Pacers plan to request reinstatement of Artest
By Dick Rea, Eyewitness Sports
(Indianapolis - March 1, 2005) The Pacers are starting to get serious about their run to get into the playoffs. For the first time since the suspensions surrounding the Detroit brawl, the team has confirmed they are making an effort to get suspended forward Ron Artest back into the line-up this season. "We'll send a letter to the league office to try to get Ronnie reinstated, but it's really between Ronnie and the commissioner, said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. NBA Commissioner David Stern suspended Artest for the remainder of the NBA season for his role in the November 19th brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Artest returned to the practice court after the start of the year, but the Pacers have not expressed optimism about an early reinstatement. Artest met with Stern Monday in New York, but a spokesman for the league says early reinstatement was not discussed. "It's really his decision, Bird said, I understand that Ronnie met with him and that's the first time Ronnie's ever sat down with the commissioner, we'll just see what happens." While the Pacers wait on the status of Artest, another familiar face is set to slip on a Pacers uniform. Bird also confirmed that Dale Davis is set to rejoin the club. Davis spent the first nine years of his NBA career in Indianapolis, then left for Portland in 2000 in a deal that brought Jermaine O'Neal to the Pacers. "He brings a lot of things a lot of other guys can't bring, competitiveness and coming every night to play," Bird said. Davis could rejoin the team in time for a four-game road trip which startsThursday in Denver.