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AFI's Quote List | Main | New Kid on the Block


November 22, 2004

Basketbrawl

Ok, so our very own Indiana Pacers are having some anger management problems.

In response, ESPN highlighted some of the most notorious player-fan brawls in sports.

--I'm in absolutely no way condoning the deplorable behavior of the players of my favorite NBA team (although I think Wallace got off too easy). But, when you remember some of the events on this list, it puts Friday night in more perspective--not that it's right, but it's certainly not the worst brawl that has ever occurred.


Posted by Lawren at November 22, 2004 06:20 AM

You Said

Lawren, I completely agree. There is nothing commendable about what happened Friday night. However, I certainly do not think our Pacers' actions were deserving of the harshest punishment in NBA history. Honestly, Mr. Stern!? The worst part of it is that hopeful Pacers fans are severely punished for this incident, while the wrongdoing Detroit fans (who were most to blame Friday, in my opinion) suffer only something like a six game Wallace suspension. What??

Says: Matt at November 22, 2004 07:56 AM

As big a fan as I am of the Pacers, Ron Artest reacted in a way that was far too human.

If you or I got doused with a beer at a bar, we might react the same way. Of course, those actions come with severe consequences: the main one being arrested.

We needed Artest to step up and set an example and he didn't.

I don't pin the entire situation on him. I blame: players, fans, security...equally.

I have lots more to say about it (as do you), so I'll just shut up now.

Says: Kevin the Interloper at November 22, 2004 08:55 AM

it was artest's fault. wallace did nothing more than push him. the six games he got was actually pretty harsh for pushing someone in an NBA game if you look back at precedent. there is NO precedent for what artest, oneil and jackson did. going into the stands to punch fans cannot be excused in any way because someone threw a cup at you. stuff is thrown at players all the time and NO team has ever reacted the way the pacers did. it was sad and disgusting. the argument that artest and co were just protecting themselves is laughable. artest was hit by a cup. he then went into the stands for retribution NOT to protect himself. oneil and jackson were punching people as "payback" NOT to protect themselves. if you watch the tape there is no way to disagree. example....watch as oneil completely cheapshots a fan when he isn't looking while he is on the ground. sad. they should be in jail.

Says: at November 22, 2004 10:26 AM

Funny how you, an unnamed person, doesn't mention the inexcusable behavior of the fans and their role in all this.

Funny how you, an unnamed person, ignores Ben Wallace's insistence on starting a fight (twice).

Funny how you, an unnamed person, plays off the fans' behavior as somehow irrelevant.

Funny how you, an unnamed person, fail to recognize that fans have no business being on the floor.

Funny how you, an unnamed person, misses the point entirely.

I don't for one second excuse the behavior of the Pacers. Nor do I excuse, for one second, the behavior of the fans.

Funny how you, an unnamed person, is so willing to incarcerate Pacers without doing the same to the fans who were sucker-punching Fred Jones and Ron Artest.

You can't have it both ways.

They ALL are to blame.

End of story.

Says: Kevin the Interloper at November 22, 2004 11:41 AM

I completely agree, Kevin. Even further, funny how the unnamed person fails to acknowledge that Wallace ALSO went into the stands. Six games is certainly NOT too harsh for him, especially considering what others received. All are to blame, but solely blaming the Pacers players is inexcusable in itself and being ignorant of the facts.

Says: Matt at November 22, 2004 12:01 PM

the Pacers were clearly the most to blame. don't you find it interesting that the vast majority of people outside of indianapolis, disinterested folks, fans of neither the pacers nor the pistons agree that the pacers were to blame FAR more than anyone else? the NBA feels that way as well. Kevin, your points are laughable. so what that fans went on the floor....so that means that thug players get to attack them? so what someone threw a cup at artest.....sure that is uncalled for but it doesn't give anyone the right to take out revenge on that person. take off the pacer-homer glasses and see this for what it was.....a couple of should-be-criminals throwing wild haymakers for NO OTHER PURPOSE but to exact their own form of retribution.

Says: Jvirus at November 22, 2004 12:25 PM

Oh, dear, Jvirus....you suffer from the same "it's one's fault, or the other" delusion. Such a small cage.

Go back and read what I said: "We needed Artest to step up and set an example and he didn't."

In case you missed my point, I'll spell it out for you: I THINK HE GOT WHAT HE DESERVED IN THE SUSPENSION!

Nevertheless, that does not EVER EVER EVER EVER excuse fans who feel the purchase of a ticket entitles them to throw things or go onto the court.

Everything happened fast and, at several points, this could have been avoided. Ron Artest should not have gone into the stands. I can't say that more freakin' clearly.

Even if he didn't, I'd be bitching about the fans behavior.

I've been very vocal about ALL combatants acting poorly. Not once did I wear "homer" glasses, as you accuse.


And I especially love how everybody's saying either Artest was defending himself or the players were acting like thugs.

The players AND the fans were wrong. I've said that over and over and over and over. It is you, Jvirus, who so chooses to be selective in what you see and read, not me.

See, unlike you, I can clearly see that there is plenty of blame to go around. Unlike you, I do not just casually brush off the fans' behavior as simpl "uncalled for."

And yes, if fans get on the floor -- or the field -- and are uninvited, you get what you've got coming to you. No, that does not excuse what Artest or Jackson did. Not for one second and I would never suggest that. But look at what happened in Chicago last year, when two "fans" attacked a coach. You cross that line and you get clocked, you deserve it for being an idiot. Getting attacked in the stands...no.

I'm sorry for you and that small cage in which you so proudly choose to live.

Says: Kevin the Interloper at November 22, 2004 01:55 PM

...suddenly the festive holiday mood turns ugly

Says: Shillelagh at November 22, 2004 02:02 PM

'Tis the seaon for giving thanks...and yellling at one another. LOL

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to jump on the furniture and cause a commotion.

Says: Kevin the Interloper at November 22, 2004 02:24 PM

Alright, folks. Time for a "gamer's" perspective on this!

First of all, I want an answer from David Stern as to why Rasheed Wallace did not receive so much as a 1-game suspension for "leaving the bench" during the incident. Reggie Miller, Chauncey Billups, Derrick Coleman and Elden Campbell all received 1-game suspensions for "leaving the bench" during the initial altercation. According to the NBA rule, merely leaving the bench, even to break up a fight or prevent one from happening, results in a 1-game suspension. If you watch the tape, clearly the named individuals did so. Reggie did nothing more than try to separate Artest from the rest of the action, even holding him down on the scorer's table at one point - not forcibly. HOWEVER, not only did Rasheed Wallace (let's not confuse him with Ben) leave the bench, but he actually went into the stands during the fight, yet no suspension for him. Not even a mention of it. This simple mistake on Stern's part shows inconsistency with the punishments handed down.

I agree that Artest should be suspended from the league for the entire season. And yes, Mr. JVirus, or Mr. No Name, I am a Pacers fan, raised in Indiana. Also, I can't help but think Jackson deserved the worst of them all. Sadly, I can't help but think Stern punished Artest partly - however small - for his reputation around the league.

Rest assured, the fans of Detroit who were directly involved will see criminal charges filed against them. Hopefully this list includes the initial beer thrower, the two men wearing Pistons jerseys / hats who actually ran onto the floor, the LARGE man who grabbed Anthony Johnson from behind and punched the back of his head for doing nothing but trying to break up the fight, the 2 men who grabbed Artest while he was in the stands, and anyone else identifiable on videotape.

One thing's for sure, the overall winner in this event will be the plaintiff's attorneys who were lucky enough (cynically speaking, of course) to get their hands in the pot. If the Palace officials were not familiar with the term "negligence" before, they are now, bet on it!

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