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NBA Comes Down Hard
The National Basketball Association came down hard on those players who engaged in a grotesque physical altercation with fans in Detroit. The scope of the punishment effectively killed the Indiana Pacersí hopes for the entire season, with Ron Artest gone for the season and three others gone for a total of 60 games. One Piston player, who shoved Artest hard on court, but did not participate in the melee in the stands, got six games off. All these suspensions are without pay. Artest alone loses over five million dollars.
Good. In fact, not good enough. What Artest did was unconscionable. Were I Mr. Stern, I would have banned Artest for life. I also would have fined Mr. Wallace of the Pistons $5,000 and suspended him for zero games; his offense was nothing more than a really nasty technical foul. That said, letís hear from David Stern, NBA Commissioner: "The line is drawn, and my guess is that wonít happen again - certainly not by anybody who wants to be associated with our league."
"Artest has been identified as having "anger management issues," fancyspeak for being a millionaire spoiled brat who thinks that his feces are odorless. Itís about time that these people, who expect the world to be handed to them on a silver platter because they can play B-Ball, learn human decency."
Kudos. Artest has been identified as having "anger management issues," fancyspeak for being a millionaire spoiled brat who thinks that his feces are odorless. Itís about time that these people, who expect the world to be handed to them on a silver platter because they can play B-Ball, learn human decency. Latrell Spreewell choked his coach; after his suspension ended, he went to the Knicks and was "punished" with millions of dollars and the adulation of Big Apple fans. Lakers fans threatened the life of the woman who accused Kobe bryant of raping her. The criminal case was dropped when the defense team set a strategy of discrediting the accuser by showing her to be mentally unstable and promiscuous. Why are things this way? Immaturity.
These players are showered with incredible amounts of money and donít know how to handle it. There are exceptions. Shaquille OíNeal is a solid citizenís solid citizen and an all-around great guy. Michael Jordan epitomized class on and off the court. Could anyone ever imagine Isiah Thomas running into the crowd and throwing down with a fan? Or Patrick Ewing or Scottie Pippen or Karl Malone or Dr. J or Kareem? No. These players were grownups and had (and still have) maturity and class. Heck, even Dennis Rodman, the best defender in NBA history, who may have a thing with hair color and tattoos and rough play, never beat on a fan! With the exception of Mr. OíNeal, who did go to some college, all these players graduated from college.
Perhaps that is a way that Mr. Stern can ensure more mature play -- more mature players. Oops, the courts have taken this option away from the NBA. Absent the ability to screen out babies, David Stern can do nothing but that which he has done. Kudos for his hard line and hard efforts.