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brichard
11-25-2004, 01:43 AM
I still love y'all even though I rarely post anymore, but when things are rough I need this place. :)

I'm just amazed by how many people agree with the length of the suspensions.

Vernon Maxwell w/ only heckling= 10 games.

Latrell Sprewell is in a killing position choking his coach- 60 games (or so)

Ron is assaulted= 70 games (or so)

SJax- 30 games.

JO- 25 games.

Huh????

How does that make any sense? And when I say make sense, I am talking about the fair execution of the law. Even fans who hate Artest, would have to look at the numbers and say "Yes, injustice is happening here." This is a no-brainer folks. According to the prior sentences, this is ridiculously out of proportion. It doesn't matter if it is morally justifiable to suspend the guys, it very well may be, but when you execute punishments you must use prior cases as a benchmark (not morals.)

Artest, S. Jax, and JO are not paying for going into the stands. They are being punished for the overall effect of what happened in Detroit. That is what is entirely unfair. You can't add 60 games to Ron b/c the officials, fans, and security allowed this to cascade into the ugly scene it was. You can only punish them for their role in it. Anything beyond that is simply not fair.

I'd also like to dispell the myth that the only way Stern gets his message across is to have a public "a$$ whoopin'" of our players. Would you like to stop violence Dave? Suspend Ron for 20 games. It costs him some major coin and it is double what you issued before. I'm not even sure you could justify doubling the sentence, but even if you do you are no where close to being in the Ballpark Artest is in.

If Stern really wants to prevent violence I want to share a novel concept... make the reprecussions known in advance. If he wants to say that entering the stands bars you for a game, the year, or for life... that is fine. You now have established set expectations and if you don't follow them... suffer the consequences. And hey, he should set strict punishments to keep this from happening again. This is just like having a teacher, who has used a certain grading schedule all the years she as taught, and now AFTER THE TEST she informs you she is making it 7 times harder. Huh? What? You'd be beyond clueless in figuring out her rationalization for that.

Artest has not approached the level of lunacy that Rodman or Laimbeer executed on a nightly basis. I think the legend of the Big Bad Ron is exaggerated quite a bit based on what I've seen.

Deadshot
11-25-2004, 01:45 AM
Yeah - we all know how bad Rodman was, and he only got 11 games for kicking a cameraman!

indytoad
11-25-2004, 02:23 AM
If Stern really wants to prevent violence I want to share a novel concept... make the reprecussions known in advance. If he wants to say that entering the stands bars you for a game, the year, or for life... that is fine. You now have established set expectations and if you don't follow them... suffer the consequences. And hey, he should set strict punishments to keep this from happening again. This is just like having a teacher, who has used a certain grading schedule all the years she as taught, and now AFTER THE TEST she informs you she is making it 7 times harder. Huh? What? You'd be beyond clueless in figuring out her rationalization for that.

Amen. This is so incredibly logical I can't understand any reason why the NBA wouldn't institute a system like this, and I'm suprised it's not mentioned more often.

IndyToad
A fold in space

Sherlock
11-25-2004, 06:00 AM
I agree with you 100%.

Sherlock

able
11-25-2004, 06:07 AM
I have not posted that much on the topic, except that I think that Stern gives free rule to mobs and sanctioned the throwing of whatever you can get by security or buy in the concession stands at the players, without giving them a "right" to protection on the workfloor.

Every major sportorganization is probably baffled by the power that Stern has and his ruling in the matter, the press who covers the NBA will not now and not ever say this out loud, for the simple reason that said writer might have an accreditation problem next time around.

As said before, to little is done to protect the players, the almighty "the customer is right" wins in Stern's book, he seems to have run out of paper after that, since that is an adagio that is so old and screwed up that even those who are in customer support have forgotten it.

As I wrote in another thread, 5 year ban for a supporter who made racial slurs out loud at a game at a player, life-time banning for supporters who fight other supporters or throw something at the cops, or throw anything on the playing field.

1 Lighter thrown on a football pitch in Italy cost the homeside 2 matches without public (70 thousand) and the thrower ajail sentence as well as being banned for life to watch his club.

Cantona went into the stands to kick a supporter in the chest (flying kick) with his football shoes (steel nobs on the sole) and got the remainder of the season (don't be fooled, just 5 games) and a (suspended) jail sentence. Was he playing the next season? yes.

Now don't compare the two, to get into the stands Cantona had to cross an athletic track, jump over two rows of billboards, jump over a barrier and then he was able to get into the crowd.

throwing something on the pitch in football is all over Europe except England very hard, because of the distance between the pitch and the stands.

Fans going to watch a match need to register for their "homeside" to even be able to buy tickets, and are responsible for those tickets, no matter who uses them.

Visitors are in special sections, protected and kept an eye upon.

One would say that the realization that the spectators are not really nice people has set in in Europe (and South America and other places in the world)

David Stern however decides that not the fans but the players are at fault and on top of that he re-writes the law (great feeling that must have given him).
After sitting all weekend watching the tapes (where were his hands once he realized how hard he cold go after these players and the Pacers) he decided that he would forgo all previously set standards, forget the law he was thought in school, forget he "justice" that the law is based upon, forget his biblical standards that he says to live by, forget the simple foundation of his responsibility towards players as much as to the audience and simply and coldly take out his vengeance on Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson (known bad guys in his vision) and Jermaine O'Neal (the only one who could disturb the "Shaq is Back" quote he had ready for this years NBA & ECF finals.

This is not a theory, the chance was given to him, he seized it, no conspiracy, just opportunity.

Yes the Pacers will face the worst of this.
Yes the case will go to court is my expectation, and yes the Simon's want to appeal to the board of Governors, though I think that DW is trying to talk them out of it.
DW is far more on par with Stern, because he knows the power the man wields, because he knows he needs the man at the end of the year when the negotiations with the PU will go the wire, because at the end of the day he is an employer that does not want his staff to get any ideas about living in a free world.

Then the salary of these players goes to charity, not one they select, one selected by Stern, and now DW is not asking for re-consideration seeing the ridiculous amounts involved (I do sincerely wonder if any of the players went to court and sued under several common laws such as the right to work, the right to pay and such more wouldn't win) but ask for "local charities" to be considered.
Do you never consider that perhaps Stern is on the board of those charities, getting his share of it in the end? I know I do.

Let's face it, Ron out for the season, this blocks him from the right to work, they then commence to take away his salary he normally would have received and prohibit him from making an income in what is his trade, can you spell "beruffs verbot"?

Is that a human rule? is that invented to bring people down and into poverty? I know they make a lot, but losing this kind of money is outrageous. Or is it just a rule to "bring down the player to where he understands who is the master"?

Peck
11-25-2004, 06:50 AM
As I posted in another thread that in light of the lack of suspension placed on Harrison I am really having a hard time with the amount Jackson was given.

Other than that I guess the way I see this is just looking at the reality of the situation that Stern was faced with.

If you wanna call this a P.R. stunt for Stern you are 100% correct. This made international news, not ESPN sportscenter, I mean real news MSNBC/FOX/CNN/NBC/ABC/CBS/AP/Reuters/KnightRidder/etc.etc. etc. & it wasn't just a blurb. This was top story all weekend long. It's still going on every night on every talk show on the cable networks. It now has a regular segment on the Greta Van Sestran show.

I've watched probably a couple of hundred people talk about this & I'm telling you it's universal. Sports agents are against the suspension, a few athletes have spoken against it, a couple of sports radio talk show host were against it. But that's it guys. That's all there has been. Every single solitary talking head (read: not a sportscaster) has been universal in their support for Stern & praise him for taking a tough stand. He is being praised as a visionary. Hell I've even seen two commentators (Miles O'Brian cnn & Juliate Huddy fox) say that they didn't think Stern was hard enough & that a lifetime ban should have been placed.

You know what we are? Pacers fans.

You don't even take into consideration that maybe just maybe we are a little biased in this?

Look, I don't like it. I actually hate it to a point, but I understand it. I don't blame Stern for laying down what he felt was the law. I do blame Ron for reacting to this. Now I also feel that Detroit shares some culpability in this & I want to see Stern do something to them as well. But at the end of the day it is just my opinion that Stern did not tear down our season, we did the job ourself. I know that is not a popular opinion on here, but it's just the way I feel.

Could you imagine the reaction from the general public if Ron got a slap on the wrist ( & again let's be honest we all know that John Q. Public thinks a 20 game suspension for a multi-millionaire is a slap on the wrist whether it is or not) & then later this season he snapped & did something else?

Bball
11-25-2004, 08:22 AM
Could you imagine the reaction from the general public if Ron got a slap on the wrist ( & again let's be honest we all know that John Q. Public thinks a 20 game suspension for a multi-millionaire is a slap on the wrist whether it is or not) & then later this season he snapped & did something else?

I don't know that it would be all that hard to have negated public reaction if Stern would've read a statement saying:

"First, let me say... No player should ever go into the stands or engage a fan in any kind of physical conflict. Therefore, Mr Artest will be subject to suspension and a fine. But I also have to say that no player should be subjected to fans on the court or any type of physical abuse. What happened the other night in Detroit is something that should never happen again in an NBA arena. The lack of security and civility of the fans cannot be ignored as I hand down these penalties. This is a unique circumstance and the type of provocation we saw in Detroit cannot be overlooked. Therefore, Mr Artest will be suspended for 20 games and be on probation for the remainder of the year. Any further suspendible act could lead to a season long suspension. Furthermore, Mr Artest will be fined the amount of $XXXXXX for his part in the actions at the Palace of Auborn Hills.

Altho this punishment is harsher than the 10 game suspension received by Vernon Maxwell for an earlier incident of a player confronting a fan in the stands, Mr Artest has had a history of outbursts that I felt couldn't be overlooked in this case. Mr Artest has agreed to seek league sanctioned counseling. Missing this counseling would be deemed a violation of his probation.

Stephen Jackson will receive a 10 game suspension for his part in this event. Video tape shows he did enter the stands and physically confront fans. Again, I have taken into account how this has been handled in the past as well as the mitigating circumstances surrounding this event.

Jermaine O Neal will receive a 5 game suspension as will Anthony Johnson. These players never entered the stands altho they did physically confront fans on the floor. I considered a longer suspension but I also considered the past reputations of these two players as ambassadors to the NBA as well as the fact that the fans were in a place that they should not be and acting in a way that could cause the players to question their motives.

Ben Wallace will receive a 10 game suspension for his part. Mr Wallace's actions were at the root of the situation. When one chooses to resort to violence he must pay the price for what ensues. I feel that Mr Wallace's actions played more than a minor role in inciting the crowd.

At this point in time we will take a long look at the security measures that were in place at the Palace of Auborn Hills on this night. We will compare these to that in other arenas and make changes we deem necessary to provide for a safe environment for fans and players alike. It is very possible that we could levy fines if the security is deemed not to meet standards that we consider paramount. We will also seek civil actions against fans who were caught on tape acting in an inappropriate manner. I will also be considering other actions as we study this situation further as it regards to the fans and the breakdown of civility witnessed this past Friday night."

...But I guess I am biased....

_Bball

ABADays
11-25-2004, 08:58 AM
Well written gentlemen.

Grant
11-25-2004, 09:33 AM
The biggest problem I have is that if Atrest had been suspended for 30-50 games, it would have punished him. To have the suspension include the playoffs, it punishes the Pacers, fans, and organization.

FireTheCoach
11-25-2004, 10:15 AM
I lean more towards just accepting the suspensions and moving on. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I think they were fair... I'm not. I'm trying hard not to let it distract me from the "One Goal!" mindset, as hard as that may be to do.

I think you have to take into consieration Rons prior record... it aint good and everybody knows that. I can't forget the way he acted in the ECFs last season either. We all want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but thats because we're Pacer fans. Personally, I'm not confident that Ron can stay out of trouble. It's too bad that he's got such skill... if he had a professional persona to go along with his ability to play the game he'd be a true superstar. At this point in his career Artest is merely infamous. He's an evil villian to all but Pacer fans. What I think of Bryant and Iverson... well thats probably what the rest of the NBA fans think of Artest. While I acknowledge that Kobe and AI have mad skillz they STILL suck and I'd bet that the majority of the NBA fans feel that way about Ron. I'll say this.... If I saw Kobe Bryant and Rick Fox charge in to the seats in Sacto and start pummeling a Kings fan I'd be screaming "BAN THEM FOR LIFE!"

To me it's mostly just sad. I feel so bad for Ron. I'm not mad at him, just feel bad for him. I really don't think he will ever be able to just play winning ball without all the drama. He's the guy that can 'make ya or break ya' on this team and over the long haul, I really would rather not have that kinda player on my team. Every time you put him on the court you're taking a chance on something very bad happening... and I think the worst part of it may be that we rely on him so much for postive production. When you rely on a loose cannon like Ron as much as we do.... well, I think that should go on the "Things that need to be re-evaluated" list.

I'm backing this team 100% regardless who's on the floor. It's a great organzation from top to bottom. I'm pretty certain that we will witness some of the most memorable games in Pacer history this season. DEFEND THE FAITH!

TheSauceMaster
11-25-2004, 11:16 AM
I don't support them but what is my constant worrying and *****ing going to do about them ? about little to nothing other than add stress to my life , sounds like fun if you like worrying about things you can't change.

When you have basically have a Dictatorship of 1 person ( David Stern ) It's hard to breed fairness IMHO. David Stern took a problem that has alot of blame and shifted it to 1 blame , there was plenty of blame that night to go around and it quickly got shifted to guess who "The Pacers"

I will bet some money if there would have been proper security that fan would have thought long and hard about throwing that beer at Ron Artest. If there would have been proper security Ron probably would never made it into the stands..all assumptions but food for thought. So you see there was more than one factor leading to the "Malice in the Palace"

Again it's very chilling to know almost 3 mins went by before you see one single security officer and that's a mace weilding police officer , mind you Ron had already been in the stands and confronted on the court by 2 more fans in that less than 3 mins period from Ben Wallace's push.

I am not saying anyone shouldn't be punished for what happened , I am just saying there is more than 1 factor with lot's of blame to spread around and yes even plenty for the Pistons and it's orginazation. The Fans crossed a line that night which shouldn't have been crossed ethier , you guys would have a fit if you had to deal with 1/4 of what these guys deal with. Just because you make alot of money doesn't mean you don't have feelings or shouldn't be treated with respect and be provided a safe workplace.

jfisher
11-25-2004, 12:45 PM
I agree a million percent....I just talked to my dad and he's saying, "THey should kick that that Artistio guy out of the league and give him jail time!!!" ......ouch...that kind of sums it up for me. THere is always that one-upmanship when giving out fines or penalties. THe next guy is always gonna say the punishment wasn't tough enough no matter what. ...oh well....even with the video showing Harrison was more involved than O'neal emits no back down from Stern. That would make him look like a flip flopper-right? ANd we know the penalties for that......this is incredible.....so Brichard, I wish you'd post more. I always liked what you and your brother had to say. I met one of you in Boston a few years ago-right? I never post either, but it's because of ignorance not from being too busy. In fact I probably lurk on these boards more than anyone. We should have a lurking contest. (hee hee).....Take care, John

Unclebuck
11-25-2004, 01:02 PM
I have given up trying to figure any of this out. The cavelier approach Stern took in all this is bothersome. The whole thing is just not fair

brichard
11-25-2004, 03:49 PM
Well Peck, what I have seen on news and radio is that they all agree with whatever is popular at the time. The night of the suspensions everybody was in Ron's Court. The days following showed a complete flip flop. And the thing is, since non-Pacer fans are not harmed and actually benefit with Artest being gone, they have a built in bias as well. Human nature is to look on people in the most negative light.

However, if you got into a logical argument weighing prior suspensions etc., I think they'd have a hard time defending their case. A sports agent was trying to do just that on Hardball, but they just overtalked him and would not let him participate. Everybody hates Artest, he's the kind of player that only a team appreciates. My brother said that Laimbeer was not just liked, but loved by Detroit fans. Despite the fact that he was hated throughout the league. But alas, even Bonehead Bill deserves fair treatment just like Ron does.

I am simply saying this, if you are being objective... taking out all the Anti-Artest and Pro-Pacer sentiment in your bones, the suspensions are not fair based on the facts. And the facts involve prior suspensions. It is the only objective evidence we have to examine.

Thanks for the kind words jfisher, and it in fact was my brother you met. He actually has moved to NY, but he is still on the coast.

Go Pacer and Go Colts!!

FREE RON ARTEST!!!!

brich
11-26-2004, 01:36 AM
I have really talked this subject to death with friends since it happened. I have read and observed alot of different viewpoints. I have also tried to be as objective as I can, which is somewhat impossible being a Pacer fan.

Trying to be fair and logical with this whole event is difficult because of all the things that were happening. When you watch the entire event, you see people being the hero one minute, and then a villain the next. This whole thing started as being a textbook shoving match until that damn cup hit Ron. After that, this whole thing became Lord of the Flies.

I had a discussion with a neighbor of mine the night of the event, and living in NY, you can imagine that I don't get alot of Pacer sympathy. At that point I wasn't even arguing whether Artest was right or Ron, I was just asking him if he were a player, would there be anything that would cause him to lose his composure and enter the stands.

He felt that Artest and Jackson shouldn't have went into the stands, and that was it. Case closed...verdict: guilty. He felt that since these players make millions of dollars that they should put up with whatever heckling, taunting, etc. that they receive. I asked him again if anything would ever **** him off enough to go into the stands. It could be to defend someone, something somebody said, you get socked in the head with a battery (which does happen)...anything. I mean, everybody has to have a breaking point don't they? He would never really answer the question, he just became a continuous loop that these guys had broken a cardinal rule, and because of that, they were guilty.

He also kept repeating the amount of money that NBA players make. I personally don't see what that would have to do in this sort of context. Yes they are well paid, and in alot of circumstances they should be the bigger person and turn the other cheek, but there has to be reasonable limits. I wasn't so much upset by this guy having a different opinion than mine, but I was upset at his knee jerk reaction. You have to hear both sides at least to make a fair judgement.

The one question that I have asked myself a million times is "What Would I Have Done?" in that scenario. I played alot of sports growing up, and I was always an emotional player. I never got into any fights, but there have been tense moments. If you take an elbow to the face, whether it was accidental or not, you still might be pissed off. I have always been able to walk away in times like that, but when you think it is intentional, or if you are frustrated from not playing well, I know how hard it is to keep a calm head .

Artest had to be absolutely jacked up after Wallace shoved him, but he was able to pull himself away. Then he got the towel thrown at him, which wasn't a huge deal, but it sort of reignited Ron a little. Then of course, the cup comes. In spite of that, I honestly don't think that I would have went into the stands, but I honestly don't know what I would have done. Truthfully, none of us do. I do think that a sizable percentage of people, whether it be a majority or minority percentage would if they had the option. It is unfortunate that Ron had the option. That doesn't make this entirely the fault of security, but imagine if football stadiums or hockey arenas were set up like NBA arenas. This sort of stuff would probably happen all of the time.

I think that alot of people have the illusion that they would be more calm, cool, and collected in these sort of situations than they actually would be. I was on a plane once in Indy that caught on fire from the rear of the aircraft before it took off (we had just pulled away from the terminal). It sounds alot worse then it was, it was just a problem from when the plane was being fueled. At the time we were all scared to death. They announced it to everyone on the plane over the loudspeakers, and the flight attendant tried to calm everybody down. Within seconds the blow up ramps came out the sides of the plane, and then I got a glimpse of how people react in a survival situation like that. Older people were being pushed aside, and everybody was anything but calm and collected. I don't think that sort of scenario describes what sent Ron up into the stands, but I bet you that is how Jermaine O'neal, Harrison, and some of the others felt like. It is so easy to say that Jermaine shouldn't have clocked that guy as an isolated incident on a TV screen, but that just isn't how life is. You don't get to rewrite the script and carefully make decisions. You are sometimes forced to make them quickly, and some of them are bad in hindsight.

Ron is kind of a lightening rod for this kind of taunting from the fans because of his past. He unfortunately has earned this reputation, and he is going to have to live with it. For the rest of his career, people are going to be trying to push him over the edge. What is sad about the Detroit game, is that I honestly think that Artest showed the maximum amount of restraint that he is capable of. Ron has to take responsobility for his reputation, and I think he needs counseling to take his self-control to another level. I think he is much improved, but he has a ways to go.

I agree with my brother (brichard) on the suspensions. Maybe that makes me a homer, but I have talked to many people who think that the suspensions were harsh. He uses good logic an reasoning, so I won't repeat it. It especially seems unfair from a Pacer fan perspective. You aren't making an example of an individual player, you are making an example of a whole friggin' team! He could have at least staggered the suspensions. Ultimately I think this will come back to bite Stern and the NBA though. This is one more chasm between the player's union and Stern. Can you say "lockout?" I am not happy about the prospect of that, but it is another reason why this was not a well thought out decision.

jfisher - nice to see you are still around. I don't post much anymore, mainly because I found it was taking too much time, although I have always enjoyed it. I even dropped NBA League Pass. I live in NY, as my brother referenced, but not in the city. I am pretty near Poughkeepsie. One of the reasons I dropped League Pass was due to the cost of living out here. I thought Boston was expensive. A raised ranch from the 70's out here goes from $350-$450. It is worse as you go south towards the city. I know folks in Westchester who pay over $1,000/month in taxes alone. It is completely insane. I need to move back to Indy. :) I enjoyed the get together we had in Boston. It is too bad we only did it once. I like reading your posts. You should do it more often.

PacerMan
11-26-2004, 02:16 AM
I still love y'all even though I rarely post anymore, but when things are rough I need this place. :)

I'm just amazed by how many people agree with the length of the suspensions.

Vernon Maxwell w/ only heckling= 10 games.

Latrell Sprewell is in a killing position choking his coach- 60 games (or so)

Ron is assaulted= 70 games (or so)

SJax- 30 games.

JO- 25 games.

Huh????

How does that make any sense? And when I say make sense, I am talking about the fair execution of the law. Even fans who hate Artest, would have to look at the numbers and say "Yes, injustice is happening here." This is a no-brainer folks. According to the prior sentences, this is ridiculously out of proportion. It doesn't matter if it is morally justifiable to suspend the guys, it very well may be, but when you execute punishments you must use prior cases as a benchmark (not morals.)

Artest, S. Jax, and JO are not paying for going into the stands. They are being punished for the overall effect of what happened in Detroit. That is what is entirely unfair. You can't add 60 games to Ron b/c the officials, fans, and security allowed this to cascade into the ugly scene it was. You can only punish them for their role in it. Anything beyond that is simply not fair.

I'd also like to dispell the myth that the only way Stern gets his message across is to have a public "a$$ whoopin'" of our players. Would you like to stop violence Dave? Suspend Ron for 20 games. It costs him some major coin and it is double what you issued before. I'm not even sure you could justify doubling the sentence, but even if you do you are no where close to being in the Ballpark Artest is in.

If Stern really wants to prevent violence I want to share a novel concept... make the reprecussions known in advance. If he wants to say that entering the stands bars you for a game, the year, or for life... that is fine. You now have established set expectations and if you don't follow them... suffer the consequences. And hey, he should set strict punishments to keep this from happening again. This is just like having a teacher, who has used a certain grading schedule all the years she as taught, and now AFTER THE TEST she informs you she is making it 7 times harder. Huh? What? You'd be beyond clueless in figuring out her rationalization for that.

Artest has not approached the level of lunacy that Rodman or Laimbeer executed on a nightly basis. I think the legend of the Big Bad Ron is exaggerated quite a bit based on what I've seen.


I am dumbfounded that there are fans who DON"T GET IT.
THey went into the stands AND ATTACKED FANS. NOBODY has done that!!
Artest should be banned for life. Jackson for the season.
Jermaines was about right.

PacerMan
11-26-2004, 02:18 AM
I have really talked this subject to death with friends since it happened. I have read and observed alot of different viewpoints. I have also tried to be as objective as I can, which is somewhat impossible being a Pacer fan.

Trying to be fair and logical with this whole event is difficult because of all the things that were happening. When you watch the entire event, you see people being the hero one minute, and then a villain the next. This whole thing started as being a textbook shoving match until that damn cup hit Ron. After that, this whole thing became Lord of the Flies.

I had a discussion with a neighbor of mine the night of the event, and living in NY, you can imagine that I don't get alot of Pacer sympathy. At that point I wasn't even arguing whether Artest was right or Ron, I was just asking him if he were a player, would there be anything that would cause him to lose his composure and enter the stands.

He felt that Artest and Jackson shouldn't have went into the stands, and that was it. Case closed...verdict: guilty. He felt that since these players make millions of dollars that they should put up with whatever heckling, taunting, etc. that they receive. I asked him again if anything would ever **** him off enough to go into the stands. It could be to defend someone, something somebody said, you get socked in the head with a battery (which does happen)...anything. I mean, everybody has to have a breaking point don't they? He would never really answer the question, he just became a continuous loop that these guys had broken a cardinal rule, and because of that, they were guilty.

He also kept repeating the amount of money that NBA players make. I personally don't see what that would have to do in this sort of context. Yes they are well paid, and in alot of circumstances they should be the bigger person and turn the other cheek, but there has to be reasonable limits. I wasn't so much upset by this guy having a different opinion than mine, but I was upset at his knee jerk reaction. You have to hear both sides at least to make a fair judgement.

The one question that I have asked myself a million times is "What Would I Have Done?" in that scenario. I played alot of sports growing up, and I was always an emotional player. I never got into any fights, but there have been tense moments. If you take an elbow to the face, whether it was accidental or not, you still might be pissed off. I have always been able to walk away in times like that, but when you think it is intentional, or if you are frustrated from not playing well, I know how hard it is to keep a calm head .

Artest had to be absolutely jacked up after Wallace shoved him, but he was able to pull himself away. Then he got the towel thrown at him, which wasn't a huge deal, but it sort of reignited Ron a little. Then of course, the cup comes. In spite of that, I honestly don't think that I would have went into the stands, but I honestly don't know what I would have done. Truthfully, none of us do. I do think that a sizable percentage of people, whether it be a majority or minority percentage would if they had the option. It is unfortunate that Ron had the option. That doesn't make this entirely the fault of security, but imagine if football stadiums or hockey arenas were set up like NBA arenas. This sort of stuff would probably happen all of the time.

I think that alot of people have the illusion that they would be more calm, cool, and collected in these sort of situations than they actually would be. I was on a plane once in Indy that caught on fire from the rear of the aircraft before it took off (we had just pulled away from the terminal). It sounds alot worse then it was, it was just a problem from when the plane was being fueled. At the time we were all scared to death. They announced it to everyone on the plane over the loudspeakers, and the flight attendant tried to calm everybody down. Within seconds the blow up ramps came out the sides of the plane, and then I got a glimpse of how people react in a survival situation like that. Older people were being pushed aside, and everybody was anything but calm and collected. I don't think that sort of scenario describes what sent Ron up into the stands, but I bet you that is how Jermaine O'neal, Harrison, and some of the others felt like. It is so easy to say that Jermaine shouldn't have clocked that guy as an isolated incident on a TV screen, but that just isn't how life is. You don't get to rewrite the script and carefully make decisions. You are sometimes forced to make them quickly, and some of them are bad in hindsight.


And so you get punished if you committed crimes.

Hoop
11-26-2004, 03:28 AM
Brichard & Brich, excellent posts. I agree 100% :nod:

brich
11-26-2004, 10:52 AM
And so you get punished if you committed crimes.

1) Vernon Maxwell did go into the stands to confront a fan...and to my knowledge, nothing was thrown at him.

2) I agree that punishments should have been rendered, I just think that Stern went overboard. If Ron had launched into the stands because he was heckled only, then I may have been OK with the punishment (although it would still have been excessive when compared to what Maxwell got). He still shouldn't have gone in after walking away from an altercation and getting hit by something from the fans, but to me, that is an entirely different situation. It obviously wasn't to Stern. I think and arbitration by an unbiased third party would have yielded more reasonable punishments.

Maybe I would feel different if were talking about Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. I honestly don't know.

Either way, I am with Fire the Coach at this point. Talking this thing to death isn't going to change or solve anything. It is time to move on, and you have to support the team that is on the floor. I hope that Walsh and the Simon's appeal this if they can, and then the cards will fall where they will.

sixthman
11-26-2004, 11:04 AM
Save your keystrokes brich, some people want Artest's head on a platter.

A 30 game suspension would have been fair for what was a serious violation of manners on the part of Ron. A five million dollar fine and suspension for the rest of the year was excessive and unfair. The fair thing for Stern to do is roll back the penalties some; he will still have sent the needed message that a player going into the stands is something that the NBA is not going to tolerate.

I still haven't figured out how he intends to get out the message that fans aren't allowed a license to abuse players during a game.

Anthem
11-26-2004, 10:50 PM
Can somebody help me here? I've been away from my computer for a while, but what exactly did Jermaine get suspended for? From all of the camera angles I've seen, he was in the mob on the court and he went to the tunnel, but he never went into the stands. Is that correct? If he didn't ever go into the stands, what is he being suspended for?

Big Smooth
11-27-2004, 01:17 AM
I don't care how much money somebody makes, it does not make them less human. All human beings have basic instincts within them. Even though pro athletes and your average fans don't really live in quite the same worlds (figuratively speaking), when push literally comes to shove....bad things will happen.

As a fan, if you dumped a beer on a fellow fan in the stands what would you expect? If you dump a beer on somebody at a bar, what would you expect? Athletes are accused of having a disconnect from reality but fans have a disconnect too, just in a different way.

Should a player ever enter the stands? Only if something VERY SERIOUS is going on....like a player's family getting physically assaulted by fans. Artest should not have went into the stands. He deserved a punishment for that. I think the length of the punishment is excessive but I am biased.

But fans need to realize what I said above; before you do something stupid like that, consider what would happen if you did the exact same thing to somebody on the street or sitting right next to you. Because no matter how rich or famous these athletes are, they are still human. And they will have human reactions, right or wrong.

DisplacedKnick
11-27-2004, 06:56 PM
I left for vacation last Fri morning and missed all the discussion on this - probably won't go back and re-read it.

On seeing the replays of the fight on ESPN Sat a.m. my first impression was that Artest should be suspended for the year. Sprewell was and he attacked his coach - how much worse is it to attack a fan? Especially when you have the kind of history Ron has.

I had no idea what to do with Jackson or JO - I was hoping they'd get 10-15 games. But Jackson went into the stands to bust heads. And I can't get the image out of my mind of JO flying across the floor to deck a fan for what just looked to be the sheer hell of it.

My current thought is this: Ron Artest needs to find a different profession. I don't think he should get a lifetime ban or anything but I just don't see where you could ever trust him. Wonderful talent and player but after this I just don't know if he'll ever be able to control himself in a competitive situation.

Bad situation all the way around but at least in Ron's case I think the suspension is more than justified.

BTW - the first thing my sister, who doesn't really follow basketball (she's a hockey fan) asked me when she got in was, "What's wrong with the Indiana players?" I heard similar comments from other people all week. Got pretty tiring after a while.

Of course the Pistons fan who went on TV was pretty sick himself.

ChicagoJ
11-28-2004, 12:10 AM
Can somebody help me here? I've been away from my computer for a while, but what exactly did Jermaine get suspended for? From all of the camera angles I've seen, he was in the mob on the court and he went to the tunnel, but he never went into the stands. Is that correct? If he didn't ever go into the stands, what is he being suspended for?

John Edwards can clearly be seen holding JO on the court. Then, when the fans come onto the court and threaten Ronnie, JO breaks free and of course slugs one of the punks.

Stern's comment, when announcing his decision, was that SJax was "not acting as a peacemaker" (duh) and that he felt it that, even though JO was held back, it was his intent to go into the stands.

I think Stern left himself open to negotiate JO's punishment. Punishment based on intent, but no action - that's scarry stuff.

We're just upset that its Pacers players that went into the stands to brawl with the opponent's fans. I'm frankly happy that SJax wasn't "given the season" too. Outside of JO's punishments, these seem reasonable. Some of you need to take of your "Pacers goggles" and realize this is a bigger issue than just one team's season.

Sorry guys, but its hard for the commissioner to fine/ suspend the fans. And the investigation into the security failures is incomplete but I still expect a multi-million dollar fine on the Pistons organization.

Don't blame Stern for the severity of the punishments - unprecedented action deserves unprecedented punishment; Ron and Stephen Jackson chose to do what they did. It was a major no-no. Blame them.

I still expect JO back soon - perhaps at the end of the WC trip, unless there's something else he did that we aren't being told.

If you haven't paid attention, the team has won three in a row. I was very happy to be at the last two of those games. It seemed to me that almost all of the fans in the Fieldhouse have moved on, are embracing the team, recognize that our players committed major 'crimes' against the league, and are supporting the rest of the guys until those punishments are complete.

I'm tired of talking about it, sorry Anthem for the long response to your question about JO.

brichard
11-28-2004, 12:48 AM
Don't blame Stern for the severity of the punishments - unprecedented action deserves unprecedented punishment; Ron and Stephen Jackson chose to do what they did. It was a major no-no. Blame them.



Jay,

How are you defining unprecedented action? If you are defining unprecedented action as a player going into the stands, than that is just wrong. Vernon Maxwell did go into the stands, so a precedent has in fact been set. The precedent has not been remotely followed in the enforcement of penalties, which is the source of concern for this Pacer fan.

One thing to keep in mind about other teams fans is that many of them have not been educated on this fact. They hear Artest went in the fans, they hear "This has never happened before," and they think a season ban seems suitable. Hey, just based on those facts alone anybody's opinion is arguable. However, it simply is not accurate.

And just to show some objectivity, let me say this... Ben Wallace was suspended too long. Why you ask? Riddle me this, what is the typical punishment for pushing another player? If you don't throw a punch, which Ben didn't, normally the most they would get is tossed out of the game. Since Ben did make contact with the face, you may get one game. If the commissioner really wants to get on you he suspends you for 2 games. Again, 6 is way out of the ballpark.

Ben is getting off light compared to the Pacer players, but that is a poor comparison. We are comparing the ridiculous to the insanely ridiculous.

But as I said earlier, Ben isn't being suspended 6 games for his role. He is being suspended based on the end result which included fan reaction. The only argument for Ben to get a more severe suspension is if you believe he was inciting the crowd to throw things. I do think Ben wanted the fans to start booing, but I don't think we was thinking "Hey, chuck Ron with a beer."

And Displaced Knick (Rimfire?) do you really compare choking a coach, which can kill a person, with what Ron did? Latrell Sprewell was not assaulted and was doing something far more severe than Ron. What Ron did is also less guilty in my opinion in what Max did. Niether Latrell or Max were prompted by a physical act, and Artest was.

I'm telling you that none of the suspensions, all the way down to Reggie, make any sense to me. Send it to an arbitrator and I guarantee all of the suspensions are reducedm, save maybe the 1-5 day suspensions.

And folks the other thing to keep in mind here is that many fans will be indifferent. When Latrell Sprewell was out of basketball I could care less. He didn't play for my team and I didn't know much about him at the time. Whether he played or not mattered not to me. You will get a fair amount of fans who feel that way about Artest. They are not interested in being objective about his punishment, b/c they don't care what happens to him.

DisplacedKnick
11-28-2004, 10:14 AM
And Displaced Knick (Rimfire?) do you really compare choking a coach, which can kill a person, with what Ron did? Latrell Sprewell was not assaulted and was doing something far more severe than Ron. What Ron did is also less guilty in my opinion in what Max did. Niether Latrell or Max were prompted by a physical act, and Artest was.

I'm telling you that none of the suspensions, all the way down to Reggie, make any sense to me. Send it to an arbitrator and I guarantee all of the suspensions are reducedm, save maybe the 1-5 day suspensions.


Of course - a 6-7, 250 lb guy can't hurt anyone when he goes into the stands and pounds on people? What are you on? And then he brings his buddy Stephen Jackson along to join in.

But it wasn't really a comparison except to point out how much worse - by several degrees, what Artest did was. Sprewell at least went after someone employed by the game. Artest went after a civilian - a fan - AND HE EVEN WENT AFTER THE WRONG PERSON!!!

Probably a bad comparison - Ron's offense was far, far worse. Not really comparable. I applaud Stern's only giving him a season. Kicked out for life would have been pretty easy. My guess is there will be something written into the new CBA specifying this over the summer.

It's unfortunate you have zero objectivity with this. Artest's suspension was absolutely justified.

able
11-28-2004, 10:17 AM
Knick, before I say out loud what I think, would you care to explain based on what "objective" criteria you think Artest got of light?

Peck
11-28-2004, 10:31 AM
I'm not speaking for Rimfire here Able but the "objective" criteria you are seeking is based on the court of public opinion here in the states.

Ok, here is a test for everybody.

How many of you had a family gathering over the last week for the Holidays? Now how many of your family know you are a fan of the Pacers? Now how many of them were not? Now how many of them asked you what was wrong with the Pacers or some form of comment about Ron?

Now can you honestly say that a single person said to you that Ron was treated unfairly?

I bet if were honest here many of you had family members who don't even watch sports say something along the line of how horrible this was & how the players ought to be thrown out of the league.

I know I did. My in-laws who know Ron Artest from Primoz Brezac said to me over thanksgiving that Artest should not only be banned from the game but he should be in jail. I just ignored the entire conversation as best as I could.

But my point is, this is what Stern had to deal with.

Rim is 100% correct & it's something I said last night at the party. I agree that not only will the players not be able to strike over this whole episode but the league will lock the players out if they do not accept that going into the stands equals a one year suspension.

Stern has absolute 100% public opinion behind him. The only desention I know of is some players, some agents & guess who else? Pacers fans.

As to comparing Vernon Maxwell to Artest. It's like comparing an apple to an orange.

Vernon knew who he was going after. He punched him once & then left. There was no riot. Most importantly of all, Vernon had never attempted to go into the stands before. The same cannot be said for Ron Artest.

If Ron went after one fan & that was the end of it, the punishment would not have been so severe. But the fact that it is being called the worst sports event in U.S. history (I'm not kidding this is what CNN called it) is the single reason why Stern dropped the hammer.

DisplacedKnick
11-28-2004, 11:05 AM
Knick, before I say out loud what I think, would you care to explain based on what "objective" criteria you think Artest got of light?

If I commit felony assault on anyone in my job, WHATEVER THE PROVOCATION (short of being assulted myself) I'd be fired.

I bet the same goes for just about everyone on this forum.

I've had people come into my office, scream and throw things. One guy was kind enough to clear my desk off for me and smash a hole in my wall. I guarantee that if I'd jumped over my desk to punch him out I'd have been gone - no appeal, no arguing that "he MADE me do it."

Explain to me, objectively, how punching out a customer, even a rude one, deserves anything but being fired.

able
11-28-2004, 11:12 AM
Whatever Stern called it, or CNN is toally unimportant.
It is by far not the worst, history has already proven that statement idiotic, several newspapers gave an overview of historic nonsense like this.
It is the spin of the NBA with their imposing opinions on their own NBA channel as well as forcing the ESPN reporters to report according to the opinion of the league that create "publc opinion".

Due to "distance" very few "visiting" fans are around at bball arenas, thus you prevent the "normal" hassle between opposing fans, it leaves also out the natural "protection" those fans are for the players.
Fans concentrate on each other in most sports where distance is less of a factor and in countries where such is the case, riots among fans are "normal" occurances.
Not condoned, punished severly, but they occur.
Heckling the players happens, but most fan choirs are signing battle songs afore their team and not at the opponent.
Visiting fans are seperated from the "home" crowd by seperate entrances and are in dedicated areas in the stadiums, easily "watched" it also makes it easy to see if articles thrown on the field come from which fan (cameras are watching the audience continuously) the fan will be identified, arrested, sentenced, banned from the game for very long periods and the team he supports will incur a penalty ranging from a monetary one (100K $ +) to games without public.
Fans on the pitch, something which rarely happens, are tackled, kicked or hit by players and then picked up by the police, no player has ever faced charges over that, never at least in Europe, except one already mentioned French player (in England) who had to trvel a great distance to kick a fan in the chest (flying kick) with potentially lethal showear, where the fan had slurred him with racial remarks.

He was alos prosecuted, and given a probation time.

Maxwell went into the stands to knock down a fan that insulted him, mind you the fan had not attacked him, but insulted him.

Ron went into the stands after he was hit with an object thrown from the stands, he did not hit the guy he went after, he held him and questioned him, as the statement of the "victim" (who was clearly taunting him, see video evidence) shows.
Ron then turned around to hit someone who already hit him TWICE in the head from BEHIND, self defense.

The pandomonium and riot that broke out when he and Jax went into the crowd were on the verge of breaking out when Benny made the show he made, threw the towel and made everyone believe he wanted a piece of Ron (which in actual fact he would never want) the crowd merely took it over from there.

The riot was a result of poor security and very poor fan behaviour, not one tried to cool things down, in fact they were fighting among each other to get to a place of vantage from where they could "safely" assault players that were on the court or going in to the locker.

Now from history there are plenty references as brich made clear to have "jurisprudence" to judge the length of the supsension, other sports fill that picture in (see baseball, hockey, football, soccer, European footballl) and you know what ?

They all show shorter (much shorter) suspensions, AND severe penalties for the home-team.

What you fail to see and what is ignored in most coverage on the wonderful judgement of mr. Stern is that there are a few things that are not quite "comme ille faut" in the entire matter:

1. the judgement is not open for appeal, it is comparible to you being picked up by a cop, thrown in jail and sentenced for murder without the right to defend yourselves or to a jury of your peers or a "independent" judge, nor with the right to appeal. Had this been a country sentencing it's citizens international uproar would be the least.

2. The lenght of the sentence is incomparable to anything given before, not rational references are given.

3. the homeside guilty of gross negligence get's of scot free, in actual fact the next visiting team has to go through great lengths to get someone ejected from behind their benh, wanna bet that he's there again the next game?

4. there is a great discrepancy between the length of suspension on the other players as well, leaving the impression that status before the suspension was taken into account to sentence (see the difference in length between the "unimportant" AJ and MVP canidate JO)

5. By ignoring the Detroit responsibility Stern has made it clear that fans can misbehave all they want and that teams with the hoodlum core of fans like Detroit can continue to have minimum security and not get punished if something happens.

Ron never went after more then one fan, one he did not hit, but was hit on the head twice by a criminal, he defended himself, he was then back on the court, where he was confronted with two member of the audience who took aggresive stance against him, again he defended himself ON THE COURT, the police in the mean time all 1 of them choose to threaten Pacer staff members who protected Ron and held him back with pepperspray.

No player went into the stands in the vomitorium, thought they threatened to do after being attacked from there, self-defense, No one however stopped the degenerates from that section in their behaviour.

In short: a suspension for 30 games would have been more then "a new frontier" in sentencing, a decent signal to all those who attend a game would also be to disallow Detroit to play with an audience for at least 5 games, something jurisprudence is internationally available for.

Consider this, FIFA is considering to allow visiting teams to leave the game without repercussions if the fans are throwing racial slurs. The refs already have the right to suspend a game for it. In all these cases the homeside faces a minium of two games without spectators.

If the trouble comes from "visiting" team fans then the visiting team will get that sentence PLUS that they will no longer be given their normal contingent of tickets and in fact will not be allowed to bring fans on their away games for selected periods of time.

Fireworks in the audience will cost the homeside at least 250 thousand dollar, on the filed, 1 mio plus 1 game without fans.

Now tell me what stops hoodlums: suspending the players on the opposing team that you tried to get rid of in the first place or goingt after the hometeam who was unable to control their own fans and created a dangerous situation in the first place?

able
11-28-2004, 11:13 AM
If I commit felony assault on anyone in my job, WHATEVER THE PROVOCATION (short of being assulted myself) I'd be fired.

You seem to forget that throwing something at someone is exactly that, assault.

Peck
11-28-2004, 11:47 AM
Um, able your last post there buddy just actually proved my point about the entire process. Nobody has that Ron wasn't assulted.

However Ron went after the wrong man. The way you described it in your first post it sounded like Ron went up to the young man set in front of him & asked him if he might have accidently hit Ron with a cup.

Unfortunately what Ron did was a little more aggresive than that. He Ran up grabbed the man by the collar bent him over, held him down & in the process broke his glasses & with his fist clearly clenched above his head ready to strike yelled over & over "did you do it".

This is also cleary assult. The min. he held him against his will & damaged his glasses it became assult. The fact that he was the wrong guy even makes is more assult.

So let me restate what you just said "If I commit felony assault on anyone in my job, WHATEVER THE PROVOCATION (short of being assulted myself) I'd be fired."

Now your going to say that Ron was assulted. But I'm going to counter that he wasn't assulted by this guy so by your standard he should be fired.

So why are you upset? Sounds like Stern gave him less of a penalty than you would have gotten at your job.

Now to the overall culture thing. I know this is going to sound crazy seeing as how there certainly is a lot of violence in America. But it just seems to me that as a nation we don't tolerate physical violence the way you guys do over in Europe. Yes, I know it's assinine because we take gun violence all of the time. But when it comes to fights it's just really frowned upon here in America by all of the suburbanites. It may have a lot to do with our ability to have guns? I can't answer that maybe we are afraid that everything will escalate into a gun battle & judging by some of our history there may be a point to that, I can't say.

Again, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I love the suspensions, I just understand why Stern did them.

able
11-28-2004, 11:58 AM
I quoted Displaceknick with that quote, not mine, I have my own company and no one is going to fire me :D

If someone comes into my office making a ruckus I will ask him kindly to leave, if he refuses it's called breach of peace in my home" and I'm entitled to kick his arse straight out of the door.

And yes, an office is compared to a "home" by law, since it's a "closed" environment.

Whether there are differences in "violence" I'm not so sure, it is not what I encountered when I lived in the States, but indeed the fear that the dude you are confronting carries a gun might prohibit some of it.

I agree that Ron is perhaps not allowed to answer the assault with assault and the guy he attacked has reason to a settlement with Ron, but did he "hit" him? no. Vern did hit the guy.

It is simply not enough to justify it, nor do you address any of the other points I made, which in all honesty I expected you to do, because the core of the matter lies in there, not in whether what Ron did was right or wrong, no one I know admits that he did wrong, and that two wrongs do not make one right, however what happened further and after that (the riot, the "process", the judgment, the sentence) is what is at the very least discutable.

DisplacedKnick
11-28-2004, 01:20 PM
What you fail to see and what is ignored in most coverage on the wonderful judgement of mr. Stern is that there are a few things that are not quite "comme ille faut" in the entire matter:

1. the judgement is not open for appeal, it is comparible to you being picked up by a cop, thrown in jail and sentenced for murder without the right to defend yourselves or to a jury of your peers or a "independent" judge, nor with the right to appeal. Had this been a country sentencing it's citizens international uproar would be the least.



Really?

You seem to be misguided here.

I don't know how it works in your country but apparently disciplinary measures taken by corporations are equated with police arrests. That is not the case here.

David Stern is CEO of the NBA. David Stern has some authority to discipline his employees - NBA players and teams. This includes, I assume, the authority to discipline Ron Artest for going into the stands after fans. Apparently the CBA is fairly specific on his authority regarding this - I haven't bothered to read it.

I assume by your statement that any time you discipline one of your employees you need to get a court order, then hold a trial before some board or other authority before taking action. Seems like a strange way to run a business but whatever.

As for an appeal, there are all kinds of ways Ron can appeal. He can hire a lawyer and file a civil suit against Stern and the NBA stating that he was unfairly treated for one thing. That's a civil right and if you think David Stern can take away someone's civil rights then you are way overestimating his authority.

able
11-28-2004, 01:47 PM
As an employer I have the right to suspend my employees, however not without pay, that is a legal impossiblity, in that case I have to fire them. for which I need sufficient reason to stand up in a court of law or make a monetary settlement with the employee in question.

There is no apparant way for Ron to fight this except for the courts, which will take so long and cost so much that it makes the point more or less moot.

I have no other rights to "discipline" my employees, no, and even a suspension can only be upheld if the union agrees, or the companies board of workers-representatives.
The emplyee can appeal to all those, in very short term, and as an employer I have no choice whatsoever in that matter.

However now you make the correlation between an employer and employee situation, Ron is not an NBA employee, he is contractually bound to the Indiana Pacers, who play in the NBA.
For sports seperate rules count, but a (very) much larger organization as FIBA, UEFA, FIFA all have methods in place to appeal suspensions, whilst the suspensions are made by a team, not one man, and the appeals are heard and decided on by another committee which includes player-representatives.

Again it does not addresse the points I made in my post, alas, as to reference, and such, but as a last remark on the above; contracts are never allowed to be contradicting the law, even a CBA has to stand up to the laws of the land, and IF f.i. the FA (UK Football Association) decided to add the same rules on who rules how on suspension in the UK they would be laughed out of court on the first occasion, the reason being that the player has no alternative (if he wants to do his work) then to agree, this is so onesided that it is illegal.
There is a fundamental right to work in your profession, one that is upheld in most European states, that is in direct contradiction with what happened here.

The cost of his "civil rights" are so high that they loose comparison to what happened, even if the judge decided mr Stern was wrong, he can still prevent him from playing or receiving his salary, the latter being the most intrusive of the punishment.

However I am not arguing Ron should not be suspended, au contrair, I am only arguing the suspension is unreasonably long and without precedent, where the case in itself has enough precedent to read into that.

brichard
11-28-2004, 01:56 PM
Of course - a 6-7, 250 lb guy can't hurt anyone when he goes into the stands and pounds on people? What are you on? And then he brings his buddy Stephen Jackson along to join in.

But it wasn't really a comparison except to point out how much worse - by several degrees, what Artest did was. Sprewell at least went after someone employed by the game. Artest went after a civilian - a fan - AND HE EVEN WENT AFTER THE WRONG PERSON!!!

Probably a bad comparison - Ron's offense was far, far worse. Not really comparable. I applaud Stern's only giving him a season. Kicked out for life would have been pretty easy. My guess is there will be something written into the new CBA specifying this over the summer.

It's unfortunate you have zero objectivity with this. Artest's suspension was absolutely justified.

Well Rimfire, you and I have different perspectives. I find it odd that you consider punching to be worse than choking, but we'll just agree to disagree on that point. Choking to me has one intent... to stop somebody breathing. Although punching can eventually bring that same conclusion, it is a far more common occurrence. I don't recall many high school fights where people choked the other guy. Doing so ends the other persons life and one now needs to wear an orange jumpsuit. It isn't like Ron was pounding a guy mercilessly... I just didn't see that.

And just for my peace of mind, could one person who thinks Ron's suspension is fair compare it to Vernon Maxwell? B/c until somebody addresses that, the zero objectivity lies in their view, not mine. Max went after a civilian and struck a civilian.

The only reason I think you can say it is different is based on the fact that Ron nabbed the wrong guy. However, that is not the arguement I have heard. By and large it is "Ron is out for the season for crossing the line. Nobody ever goes into the stands." The court of public opinion finds no reason a player should ever cross that line, so whether or not Ron got the right guy seems to be a mute point.

Not true... Max went into the stands and got far less punishment.

I'm not trying to be an a$$ about this, but explain how I am not being objective.

Ron didn't bring Stephen Jackson as I recall, The Sundance Kid came on his own free will.

ChicagoJ
11-28-2004, 02:09 PM
Jay,

How are you defining unprecedented action? If you are defining unprecedented action as a player going into the stands, than that is just wrong. Vernon Maxwell did go into the stands, so a precedent has in fact been set. The precedent has not been remotely followed in the enforcement of penalties, which is the source of concern for this Pacer fan.
-snip-


Vernon Maxwell did not start an all-out brawl in the stands. Ron and SJax went into the stands to fight *the fans*, not confront a single heckler 11 rows up. What Maxwell did was wrong, but his confrontation was with a single fan, who was admittedly yelling disparaging things about his daughter. Its a very week comparison to equate Maxwell's 'crime' with the 'crimes' committed by Artest and Jackson.

I've thought all along, and posted this last weekend, that the ten-game punishment Maxwell received is the "floor" - considering that Ron and SJax were attempting to confront anyone and everyone that they felt was dis-respecting them, I think if you're going to make that correlation the very least you can come up with is ten games per fan that was confronted/ fought with.

Not to be callous, but this is like equating someone who murders one person in a fit of passion with someone who walks into McDonald's at lunch time and opens fire.

Ultimately, Stern's laying down of the law is a good thing for the league. And if it prevents us from another Ron-Artest-playoff-meltdown, and you know its a matter of "when" and not "if", then it might be good for the Pacers as well. As Pacers fans, its difficult to see the forest because all the trees are in the way. Outside of JO's egregious punishment, I can't complain.

I don't know what to make of Ben's punishmenet, BTW. Six games is a bit much based on what happened *on the court*. But he should bear some responsibility for starting the melee.

Bball
11-28-2004, 02:42 PM
I can see both sides here...

I think some of the "It's too harsh" crowd wouldn't feel quite as badly if Stern had initially acknowledged the fans' role in this, and Detroit security, (with some emphassis) and at some point actually seeing to it that action be taken against Detroit. IOW, not putting Detroit in a position to gain from this. What the NBA has done has actually been to shift the blame away from Detroit. So they gain in the court of public opinion and should gain on the court as the depleted Pacers fall behind them.

I agree with Brichard that public opinion has been influenced by the NBA actions and words at this point. If this would've been attacked from BOTH angles public opinion wouldn't be what it is now.

All that said... Artest put himself in this position. Not just when he went into the stands either. His whole career has had episodes that put the NBA in a bad light. Yes, it got him some notoriety but it also got him in the crosshairs of the league. He wasted his benefit of the doubt long ago with many. It probably doesn't help that he had just come up with his 'damage control' story about wanting time off for his album (which he himself later said wasn't really what happened) but the media had already ran with it making him look like a fool. Not thinking. And that sums up almost all of his 'act'. Not thinking.

So Stern is giving him time to 'think'.

And with all that said... Had Stern not wanted to punish the Pacers so harshly he could've put more blame on the fans and Detroit security while not excusing the players' actions. Then the media would've ran with that and general public opinion would've formed around that spin. But the Pacers made the easy target.... and it wouldn't surprise me to find out Artest factored even more into this (As in Stern felt Indiana shouldn't have allowed Artest to remain on the team from incidents long ago and was just asking for an incident like this (or worse)).

I think JO's suspension is over the top and I personally think SJax's is as well. Artest's could be spun however you want to spin it. It could be more or it could be less. I could even understand where the league would be coming from with a ban for life.

In any case, a lot of this was about PR damage control, and with Artest (and their punishable actions), the Pacers wore an awfully big target on their backs. Did the league really want to mar the image of the defending champs in the eyes of the casual fans or non-fans that they hope to make fans?

-Bball

sixthman
11-28-2004, 03:36 PM
I don't know what to make of Ben's punishmenet, BTW. Six games is a bit much based on what happened *on the court*. But he should bear some responsibility for starting the melee.

Any player who strikes and threatens another player should be penalized in a major way and the behavior should not be condoned, as you seem to be doing. Six games should be a minimum penalty. The problem is that Stern has been very capricious in leveling penalties.

By the way, to say that Ben Wallace "should bear some responsibility for starting the melee" is the understatement of the year. You think the crowd goes crazy like it did if Big Ben had simply given Artest a glare after the foul and a promise to get even?

What if Larry Brown and Rick Carlisle had realized the game was over when the lead got over a dozen and gotten their problem children out of the game?
The Pistons fans knew the game was over. Thousands of them had already left by the time the brawl began.

brich
11-28-2004, 08:09 PM
Peck, it is funny you mention talking this over with others during the holidays. I have ran this episode by many, and I have gotten a variety of perspectives. Everybody is unanimous that suspensions should have been handed out. Some feel that the suspensions are excessive, and some think they are too lenient. It is tough to get an hnoest answer of course, because I am probably "leading the witness" on some of these dicussions. :)

I did get a pretty funny "objective" response from somebody in my neighborhood. Remember that I live in New York now. A guy told me that he doesn't blame Artest, Jackson, Wallace, or even the fans for what happened. He blamed the real culprit (SARCASM), Reggie Miller. Upon all that is holy that was his response. He thought that Reggie should have tackled and subdued Artest. I guess that the fact that Reggie has a broken bone and is the size of Ron's thigh didn't factor into his logic.

There might not be many objective opinions out in Indiana, but believe me, you won't find them out here either. :)

JOneal7
11-28-2004, 08:15 PM
JO should only get 5! ONLY...why? cause he did same thing AJ did...unless they make the case he left the bench...but so did freddie? sterns screwed...
***** STERN!

mr oven cover
11-28-2004, 08:29 PM
**** stern!

Hicks
11-28-2004, 08:42 PM
JO should only get 5! ONLY...why? cause he did same thing AJ did...
I thought the same thing before last night, when Peck pointed out that JO also shoved a security guard hard into the scorer's table, causing the guy to flip backwards over the table. I'd never caught that before, but sure enough when I got home and checked my video of it, it does happen.

I still think 15 games might be more fair though.

DisplacedKnick
11-28-2004, 09:05 PM
If I commit felony assault on anyone in my job, WHATEVER THE PROVOCATION (short of being assulted myself) I'd be fired.

You seem to forget that throwing something at someone is exactly that, assault.

Sure it is, and the guy should be prosecuted - but it doesn't give Artest any license whatsoever to run fifty feet up into the stands after him - and then come up with the wrong guy. Pretty hard to call that self-defense.

able
11-28-2004, 09:09 PM
JO did not know this guy was security, all he know is that the guy was attacking him from behind, and he shoved him....so what?

You seen the difference between f.i. Conseco security and what they call security in the Palace??

the guy should be happy to still be breathing.

Security makes the most impressions when they are recognizable and omni-present, not dressed as fans mixed with the fans and cheering the home team.

able
11-28-2004, 09:16 PM
Sure it is, and the guy should be prosecuted - but it doesn't give Artest any license whatsoever to run fifty feet up into the stands after him - and then come up with the wrong guy. Pretty hard to call that self-defense.

I have seen the video over and over, he does NOT hit the guy, nor has he tried! he threatens to do so YES. should that be condoned NO, does it justify the suspension he got NO.

The ensuing riot can not simply be put on his shoulders, the people involved over the "vomitarium" were nowhere near the bench, they were not threatened in any which way, the people on the court were not involved before they entered the court, the guy who threw the chair was not in the "endangered" area Artest and co entered.

Don't shoot someone for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or for delivering the wrong message.

The riot ensued because it was Detroit, a city where they burn down their city-centre for no reason whatsoever and where they are (now) allowed to throw whatever they want at NBA players because it will only result in the player's suspension while the fan can return for another game to do the same to the next visiting team and thus continue the reputation they already had.


People in the UK, who saw the images on sportshows are aghast at he suspension and simply dumbfounded for the fact that Detroit got to play homegames after that riot with fans in attendance, something that would've been unthinkable of had it been an English football club (10 games at minimum was the judgement against Detroit in a bar this evening).

Hicks
11-28-2004, 09:19 PM
So it's the security guard's fault for being shoved over the table because he was trying to stop JO from entering the stands? I'm sorry but that is ridiculous.

mr oven cover
11-28-2004, 09:26 PM
well, he was trying to block a huge basketball player from going where he wanted, he knew he was in some danger.

able
11-28-2004, 09:27 PM
So it's the security guard's fault for being shoved over the table because he was trying to stop JO from entering the stands? I'm sorry but that is ridiculous.

NO: I said; A. the security guy was not recognizable as such by the player in questions and B; he was pulling JO from behind so he had no idea what was pulling him back, don't forget he situation they were in, once he saw what it was (not a player or a team/staff member) and was unable to recognize a security agent in it, he defended himself by throwing the guy away from him.

Hence my comparison to the CFH security, well dressed and clearly recognizable as such, while Palace security was wearing what ? red or blue shirts, with either wallace or palace at the back? in a situation like that it takes some time to notice :)

Hicks
11-28-2004, 09:32 PM
I hate to jump in here, but I do have to ask one question.

I was reading the Post this morning, and I beleive Wilbon (sp) said that all the reports were wrong, and JO actually did not hit a police officer.

Was this a seperate incident? If so, I apologize
If you have a video of the fight, I don't remember exactly when it happens but watch for JO at all times, pause if you have to, and look for him and a guy in a bright red outfit. The security guard grabs him to keep him from climbing the scorer's table to get to the stands, and JO turns and shoves him, sending him flying backward over the the table. So he didn't punch him, but he sure shoved him hard into the table.

Hicks
11-28-2004, 09:34 PM
NO: I said; A. the security guy was not recognizable as such by the player in questions and B; he was pulling JO from behind so he had no idea what was pulling him back, don't forget he situation they were in, once he saw what it was (not a player or a team/staff member) and was unable to recognize a security agent in it, he defended himself by throwing the guy away from him.

Hence my comparison to the CFH security, well dressed and clearly recognizable as such, while Palace security was wearing what ? red or blue shirts, with either wallace or palace at the back? in a situation like that it takes some time to notice :)
See, that's the problem. He wasn't wearing a shirt with a Wallace on the back. It was a bright red suit, that all the security wore. It didn't look like what a fan would wear. And I can't say not knowing who it was because he was behind him is an excuse either, because in that case you could say another Pacer could have been grabbing him instead, and because it was from behing JO is automatically going to shove him over the table, and I don't believe that's true.

Hicks
11-28-2004, 09:41 PM
:D..

able
11-28-2004, 09:54 PM
I just reviewed it again and again, and of course you have more vid then I do, but from what I have two conclusions: 1: security wears Red or Blue shirts, which is not a good idea for being recognizable and 2, JO was attacked by a guy in a red shirt, who maybe tried to stop him, but no matter what, in the heat of the battle JO swatted a fly on his hip and the guy had a free flying lesson :)

I know it is not right, but boy did he toss that guy :D

Now consider this, at CFH with the security ppl all wearring these nice suits with emblems on their chest, would there have been any doubt?

Peck
11-28-2004, 09:59 PM
Um, able.

Let me get this straight. You are saying J.O. thought that this was a fan coming up from behind him & grabbing him?

If so then the following scenario must be played out in your mind.

J.O. is accosted by a fan from behind, yet he has the self control to only push the perpatrator away from him mind you pushing him over a table but that's all he did.

Then within 3 min. of this amazing self control he sees a man on his knees who poses no threat to him whatsoever & he unleashes this monster hit on him?

Does this make any sense at all?

If you go back & look at the tape again you will clearly see J.O. turn his head to the security officer & tell him to get off of him. At this time he knew who & what he was & he still chose to remove him.

BTW, I'm not sure what you mean well dressed security. The security that you are speaking of at the fieldhouse are on three levels. 1. Ushers that wear green suit jackets & are in control of their sections. 2. Uniformed unarmed security that only stands on the floor area & in the hallway & are not in the crowd. 3. Uniformed police officers that sit behind the bench & are sometimes visible in the outer concourse area.

Now of course to me the Palace ushers look like clowns because of the red & blue long sleeve shirts. But it is what the people in Auburn Hills are used to, so to me that is not in question.

I don't know if you've seen our ushers up close or not but most of them are in their late 60's early 70's & to me the Palace staff looke much younger & more in shape.

able
11-28-2004, 10:13 PM
LOL no I have not seen the CFH guys up close, just in pics.

I also do not have the vid where JO looks around, if that's the case, he knew what he was doing -eof- still he threw him a hell of a long way, darned that beats throwing little people with that distance though I condone neither, I still find it funny someone can throw a securoty guy that far, the guys that work around here in that kind of a function are on average somewhat bigger and not thrown that easy :)

nonetheless, I believe your word, so JO was definitely in the wrong there in some way, though I still think there are more sides then just the visible ones to a case and not hearing them makes me hold on my judgement.

And yes, they look like clowns and to me defintely not in shape

mrxx54
11-28-2004, 10:18 PM
I'm a long-time lurker, but I thought I'd just post this thing I wrote a few days ago, it touches on some of the stuff being talked about in this thread. Then I'll go back to my lurking. :)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Letís get something out of the way right up front. I donít condone the actions of the Pacers players. Artest and Jackson in particular, and also OíNeal to a lesser degree, were all in the wrong on Friday and deserve to be punished. They should pay a price for what they did.

They should not pay a price greater than what they deserve for the purpose of public relations.

That was an ugly scene at the Palace on Friday, and a very bad night for the NBA. It looked terrible on camera, and of course everyone in America has seen it so many times that it is virtually burned into our retinas. Thereís no doubt it was a major black eye for the league, which already had image problems. A lot of parties were to blame for what happened. Certainly Artest and Jackson for going into the stands. Certainly the Detroit fans for throwing objects at the players, for being the first ones to actually start throwing punches (watch the tape), and for rushing the court. Most certainly Arena management for having what appeared to be in the neighborhood of zero security personnel on hand. The whole thing was a nightmare for David Stern. How was he to respond? Would he be able to insulate himself from the knee-jerk reactions and sensationalism pervading the airwaves and view the tape objectively and dispassionately, and, where he had the power to do so, hand out just, fair punishments to all parties at fault based on their individual actions?

Letís first do a reasoned, objective analysis of the situation before we look at Sternís response. Precedent for this sort of action was set in 1995, when Vernon Maxwell went into the stands, punched a fan that was heckling him, and received 10 games. This situation is different, of course, but we can use that as a baseline. We have to be careful, though. This incident looked much worse than that one because it turned into a riot. But it turned into a riot because the reactions of the fans were significantly worse, not because the actions of the players were significantly worse. We have to be careful not to punish the players for both their actions and the fansí reactions. So when doling out our justice, we should look at only the individual actions of the players when determining their punishments, and punish them based on that Ė not on the overall emotional impact of what we saw on the T.V.

First, Ron Artest. Maxwell went into the stands and punched a heckling fan. Artest went into the stands and grabbed a fan who he thought threw something at him. Artest didnít actually punch anyone until people started punching him, which is a factor. However, Artest got the wrong guy, which means he was basically just going after random people in the crowd. He also has a past. Additionally, Ron punched a couple of other fans, one in the stands who attacked him and one on the court who appeared on the verge of attacking him. Overall I would say his actions were worse than Maxwellís, and given his past, I would think his punishment should be more severe. But was what he did over seven times worse than what Maxwell did? I donít see how anyone can argue that. It's ridiculous. Even three times worse seems like a stretch, but I would say 30 games is still within the realm of fairness, while also being quite severe.

Next, Stephen Jackson. He went into the stands either to defend a teammate who was being mobbed, or to have it out with fans who were throwing stuff at his teammate. Worse than what Maxwell did? Iím not really sure. Three times worse? Probably not. But this suspension doesnít **** me off as much as the other two. Jackson just looked out of control to me, and he wasnít really even provoked that I saw. Frankly Iím surprised he didnít get more games; actually I thought his actions were worse than Artestís, because he went up there and started throwing haymakers at anything that moved. So Iíll take 30.

Jermaine OíNeal. We saw him do a couple of things. First, he punched a guy who had come onto the court to confront Pacers players. The guy wasnít much of a threat at the time, so OíNealís punch was probably unnecessary, but with all the chaos who knows what he saw or thought he saw. He also shoved a guy he may or may not have known was a security guard. Deserving of punishment? Yes. Worse than what Maxwell did? Hell no. Two and a half times worse? Absolutely no way. Twenty-five games is ridiculous. Five-ten would have been plenty.

I was hoping Stern would take a similarly methodological approach to doling out justice. He didnít, of course. He viewed the tape emotionally, with an eye toward satisfying public perception rather than reality, and then threw the players under the bus and made them bear a vastly disproportional amount of the blame.

The problem is that the severity of the suspensions was not about doing justice. You have justice when the punishment fits the crime. If I punch a guy in a bar, and heís not hurt, and I get a month in jail, thatís just. If I get 30 years, that sends a heck of a message about fighting in bars, but it is grossly unjust. And no, you canít justify my 30 year sentence by saying ďwell, if you wouldnít have punched him in the first place, you wouldnít have opened yourself up to an unjust sentence. So itís your fault, really.Ē

Honestly, though, I donít think Stern was thinking about justice or fairness at all. I truly believe that he consciously handed down punishments that he knew were more severe than the players deserved for the purpose of public relations. The incident looked bad on TV, Stern needed to come down hard on somebody, and the players provided the best opportunity for him to do so.

And it worked. All the talking heads fell for it; in fact theyíre (perhaps unconsciously) condoning the strategy of PR over justice. Itís good that he came down hard, theyíre saying, for the sake of public perception of the league, to send a message to players and fans and corporate sponsors. What they conveniently ignore is that the players and franchise that were deliberately over-punished are getting screwed.

For PR.

It may be good for the leagueís image. But itís unfair to the players. And shouldnít the commissioner of basketball be looking out for the players, too? Once again, Stern has proven that he doesnít mind turning against his players when revenue is on the line.

Some people might say that itís too bad for the Pacers, and admit they were treated a bit unfairly, but it had to be done for the sake of the league.

I strongly disagree. Itís wrong to mistreat the few for the benefit of the many.

able
11-28-2004, 10:31 PM
If this is the quality of your posting, then PLEASE post more, not because I agree with what you write, but because it is well balanced, though out and well written.

thank you for sharing

brichard
11-29-2004, 12:00 AM
Vernon Maxwell did not start an all-out brawl in the stands. Ron and SJax went into the stands to fight *the fans*, not confront a single heckler 11 rows up. What Maxwell did was wrong, but his confrontation was with a single fan, who was admittedly yelling disparaging things about his daughter. Its a very week comparison to equate Maxwell's 'crime' with the 'crimes' committed by Artest and Jackson.

I've thought all along, and posted this last weekend, that the ten-game punishment Maxwell received is the "floor" - considering that Ron and SJax were attempting to confront anyone and everyone that they felt was dis-respecting them, I think if you're going to make that correlation the very least you can come up with is ten games per fan that was confronted/ fought with.

Not to be callous, but this is like equating someone who murders one person in a fit of passion with someone who walks into McDonald's at lunch time and opens fire. (Snip)

(Insert Peck) As to comparing Vernon Maxwell to Artest. It's like comparing an apple to an orange.

Vernon knew who he was going after. He punched him once & then left. There was no riot. Most importantly of all, Vernon had never attempted to go into the stands before. The same cannot be said for Ron Artest.

If Ron went after one fan & that was the end of it, the punishment would not have been so severe. But the fact that it is being called the worst sports event in U.S. history (I'm not kidding this is what CNN called it) is the single reason why Stern dropped the hammer. (Snip)

Well, I am pleased that somebody(s) with a different perspective finally addressed this, but there are 2 clear points that arise from this.

1. We have a different perspective on the players intent- I don't think that Artest and Stephen Jackson went in to the stands like Rambo and the Colonel in Rambo III just trying to wipe out anybody in their general path. My opinion is that Artest was in fact going after the person that dropped the beer on him, and I think S. Jax was doing the same. As I read your post, you seem to think this was Ron and Jax against the Palace crowd and anybody who was dissing them at the time. If it was just the heckling, Ron would have run out a long time ago. Heck, Ron wasn't even paying attention to the crowd and talking on the radio until he got drilled with the beer. So based on that, I think it is pretty clear Artest is going after "beer man." The thing that caused Armageddon brings us to the second point.

2. The crowd- The crowd started attacking Ron and Stephen and at that point they were in survival mode. They realize that in spite of their size, they are no match for all of the fans that are now starting to beat on them. I don't think for one minute that Jax went in the crowd to be a peacemaker, avenging the beer hitting Artest was on his mind, but in a matter of seconds things shifted dramatically.

And by recognizing this point, that the crowd escalation is being factored into the suspensions, is precisely what isn't fair. Should we be kinder to Max b/c the crowd was more subdued in his situation? Or do we only hold Max and Artest responsible for their individual roles in the brawl? Do we slap 6 games on Ben Wallace b/c his home crowd went nutty? Or do we penalize Ben for his role in the brawl?

This is what I am talking about. The difference between Ron's situation and Max's situation is what the crowd does... not the player. I think in terms of player reaction/intent, they are apples to apples. The apple to orange comparison is how the crowd responded.

By the way, when has Artest ever been in the stands before? I don't think you can count an almost, you either get there or you don't. That is like saying "Artest almost reacted to Wallace's shove." You have to be concerned about it as a coach, but I don't think you should factor that into a suspension.

If you really believe that Ron and Jax intent was to go into the crowd and to beat everybody down in a Pistons jersey, than I understand your justification of the suspensions. I just didn't see it that way.

I also disagree that you can't suspend/ fine the fans.

Suspend the perpetrators from attending sporting events at the palace. Fine the crowd home games for acting like Jacka$$es. Cut off liquor sales for awhile, boost up security, make them all wear Pacer Jerseys. :) ... #91 of course.

And lets not leave the Pacers players out. Give JO 5, and S. Jax and Artest 20. If you want to give Artest 30 based on past behavor, I can live with that. But folks, those are not small fines and are not slaps on the wrist. That is a serious chunk of change out of their wallet and puts a serious dent on their team. And if you want to warn Artest that a similar outburst will result in a lifetime ban... I'm fine with that to. Just get the rules straight in advance not in arears.

ChicagoJ
11-29-2004, 08:13 PM
I'm a long-time lurker, but I thought I'd just post this thing I wrote a few days ago, it touches on some of the stuff being talked about in this thread. Then I'll go back to my lurking. :)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Letís get something out of the way right up front. I donít condone the actions of the Pacers players. Artest and Jackson in particular, and also OíNeal to a lesser degree, were all in the wrong on Friday and deserve to be punished. They should pay a price for what they did.

They should not pay a price greater than what they deserve for the purpose of public relations.

That was an ugly scene at the Palace on Friday, and a very bad night for the NBA. It looked terrible on camera, and of course everyone in America has seen it so many times that it is virtually burned into our retinas. Thereís no doubt it was a major black eye for the league, which already had image problems. A lot of parties were to blame for what happened. Certainly Artest and Jackson for going into the stands. Certainly the Detroit fans for throwing objects at the players, for being the first ones to actually start throwing punches (watch the tape), and for rushing the court. Most certainly Arena management for having what appeared to be in the neighborhood of zero security personnel on hand. The whole thing was a nightmare for David Stern. How was he to respond? Would he be able to insulate himself from the knee-jerk reactions and sensationalism pervading the airwaves and view the tape objectively and dispassionately, and, where he had the power to do so, hand out just, fair punishments to all parties at fault based on their individual actions?

Letís first do a reasoned, objective analysis of the situation before we look at Sternís response. Precedent for this sort of action was set in 1995, when Vernon Maxwell went into the stands, punched a fan that was heckling him, and received 10 games. This situation is different, of course, but we can use that as a baseline. We have to be careful, though. This incident looked much worse than that one because it turned into a riot. But it turned into a riot because the reactions of the fans were significantly worse, not because the actions of the players were significantly worse. We have to be careful not to punish the players for both their actions and the fansí reactions. So when doling out our justice, we should look at only the individual actions of the players when determining their punishments, and punish them based on that Ė not on the overall emotional impact of what we saw on the T.V.

First, Ron Artest. Maxwell went into the stands and punched a heckling fan. Artest went into the stands and grabbed a fan who he thought threw something at him. Artest didnít actually punch anyone until people started punching him, which is a factor. However, Artest got the wrong guy, which means he was basically just going after random people in the crowd. He also has a past. Additionally, Ron punched a couple of other fans, one in the stands who attacked him and one on the court who appeared on the verge of attacking him. Overall I would say his actions were worse than Maxwellís, and given his past, I would think his punishment should be more severe. But was what he did over seven times worse than what Maxwell did? I donít see how anyone can argue that. It's ridiculous. Even three times worse seems like a stretch, but I would say 30 games is still within the realm of fairness, while also being quite severe.

Next, Stephen Jackson. He went into the stands either to defend a teammate who was being mobbed, or to have it out with fans who were throwing stuff at his teammate. Worse than what Maxwell did? Iím not really sure. Three times worse? Probably not. But this suspension doesnít **** me off as much as the other two. Jackson just looked out of control to me, and he wasnít really even provoked that I saw. Frankly Iím surprised he didnít get more games; actually I thought his actions were worse than Artestís, because he went up there and started throwing haymakers at anything that moved. So Iíll take 30.

Jermaine OíNeal. We saw him do a couple of things. First, he punched a guy who had come onto the court to confront Pacers players. The guy wasnít much of a threat at the time, so OíNealís punch was probably unnecessary, but with all the chaos who knows what he saw or thought he saw. He also shoved a guy he may or may not have known was a security guard. Deserving of punishment? Yes. Worse than what Maxwell did? Hell no. Two and a half times worse? Absolutely no way. Twenty-five games is ridiculous. Five-ten would have been plenty.

I was hoping Stern would take a similarly methodological approach to doling out justice. He didnít, of course. He viewed the tape emotionally, with an eye toward satisfying public perception rather than reality, and then threw the players under the bus and made them bear a vastly disproportional amount of the blame.

The problem is that the severity of the suspensions was not about doing justice. You have justice when the punishment fits the crime. If I punch a guy in a bar, and heís not hurt, and I get a month in jail, thatís just. If I get 30 years, that sends a heck of a message about fighting in bars, but it is grossly unjust. And no, you canít justify my 30 year sentence by saying ďwell, if you wouldnít have punched him in the first place, you wouldnít have opened yourself up to an unjust sentence. So itís your fault, really.Ē

Honestly, though, I donít think Stern was thinking about justice or fairness at all. I truly believe that he consciously handed down punishments that he knew were more severe than the players deserved for the purpose of public relations. The incident looked bad on TV, Stern needed to come down hard on somebody, and the players provided the best opportunity for him to do so.

And it worked. All the talking heads fell for it; in fact theyíre (perhaps unconsciously) condoning the strategy of PR over justice. Itís good that he came down hard, theyíre saying, for the sake of public perception of the league, to send a message to players and fans and corporate sponsors. What they conveniently ignore is that the players and franchise that were deliberately over-punished are getting screwed.

For PR.

It may be good for the leagueís image. But itís unfair to the players. And shouldnít the commissioner of basketball be looking out for the players, too? Once again, Stern has proven that he doesnít mind turning against his players when revenue is on the line.

Some people might say that itís too bad for the Pacers, and admit they were treated a bit unfairly, but it had to be done for the sake of the league.

I strongly disagree. Itís wrong to mistreat the few for the benefit of the many.
That's an outstanding first post. Please don't go back into lurking, there's always room for balanced, well-thought and well-written posters here.

ChicagoJ
11-29-2004, 08:18 PM
Well, I am pleased that somebody(s) with a different perspective finally addressed this, but there are 2 clear points that arise from this.

1. We have a different perspective on the players intent- I don't think that Artest and Stephen Jackson went in to the stands like Rambo and the Colonel in Rambo III just trying to wipe out anybody in their general path. My opinion is that Artest was in fact going after the person that dropped the beer on him, and I think S. Jax was doing the same. As I read your post, you seem to think this was Ron and Jax against the Palace crowd and anybody who was dissing them at the time. If it was just the heckling, Ron would have run out a long time ago. Heck, Ron wasn't even paying attention to the crowd and talking on the radio until he got drilled with the beer. So based on that, I think it is pretty clear Artest is going after "beer man." The thing that caused Armageddon brings us to the second point.

2. The crowd- The crowd started attacking Ron and Stephen and at that point they were in survival mode. They realize that in spite of their size, they are no match for all of the fans that are now starting to beat on them. I don't think for one minute that Jax went in the crowd to be a peacemaker, avenging the beer hitting Artest was on his mind, but in a matter of seconds things shifted dramatically.

And by recognizing this point, that the crowd escalation is being factored into the suspensions, is precisely what isn't fair. Should we be kinder to Max b/c the crowd was more subdued in his situation? Or do we only hold Max and Artest responsible for their individual roles in the brawl? Do we slap 6 games on Ben Wallace b/c his home crowd went nutty? Or do we penalize Ben for his role in the brawl?

This is what I am talking about. The difference between Ron's situation and Max's situation is what the crowd does... not the player. I think in terms of player reaction/intent, they are apples to apples. The apple to orange comparison is how the crowd responded.

By the way, when has Artest ever been in the stands before? I don't think you can count an almost, you either get there or you don't. That is like saying "Artest almost reacted to Wallace's shove." You have to be concerned about it as a coach, but I don't think you should factor that into a suspension.

If you really believe that Ron and Jax intent was to go into the crowd and to beat everybody down in a Pistons jersey, than I understand your justification of the suspensions. I just didn't see it that way.

I also disagree that you can't suspend/ fine the fans.

Suspend the perpetrators from attending sporting events at the palace. Fine the crowd home games for acting like Jacka$$es. Cut off liquor sales for awhile, boost up security, make them all wear Pacer Jerseys. :) ... #91 of course.

And lets not leave the Pacers players out. Give JO 5, and S. Jax and Artest 20. If you want to give Artest 30 based on past behavor, I can live with that. But folks, those are not small fines and are not slaps on the wrist. That is a serious chunk of change out of their wallet and puts a serious dent on their team. And if you want to warn Artest that a similar outburst will result in a lifetime ban... I'm fine with that to. Just get the rules straight in advance not in arears.
I think you make some compelling arguments, so I think you should keep posting, too. :D. I'm not necessarily convinced that Stern was too "heavy handed" here, however. Seriously how can you watch SJax just throw random roundhouse punches at fans and not compare him to Rambo? I frankly expected both SJax and Ron to be banned for the remainder of the season, so perhaps that's why the only actual punishment that bothers me in JO's. :shrug:

Hicks
11-29-2004, 10:41 PM
I'd argue that Jack's punches weren't random. He didn't swing until that fan threw beer at he and Ron point blank. Past that, and I'll have to go back to the tape be sure, I'm pretty sure he only swung at fans that came after him, not him going after them. And IIRC, he gets out of there soon after he starts swinging, and his part in this is over.

I also want to say in his defense that some are not seeing that he was brought to a boiling point by a Pistons player down on the court before Ron had gone up to the stands. Go back and watch the tape, and you will see (thanks to Peck for pointing this out to me at the party) that initially he was trying to split people up after Wallace's shove to Ron, but very quickly Lindsey Hunter runs over to where Jack, Ron, the Wallaces, etc, are near the table, and gives Jack a clear hard shove, and then starts jawing with him. It wasn't until then did Jack start puffing his chest and start wanting to slug it out with Hunter.

And as I've already said, when he went up to where Ron was, it wasn't until the fan threw beer in their faces did he swing.

Maybe Peck can articulate this better than me.

ChicagoJ
11-29-2004, 11:08 PM
I understand that SJax was provoked on the court and that he was in the stands trying to defend Artest.

I was exaggerating to make the point that he was far from acting as a peacemaker. Look at Fred Jones, Eddie Gill, and even Reggie Miller. They were in the middle of the mess, in the stands, trying to stop the fighting. They weren't swinging wildly. And they didn't get disciplined.

That's what I'm trying to say; I agree there were things along the way that provoked SJax. He's a hothead, no doubt, but I agree that he didn't seek out the trouble - but he did make the whole situation worse.

ShadowKat
11-30-2004, 06:29 AM
Alright, time for another non-Pacer/Piston/anti-Pacer fan to contribute. :rant:

First off, I'd like to join a few others in giving huge kudos to mrxx54 and brichard and all the others who've tried to give objective or at least detailed examinations of the whole situation.

Also, able: You are so freakin' lucky! Some states are similar to whatever country you live in as far as "right-to-work" goes, but here in Utah (a so-called "right-to-work" state - chew on that contradictory term for a while!), an employer can fire you for any or no reason, and you have no legal recourse unless you feel you were being racially/sexually/etc. discriminated against. I feel victim to that myself recently, although in fairness I think it was really a layoff disguised as a termination.

Now, as for my opinions on the matter at hand: I have to preface everything by saying that, while I am not a Pacers fan, I hold a certain amount of sympathy for all the "small-market" teams if you will - After all, when was the last time you heard a nationwide buzz over the T'wolves or Nuggets, aside from them acquiring KG or 'Melo, respectively? The entire country, it seems, is always talking about "Where do the Lakers go from here?" or "Will the Pistons go back-to-back?" - very rarely do you hear something like "How much *** will Elton Brand kick this year?" or "If this keeps up, Gordan Giricek could become the next Jeff Hornacek..." ...except from me, of course! ;)

Is suspending them without pay even legal, since (as able keenly pointed out earlier, more kudos) they're emplyoees of the Pacers (and Pistons, if Fro&Co also lost pay), not the NBA?

And, while I realize it has no place in discussions of objectivity, I have to say that I would consider my friend/team-mate having a beer thrown at him plenty of provocation to go after his attacker myself, though I'd likely let him deal with it himself if he could. So all of you who say that SJax/JO/etc. were unprovoked, I say thee nay.

Now, I'm amused that no-one mentions that, as I understand (and this is hearsay, so please correct me if I'm mistaken), Ben Wallace stood on the hardwood pissing and moaning for two full minutes before he was escorted off the court! Maybe his suspension was overly harsh based on his treatment of Ron, but taking that into account...yeah. :rolleyes: :quit***** Where was the security to get his *** off the court, hmm?

Frankly I disagree with the whole notion of levying extra punishment based on "previous record", unless it's directly related to the issue at hand. I especially don't believe in punishing someone for getting angry at himself, which is surely the case in at least some of the "problems" Artest has cause. Being upset with yourself is punshment enough!

Also...Ron should find a new line of work? Wouldn't he concievably have just as many "problems" no matter what field he went into? Admittedly, probably not if he switched to football or something...but you know, some people are only really good at one thing, and I'd hazard to say that just about everyone is only exceptionally good at one thing, if that. Professional athletes only get to the level of people like JO, Ron, SJax, either Wallace, Shaq, Nolan Ryan, Bo Jackson, Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky, or Pele by being exceptionally good at it, and I feel it positively shameful to let such a talent go to waste. I have yet to see anyone in sports truly earn the "loose cannon" label (I didn't see Spre's little stunt :tongue: ), and I don't believe anyone should be run out of the league on a rail until they do.

Do I think people should be suspended? Hell yes. Do I think they should be sacrificed to the god of wealth upon the altar of Public Relations? Absolutely not. How much they should be suspended, I shall leave for those who can look at it without sapphire spectacles to decide.

Peck
11-30-2004, 08:07 AM
I'd argue that Jack's punches weren't random. He didn't swing until that fan threw beer at he and Ron point blank. Past that, and I'll have to go back to the tape be sure, I'm pretty sure he only swung at fans that came after him, not him going after them. And IIRC, he gets out of there soon after he starts swinging, and his part in this is over.

I also want to say in his defense that some are not seeing that he was brought to a boiling point by a Pistons player down on the court before Ron had gone up to the stands. Go back and watch the tape, and you will see (thanks to Peck for pointing this out to me at the party) that initially he was trying to split people up after Wallace's shove to Ron, but very quickly Lindsey Hunter runs over to where Jack, Ron, the Wallaces, etc, are near the table, and gives Jack a clear hard shove, and then starts jawing with him. It wasn't until then did Jack start puffing his chest and start wanting to slug it out with Hunter.

And as I've already said, when he went up to where Ron was, it wasn't until the fan threw beer in their faces did he swing.

Maybe Peck can articulate this better than me.


No, you did a very good job of articlating it.

Because Jackson had "Crazy eyes" & was talking crap & the fact that he is actually the first person to throw a punch Indiana fans have been willing to use him as the sacrificial lamb. A case can be made for Jax, IMO, far more than you could make for O'neal, Artest or Harrison.

But on the bigger picture. I think a lot of people are talking with their heart here & that is perfectly logical. We are Pacers fans afterall.

Disagreements are fine & I think the lines are pretty well drawn. There is the side that feels that the suspensions are arbitrary & unfair. Then there is the side that doesn't like the suspensions but understands why Stern (Satan, Hitler whatever you prefer) did what he did.

Let's just say this.

We have a team on the floor. It's the team we are stuck with at the moment & they are playing some pretty damn good basketball.

DisplacedKnick
11-30-2004, 08:10 AM
Addressing a couple of points.

First to mrxx54. Outstanding post. I disagree with you but it's still a great post - and you've obviously thought this out enough that we'll have to agree to disagree.

Stern's job isn't to be fair - it isn't to be nice to the Pacers. He's paid to do what's best for the league. In this case, with the huge media coverage and PR disaster the brawl was, what's best for the league is to hand out huge punishments so the rest of the world sees that he's responding aggressively.

In fact, I'd argue that if this goes to arbitration and the penalties are reduced it won't bother Stern at all - he's done his job. It's not his fault the courts don't see it his way. It's even possible he knows that's what will happen - or expects it to.

For Hicks: And as I've already said, when he went up to where Ron was, it wasn't until the fan threw beer in their faces did he swing.

I'll tell you what - a 6-8 professional athlete comes up in my section of the stands and acts aggressively I'd a) try to get the hell away and b) throw whatever I can his way to keep him away.

Those guys are BIG. I'm not particularly and I'm past my testosterone-induced age where I'd have any urge to fight him.

By the time things got to that point I think giving any rationality to anyone's actions is futile. It was all emotion and instinct - it might as well have been two groups of apes (please don't read anything racial into this) screaming and throwing feces at each other in the jungle.

Hicks
11-30-2004, 08:15 AM
For Hicks: And as I've already said, when he went up to where Ron was, it wasn't until the fan threw beer in their faces did he swing.

I'll tell you what - a 6-8 professional athlete comes up in my section of the stands and acts aggressively I'd a) try to get the hell away and b) throw whatever I can his way to keep him away.
It looked to me like nothing was stopping the guy from running or at least keeping his distance, rather he decided it was a good idea to toss beer in their faces. How dumb/unneccesary is that? My point is, I don't think Jack was going after him. Not until he threw that beer.


By the time things got to that point I think giving any rationality to anyone's actions is futile. It was all emotion and instinct - it might as well have been two groups of apes (please don't read anything racial into this) screaming and throwing feces at each other in the jungle.
And I'd generally agree, but I don't think it requires rational thought to not swing before you get hosed with beer, and then swinging after you have been.

Peck
11-30-2004, 09:31 AM
The guy who through the beer on Artest/Jackson in the stands was with the guy Artest grabbed by mistake. He said he was just doing anything he could think of to get Artest off of his friend, he didn't intend to hit Jackson or in turn be hit by Jackson.

able
11-30-2004, 09:59 AM
A lot of opinions on this thread are different, and we possibly have to agree to disagree on the matter whilst we also have no other thing to do about it then to wait and see, however I do want to state that this post has brought out some new posters, who I for one would love to read more posts from, well articulated and bar one or two, most posts are of a very high caliber.
In short this thread was/is a pleasure to read and discuss in, no matter how far some of the standpoints are apart.

I thank all those who untill now have paritcipated in it.

As for the case itself, so many little things run around in the matter that you would almost have to argue it bit by bit to get anywhere.
As I see it almost everyone agrees on the wrong of going into the stands, not everyone agrees on what happened there and even less agree on what caused what and there are definitely multiple camps on the suspension, but then again most agree that the way in which they are handled/ruled and the "options" for appeal are wrong in some way.

My pov is known from these posts, and to those that agree with the suspension all I can say is: please think this over in a quiet moment, transpose it to yourself, forget the money they are making, even if it was the lawfaul minimum ($ 5.50 or something, truly no idea anymore) an hour then still consider the matter from there

Wrong is wrong, I agree on that, going into the stands is wrong, however in most wrongs there is a mitigating circumstance(s) and there are certainly plenty here.
2 wrongs do not make a right and handling the "punishment" the way it is done is a wrong, so there are now 2 wrongs to be righted.

Suspending someone is judging, judging is done in a fashion that is acceptable to not only the ones punished and the victims, but also the ones looking on to judge you on your actions, knowing upfront what punishment will be makes it easier to accept, making up new rules on the fly has never carried the load over time and will not do so now.

In the end these suspensions are very closely tied in with the upcoming cba negotiations, points that are in the current one and would even without the incident have been hard to keep in (like Stern being the sole judge/jury/executioneer&appeal committee) would have been less important then they are made now and the price the union is paying in the end is high, since a relatively "simple" point became a high profile point in those negotiations which allows Stern to "give in" in exchange for other heavies he wants in and that would under "normal" circumstances have been the high profile ones.

Stern got a chance and jumped on it, I have no doubt that without this incident something of likewise "importance" would have happened somewhere in the year that would have in the same matter given chance to make this important in order to get back advantage on other points.

Stern made a well presented media-hype out of something that was viewed very differently by people on the moment it happened and the waking hours after that.

He knew very well that his punishment was outrageous and made it clear to state that he was the sole decider in this, something that would "normally" have caused an outrage everywhere, but now was taken in stride, he made that statement with a purpose.

He is most likely less willing to "do something about it" then most of us hope for, but if he does you can be sure that it will in the end be to his advantage, as would not doing anything be to his advantage.

He has created a win/win situation for Stern, sacirficial lambs have never been important.

I am sure that such is the reasoning behind the matter.

I am also sure that LB wants to keep Ron, DW wants(ed) to get rid of him and that DW is the source for the "silence" from the Simon's side.

Those are just the "political" implications of the matter, no matter where you stand in it.

again: thanks to all participating

Peck
11-30-2004, 10:07 AM
Well, at least we can agree that Stern is the winner here.

I don't want to beat this thing to death anymore but I just want to point out that while the media storm has died down the overall opinion of those outside the sportsworld have not.

Just this a.m. on Fox 'n' Friends E.D. Hill was talking about how dispicable the players were who went into the stands.

Look, this is to Able btw, I hope you understand that I don't necassarily agree with all of the suspensions. I just understand that here in the states that this is the kind of crap Stern was having to put up with. One could argue that he could have waited & let the storm die down before issueing judgement. But even you are admitting that he won with the general public with the way he handled the situation.

Hicks
11-30-2004, 12:29 PM
I personally don't understand why anyone would think Larry Bird still wants Ron. We can all probably agree that Walsh doesn't, which if you've been paying attention is really all the matters still, but all the same I don't see Larry taking the opposite stance of Donnie on this. Larry is a no BS kind of guy, and Ron's brought plenty. So to able or anyone else that thinks Larry still wants to keep Ron, can you explain why?

ChicagoJ
11-30-2004, 01:13 PM
Great question, Hicks. This could be an interesting discussion all by itself. And keep in mind, Larry is learning "spin" from the master, so just relying on his public comments isn't going to be a very convincing argument.

able
11-30-2004, 02:24 PM
I would never dream of using his public stance as proof, but I will address this later today, sorry out of time atm.