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Thread: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

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    Default Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...935EST0464.DTL

    Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    By JON KRAWCZYNSKI
    AP Sports Writer

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird was shocked by the suspensions commissioner David Stern handed out to his three best players, but also accepted blame for their role in the brawl with Detroit fans.

    With the dust finally starting to settle on one of the worst cases of player-fan violence in U.S. sports history, Bird and Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh on Thursday evening reflected on a tumultuous 37 days since several Pacers players fought with Detroit Pistons fans on Nov. 19.

    Two days after the melee, Stern suspended Ron Artest for the remainder of the season (73 games), Stephen Jackson for 30 games, Jermaine O'Neal for 25 and Anthony Johnson for five.

    Walsh said that while sitting in his office on Nov. 21, he expected "big games. I think I would've said 30 or 40 (for Artest) and then 10 or 15 (for Jackson and O'Neal)."

    "There was a rumor going around that it was 30-20-20 or 30-20-15, and I said, 'Wow man, he's really hitting these guys hard,'" Bird said. "That's excessive. But this? This is off the charts. This is a shocker.

    "We all thought they were so excessive, but especially Ronnie's," Bird said. "We're talking about 70 games."

    Arbitrator Roger Kaplan reduced O'Neal's suspension by 10 games, allowing him to play on Saturday in the rematch at home with the Pistons. The punishments for Artest and Jackson remained the same.

    A federal judge upheld Kaplan's ruling on Thursday, and the NBA will have to wait until next Thursday to argue its case again.


    "The team has spent the last month just basically trying to fight through an extremely difficult time," Walsh said. "Not just going out and playing games, being short-handed, but all this stuff flying around their head."

    While Bird and Walsh both said they thought Stern's punishment was excessive, they didn't shy away from the players' culpability.

    "Don't go in there. You don't do that. You do not go in the stands, for anything," Bird said. "Nobody ever sat us down (as players) and told us that, but we knew."

    Artest bolted to the stands to chase down a fan who he thought hit him in the face with a plastic cup. Jackson followed him in, swinging wildly at fans who were assaulting Artest.

    "We entered this not trying to throw blame on a lot of people, because we were wrong," Walsh said. "What we're trying to say is, we were wrong and we understand you had to act, but there were mitigating circumstances that could have mitigated the punishment you gave them."

    It left Bird to think about what might have been.

    "Had Ben (Wallace) and Ron squared off at center court and fought for whatever they fought for, 10 seconds, 15 seconds and both got suspended, it would have been the best thing that ever happened to this league," he said. "Nobody would have liked it, but they probably would have got five, 10 games maybe and then you move on."

    Instead, the Pacers have stumbled to a 5-10 record without their top three scorers and enter Saturday's game against the Pistons at 12-12.

    "You can't blame Stern for that, we got to blame ourselves somewhat," Bird said. "Guys did what they did."

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    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    That last line is perfect, and why I get tired of the popular notion around here to "blame Stern".

    Before you blame Stern for decimating the Pacers, make sure you attach sufficient blame to Ron, SJax & Co.
    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


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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Good to hear from Bird, he has been very quiet

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    That last line is perfect, and why I get tired of the popular notion around here to "blame Stern".

    Before you blame Stern for decimating the Pacers, make sure you attach sufficient blame to Ron, SJax & Co.
    You cant blame Stern for suspending our players. You can blame him for making the suspensions excessively long.

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Yeah, but even according to the arbitrator, only JO's punishment was excessively long. So you can only accuse Stern of excessive punishment for JO's ten extra games.
    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


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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    Yeah, but even according to the arbitrator, only JO's punishment was excessively long. So you can only accuse Stern of excessive punishment for JO's ten extra games.


    So we have to agree with the arbitrator also ?.

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Quote Originally Posted by skyfire
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    You cant blame Stern for suspending our players. You can blame him for making the suspensions excessively long.
    Excessively long in what regard? All I see mentioned is comparison to other fighting incidents. That is irrelevant. What is at stake here is nothing less than the league's image. If an NBA arena becomes a place to be a afraid to go to, this league is dead.
    This is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY..

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    So we have to agree with the arbitrator also ?.
    You wanted an independent/ third party who allegedly was sympathetic to the union.

    The NBA/ Stern didn't even bother to show up and testify, and in spite of all that, Kaplan still felt the punishments, with one exception, were appropriate.

    So let me ask you, or anyone else: what will it take to convince you that the punishments were not excessive? Or will anything?
    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


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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    I dont think you should ever suspend a player for a full/rest of a season. Teams play seasons, players play games. If Stern wanted to make a massively excessive suspension then make it 100 games (regular season and playoffs inlcusive till its done), 72 games which just happens to be the rest of the season just wracks of penalizing the team, not the player.

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    I don't have any problem the the idea that if a player commits a major "crime" against his league that he's told to "go away and come back next season, if you're ready to grow up and accept your role as a representative of the league."
    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


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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Jay, I was objecting to your statement, and I'll quote you, "So you can only accuse Stern of excessive punishment for JO's ten extra games."

    So you are saying that my opinion that Ron's suspension was excessive is invalid because of what the arbitrator ruled. I believe the arbitrator is wrong.


    Jay you also ask, what will it take to convice some of you that the suspensions were not excessive. The answer is nothing. I have seen the tape 100's of times, I know what went on and I believe the suspensions were way too long. I am making my own mind up. If Ron comes out tomorrow and says the suspensions were just, I would disagree with him too.

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Tina and I were just discussing...

    What if the league had shown up and testified...

    Does Kaplan think that even longer punishments - I'm mostly talking about SJax but also perhaps Ron - could've been appropriate?
    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


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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    Tina and I were just discussing...

    What if the league had shown up and testified...

    Does Kaplan think that even longer punishments - I'm mostly talking about SJax but also perhaps Ron - could've been appropriate?


    Perhaps, I don't have any idea. But don't tell me I have to agree with the arbitrator

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    Jay, I was objecting to your statement, and I'll quote you, "So you can only accuse Stern of excessive punishment for JO's ten extra games."

    So you are saying that my opinion that Ron's suspension was excessive is invalid because of what the arbitrator ruled. I believe the arbitrator is wrong.


    Jay you also ask, what will it take to convice some of you that the suspensions were not excessive. The answer is nothing. I have seen the tape 100's of times, I know what went on and I believe the suspensions were way too long. I am making my own mind up. If Ron comes out tomorrow and says the suspensions were just, I would disagree with him too.
    No, that's a fine opinion, you're entitled to make your own conclusions and disagree with the arbitrator. I'm not trying to be an @$$ here but many were just assuming that the arbitrator would automatically conclude Ron's punishment was excessive and he didn't. So this isn't about "Stern hates the Pacers" as so many on here have concluded. Maybe, just maybe, the punishment fits the crime.
    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


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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Glad to finally hear from Bird!! His description of how things should've been handled is probably the best I've heard yet.

    It is also a shame that he's right about Ron taking on Ben rather than backing down. This would've been better. But this isn't what the players are taught. They are taught to back down and not respond! The refs should've ejected Ben immediately and get the final 49 seconds over with quickly. THE NBA and its' related parties (refs and security) failed their OWN LEAGUE and were directly a party to this incident. Once they (THE NBA) failed, our Players also failed to keep themselves on the Damn court and as Donnie and Bird said we THEN had to be held accountable. BUT THERE IS NO RATIONAL REASON FOR THE SEVERITY!! NONE!! IMHO!!

    Water

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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    So let me ask you, or anyone else: what will it take to convince you that the punishments were not excessive? Or will anything?
    Go ahead and agree with Stern.... I'll agree with Larry Bird.

    The punishments were excessive.

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    BUT THERE IS NO RATIONAL REASON FOR THE SEVERITY!! NONE!! IMHO!!

    Water
    apparently, the players union's hand-picked arbitrator disagrees.....

    maybe if you keep going to arbitrator after arbitrator, after 6 or 7 you might find one that agrees with Ron.......

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    No, that's a fine opinion, you're entitled to make your own conclusions and disagree with the arbitrator. I'm not trying to be an @$$ here but many were just assuming that the arbitrator would automatically conclude Ron's punishment was excessive and he didn't. So this isn't about "Stern hates the Pacers" as so many on here have concluded. Maybe, just maybe, the punishment fits the crime.


    I don't believe I have ever posted that Stern hates the Pacers, or is biased against the Pacers. If I did maybe it was in a fit of anger, ah wait, let's say frustration,

    I honestly don't believe Stern hates the Pacers, or is biased against the Pacers or hates or is biased against small market teams.

    I just believe with all my mind, heart and soul that his rulings in this case were excessive. He made a wrong decision.

    Is there any inconsistancies in my comments

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    This is exactly where I was at, by the way.

    Walsh said that while sitting in his office on Nov. 21, he expected "big games. I think I would've said 30 or 40 (for Artest) and then 10 or 15 (for Jackson and O'Neal)."

    "There was a rumor going around that it was 30-20-20 or 30-20-15, and I said, 'Wow man, he's really hitting these guys hard,'" Bird said. "That's excessive. But this? This is off the charts. This is a shocker.

    "We all thought they were so excessive, but especially Ronnie's," Bird said. "We're talking about 70 games."
    You've already admitted, Jay, that the punishment was less to fit the crime and more to make a statement to the fans / (non-Pacer) players. Leave it at that, man.

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem
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    Go ahead and agree with Stern.... I'll agree with Larry Bird.

    The punishments were excessive.
    Again, I'm not trying to be an @$$ but I agree with Kaplan.
    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


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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    Again, I'm not trying to be an @$$ but I agree with Kaplan.
    and ahonestly, when you've taken your case to an ARBITRATOR, who has NO STAKE WHATSOEVER in this, and HE agrees with the other party, WHO DIDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO SHOW UP, I think you've lost the right to complain, anyway.

    They willingly put their fate in this guy's hands, so they have zero right to complain about the ruling.

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    I don't believe I have ever posted that Stern hates the Pacers, or is biased against the Pacers. If I did maybe it was in a fit of anger, ah wait, let's say frustration,

    I honestly don't believe Stern hates the Pacers, or is biased against the Pacers or hates or is biased against small market teams.

    I just believe with all my mind, heart and soul that his rulings in this case were excessive. He made a wrong decision.

    Is there any inconsistancies in my comments
    You're right, you haven't been making the anti-Stern statements. I don't have any problem with your logic. I've follow the same steps and reach a different conclusion.

    I was basically talking to you and all the anti-Stern folks in one post, and I didn't separate those comments very well. Sorry if it seems like I'm accusing you of just blindly firing off the "Stern is out to screw us" comments.
    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


  23. #23
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Let me say this I think 70 games is a huge number of games. As I sit here and think of terrible things a player could ever possibly do I cannot come up with anything that would warrant a 70 game suspension.

    I suppose in this context. I would have suspended Ron for 41 games and ordered him into some anger management counseling. And if he ever went into the stands again, I would suspend him for 82 games, and if he did it a third time then I would ban him for life.

    If on Saturday Sheed comes into the stands and did exactly what Artest did, I still would not believe a 70 game suspension is warranted.

  24. #24
    Pacers fan in FL Deadshot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Great post UB. I especially agree with your last sentence; and we both know that a Pacers fan won't go as far to provoke a player like that.

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    Default Re: Bird calls NBA suspensions 'excessive'

    Let me say this... I voted for 41 games on that poll a week or two. That sounded like the right number to me.

    But 41 games would've been very close, if not beyond, the trading deadline.

    Hypothetically, let's say any team, it could be GSW and Sprewell, facing a major suspension decides that a particular player is never going to suit up for thier franchise ever again. Requiring a re-instatement after the trading deadline passes is potentially an even worse punishment on a team, because it eliminates thier opportunity to move a guy if they so choose.

    So IMO, anything beyond the day the trading deadline expires and "rest of the season" are equal.
    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


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