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sixthman
12-22-2004, 02:59 PM
Shows how much I know. Didn't think they would do this.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Associated Press
NEW YORK -- Jermaine O'Neal won a 10-game reduction Wednesday in his suspension for fighting with fans during the Nov. 19 Pacers-Pistons brawl, but an arbitrator also upheld NBA commissioner David Stern's bans on Ron Artest and two other Indiana players.


The league said it would go to federal court to challenge arbitrator Roger Kaplan's decision, which could make O'Neal eligible to return Saturday when the Pacers host the Detroit Pistons in the teams' first matchup since one of the most violent melees in NBA history.


"We have consistently maintained that the arbitrator has no legitimate role in this matter," NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik said. "While we obviously agree with Mr. Kaplan's decision upholding virtually all of the suspensions, we don't agree with his conclusion that the conduct did not occur on the playing court, and we have no choice other than to challenge it in federal court."


A hearing was set for 10 a.m. Thursday in U.S. District Court.


In a 28-page decision, Kaplan upheld Artest's season-long suspension and the penalties given to Stephen Jackson (30 games) and Anthony Johnson (five games).


O'Neal's ban was reduced from 25 games to 15.


The union had asked for substantial reductions in the penalties during a six-hour arbitration hearing at a Manhattan law office. The NBA declined to participate, saying Kaplan had no jurisdiction to arbitrate penalties for on-court behavior -- an area in which the league contends the commissioner has sole discretion.


"We're extremely pleased that Jermaine will have the opportunity to play, although we respectfully disagree with the decision on the other three players," players' union director Billy Hunter said. "We are also pleased that the arbitrator has affirmed the right of players to appeal disciplinary measures."


Kaplan ruled that he had jurisdiction to hear the case, and that Stern had just cause to issue the suspensions he gave to Artest, Jackson and Johnson.


The reasoning for his reduction of O'Neal's suspension was not immediately clear.


"We're gratified that the arbitrator ruled in our favor," said Arn Tellem, O'Neal's agent. "Jermaine is anxious to put this matter behind him."


The NBA has already filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court challenging Kaplan's authority to hear the grievance, a complaint that remains pending before U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels.


Each of the players testified before Kaplan during the hearing, and union attorneys submitted three lines of argument on the issue of jurisdiction.


The union cited a 1995 modification to the collective bargaining agreement allowing for appeals in cases where the financial penalty to the disciplined played exceeds $25,000. The union also argued the definitions of what constitutes "reasonable" punishment and "on-court behavior."


The arbitrator also reviewed videotape of the entire 12-minute brawl, in which Artest sprinted into the stands and confronted a fan he believed had thrown a drink at him. Jackson also went into the stands and exchanged punches with fans, while O'Neal and Johnson punched fans who came onto the court.


Five Pacers players and seven fans face criminal charges.


Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said he had no immediate comment on the ruling. Team spokesman David Benner said the Pacers would not comment until the league responded to the ruling.


Indiana has lost nine of 14 games since the brawl, using patchwork lineups in an effort to make up for the loss of three of the team's five leading scorers. O'Neal, a three-time All-Star and eight-year veteran, was to serve the 15th game of his suspension Wednesday night when the Pacers played Philadelphia.


"We need him. We've been going through a tough stretch here, short-handed every night, guys banged up, not knowing who is going to be in the lineup," Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley said. "We've got a couple of games coming up that we need him."

ChicagoJ
12-22-2004, 03:02 PM
Sixthman,

I posted this in reply to our discussion on the other tread, at the same time you posted the above article:


I'm not as anti-Stern as many of you, but I'm not about to use the word 'sane' and David Stern in the same sentence.

Is your approach "Safer"... absolutely.

But this whole "arbitration" issue is based on the CBA. It is a mutually-agreed-upon process. So its going to be negotiated, albeit with much heavier scrutiny this time, regardless of what happens next with this case. So even if Stern loses, the owners could decide this issue was so important that clarify the language AND lock the players out until they give in. I happen to think that shortening the contracts to a maximum of 3-years is a bigger issue for the owners, to help them get some control over thier 'maverick' GMs, but maybe not...

sixthman
12-22-2004, 03:09 PM
Agreed that the shorter guaranteed contracts is the big item for the NBA owners. No question. This is small stuff. Three years? They'd settle in a heart beat for five.

I guess this means, no way JO plays Saturday, agreed?

ChicagoJ
12-22-2004, 03:12 PM
No. Once the judge rules in the NBA's favor, which I'm still very confident of, *then* I could see Stern saying that, "one of the true ambassadors of the NBA has suffered a long enough punishment" and agree that fifteen games was a better number.

ChicagoJ
12-22-2004, 03:13 PM
Hey, do we know if Kaplan's ruling has hit TheSmokingGun yet? I'd like to read it.

sixthman
12-22-2004, 03:14 PM
Judge won't make a ruling immediately will he?

ChicagoJ
12-22-2004, 03:16 PM
Yeah, I think he will. Because this is now very, very, very similar to the NYK/ Miami playoff case in which he stayed late to make his ruling before game five or seven (whichever it was, Rimfire remembers that better than I do :-p ). And, IMO, its always been a slam-dunk decision in favor of the league, anyway.

ChicagoJ
12-22-2004, 03:18 PM
To further my above comment, you know damn good and well that the Simons/ DW want to get Kaplan's opinion of the correct punishment for JO in front of the B.o.G. asap, so that's why I think Stern could take a pre-emptive strike, once the union has been defeated, and just lower JO's punishment.

IMO, Stern has probably already agreed with it, we just need to play out these procedures.

Alabama-Redneck
12-22-2004, 03:20 PM
Shows how much I know. Didn't think they would do this.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Associated Press
NEW YORK -- Jermaine O'Neal won a 10-game reduction Wednesday in his suspension for fighting with fans during the Nov. 19 Pacers-Pistons brawl, but an arbitrator also upheld NBA commissioner David Stern's bans on Ron Artest and two other Indiana players.


The league said it would go to federal court to challenge arbitrator Roger Kaplan's decision, which could make O'Neal eligible to return Saturday when the Pacers host the Detroit Pistons in the teams' first matchup since one of the most violent melees in NBA history.


"We have consistently maintained that the arbitrator has no legitimate role in this matter," NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik said. "While we obviously agree with Mr. Kaplan's decision upholding virtually all of the suspensions, we don't agree with his conclusion that the conduct did not occur on the playing court, and we have no choice other than to challenge it in federal court. We also feel that challenging the decision in court will give Detroit the best chance to win the game on Christmas Day"


.":D :laugh:

sixthman
12-22-2004, 03:23 PM
Thanks. Very interesting. Food for thought. Of course, the judge won't be the same as for the playoff case you refer to, and the new judge may like his or her Christmas vacations. I would wonder, too, how a judge could rule in good conscience without taking some time to review the arguments. After all, this is not a matter of life or death.

What you say about Stern giving his nod to Jermaine after a ruling from the court, makes a lot of sense, too.

Lord Helmet
12-22-2004, 03:23 PM
So will we know if JO can play Staurday by today?

sixthman
12-22-2004, 03:26 PM
"We also feel that challenging the decision in court will give Detroit the best chance to win the game on Christmas Day"

Good one, Alabama.

Shade
12-22-2004, 03:28 PM
Well, at least Stern ****ed himself. Prepare for a lock-out next season.

P.S. **** you, Stern. :pissed:

Hicks
12-22-2004, 03:28 PM
So will we know if JO can play Staurday by today?
:) Read what it said again. The hearing is tomorrow. IF it goes fast enough to be finished tomorrow, then we could know tomorrow evening. Hey, Suave can come late to the party tomorrow with news again! :D

ChicagoJ
12-22-2004, 03:33 PM
Thanks. Very interesting. Food for thought. Of course, the judge won't be the same as for the playoff case you refer to, and the new judge may like his or her Christmas vacations. I would wonder, too, how a judge could rule in good conscience without taking some time to review the arguments. After all, this is not a matter of life or death.

What you say about Stern giving his nod to Jermaine after a ruling from the court, makes a lot of sense, too.
I think you're right: new judge, same court. I suppose that could make a difference in the outcome and the timing. Remember, the old guy actually said in his ruling that Ewing, Houston, et. al. would be suspended that, "This court is sufficiently parochial to say that it believes the Knicks should be represented in every playoff series." :laugh:

Lord Helmet
12-22-2004, 03:33 PM
Damn yeah I re-read it since my earlier post.Damn I don't know if I can sleep tonight.I thought that since Kaplan decided not to challenge the suspensions of Ron and Jack and AJ that Stern would be happy and say ok we will let it go and let JO play.Because honestly JO shouldn't have gotten 25 games in the first place.Stern,let it go.

Alabama-Redneck
12-22-2004, 03:39 PM
"We also feel that challenging the decision in court will give Detroit the best chance to win the game on Christmas Day"

Good one, Alabama.

I think most people will read right through that and not realize it is there.

:D

able
12-22-2004, 03:45 PM
hmm while still waiting for the complete ruling (hurry do smoking gun!) the "hope" was that Stern would let it go, but IMO "letting it go" would mean that a deal was struck, this shows otherwise because Stern is playing high stakes poker here.

If he wins, then he has won a big hand, not for the suspensions, or their length, but for the fact that arbitration on "longer" suspensions will then have to be a major bargaining point for the union, which allows him to get one of his pet peeves in.

(be it contract length or agelimit)

On the other hand, if the Pacers will take more actions, either via court, begging with Fern or via the BoG (Simons') then we can be sure that no one sold Ron down any tubes.

Unlike Jay, I am not so sure that it is a slamdunk for the NBA, but then again, I have not read the ruling and do not know why Kaplan would rule he has jurisdiction because it was not "on court", imo the option of severity was better, but who am I.

to explain the "on court" is still the wrong term used wildly, but the actual CBA speaks from "playing-court" and I am sure that those definitions are much tighter then "on court".

nonetheless I will post when I read the ruling, then at least I know what I'm talking about :)

Alabama-Redneck
12-22-2004, 03:52 PM
nonetheless I will post when I read the ruling, then at least I know what I'm talking about :)
Able, why do you want to be the first on here to do that???

:D

able
12-22-2004, 03:53 PM
Able, why do you want to be the first on here to do that???

:D

for once in my life.............just once......






































is that really to much to ask for this time of year ?
:buddies:

Cactus Jax
12-22-2004, 04:10 PM
The NBA will meet with these people and say that 15 games is enough. It makes everyone look good to the general public, and it also officially kind of makes it a dead issue. It angers me but I can't do anything about it.

indygeezer
12-22-2004, 06:32 PM
I disagree. I think Stern is all about showing the PA that he has authority to do whatever he damm well pleases and the CBA gives it to him.
I also think the Simons, as owners, agree with this and the ONLY reason they would do anything is because it is their toe stuck in the door. I'm not talking single issue here, I'm talking the BIG PICTURE, the fact that the owners want greater control over behavior in order to improve their image with the public. I think the owners, including ours, are much more concerned with the league as a whole than any one single incident. I feel fairly certain that Der Fuhrer has full backing of the BoG and he's going to fight hard to keep ALL suspensions as he ruled.
But, he is also being fair to the P's. He could drag his feet and not file this until the last minute making it impossible to have a hearing before the Detroit game. Instead he's filed it early enough that a hearing can be held, a hearing he could conceivably lose. (Damn I hate giving that schlep any credit)