Today David Stern suspended Ron Artest for the rest of the year; essentially screwing the Pacers from any post season run.
I personally do not agree with the suspension. While Artest should be suspended for running into the stands, I do believe that Artest was provoked by the fan who threw the drink at him.
Here’s where I draw a parallel to it. If someone in my office came up to me after a discussion and threw a drink in my face; that is considered assault. Now you can sit there and say he wasn’t in any danger from it, but in the end, it is assault. The asshat fan who was jumping up and down going “I hit him, I hit him…..oh sh*t” fucking deserved to get his ass whipped; along with the guy who came running up to Artest on the court in what can only be considered a threatning manner.
Unfortunately for the commissioner, I think he will lose in arbitration. The two precedents that I can see (a previous fight with fans and Rodman’s kick of a cameraman) were only 10-12 game suspensions.
But in the end, it completely sucks what happened. I honestly lay a good chunk of the blame on Wallace for that stupid hit on Artest which started the whole thing. I do think that NBA fans are going to start seeing some sort of seperation from players, whether that’s a screen around the bench or the removal of the first row of seats around the arena. Mr. Nicholson can kiss his courtside seats goodbye.