is right it just means it is.

I think a certain amount of people were fed up with the players, but honestly I believe at the end of the day there were some people that just felt like they could no longer support the franchise. Which is a first in this city that I can remember and certainly a first since the Simons took over ownership.

Look nobody needs to lecture me about how fans stayed away during the 80's, I was there. But I never ever in my life heard people talk about the Pacers with vile and hatred before. Sure they were disdainfull and mocking of them in the 80's but I think there was a complete and total disconnect between the fans and the team and I don't believe it started with the brawl btw.


Ok, here comes the fun stuff.

1. Am I wrong to feel that the team (owners and Walsh) never took actual responsibility for the actions of our players?

I don't feel wrong for this. To me and I'm a fan of the team btw so if I feel this way don't you think it might be possible that there were a couple of others out there who felt the same way.

I've read as many statements as I can from both Walsh and the Simons. I cannot find any article or statement that there wasn't a caveat or a "yea but" argument from them.

Look nobody is denying that Detroit security was lax, however I will say it was no worse than any other NBA teams that I've seen. Remember with all of our great security upgrades, last season a fan ran onto the court and proceded to dance amongst the players and jump at the net. If it weren't for Jeff Foster tripping the guy he could have went on for awhile longer.

Nobody is saying the Refs. were guilt free here. Honestly why they have jobs after that debacle is beyond me.

Nobody is saying John Green shouldn't have been punished or Ben Wallaces brother or etc., etc.

What I am saying is that I don't want to hear that while we are sorry for being involved in the low part of sports (paraphrasing Walsh here) we totally support our players.

We do? Why? Why on God's green earth should we hear this. Now I know some of you wanted to hear this and good for you. You got your wish. However there was a couple of us out there that wanted something else and the only person who ever came across with the fact that he didn't totally support this was Bird. He seemed to get it right from the front that Indiana wasn't going to support that kind of conduct.

2. If I am wrong, remember these are about feelings not facts, then was I the only person who felt that way? Or is it possible that a few others out there felt the same way and that this combined with other incidents where the management didn't respond with dissaproval of the players, might have kept a couple of people away?

Obviously I am going to agree with myself here. I believe that there were other fans who felt like me but unlike me they stayed away. I give you the first page of this thread as an example that there were people who felt that way and this is on a loyalist Pacer board. Imagine what the % might be of people in the general public who don't really closely follow the team.

3. Was Ron Artest as popular at the fieldhouse as he was online?

I've made this statement before and I'll make it again. He had his fans, no doubt, however he did not have carte blanche support like he did on here. In the section I used to set in, which thank God I am now returning to, Ron was boo'd quite frequently (and no not by me). Sometimes it was his antics however often times it was when Ron would go 1 on 5. However in all fairness they can be rough on players that do that as they used to give Jalen & Travis hell as well.

4. Was Steven Jackson unfairly painted by his actions at the brawl?

Here is where I will suprise people. I have always believed that Steven Jackson took to much blame for his actions that night and I think it translated into his being unfairly boo'd at home games.

Now don't get me wrong here, he deserved his boo's for his actions on the floor at home games and particularly his actions whenever he was taken out of a game but I think people felt like he was the main cause of the problems in Detroit.

He wasn't.

5. Was Jermaine O'Neal an innocent vicitim of the brawl?

Jermaine is well spoken, dresses sharp and has never floated gang symbols or colors. So in other words he is not Steven Jackson. However I just don't see how the guy can get a pass on his actions that night. Forget the fact that he punches a man on his knee's (who btw was once again the wrong fan to attack) because some of you have this notion that the laws of the U.S. do not apply to anyone on the court. Fine let's let that go for a moment.

How do you explain J.O. basically hip tossing some 70 year old usher who was trying to keep players from going into the stands? The only reason J.O. wasn't out in the crowd was because he was blocked, it's not like he didn't try to get out there.

So obviously my answer to this question is a resonding no. He was as guilty as Jackson. Not as guilty as Artest. But notice we are not talking about the actions of Fred Jones, Austin Croshere, Jon Bender or Jeff Foster? If O'Neal wanted to he could have done exactly what those players did and then he would have been innocent.

In closing I do not feel as though the Pacers did anything right that night, nor do I feel as though managment did one right thing after the brawl.

Ok, that's my thoughts on the brawl. Bash away at me.

I will be back soon with a second round of quesitons.

Arcadian
07-25-2008, 10:22 AM
What did Bird do or say to show that he took responsibility? I remember him talking about not wanting milk drinkers and posing on a cover with Ron. I don't remember any thread about Bird having a differing opinion on the brawl than the rest of management.

McKeyFan
07-27-2008, 12:31 AM
I don't think the brawl was the main cause of our demise.

After the brawl, the scrubs played great ball for a couple of months and the fans responded very well. We still believed in the Pacers organization.

It was the refusal to hold Jackson and Tinsley accountable for their actions that led to the fans loss of belief and trust in the Pacer organization.

Jackson deserved every single boo and it had nothing to do with the brawl. It was his selfish, immature behavior on and off the court.

I'm sure someone has discussed this elsewhere, but how interesting that the WNBA had its own brawl in Detroit. That city was also not held accountable for its actions.

ChicagoJ
07-27-2008, 10:13 PM
I view it the other way. Everything that led to the demise of the franchise was in place long before the brawl. It was just a question of how it was going to play out.

The brawl wasn't really the worst thing that happened to the team that month. The team should've suspended Ron for 75 games when he "quit" on them before the Minnesota game.

The Brawl was never the "cause" of our demise, just the most visible symptom of the cancer spreading through Pacerland.

Peck
07-28-2008, 03:46 AM
I view it the other way. Everything that led to the demise of the franchise was in place long before the brawl. It was just a question of how it was going to play out.

The brawl wasn't really the worst thing that happened to the team that month. The team should've suspended Ron for 75 games when he "quit" on them before the Minnesota game.

The Brawl was never the "cause" of our demise, just the most visible symptom of the cancer spreading through Pacerland.

And thus once again you and I are in complete agreement.

This will be shortlived however because I know what my second in the series of questions is about.:)

indygeezer
07-28-2008, 08:50 AM
I wonder how $4.00 a gallon gas will affect attendence.

Hicks
07-28-2008, 09:19 AM
I wonder how $4.00 a gallon gas will affect attendence.

It's going to make me cry coming from New Castle 41 times, but I'll be there.

Anthem
07-28-2008, 09:36 AM
We're down 50 cents from that out here.

ChicagoJ
07-28-2008, 10:21 AM
I wonder how $4.00 a gallon gas will affect attendence.

Its too bad there aren't many mass-transit options that drop off right at the arena, like there are in so many other cities.


We're down 50 cents from that out here.

Enjoy it while you can...

Putnam
07-28-2008, 10:37 AM
I wonder how $4.00 a gallon gas will affect attendence.


Someone driving from 40 miles away needs 120 gallons (assuming common fuel mileage) to attend all 41 home games. If that person had club level season tickets ($4305) last year, the fuel cost was 7.7% of his expenses for getting to and into Conseco Fieldhouse 41 times. A rise in the price of gas to $4 means $120 more over the season. The ticket price is the same s last year, so fuel will now be 10% of his cost for getting to and into Conseco.

Pretty marginal, really. And this is for a person driving from farther away than most fans.

-----

A year ago, 2.37% of the US GDP went to fuel. We were spending less on fuel than on clothes and less than on recreation.

We are now spending much more on fuel, but it is still only 2.91% of GDP.

Anyone who got a cost of living or a merit raise of 5% or more is still ahead of last year.

McKeyFan
07-28-2008, 10:38 AM
I view it the other way. Everything that led to the demise of the franchise was in place long before the brawl. It was just a question of how it was going to play out.

The brawl wasn't really the worst thing that happened to the team that month. The team should've suspended Ron for 75 games when he "quit" on them before the Minnesota game.

The Brawl was never the "cause" of our demise, just the most visible symptom of the cancer spreading through Pacerland.


We kind of agree.

It wasn't the brawl itself that hurt so much. It was the poor decisions and cowardice of management that caused our problems--before and after the brawl.

count55
07-28-2008, 10:43 AM
A year ago, 2.37% of the US GDP went to fuel. We were spending less on fuel than on clothes and less than on recreation.

We are now spending much more on fuel, but it is still only 2.91% of GDP.

Anyone who got a cost of living or a merit raise of 5% or more is still ahead of last year.

5% is a pretty big raise. The last four companies I've worked for have planned on between 2.5% and 3.5% annual raises. My current company will almost certainly forgo raises for the foreseeable future.

Major Cold
07-28-2008, 11:07 AM
I will always see the brawl as the signature apex of that tenure. Whooping the NBA champs at home with a great record and promise of the finals to total implosion.

ChicagoJ
07-28-2008, 11:48 AM
5% is a pretty big raise. The last four companies I've worked for have planned on between 2.5% and 3.5% annual raises. My current company will almost certainly forgo raises for the foreseeable future.

Ditto. I think the expectations are for 1-3%. Even for a publicly-traded financial and economic consulting firm.

The idea of a 5% raise is so "1995" that we should be talking about Byron Scott and Derrick McKey instead.

Unclebuck
07-28-2008, 12:01 PM
Wow, some of you are actually dismissing the brawl - as not even the worst thing that happened that month? And others are saying, if it wasn't the brawl - it surely would have been something else.

That is sort of like saying well if that tornado hadn't completely destroyed my house, the termites eventually would have.

The brawl was the cause of many, many bad things that have happened since. It was always there -sort of like the Pacers having a record.

Sort of like having a felony charge on your record - sure the misdemeaners look bad, but if the felony wasn't there, things would be a whole lot better.

Major Cold
07-28-2008, 12:08 PM
Wow, some of you are actually dismissing the brawl - as not even the worst thing that happened that month? Or if it wasn't the brawl - it surely would have been something else.

That is sort of like saying well if that tornado hadn't completely destroyed my house, the termites eventually would have.

http://images.usatoday.com/sports/_photos/2005/07/11/inside-artest.jpg<<<----is on your team eating from the inside out.

ChicagoJ
07-28-2008, 01:25 PM
Wow, some of you are actually dismissing the brawl - as not even the worst thing that happened that month? And others are saying, if it wasn't the brawl - it surely would have been something else.

That is sort of like saying well if that tornado hadn't completely destroyed my house, the termites eventually would have.

The brawl was the cause of many, many bad things that have happened since. It was always there -sort of like the Pacers having a record.

Sort of like having a felony charge on your record - sure the misdemeaners look bad, but if the felony wasn't there, things would be a whole lot better.

Yes and Yes.

The brawl was not the cause of the '04 playoff meltdown, or Ron's premature retirement (you know, the "take some time off to promote my music" nonsense,) or JO's refusal to let Ron back into the lockerroom when Ron realized a few minutes later that he didn't really want to quit. And the brawl didn't really cause the things that happened after it, except for the lenghty suspensions, of course.

The brawl has the same root cause as those things. As McKey fan said, management gets the blame for that. We talk about Ron a lot, of course, but the real blame is attached to the egomaniacs in the front office that thought they could keep him from destroying the team. Fools.

The brawl was as much - if not more - about a team on the verge of a big, messy explosion as it was about a cup thrown at an athlete by a spectator. Something was going to cause a catastrophe with that team. The only question was "how?"

Hicks
07-28-2008, 01:31 PM
If the Brawl doesn't happen, the team still falls apart, IMO, but gradually, with smaller explosions spread out over the coming years. With the brawl, it just stacked all of those sticks of T.N.T., put them in a pile, aimed an ESPN camera at them, and hit the detonate button.

ABADays
07-28-2008, 01:56 PM
Wow, some of you are actually dismissing the brawl - as not even the worst thing that happened that month? And others are saying, if it wasn't the brawl - it surely would have been something else.

That is sort of like saying well if that tornado hadn't completely destroyed my house, the termites eventually would have.

The brawl was the cause of many, many bad things that have happened since. It was always there -sort of like the Pacers having a record.

Sort of like having a felony charge on your record - sure the misdemeaners look bad, but if the felony wasn't there, things would be a whole lot better.

I couldn't agree more. Going back to the very first game the Pacers ever played, the brawl was the worst thing that ever happened to this franchise and the damage was significant. I can't see anything possible in Indianapolis' future sports history that could come close to it.

Putnam
07-28-2008, 02:19 PM
I can't see anything possible in Indianapolis' future sports history that could come close to it.


Aw, sure you can.

I agree the brawl was the worst thing ever to happen to the Pacers, and I hope nothing worse ever follows. But worse is possible. Not likely, but possible. Think of the Munich Olympics. Think of European soccer brawls that leave several people dead and the smell of tear gas wafting over the corpses.

Here's a sports riot that lasted a week, destroyed much of a city and left 30,000 dead:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nika_riots

JayRedd
07-28-2008, 02:22 PM
Terrordome at the Hippodrome?

ChicagoJ
07-28-2008, 03:55 PM
But it wasn't the worst thing that ever happened to the frachise. It was the worst thing that ever happened to the franchise in the public eye.

During the six months preceding the brawl, there was ample evidence that the Pacers were mixing Kerosene, Gasoline, and Lighter Fluid. All they needed was a match.

This was going to explode, not simmer.

Blaming everything on the brawl makes Donnie, Larry, Isiah, and Rick look less guilty and responsible. I agree that the brawl was catastrophic, but I can't get comfortable with the idea that the demise of the franchise is attributed to one night alone when we all saw (and some of us believed while others denied and strangely are still denying in this thread) evidence of big problems.

If John Greene didn't throw a cup, something else would have happened.