The Day After

A lot is going to be said and written about what happened in Detroit. People with opinions will share them. There isn’t a single article written that will have an impact. There isn’t a single interview spoken that will have an impact. They will all be forgotten quickly.

What theNBAand the Detroit authoritiesDO will have an impact. I trust both will do their jobs and do them well. Their decisions will also generate tons of opinion that will be quickly forgotten.

While all those who wanted to share their opinions rushed to do so, there was oneaction that occured yesterday that speaks far louder than anything written or spoken. It was so important that pretty much everyone missed it.

There was a Day After referendum held in Indianapolis yesterday.

On the night that the depleted Pacers faced the Orlando Magic the fans of the Pacers and the NBA in Indianapolis had a choice.

They could stay home.

They could go to the game and voice their displeasure with the Pacers and what took place the night before.

They could go to the game and voice their support for the Pacers and the NBA.

In Denver, for our game with the Nuggets, I went to the ESPN SportsZone specifically to watch and see how the fans and customers of the Pacers and NBA would vote. I knew how the players would respond. They would play their hearts out. I wanted to see how the fans would respond.

Everytime the Magic would make a run, you could see the fans start to wonder if this would be where the overmatched Pacers would fall apart. I sat watching , wondering the same thing. For every Magic run. The Pacers answered. With every answer, the fans stepped up their energy.

Pacers fans were on their feet for much of the fourth quarter cheering on their team. They were truly the 6th man on the court, encouraging their team. Infusing a dog tired Pacer team with energy.

When a potentially game tying 3 pointer didn’t go in, they gave their team a “rowdy standing ovation ” as they walked off the court. The Pacers fans voted and the results were loud and clear.

Thank you to all the Pacers fans and the city of Indianapolis.

80 thoughts on “The Day After

  1. That was not self defense he attacked the wrong person. that was pure stupidity. stephen jackson was ready to fight anybody…review the tape, he wanted to fight the pistons & no one was willing too; so when artest when into the stands he jumped in and start swinging away.

    Comment by runescape money -

  2. Of course I would dismiss this as just one mistake. However, the media gave similar coverage to a NFL TV commercial. Recently, ABC ran an ad during Monday Night Football that featured actress Nicolette Sheridan leaping nude into Terrell Owens arm Coach.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  3. Well, it doesn’t matter now. Indiana will have a tough uphill climb will Artest out for the year. As for the Indiana fans, their season is over.

    http://www.avanzatelecom.com

    Comment by Sonia -

  4. Boy that last remark was intelligent.

    Anyway – The NBA screwed up bad on this.

    Whats the message?

    You have are a strong contender to win, but one team has just showed you that you may not be good enough – so provoke the players, provoke them good – destroy your competion.

    I am not in favor or Ron Artests actions, or any of what happened – but I do know that a player in any sport nearing its conclusion is tired, pissed off, and walking a fine line between having it all together and losing it. Thats any sport played on a high level – which is fine. On the court the bumping, the banging down low – getting grabed, hand in the face – its part of the environment – its expected, its in the comfort zone of where they are at.

    Something cold to the face out of nowhere just shattered Artest’s comfort zone, and set in an immediate fight or flight action – which is human nature. Yes he should be suspended – no he should not have been suspended for the lenght of time he was, nor should have the other players been suspened at the same time. They should have staggered suspensions so as to not just really screw up one team from events that started because of another teams fans.

    And those that think Ron Artest is a thug – go find out a bit about this guy – and you will quickly discover he is anything but a thug.

    Comment by Zach -

  5. ya’ll are all idiots,yeah i just wanted to beat sum of ya’ll dumbass fans haaaa and you even stand up for me.Chucky Pearson hits a fan and you say they hit him haha…i make more in a day then all ya’ll dumbasses and you stil think im a god..suck me…….shitt me and Ron are gonna come bust yalls asses too, just cause we can..you think ronny was defending himself? what a bunch of shits ya’ll are, he just wanted to find the smallest guy he could cause ben pissed him off..yeah thats right we can go into the stands anytime we want if ya’ll get anywhere near the court we gonna hurt ya…Fukoff mofo’s I’m the greatest

    Comment by Jermaine O'neil -

  6. Mark,

    Thanks for the kind words, I have always considered you one of the coolest owners in the NBA, and your comments regarding the day after is 100% accurate.

    Go Pacers, and Go Mavs….May we meet in the Finals.

    Comment by Joe Medley -

  7. Thank you Mark for your kind words. We have a saying i.e “In 49 states it’s just baskitball but this is Indiana” I graduated from the same H.S. that Steve Alford and Kent Benson graduated. The H.S. Fieldhouse here is the largest in the U.S. We go see a baskitball game not the stars in the uniform. I will cheer for who ever in wearing the Pacer uniform. The Pacers are a fine franchise. I’m tired of people who don’t know anything about them demonizing this franchise. I’m shocked about all that think they are “experts” about the Pacers and their fans. These same “experts” could have cared less about the Pacers before all of this happened. The Detroit fans should be punnished by banning beer sales and not allow ticket sales for the first ten rows at Pistons games for the rest of the season.

    Comment by Don Denny -

  8. Dear Mark,

    Thank you for your nice words about the Indiana Pacer fans. Kyle (Pacer Fan in Indy)

    Comment by Kyle Babcock -

  9. I am and will always be a Pistons fan, but I am utterly embarrassed by the actions of my peers last friday night. One coward with perhaps too many beers in him incited a riot that led many other cowards to join in. I call them cowards because they stood behind barriers, tangible or otherwise, and antagonized and/or assaulted players under the belief there would be little or no consequence. And to continue to throws things on the Pacers after the altercation as they left the court is abominable and inexcusable. Despite what anyone in the media, Pistons organization, or all of Detroit want you to believe, this was not a one-sided event. We as fans share equal, if not greater responsibility for the situation, and deserve to suffer the consequences. The Pistons organization, as well as the city, should be completely ashamed of us. Perhaps we need a soccer team for the hooligans to cheer for. Furthermore, Ron Artest has been singled out and villified because he is an easy target. There has been much talk about him stepping over the imaginary line separating fans that players are not to cross even if provoked. However, a cup of beer to the face is physical assault, and the fan who threw it was the one who shattered that barrier. When hit by the cup, Artest was already carrying an emotional load due to events on-court. His hard foul on Big Ben could have been in retaliation for a frustrating no-call at the other end of the court. Then he walked away after being shoved, even though he surely wanted to react. The cup to the face was a deliberate provocation by someone who undoubtedly realised this, and the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I do not condone the actions of Ron Artest and his teammates, but I cannot condemn them for defending themselves and each other. I do believe that severe punishments were warranted for the players involved, and I’m sure they realise they deserve to suffer consequences. I wish I could say as much for my fellow Pistons fans.

    Comment by JW -

  10. Has the NBA Commissioner made any reference to taking alcohol sales away from the games. I just wonder if this would have made a difference in what happened at the Pacer/Pistons game.

    If they would take the sales of beer away how much would this affect the bottom line of the NBA and owners of NBA basketball teams?

    Comment by Jack -

  11. Hey Mark, I totally agree with your remarks regarding the Orlando game. After last night against the Celtics I believe notice has been served to the rest of the league that the NBA and David Stern can’t stop the PACERS they can only hope to contain us! We will be competitive we will make the playoffs and when we get back 2 of our top 3 scorers and the rest of our starters are healthy we will be a force to be reckoned with. Overlooked in the aftermath is the PACERS dominated the World Champion pistons in their house for 4quarters. As Rick Carlisle said recently. If you putt on a PACERS jersey you are expected to perform at a high level no matter where you sit on the bench this team just gets better and the bench gets deeper. I will now be attending every PACERS game I can to scream my lungs out for this team and I am truly proud to be a PACERS fan no matter who is in the lineup!

    Comment by Jon -

  12. There is no doubt that Pacer’s players should be punished by the NBA for their part. However, this punishment should also be fair and proportionate to their role.

    In my opinion, it is the Piston organization and their drunken fans that bear huge responsibility for the initiation of the problem, but NBA commissioner chose to punish and harshly only one side. Shame on them. BTW, I am not Pacer’s fan.

    Comment by arek -

  13. I am not a pacers fan, but I really feel that the Pacers have been punished too much by Commissioner Stern. It is not a secret that the Pistons play aggressive basket ball and that they constantly seek the boundaries of decency and respect in their attitude towards the opposing team. It was a matter of time before their attitude would spark their fans to behave as they did in the Pacers game.

    I also feel that the Pacers players should have resisted the temptation to lower them selves to the Piston’s level. But by punishing the Pacers as Stern just did over the weekend and ruining their hopes and chances for this season, while practically leaving the Pistons intact, Howard Stern has sent a clear signal to the Pistons organization. By doing this he has rewarded the Pistons fans for their disgraceful behavior. Apparently it is OK to throw beer at players and call them names. It is OK to attack players with chairs. The Pistons players may carry on in their attitude and challenge the next visiting team; they are backed by the crowd and Stern.

    No, over here in Europe we also have our share of aggression at soccer matches. But our attitude here is to heavily punish and fine the home team if a referee or player of the visiting team is hit by any object coming from the stands. If the Pacers Pistons incident would have happened in Europe the Pistons would have been expelled from the competition, or at least been forced to play the remainder of the season without any home fans present in their stadium. Not to even mention the financial fine that they would have received. In stead in the US the visiting Pacers are crucified while the home organization Pistons merely receive a slap on the wrist. Detroit, is this how you treat your guests?

    Anthony in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

    Comment by Anthony -

  14. I understand that Stern had to take action but he went too far. Although, Artest made a bad choice,what about the positive choices he made up until the cup hitting him in the head? When Wallace pushed him Artest did not respond in a negative way. When Wallace threw the towel at him he still did not respond to that and for him to have self control that long was an effort that I know he was making. How much should he take? I think that Stern should have also considered the actions of the fans and the lack of action from security. I think Artest should have been suspended, but not for the rest of the season. If Stern was honest with himself he would have to admit that if he was being phyically attacked or thought he was, he would instantly feel the need to defend himself. We all in some way would have done so. They want to mention the kids having to see the outrageous behavior of the pacers, but don’t forget about the outrageous behavior of the fans who live in the city with them. It took both the players involved and the fans for that situation to expand to what it did lets not forget that Mr.Stern…………

    Comment by Klenmomo -

  15. I was just wanting to say that I am not a Pacer’s fan but I do think the suspensions handed down were far too severe and were just set to make an example of the players involved. Although I don’t agree with Ron Artest’s actions completely I can understand where he is coming from. If I go out as a regular guy on my lunch break and a guy throws a beverage on me we are definitely gonna fight and for all the people who are judging him and saying he was wrong don’t understand. You can’t say what you wouldn’t do until it happens to you personally.

    As far as the Pacer’s as an organization go, I encourage the players involved to think of suing the NBA and the city of Detroit for lack of security. The job of the city and the NBA is to secure the perimeter and it wasn’t. All David Stern is concerned about is protecting “his fan base” but he apparently is not concerned about the way he is effecting this organization. The bottom line is Artest has to be disciplined but the punishment has to fit the crime. To me, a 25 game suspension for Artest would have been more than enough and 15 games for Stephen Jackson and 10 for Jermaine O’Neal.

    I can almost guarantee that If David Stern were out at a function and someone throws a beverage onto him that he would be more likely to throw a punch than not. This needs to start from the ground up and it starts with us the fans. Security at these games has to be stepped up first and foremost. As soon as Ron Artest went into the stands to punch the guy who threw the beer, security should have surrounded them and took control of it. But the security was not ample enough to do that and that is where the NBA and the Palace are at fault.

    If you remember a few years back when Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller got into a tussle in a game and Miller was ejected and suspended and Michael Jordan was not. That shows that certain players are treated differently than others, you can also see that in the way a game is called by a ref. All of us know that Ron Artest is not on the list of most liked players but he has to be allowed to play and doesn’t deserve to lose a year and possible championship because Stern has to make an example of him.

    I strongly suggest the players union pursue this to the fullest and maybe one day arbitration will be available because David Stern’s “dictatorship” should not be allowed in a country where democracy is key. To have only one man decide the fate of a player and or team is ridiculous, especially when his only concern is to please the fans whether they are right or wrong.

    Signed,

    Benjamin Dennis
    Irving, Texas

    Comment by Benjamin Dennis -

  16. Thanks you for your kinds words about the Pacer fans. You know that Indiana basketball fans will cheer good play and effort win or lose.

    We know our Artest, Jackson, and even O’Neal deserved serious punishment. However, we are not happen with the extent of the punishment and are particularly unhappy with the fact that the suspensions were not staggered. Our team’s competitive position would be much improved if the two major suspensions were served one at a time instead of together and if Artest’s suspension were reduced by even a few games so that he could return for the playoffs. To do otherwise penalizes Pacer fans and rewards the beer throwers in Detroit. The system should not encourage fans to take one for their team by abusing an opposing player in hopes of getting him suspended for retaliating.

    I urge you to support the Simon’s efforts to reduce the suspensions. No owner should suffer the risk that a single incident will destroy a year’s revenue. No team’s fans should be punished this severely.

    Comment by Frank M. Cook -

  17. Re: soccer (comment #53 – Ashwin) http://www.blogmaverick.com/entry/1234000040021091/#c60794

    Happens “all the time” in soccer? Don’t be silly. I realize it’s easy to get that impression until you consider that given the number of soccer games played around the world every year, those incidents represent a tiny minority.

    Not to mention that the incidents generally occur more often than not in third world countries where the masses use soccer as an outlet against larger societal problems.

    The fact is English soccer suffered as a result of fan violence, and only after cleaning things up and making stadiums family friendly, did it achieve the prosperity it now enjoys. Before, the hooligans were scaring families away. And one need only look at Italy, where attendance is hurt at least in part by the thuggish Ultras.

    Remember, NBA didn’t become the 2nd most popular sport until the fighting and the rampant cocaine use went away. Even Magic, Bird and Jordan couldn’t have saved a league of junkies and thugs.

    Comment by toyochin -

  18. Saturday night proved that Pacer fans won’t suffer this year. Will they win 60 games–no! Anyone who didn’t enjoy the Pacer’s effort Saturday night isn’t a fan of the game. From Reggie Miller’s selfless offer to play the game with a broken wrist to 6 guys leaving it all on the floor, this was a statement game by the Pacers. The organization is bigger than those players suspended by David Stern

    Mark, thank you for the kind words about a team that I love.

    Comment by Lee -

  19. Look at it like this:

    If you had a rowdy customer at your business, and he/she did something outrageous, and you followed him into a crowd, trying to attack him, but instead attacked someone else, you’d be out of a job in a second. Artest’s suspension is not ridiculous.

    Comment by Rob -

  20. Artest did this with the intent of leaving the NBA for awhile, and gaining “street credibility” ??????????

    You have got to be fucking kidding me

    Comment by Pandemonium -

  21. Artest did this with the intent of leaving the NBA for awhile, and gaining “street credibility.” To do what he did, you have to be a blitering idiot or someone with a plan. He knew what he was doing and he knew the consequences. This decision may sell more records in the short term, but may ruin him financially, and if this really was his intent, then power be to the jury; for I am willing to bet that it will not be a jury of his NBA peers.

    Comment by Birdsanctuary -

  22. Mark I usually enjoy your entries but this one I found to be self serving, Oh there was a big melee and all I care about is the fan reaction and will they attend games. Lets give congrats to the Pacer fans because they are supporting the team and it appears that revenue will not suffer.

    I at least expecting some talk pro or con about Fans taunting players, sitting to close to the players, NBA security at games and throwing items onto the court.

    Personally I think that the NBA has way to many head cases in the league ranging from I am entitled to special treatment, not getting enough shots, and just being an out right thug. There is no excuse for what the Pacers did and any support for the that behavior is deplorable.

    Comment by bob -

  23. As with the Rangers’ incident in Oakland, I don’t see why the fans get off scott free when they behave in an unruly manner. Sure, we expect professional players to be held to a higher standard, since razzing the other team is part of any game. However, there is a line that can be crossed, and just as players should be held accountable for their actions, so should fans be held accountable for theirs. Booing the other team and cheering your own is all in good fun, but when insults and taunts are tossed in a player’s direction that are racially or culturally derogatory, it becomes less about the game and instead makes it a personal attack on the player’s character. I didn’t see this incident, so I can’t speak with any authority on who is to blame, but common sense — as well as human decency — dictates fans as well as players should keep things in perspective.

    I do agree that the NBA can only deal with the players, and the fans have to be dealt with by the local authorities. No matter what you may think of that player on the court and the amount of money he makes, it doesn’t give you the right to verbally assault his character just because he plays for the other team. Paying for a ticket gives you certain privileges, but come on, folks. Right is right and wrong is wrong.

    The same fans who say the players should be fined or bannished from the game are sometimes the ones yelling the loudest and rudest insults. When they finally push that player over the edge they cry foul and point at him without holding themselves to the same accountability.

    Comment by FTS -

  24. NBA conspirancy:

    I dont know why Stren or someone in NBA has Detroit as their fav team, but they must get harsh punishment. Ben, was acting like king of palace and could get his crowd to hit anyone. People are talking politely about this issue but I guess there is something on part of NBA which is making Palace safe from all the suit actions. Its just **** stupid.
    The man who started this all should be debarred for rest of the season. The man who was dressed up, didnt even take any part in it was suspended (Reggy) but Rick was acting furious on court was not even touched. No Action what so ever against Pistons org., as they failed to control security. If I was at the place of any Pacer org. member, I would have done anything ( like not joining games for until action happens), But I guess money and politics are far more behind thise scene. Someone throws a chair on some player which could disable him for rest of his life and still NBA waits and studys what it could do. Thats rediculous. If get a chance, pacers fan should avenge this on 25th Dec but I guess they wont being sopisticated people and not Detroit *(***s.

    Comment by Kedar -

  25. Mark,

    I think the Detroit fans got off too lightly. Regardless of Ron Artest’s unwise decision to go into the stands, there is no doubt that the fans in the stands acted deplorably, as the many camera angles caught fans throwing beer, cups and dumping drinks on the heads of players trying to leave the court. Do you think making the Pistons play one of their home games AWAY would be a big enough deterrent. That would deprive the Pistons ownership of one game’s revenue and season ticket holders of 1/41 of their investment. It would also send a message to the non-knuckleheaded fans that rowdiness will not be tolerated and that if they don’t do their part to report knuckleheads to security, they could lose their own privileges and rights as fans. I fear that the NBA’s refusal to address the issue of the fans’ participation is a cowardly and hollow stance. I am no fan of Artest, but the man acted disproportionately only AFTER he was attacked. It is foolish for anyone to say that “it was just a beer”. If you can talk about these issues as both a fan and an owner and insider, I would welcome your thoughts and insights!

    Comment by Greg -

  26. I hope Artest rap album sells good (LOL)
    What a F-ing idiot

    Comment by tk -

  27. I’m just trippin off all the racist reactions from people saying it’s “hiphop culture permeating the league” and just basically talking out of their asses about how “they’re all thugs” and they aren’t talkin about the fans… anyway, if David Stern gave a damn about the safety of the fans he would be just as quick to say something about the alcohol being sold to these idiots, but that ain’t the issue.

    Comment by Pandemonium -

  28. what a bunch of babies!!!fights happen in soccer statiums all the time involving players and fans, and soccer is still the world’s most popular sport. college football had a brawl, it will still be popular. lets not forgot, it was moron, drunk fans in detroit who started this brawl, not the players. imagine if your customers start comming into your office and threw cofee at you for writing a bad report or bad code. We are still watching the best players in the world play basketball, and one incident dosent mar that fact. this starts in little league, with parents yelling at coaches and kids. aslong as that keeps happening, we can expect more things like this.

    Comment by Ashwin -

  29. First, 3 words: BANNED FOR LIFE.

    How would you like to be an owner and see your promising season ended because this overgrown child can’t control himself.

    How would you like to be Reggie Miller and see possibly your last chance for a ring sqaundered?

    How would you like to have to take this guy back and pay him the rest of his contract?

    He has ruined his value and the Pacers and their fans are the ones that will really have to pay for this. There is no way any player should enter the stands. As for the guys that walked on the court, thats another story. The players have a right to expect a safe work environment and the league needs to address that issue too.

    Comment by JTParts -

  30. First, 3 words: BANNED FOR LIFE.

    How would you like to be an owner and see your promising season ended because this overgrown child can’t control himself.

    How would you like to be Reggie Miller and see possibly your last chance for a ring sqaundered?

    How would you like to have to take this guy back and pay him the rest of his contract?

    He has ruined his value and the Pacers and their fans are the ones that will really have to pay for this. There is no way any player should enter the stands. As for the guys that walked on the court, thats another story. The players have a right to expect a safe work environment and the league needs to address that issue too.

    Comment by JTParts -

  31. I find it sad that John Saunders and other members of the media/ESPN quickly jumped on the players side in this situation. No review of facts, only their coverage, and they quickly let their viewers know that if you are ever in a situation where somebody throws water on you, you should respond with physical violence. Were the white trash fans at fault? Of Course they were, they will be punished, and so will the players.

    Comment by James -

  32. Thank you for this entry.

    As a Pacer fan, I feel personally bruised by the events, the suspensions, and what will inevitably continue to be a Nasty Buzz surrounding players I support and care about.
    I love my team as much as ever, and I love this sport; my sincerest hope is that The Aftermath involves positive changes, not just a bunch of lawsuits and name-calling.

    Comment by Melissa -

  33. Mark,

    The next few months are really going to tell for sure though. Hopefully the Pacers can keep the season in tact without some of their key players so that the fan base remains. I’ve lived in Indy all of my life and have observed that the fans who make it a sellout crowd are a bit fickle during the losing years, be it the Pacers or the Colts. When we’re winning, that’s a different story. I’m hoping for the best, because this season was really off to a great start.

    Comment by Brian Groce -

  34. It might have been natural instinct for Artest to hit the guy if he had been right in front of him, but he had to jump over a table and then climb 5 rows of seats, and then he attacked the wrong guy. Then Stephen Jackson follows right behind him, and instead of trying to break up the fight starts wailing on people. I was disappointed he didn’t get a full year suspension as well, as his attack was actually much worse than Artest’s. He should be charged with aggravated assault, as should Jermaine Oneal for destroying that little mexican guy. And I’m not sure what the law is, but I can’t imagine being hit by a plastic cup gives you any sort of self-defense defense. I personally think the suspension rule should be, you step into the stands, for any reason, you are out for the year, no pay. If it were, I’m sure we would never see this stuff happen again, with or without increased security.

    Comment by Captain T -

  35. There is an ‘assumption’ implied when you go to a sporting event — it assumes that you can sit in the stands and watch a game without getting the living shit kicked out of you by an overpaid gorilla. I’ve been a sports fan for more than 30 years and this is easily the most offensive display I have seen.

    Mark’s comments about the fan referendum were slightly skewed. The vast majority of the tickets for this game (and every other) were sold well in advance, and with the ticket prices as they are, who could afford not to go once they’d shelled out all that cash? And as someone said a few posts earlier, yes, the fans were cheering for players who didn’t go into the stands swinging their fists.

    Anyone who thinks the suspensions are unfair is smoking crack. Anyone who wants to play in the NBA (or any professional sport for that matter) has to be able to control himself not to bite the ultimate hand that feeds — the fan.

    Comment by WW -

  36. As a Pacer Fan from Indianapolis, I thank YOU for your closing remarks! I’ll be there on Christmas Day!

    Comment by MJ -

  37. of course they are going to cheer; fans live & die for their teams. artest, oneal & jackson will all get standing Os when they return to the court. & the fans are stupid for doing so. fans feel they are part of the team, they get caught up in the emotion thats what makes the game great. but do those players deserve a standing O, hell no! artest is an idiot for going into the stands, he deserves the suspension without pay and criminal charges. that was not self defense he attacked the wrong person. that was pure stupidity. stephen jackson was ready to fight anybody…review the tape, he wanted to fight the pistons & no one was willing too; so when artest when into the stands he jumped in and start swinging away. i think he should be suspended for the rest of the year like artest. the fans that came on to the court got what they deserved, do you think if they saw a 7ft dude with 2% body fat on the street they would try to charge them up? not likely, but i guess the bud lite made them feel like a man that can take on a professional athlete, their alcohol let them down again. in that instance artest was defending himself. i think their should be criminal charges coming not only to fans but to artest as well. the fans in indiana are stupid, they cheered when they should have booed the entire game. those players represent their city and they acted like fools, i would have booed the entire game, not an act directly at the players who were busting their butts on the court but at the team as a whole, the emabarrased the franchise, the nba, & the city. how long will they continue to cheer when they realize that artest’s stupidity cost them their season, will they continue to cheer 15 games from now when the loss of those 3 players really hits home? https://www.dallaspartyrental.com

    Comment by Luis -

  38. Stern is an asshat. A single judge with nobody to check him. He flaunts his ability to be a tsar. He did not judge the incident like he should have, in a vaccum. Instead he is busy pushing his will on everyone involved.
    “It was unanimous, one to nothing,” Stern said. “I did not strike from my mind the fact that Ron Artest had been suspended on previous conditions for loss of self-control.”

    Comment by michael -

  39. Artest has always been a weird guy, but he has great ability. I picked him in my fantasy team and I’m paying for it now, but I can only imagine what having a player like that on a real team must be like, is it worth the gamble?

    Rodman is now constantly whining he wants a comeback, the guy might still be a defensive force but why would any team take the gamble on a guy who has screwed up so many chances already? maybe the pacers will sign him to fill JO’s void till janruary, then again, they might have learned their lesson.

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the fight was “uh-oh 2 black guys heading into the stand to beat on some white folk…Larry Bird ain’t gonna be happy”

    I don’t think this will negatively affect ticket sales, infact I’m going to get some Heat tickets and spend the whole time heckling Shaq, if he hits me, I’m rich!

    Comment by Kanes -

  40. A lot of you guys fail to seperate two very important issues.

    NBA and Stern has the power to punish players that dont adhere to its policies and to throw people out for the game and/or ban them from games.

    Thats the totality of Sterns power.

    So dont start comparing the player suspensions with what the fans did.

    Criminal behavior is a matter for the police.

    The players, fans, decurity guards all have potential criminal charges looming over their heads.

    This issue is completely seperate from the suspensions.

    So please keep your comments relevant.

    Yes a few of the fans deserve a rigth hook to the foodhole, but the NBA is a product and the product needs to protect itself. Therefore NO retaliation, even though retaliation would be appropriate in other situations. Thats the price you pay to be in league. If you dont like it, get out and apply at McD’s.

    Comment by Peter -

  41. Assault and Battery. The fan O’Neal punched in the court he was punched repeatedly and he never layed a hand on any of the players. JUST BECAUSE YOUR ON THE COURT DOES’T GIVE SOMEONE THE RIGHT TO REPEATDLY PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE. SOME OF YOU PEOPLE DESERVED TO BEATEN, SAYING IT WAS OK FOR THE PLAYERS TO ASSAULT PEOPLE WHO DID NOTHING TO THEM.

    Comment by John -

  42. You can take a kid out of the ghetto, but not the ghetto out of the kid. This is a product of our own doing. Asshole fan’s, and Thug players just dont mix. I realize now why the NBA has gone international. A little bit more stability, plus they shoot better than the 20 year old kids . I think the suspension is harsh. This guy has a family to feed, and bills to pay. I mean how many of you that work somewhere have wanted to kick a co workers, customers, or even bosses ass at times. Now wheter we acted on it is a different story.
    I guess Im the minority but than again let me go to your job and smash a beer in your face and will see how you take it. Prob not very well. Peace love and Hair Grease🙂

    Comment by John -

  43. The suspensions were rediculous sign the petition!

    http://www.petitiononline.com/nba911/

    Comment by Naseem Prince -

  44. I would first say yes, I think the fans of Indianapolis, and the pacers made the best of the situation on Friday night. Though, I really don’t know what to say about the whole situation still. At times I feel like the NBA did what they had to do, and then on the other hand I feel that the NBA are missing some bigger issues.

    I guess my biggest question is 1. what major effect if any does this do to the NBA? 2. what about our youth watching this kind of stuff…how do or can we turn this into a teaching opportunity for the youth? I would really like to see an article or maybe once all my thoughts are collected about this situation I will write an article on this. For the youth out there watching the NBA!

    Thanks,

    Sacred Hoops
    http://www.sacredhoops.com

    Comment by Sacred Hoops -

  45. I’m so glad Artest got suspended for the entire season. Stern did the right thing by laying down the law with a harsh sentence. The NBA needs to clean up.

    Comment by entertainment -

  46. The NBA is filled with many great players. More importantly, the best players in the league–the role players–are modest about their importance.

    The NBA is actually exciting to watch this year because of the new rules that the league implemented to open up the flow of the game. As fans we should not be focused on this one event too much.

    In fact, people should not be able to tell you apart from the staff, whether you are making

    Executives around the league are self-effacing about the need to engage with and learn from mistakes. This is just a minor bump in the road.

    It’s unfortunate that it happened to Indiana fans at a time when IU and Purdue Basketball teams are not exciting. Next time people go to a game they should please understand that I’m saying behave modestly; I don’t think you can actually will yourself to be modest, but you can behave modestly. Sports is about bonding. Let’s continue to enjoy the NBA.

    I found it very disappointing that the media gave so much attention to this incident. There are so MANY other news worthy events going on in America. Why hasn’t the media been playing Alan Greenspan’s warning about the devaluation of the dollar over and over?

    People should be worried about inflation and the devaluing of the U.S. dollar. Inflation: sounds relatively harmless, but when itcomes to your money it is far from it. It’s always there, and it always will be, like a small leak you can’t fix, only it gets bigger with time, because inflation compounds every year.

    Even at the low rate of 3% per annum, inflation eats up more than a third of your money’s purchasing power every ten years. In twenty-four years, your money will be worthy only half as much as it is now. That’s a pretty big number and that’s at a conservative 3%. Watch what happen’s when that number begins to climb. At 5% your money purchasing power is cut in half in 14 years, and at 6% it’s 12 years. Then again why worry?

    The majority of Americans are not concerned that the CPI consumer price index is up 5.7 points, or roughly 9.7%. Simply stated, that inflaction people So, has anyone paying attention? That means that your money is worth 1/10 less than it was at the beginning of this year. Of course why take my word for it? $1 U.S. Dollar equals 0.54 UK Sterling. or 0.77 Euro.

    The only reason the Average American does not feel the full impact of high inflation is because of low interest rates. What happens if interest rates increase?

    Sports are an escape from these realities. We should put this incident into perspective. The media should be more responsible with the time it devotes to coverage of issues. There are bigger issues that we need to focus on as a country.

    Of course I would dismiss this as just one mistake. However, the media gave similar coverage to a NFL TV commercial. Recently, ABC ran an ad during Monday Night Football that featured actress Nicolette Sheridan leaping nude into Terrell Owens arm Coach.

    Coach Dungy of the Colts commented, “Absolutely. I cannot imagine Walter Payton or Joe Greene doing that, and I said that yesterday. As an African-American man, it hurt me. We have a lot of stereotypes to overcome, I think this just perpetuated it — not only African-Americans, but athletes in generally. We can say, ‘Yeah, it was all in fun.’ Not for kids who really look at everything these guys do and try to emulate it. And I think Terrell Owens should have known that”.

    So what’s the stereotype? OH! Large, muscle-bound black male hugging white, blond woman. Interracial dating? Professional athletes get a ton of women. Wait, that is a stereotype.

    Equating it to rape as Rush Limbaugh did is an act of lunacy. It sounds like the media was perpetuating Mandingo.

    We should curb capitalism and individual freedom in order to achieve the desired results of a more religious (dare I say more Christian), moral, and value conscious society.

    Comment by Sterling -

  47. Balasz, I have to disagree with your assumption that the customer is always right. this is a new millenium and the phrase “we reserve the right to refuse service” applies more to business nowadays than the other one. Business, including sports franchises, can not allow behavior such as this. If a customer walks into a store, acting beligerent(sp?) towards the employees, should he still be allowed to shop there? no. Because he buys a $30 pair of jeans, should he be allowed to bitch at the cashier because she cant hit the buttons fast enough? no. yes, fans are allowed to drink and yell. but when it comes to throwing items, threatening players, and disrupting a game, then comes the time “to refuse service”. kick his dumbass out. it doesnt matter that he paid $100 for the seat and 6.50 for the beer. that doesnt give him a get out of jail free card. There are people who do not want to be around others like that. therefore, they dont pay money to sit near them. So, the actions of one ass, costs the business 4 other possible customers. Lose the ass, lose his 100 bucks. but you gain 400 bucks from the calmer people. $300 increase by getting rid of a bad situation. I will never condone the actions of a rude-ass individual. For no reason, especially not one for an individual claiming its their right because they paid money to watch a sport.

    Comment by John Sells -

  48. The NBA is a business point blank. In any other business if an employee was agressive towards an unruly customer and struck that customer no matter the circumstances, that employee is FIRED! Why don’t the rules for every other person in our society apply to professional athletes. It’s sickening. For as much money as they make they need to be able to take as much as Jackie Robinson did. These actions have desecrated the name of this man, and every sports fan should make a pilgrimige to Robinson’s grave and place a rose in honor of his memory and to show disgust for what transpired. Those of you who criticize the fans or the security are sick and out of touch with something called the rule of law.

    Comment by West Coast Mavs Fan -

  49. Mark,

    You are an NBA owner and because your team was not involved, it’s natural that your reaction is to put a good face to it and say how great the Pacer fans are. I’ll guarantee you their initial enthusiasm is not going to last 30 games.
    The NBA’s attitude to fans is what it should be for every business: the customer is always right. You can be an obnoxious drunk and pick a fight with players. There will be no punishment, no ban on alcohol sales, no games played behind closed doors. This would be all right, except that the NBA is a sport and the concept of juctice applies. With this decision the NBA lost 2/32th of it’s value. The Pacers are worthless, I used to be a fan of theirs but I’m out. Also worthless are the games that the Pacers will play on the road. Arguably their 3 best players are done. Who would want to watch a game against the formidable lineup of Eddie Gill, David Harrison, James Jones, Austin Croshere and John Edwards. Well done Mr Stern.

    Comment by Balazs -

  50. Absolutely ridiculous suspension. A SEASON long suspension? It’s the equivalent of a $5 MILLION dollar fine! Are you INSANE Stern? I won’t quit watching the NBA, but this ENTIRE season just got screwed. We’re less than a month in and the ENTIRE season takes on a new face because of this. That’s insane. INSANE.

    As to those who support the fans in this – ANY fan who comes onto the court SHOULD get decked. I don’t agree with Artest going after that guy just cuz the guy was laughing, but damn, SEASON? Insane.

    Comment by Matt -

  51. Well, it doesn’t matter now. Indiana will have a tough uphill climb will Artest out for the year. As for the Indiana fans, their season is over.

    Comment by Brandon -

  52. Mark,

    Thanks so much for the kind words. I’m still pretty torqued off about the ruling, but thanks so much.

    A pacer fan.
    http://willowbend.cx/archives/2004/11/21/nba-ruling-a-disgrace/

    Comment by Darrin Thompson -

  53. Nice entry. Same thing happened tonight with the Pistons-Bobcats game, which went to double overtime. Due to fouls, at the end the Pistons only had five players available. Reserves like Smush Parker and Darvin Ham played their hearts out. There was even a Darko Milicic sighting. The crowd was into it. Tayshaun Prince had a monster dunk down the lane to win it. The crowd was so into it, willing the team to win. Like every other Pistons game I’ve seen, it was about basketball. As it should be.

    I’m a huge Pistons fan, sickened by what happened on Friday. I’ve been to around 30 games the past few years and can say that without a doubt what you saw reflected a few complete idiots, not the vast majority of the fans. Up until Friday the Pistons represented what was right with the NBA. It’s a shame that such a class organization is tarnished by what happened.

    No one was blameless. It was a series of stupid mistakes and no one stepped back from the brink. People will blame alcohol, anger management problems, the culture of the NBA, and on and on. But really, it’s just about using the little bit of common sense that got you where you are today.

    Comment by Aaron -

  54. My opinions:

    Ben Wallace should definitely get suspended (and has) … c’mon, he’s been fouled a lot harder than that in his career and attacking Artest was petty;

    If Artest was going to run into the stands to fight, he should have just gone and fought Ben Wallace … Artest is supposed to be a bad-ass but I noticed he backed out of a fight when Ben slouched him with both hands just to go bonkers when he got hit with a plastic cup. Kind of bitch-like if you ask me;

    Jermaine O’Neal should NOT be suspended period. Once that fan set foot on the hardwood with the intention to fight, that was all she wrote. O’Neal may have to sit out 25 games but at least he has the pleasure of watching highlights of himself KO the hell out of one of the idiots who went after Artest on the court. That was priceless;

    Stephen Jackson … in the right place for the wrong reasons. If Artest had lived up to his tough guy reputation and fought Ben Wallace, Jackson wouldn’t have had to go into the stands after him. I expect teammates to cover each other’s backs so I can’t really fault Jackson.

    As for the fans, getting your ass kicked by an NBA player on national TV is probably punishment enough. Say what you want, but those Pacers can SCRAP.

    That’s my two cents.

    Comment by James King -

  55. Well, Artest asked for time off to finish his album… looks like he has several months to do that now.
    But all kidding aside, the events that occured at the arena are something that no one desired. I don’t feel that Ben Wallace’s 6 gm. suspension is deserved. His action was definately inappropriate, but had the fans and Artest, et al., not acted in the manner they did, he would not have recieved 6 games. He should not be held responsible for the actions of others. Fans and players should be protected. While I can only imagine how I would react if I were in the situation, I like to hope I would have been calmer. Granted all NBA players are human and the verbal taunting they recieve from the fans is a (negative) part of the game. However, no one has the right (once again, only my opinion) to physically attack someone based on verbal remarks. The fans who threw things were wrong, the fans who went on to the court were wrong, Artest was wrong. The players are not permitted to enter the crowd, for good reason, and likewise, fans should not be on the court, especially in the atmosphere that erupted.
    Mark, you were right on again. The fans had to make a decision, and they made it. I know that I wholeheartedly would support the 6 players who gave one hell of a fight in what, to them, needed to be business as usual.

    Comment by Matthew Cullen -

  56. Well, I became an NBA fan last week and stopped being one today. I was trying to replace my love of hockey with a sport that was as quick; though I didn’t expect so much violence.

    Put see-through glass between fans and sporting teams. MLB and the NBA have had recent problems. Even with the glass in hockey, some players and fans put the effort in to get over it, but at least it’s a deterrent. (Less players flying onto fans would be a welcome benefit.)

    Ben Wallace’s reaction started the whole thing, no matter what was said that triggered him to lose almost as many brain cells as Artest did later on. Wallace also encouraged the fans by throwing the towel at Artest.

    Five games for Wallace means goodbye NBA Audio League Pass for me. I’ll stick to listening to MLB archived games, which last a year longer than NBA archives anyway.

    Wallace should’ve gotten at least half of the suspension Artest did.

    I look forward to a future essay — or three — by Mr. Cuban on this matter later on.

    Kudos on all the music industry posts, Mark.

    Comment by Aaron -

  57. it’s very disturbing to read some of these comments. especially by those few who say the fans should sue the players. What about the fans that sucker punched Artest and Jones in the backs of their heads? Shouldn’t Artest and Jones be able to sue the fans that did that? Unfortunately, the only lawsuits that will be filed will be on behalf of the fans. Stern’s punishment is fine. Dont jump in the stands without facing the consequences. I’m sure the players union will appeal, as always. I just hope the Detroit police do their job better than they did at the game. It made no sense to see the cop about to spray Artest while a fan was on the court right behind him. I hope the cops find those fans, arrest them, and ban them from the Palace. Only then will this ordeal be over.

    Comment by John Sells -

  58. Artest attack the wrong person. Just because someone throws a cup at you, that doesn’t give you the right to go around assaulting innocent people. That is what artest did, he went into the stand and attacked people who did nothing to him. The person he punched repeatedly wasn’t the one who threw the cup. Artest should be facing criminal charges, and some of the fans should sue Artest and the other players involved.

    Comment by John -

  59. way to go Brian Bailey, at least brocked has a clue.

    David Stern is an idiot. He fits right in with his ranks. Bud Selig is the king of them all and Myles Brand is even worse, but doesn’t rank as high. Dumbasses so out of touch with reality. They have the perfect picture of money, image, and more money. They don’t care about their sport.

    The real problem starts if the ‘fans’ successfully press lawsuits against any of the players. The only police officer you really see at ‘the Palace’ was one with pepper spray, threatening to spray Artest right before he went to the locker room. Nice security.

    The suspensions for the Pacers are very out of line. Want to make an example of them? Fine. Ban people from the first 10 rows of the Palace for the rest of the year. Seams fair.

    Stern wouldn’t go for the loss in revenue though.
    Fuck him.

    Comment by grimey -

  60. Artest acted off of gut instinct. If you were at a bar and someone hit you with a cup or glass of beer what would you do? At some point fans are going to have to understand that just because they purchase a ticket doesn’t mean they could do whatever they please. This type of fan violence seems to be happening much to often nowadays. Either these professional leagues are going to have to start letting players defend themselves or they are gonna have to bring penalties so severe that fans would not even think about acting up.

    Comment by Rod H -

  61. Even though the crowd was unruly and acted completely out of line, the Pacers players have to control themselves. If I am an NBA owner, I don’t want my multi-million dollar investment going up into the stands and getting hurt by some punk fan. As bad as the fans may be, players should NEVER go into the crowd, period. You’re an NBA superstar! What do you care what the visiting fans think anyway?

    Comment by Erik -

  62. I thought Stern to a great job at the press conference. He faced the situation head-on, grasped both its severity and long-term implications, and handed out suspensions that reflect that. And he made it clear that the incident doesn’t end here.

    I wrote more in a post titled “Defining Basketball Down” on my site.

    http://www.leaveitbehind.com/home/2004/11/defining_basket.html

    Comment by Brian Bailey -

  63. Hey brocked,

    how about you send me your paycheck every week and then after you retire, i’ll decide whether or not you lived up to my standards of morality.

    Comment by kronicfatigue -

  64. wow, I’m seeing some pretty dumb comments from people here…
    The reason it appears they are not doing anything to the fans, is that there’s nothing TO do right now. It is a police matter, they are reviewing tapes and talking to the DA about who they can charge with what. Hopefully, criminal suits will be filed against the fans that were on camera throwing punches, and my personal favorites, the two idiots who came on the court to assault a much larger guy who works out day and night for a living and is known for going nuts and beating people up. I’d also like to see all those involved blacklisted, and not allowed to attend another NBA game EVER, on pain of removal and/or civil suit on sight. If your entire concept of watching a game is to get drunk and hurl abuse, go to your local sports bar, they’ve got instant replay and easier bathroom access.
    The NBA, however, CAN do something right now to the players, and Stern has done so. Great job, Mr. Commish. I don’t have a problem with Wallace’s relatively short suspension, as he (apparently) did not attack any fans, all we have seen so far is that he pushed another player and then was restrained. I also hope to see more praise of Rasheed Wallace, noted former “bad seed” and pothead, who first kept the two teams separated and then looked like he was trying to calm things down.

    I think that this incident has drawn more attention to the self-preoccupation and general lack of self-discipline that the NBA player has exhibited in recent years (strike another pose, Kenyon Martin), and I hope it leads to things like counseling sessions, Draft reform, and maybe some more respect for coaches.

    Finally, a crazy proposal popped into my head as a way to focus players on performing for their teams, instead of their posses. Delayed payment – all players make an equal base salary while they are active NBA players, but the current contract negotiations and restrictions (including a “virtual” salary cap) remain in place. Effectively, they don’t get the real money until they retire from the league. It’s a sick idea, but kinf of fun to consider.

    sorry about the length of this comment, folks!

    Comment by brocked -

  65. The next time the Pacers are in Detroit, no fans should be allowed in the arena. That’s what they do in soccer. I bet Stern doesn’t have the balls to give up that kind of revenue.

    Comment by kronicfatigue -

  66. I think the fines are perfect, it sends a very clear message that the behaviour of those players on Friday night will not be tolerated or accepted. The fans, they should be dealt with by the law and by the arena owners – they should be banned from attending any future games, they should be prosecuted accordingly. Likewise the players should be prosecuted as appropriate. Remember, a plastic cup of drink was thrown at Artest – the law doesn’t allow somebody who has a plastic cup thrown at them to react with the physical violence that both Artest and Jackson did. The NBA has done its part, now it’s the turn of the law.

    Comment by Andy -

  67. How does one contact David Stern? I would like to have him speak at Indiana University Law School, since he was once an attorney and now tries his best to run the NBA.

    Comment by Scott -

  68. I was finally able to watch the footage, and I’m really disappointed with almost everyone involved.

    The fan was/is/always will be an IDIOT. Plain and simple.

    Just because you shell out the cash to see a game it does NOT give you the right to act like a complete moron and do whatever the hell you want.

    Yeah, Artest should’ve shook the beer-throwing…but the fan should NOT get off clean on this at all.

    Sure it was just a beer…but, at the risk of sounding like a over-protective parent, what if he had hit someone else with that and actually hurt someone? I’m sure that most of the players on that court have insurance, but that’s not necessarily the case with the average fan who gets to attend a game or two.

    One question I have is…where was security in all of this? A fan managed to get on court with no problem whatsoever and get face to face with a player.

    Does anyone remember the Monica Seles incident?

    Yeah, maybe I’m overreacting on that last statement, but something has to be done here.

    Fans should more than anything show respect to the players as it should be vice versa.

    Comment by Rick -

  69. And how about the future, Mark? Do you think that there should be a statement printed on each NBA ticket stating that if you throw anything on the court you can be prosecuted and fined $1,000? And if you enter the court it would cost you $10,000. This could be a method to reduce this kind of chaos from developing in the future.

    As the penalties from the NBA come in, I am shocked at the amount of games O’Neal has been suspended. 2 Detroit fans storm the court and one is attacking Chuck Pearson (in plain clothes) and O’Neal steps in to defend him. Granted, that blow was brutal, but it was on an NBA court AND it was to defend a retired late-30’s player.

    And what is going to happen to Ben Wallace’s brother? He was the one caught on film slugging Fred Jones. He should be punished. And all of the fans throwing drinks (caught on film) should be punished. They have been cought on tape. And shame on everyone who was at the game and with someone who was throwing the debris…and did nothing to stop their friends. That’s the real crime.

    Comment by greg -

  70. Thank You Mr. Stern

    These suspensions are rediculous! All my friends and I will no longer watch, attend, or buy anymore gear. As far as I am concerned the NBA no longer exists. The players get screwed and the fans get nothing. Completly wrong! I hope more people feel the way I do. Screw the NBA and David Stern!

    Comment by BJ Ruble -

  71. The verdict is in: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2213&ncid=755&e=1&u=/ap/20041121/ap_on_sp_bk_ne/bkn_pacers_pistons_brawl

    damn

    Comment by Maarten -

  72. Mark, that was a nice blog. I go to Pacers games at least a couple times a year. The fans are some of the best there are in this country because they love their team but don’t get out of hand. I am a huge Celtics fan, and when I go every year I don’t get harrassed like opposing fans do at many places.

    To put my two cents in on the fight, I was really hoping that the NBA doesn’t punish these guys too harshly. Some of the stuff that fans do at the events are terrible. Just because we as the fans spend a lot of money to watch and be entertained doesn’t give us the right to be unruly. Throwing things on to the field is unacceptable. It is ok to root for your team and give the opposing team a hard time, but there has to be some restraint with how far you go. I took my mom to a Cincinnati Reds game last year and she was horrified with the torment, drunk fans, were giving to JD Drew. It was over the line. People who throw batteries and things like that should be ejected right away. I think the franchises need to have enough personel around, so I as a fan, can ask them to go settle a fan down. If that fan doesn’t the personel needs to eject them. Todd Jones (a relief pitcher in MLB) said something similar to that effect in his Sporting News article. He says sitting in the bullpen gets dangerous.

    Just because the players make millions of dollars to entertain us, does not mean they can be sitting ducks to people throwing stuff from the fans. This was eventually going to happen somewhere. I am not saying it was right for these guys to go into the stands, but if you are fearing for your safety, you want to take the situation into your own hands.

    If the fans can patrol themselves a little bit, it would be a much more enjoyable experience going to these games. I hope all these franchises can make personel more accessable and fans being out of hand can held responsible for their actions.

    Comment by BJ Ruble -

  73. If Michael Jordan had been the one to go into the stands after being “attacked” by a fan, i wonder what the suspension would have been.

    I’m officially done with the NBA. I can’t take it anymore. The pacers should sit out the rest of the season in protest.

    How long until spring training?

    Comment by kronicfatigue -

  74. Mark,
    I’m curious; how would you react if this had happened at a Maverick game? Or if the Mavs were playing in, random city, Boston and some drunk fan threw a beer at Dirk, who consequently sparked “one of the ugliest riots in sports history” by losing his cool and retaliating against the fan.

    I don’t know Dirk personally, but he doesn’t seem the type. In fact, none of the Mavs players seem the type. But I wouldn’t imagine Jermaine O’Neil sucker punching some dude in the face, who probably deserved it since security wasn’t going to do their job in keeping fans off the court so someone had to lay down the law, either.

    Comment by Lizzie -

  75. I’m a long time Pacers and Ron Artest fan. While I was watching the game live on TV it was pretty scary. Ron’s behavior was bad, as was the fans’. Certainly, no excuses can be made for either side.

    The Pacer’s future has been cast in doubt now, and as a fan that’s obviously very disappointing. There are two ways to view the events from this past Friday; and I can see both sides equally.

    On the one hand, the Pacers players’ actions were reprehensible, animalistic and disgusting.

    Then there’s another way to look at it.

    The Pacers’ season had two storylines which were tied up on Friday night: 1) They were dealing with tons of injuries. 2) Artest’s personality and behavior has caused friction among certain players. But on Friday we saw the team, short-handed, beat the world champs by 15 on their home court. And then, at the end, O’Neil and Jackson came to Artest’s defense against a sea of crazy drunks. If you’re a Pacers fan, it was both moving & satisfying.. in a very strange sort of way🙂

    Comment by jerry -

  76. mark, keep in mind they’re cheering the guys who DIDN’T beat up fans. they’re cheering for the guys who got left holding the bag.

    if artest, o’neal, and jackson had been playing, it may have been different. i’d hope it would be different.

    Comment by dan -

  77. To say that Ben Wallace deserves most of the blame is asine. Artest, Jackson and O’Neal went into the stands to hurt people. If you don’t have enough composure to shake off a cup of freakin beer being thrown at you, then maybe he should be granted that time off that he asked for. The deplorable acts Friday night are the reason a lot of us don’t watch, or care for, the NBA. It was disgraceful and I personally could care less how the fans of the Pacers reacted with their 6th-8th men on the floor playing the Magic. This will not be forgotten, nor should it.

    Comment by Mike -

  78. I have to say that I think if I was in their shoes I would have given negative support. As a fan of a team it really hurts when you see your favorite players going over the line and acting irrationally. After the incedent with Franky Francisco in the Oakland game, I had a hard time rooting for the Rangers the rest of the season, mainly because I was so embarressed to be associated with that kind of behavior.

    Comment by Chad -

  79. I can’t really blame Ron and them. Honestly i think Ben Wallace should face a bigger suspension then Artest. Ben not only enticed Ron but he also encouraged the fans to throw things at him. Artest reacted like any human would. The Pistons fans should be ashamed of themselves for what they did. Because of them four very good players are facing suspension for a number of games, maybe even the rest of the season. (Jermaine o’ Neal, Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, and Ben Wallace) Tisk Tisk What a shame.

    Comment by Tapas -

  80. It’s quite simple really. The Pacer’s fans love their team. I’m sure some people were angry and upset about the situation. However the rowdy apples were left out and everyone loves to cheer for the underdog. I didn’t get to see the game personally, but looking at that score was scary. I couldn’t believe Orlando didn’t blow it out. They should have with the manpower that the team contains. However the Pacers reserves have heart. They wanted to show that they belong. And it helped that the fans were behind them 110%.

    Comment by nelly -

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