Innocent until proven guilty is only applicable for the court of law. In the court of public opinion, that sort of latitude is only afforded to those who otherwise are reasonable citizens. He already plead guilty in the past to one crime and apparently was up to enough suspected no-good that the Pacers hired a private investigator to scout him. Any early judgment calls on this case made by those in the media and the public is justified; I'm sorry, but that's a consequence of a bad reputation. This is why the youth of today who are publishing their adventures on Facebook and Twitter need to understand that reputation is important and can be destroyed by a single action.
That said, I still want him balling on the court even if he has to wear GPS on his ankle.
http://www.nbpa.org/sites/default/files/Article%20VI.pdfSection 7. Unlawful Violence.
When a player is convicted of (including a plea of guilty, no contest, or nolo contendere to) a violent felony, he shall immediately be suspended by the NBA for a minimum of ten (10) games.
Section 8. Counseling for Violent Misconduct.
(a) In addition to any other rights a Team or the NBA may have by contract or law, when the NBA and the Players Association agree that there is reasonable cause to believe that a player has engaged in any type of off-court violent conduct, the player will (if the NBA and the Players Association so agree) be required to undergo a clinical evaluation by a neutral expert and, if deemed necessary by such expert, appropriate counseling, with such evaluation and counseling program to be developed and supervised by the NBA and the Players Association. For purposes of this paragraph, "violent conduct" shall include, but not be limited to, sexual assault and acts of domestic violence.
(b) Any player who, after being notified in writing by the NBA that he is required to undergo the clinical evaluation and/or counseling program authorized by Section 8(a) above, refuses or fails, without a reasonable explanation, to attend or participate in such evaluation and counseling program within seventy-two (72) hours following such notice, shall be fined by the NBA in the amount of $10,000 for each day following such seventy-two (72) hours that the player refuses or fails to participate in such program.
Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
And life itself, rushing over me
Life itself, the wind in black elms,
Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you
That Larry Bird says that he is personally disappointed is not surprising - there can be no doubt that Lance got a very careful discussion about the Indiana franchise's need for its players to stay out of trouble, and not many weeks have passed before Lance was unable to "keep it together." He betrayed a personal trust with Larry Bird, who had told the media that he himself had made mistakes when he was young and everyone deserves a second chance. Will he now go in front of the media and say that everyone deserves a third chance?
No, he won't ever play as a Pacer.
In any case, no matter what: putting him on the court would be a PR nightmare for the team, and the chance of them risking further alienation of the fan base is zero.
I'm a little more cynical about his NBA prospects than you are, but there are leagues worldwide that he could play in, earning a handsome living. He has a very marketable skillset (which would have suited the Pacers' offense to a T, now damnably irrelevant).
Lance told us he was attracted to the profession of the law; it looks like he'll get some education in it. One door closes and another one opens?
Last edited by O'Bird; 08-21-2010 at 01:31 AM. Reason: Burnishing the Legend
"Defense doesn't break down on the help, it breaks down on the recovery." - Chuck Daly
"The first shot does not beat you." - Chuck Daly
"To play defense and not foul is an art that must be mastered if you are going to be successful." - Chuck Daly
It's an ok statement I suppose...
I would think that the pacers organization would be against throwing a girl down a flight of stairs. It kind of goes without saying.
I have a hard time seeing how this can be totally made up. If it is, then my apologies to Lance. I would cut him yesterday. We have a guy with a troubled past and this happens before training camp? I really don't care how talented he is, he was a high risk high reward player. We burnt a 2nd rounder on him and it seems we lost before he really got started. It's not a big deal, but the pacers worked way too hard to put together a team with good character, they can't have a player involved in any kind of domestic abuse.
Sorry Lance, but there is a little truth in every lie, and if there is any truth involving abusing women, don't let the door hit you on the way out.
I understand what you are saying Putnam ..
At the time , I was just thinking to myself of the horrid bad p.r. stories the Star would write up about it , further making it a P.R. nightmare...
What I was stating was simply ,(or meaning by my statement rather), that if
that were the case... It would be very wise for the Pacer's F.O. to try and save some face, and at least make it KNOWN to the general joe blow reading the sports section by me exagerrating , of them putting up a full page ad as a message to the Pacers fans .. that the Pacer's front office cares about our image and that we will do the right thing ..... basically..
That's all I really meant by my statement... early on when we had just first found out about this...
We are damn lucky (knock on wood) , that this story hasn't received a whole alot of media exposure up to this point...
I will say , after reading the comments .. that I am kinda surprised there are so many idiotic opinions being stressed there ... From one end of the spectrum to the opposite end regarding this incident ...
Now I know what alot of you were talking about when it's been said that the Star forums were filled with some real jewels .. lmao
The odds are the Pacers will be required to pay Lance the value of the guaranteed portion of his contract to waive him regardless of his guilt or innocence or his inability to avoid putting himself in a situation where trouble could happen or not if he does not ever play in the D-League or for the Pacers (I fervently hope, again, that your strong assertion that he won't proves to be correct, as I also believe the pr hit would be too severe for the Pacers to withstand at this point in time).
Then, after the Pacers likely have paid him and waived him, and after whatever punishment Lance faces (likely prison), he would be free to pursue employment in other leagues worldwide where he might be able to make a handsome living. Assuming, also, that he does receive a prison of, from what I have read elsewhere, a minimum of 7 years (assuming he is guilty), what basketball skills and professional level conditioning might Stephenson have left to market that would be desireable, even in those leagues? Also, as a convicted felon under that assumption, what type of jobs would be available to Lance here in the US? None that pay very well, I would guess.
The contractual portion of this subject has been discussed many, many times here with respect to Tinsley, especially, but also any of the other players whose contracts the Pacers had to rid themselves of due to off court issues that would have gotten regular people fired from their jobs instantaneously.
No, I have no direct knowledge of the contract, but, from what we have been led to believe previously, the CBA likely is very specific about what types of criminal (if criminal, guilt or innocence DOES matter) or morals clauses regarding player off court behavior (and which is the driving issue here, otherwise most would want him to play) are permissible vs. not permissible under its terms currently.
It is my, and most if not all here, fervent hope that the new CBA will enable teams to put the types of criminal or morals clauses that do allow immediate voiding of the contract of any player who engages in behavior such as shooting guns in public (Jackson), altercations for which a player is subject to being indicted by a Federal grand jury for (Tinsley and Daniels), or domestic violence like Lance Stephenson has allegedly committed. Until then, the safe assumption (if there ever is such a thing) is that no such clauses are likely to be present in Lance Stephenson's contract, and if they are, then a whole different can of worms has been opened up for the NBA and the Pacers: namely, why in the HE** haven't those clauses been in place for YEARS on everyone else's contracts, and if they have been in place, why haven't those clauses been utilized to rid the NBA (and in our case, the Pacers) of the players whose actions have tarnished the public perceptions of the league, the team, and its' players after they commit egregious transgressions?
Obviously, the caveat that guilt or innocence actually DOES matter must be present so that careers cannot simply be ended on the basis of an accusation (which I don't believe is the case for Stephenson), and the Pacers probably cannot dismiss or waive Stephenson prior to trial because of the potential liability the franchise faces for having undermined whatever defense Lance pursues in the event that they act prior to the verdict being delivered by the courts. If the Pacers were to terminate the employment of Lance, for the cause of the alleged transgression, prior to a verdict being delivered, they could be construed to have potentially tainted jury pools (jurists believing the Pacers obviously really wanted Lance, believing he was the best player they drafted, so concluding that the Pacers must know he is guilty or they wouldn't have gotten rid of him...) and potentially interfere with his right to a fair trial, though that would be a lengthy stretch.
Obviously Bird would be hugely p*ssed off at the betrayal of the most highly anticipated draftee of this or several other recent seasons. It reflects poorly on all of the efforts of both himself and the organization to clean up the Pacers, which, by all but the most oblivious accounts, has been a stellar performance up until now.
No, I am not being generous to Lance, either. I also don't think the Pacers should have to pay for Lance's legal troubles, but the logic flow of the Pacers being required under the CBA to pay him the guaranteed portion of his contract in the absence of criminal and morals clauses that I described above shows that, in essence, the Pacers are going to do just that, with his attorney(s) getting a large chunk, the government another large chunk for taxes, and the remainder likely going towards whatever is awarded to the alleged victim as punishment (the jury will likely be well aware of the money he receives and act accordingly), and the rest towards child support for the next 16+ years.
Your assertion that it would be a manly, smart, and right thing for Lance to do to give the Pacers back the money that he would receive may not be an explicit expectation of what Lance might do, but it is a level expectation of behavior regarding what you would suggest (?) Lance do to be perceived as being manly, smart, and righteous, which I continue to believe is what you meant. I cannot see where Lance would even have much of a choice in the matter, assuming he is guilty, in that it is likely that he would have already in essence spent the money he will have received as I outlined above.
How are you more cynical about Lance's prospects in the NBA? I really don't believe, unless he is proven innocent in such a way that doubts about him and his actions are removed from the collective conciousness of the NBA fanbase, that he will ever should don a uniform in either the NBA or its affiliate NBADL, and that he likely will be waived or bought out of his contract, and that his only realistic opportunity to play professional basketball would be in Europe or China due to the distance and relative lack of awareness that fans of those leagues might have with respect to this situation. In the age of the internet, who knows if that is even a reasonable expectation, either. There are international fans who frequent US sports websites, even Pacers Digest, let alone the major websites for ESPN, SI, etc. who would easily be aware of this situation as soon as he would be signed to play for teams internationally. That may diminish his prospects in those areas, also.
For Lance, as a person, I hope that it is true that when one door closes, another door opens. To have thrown away a large portion of his life at his young age is tragic, but likely deserved, if the allegations are true. I would hope he can earn a modest living after whatever punishment he receives, but his prospects are not good, especially if he receives a long prison term.
And, as off topic as this is, as far as Lance fitting the Pacers offense to a T, yes, he would have been a wing playing out of position at the point who would slash to the rim and actually finish, or have had the ability to kick back to the outside for a 3 while being tall enough to elevate over defenders as he jumped and spun wildly in traffic to avoid the turnovers that our shorter point guards have committed during O'Brien's tenure here.
No pick is certain, but it seems like we are seeing safer 2nd round picks than in the past. It's not mining the deep talent or getting lucky when you grab Buddinger or Price in the 2nd round.
I just couldn't agree to chasing Lance's talent with guys like Jordan or even Butler on the board. Those are guys that could make it just as well as Lance could without the off-court risks.
I hate the "swing for the fence" approach to drafting. I've been on the trade down side in the last few drafts in fact because I'd rather have a couple of those lower guys than just one guy at 10-15.
[QUOTE=Brad8888; being tall enough to elevate over defenders as he jumped and spun wildly in traffic to avoid the turnovers that our shorter point guards have committed during O'Brien's tenure here.[/QUOTE]
If you read the scouting reports on Stephenson, poor decision making while out of control was his biggest problem.
Well that and that he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with his jumper.
Well not counting the pouting and yelling at his teammates when HE made a mistake...........
The only shame here is that he likely won't get the opportunity to show quite a few folks here just how poorly they judge basketball talent. (and that could include me if I am wrong)
Wait. Didn't we have two picks in the second round? Didn't we play it safe with one and swing for the fences with the other? Isn't that the best possible approach when you have two picks in the second? I'm really happy with our second round, even with this Stephenson news. You take risks. Sometimes they pan out, sometimes they don't.
LeWade are going down.
(a) The Player agrees to observe and comply with all Team rules, as maintained or promulgated in accordance with the CBA, at all times whether on or off the playing floor. Subject to the provisions of the CBA, such rules shall be part of this Contract as fully as if herein written and shall be binding upon the Player.
(b) The Player agrees: (i) to give his best services, as well as his loyalty, to the Team, and to play basketball only for the Team and its assignees; (ii) to be neatly and fully attired in public; (iii) to conduct himself on and off the court according to the highest standards of honesty, citizenship, and sportsmanship; and (iv) not to do anything that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of the Team or the League.
These are from the Uniform Player Contract, sections 5 and 6, and have been in place for years.The Team may terminate this Contract upon written notice to the Player if the Player shall:
(i) at any time, fail, refuse, or neglect to conform his personal conduct to standards of good citizenship, good moral character (defined here to mean not engaging in acts of moral turpitude, whether or not such acts would constitute a crime), and good sportsmanship, to keep himself in first class physical condition, or to obey the Team's training rules;
- the Celtics with Vin Baker, but they ended up reaching a settlement before a decision from the arbitration.
- the Warriros with Sprewell but they lost in arbitration
(None of these cases involved criminal charges though, let alone convictions).
The language is too ambiguous to hold up in any legal setting.
O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?
"A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."
There's a greater chance that the case is dismissed and/or Stephenson is cleared of all charges. If Lance is cleared of all charges, he'll get the opportunity to play.
I agree with the 2nd paragraph and also that there's very little chances they try to void his contract, but why do they need to give him time?
I thought that the reasons why it's difficult to void contracts in the NBA were mostly two:
- the existence of other provisions in the CBA that cover specific offenses and lays out penalties for them (arbitrators tend to be inclined to use the more lenient and specific regime)
- the NBA past practices in terms of disciplinary actions (arbitrators won't be sympathetic to an employee that punishes a certain offense with a $100K and later on, under the same regulatory frame, wants to punish a similar offense by voiding a multi-million contract)
But I think none of those reasons would have much stock in a case where a player is convicted to jail time after assaulting a person (even doubt I believe they'd still opt for simply waiving the player in that situation because the contract is so small).