"Suspend Stern". Would that only make him even more anti-Pacers. Likely would, but it would be fun, wonder if they would even show them on TV. I could see Stern calling ESPN, don't you dare show those T-Shirts one more time.
Pacers fans put sentiments on T-shirts
Local attorneys Monica Foster (left) and Rhonda Long-Sharp have temporarily opened a shop on East Maryland Street in Downtown Indianapolis to sell T-shirts sporting the words "Suspend Stern" and "Indiana Subs vs. Detroit Thugs." The shirts sell for $15 apiece. -- Steve Healey / The Star
By John Tuohy
December 13, 2004
Two lawyers accustomed to defending Death Row inmates are waging a campaign to save the seasons of suspended Indiana Pacers basketball players.
But only through the court of public opinion.
Attorneys Monica Foster and Rhonda Long-Sharp have set up a storefront shop only a beer's throw away from Conseco Fieldhouse to sell T-shirts and buttons blasting NBA Commissioner David Stern. They say he is the one who needs some time on the bench, not Ron Artest and other players, whose suspensions put a damper on the entire team's season.
"I think the guy is drunk with power," said Foster, a season ticket-holder. "I don't think what the players did was right, but these penalties are obscene."
Five Pacers were suspended following a brawl with Detroit fans during a game against the Pistons on Nov. 19.
Artest was suspended for the remainder of the season, Stephen Jackson for 30 games, Jermaine O'Neal for 25 games, Anthony Johnson for five games and Reggie Miller for one. Miller and Johnson have served theirs.
Foster said the suspensions were unfair because it was Stern alone who determined their length.
The $15 black T-shirts read "Suspend Stern" in white letters. The pair hopes enough fans are wearing them by the nationally televised Christmas Day game with the Pistons that they will be impossible for viewers to miss.
The pair also are selling T-shirts that chide the Pistons. They read, "Indiana Subs vs. Detroit Thugs."
Foster and Long-Sharp have defended scores of Death Row inmates in Indiana and other states over the years, succeeding in saving the lives of many. In that time, they've seen the number of cases in which prosecutors seek the death penalty drop markedly.
The women describe themselves as rabid Pacers fans, though Long-Sharp says Foster is a little more maniacal than she is.
"You know the most beautiful sound in sports?" Foster asked. "When Reggie Miller steps behind the arc and fires the 3-point shot. For a couple of seconds there the entire arena is silent. Then when it swishes, the place erupts."
That much passion has its price, Long-Sharp said.
"When the Pacers lose, I don't even like to come in to work the next day," Long-Sharp explained, "because I know how upset she'll be."
The lawyers' shop, on Maryland Street next to the Hard Rock Café, will be open only two more days, on Friday and Dec. 22, when the Pacers have home games.
Terry Long, 50, Anderson, bought four "Detroit Thugs" T-shirts and eight buttons Saturday before the game. She said she may come back again for the "Suspend Stern" T-shirts.
"I think the suspensions are extremely harsh," Long said, "especially since the Pistons started the fight."