Seventy-Three Games?

Thats harsh. Was punishment required? Of course. Was seventy-three games a fair punishment? I think the Romans were easier on Jesus Christ than David Stern has been on Ron Artest.

Lets look at the TRUE course of events, along with a Three Strikes Rule:

Strike Number One: BEN WALLACE fouls Ron Artest HARD under his own basket. Artest looks to the officials who simply run away down the court.

Ron retaliates. Something everyone else in the NBA does. An eye for an eye = Im not going to let you foul me, without knowing that it upset me. So, Im going to foul you back, and I dont care if I get caught.

Strike Number Two: BEN WALLACE puts his hand around Artests NECK and FACE, pushing him backwards, then charges at him, having to be restrained by multiple people.

Ron wants NOTHING to do with this. Ron knows he MIGHT be facing a suspension if they called him for a Technical Foul, so he gets out of the way. He goes to the scorers table, and sits down. The decides he wants to lay down, as the event doesnt seem to be over any time soon.

After the double whistle that signifies BEN WALLACE is being EJECTED he DOES NOT LEAVE THE COURT!!! If BEN WALLACE had left the court when he was told to, NONE of the subsequent events would have transpired. But he does not leave

Strike Number Three: BEN WALLACE throws a towel at Ron Artest. Artest sits up, realizes he STILL does not want anything to do with the situation, and lays back down. All the while being guarded by Reggie Miller.


Strike Number Four: After watching BEN WALLACE throw something at Ron Artest, a MORONIC DRUNK Detroit Pistons fan thinks it would be smart to throw his drink at Ron.

WHY? Because Ron Artest was sitting down and being NON-combative?

I wonder if David Stern thought about the Ron Artest of two years ago. What would THAT Ron Artest have done immediately following Ben Wallaces actions? He would have instantly fought back. Ron showed GREAT restraint and proved he did not want to be involved in the incident. Ben Wallace was emotionally charged, as any individual would be after losing a family member. Perhaps he was not mentally ready to return to the game. People refer to Artest as a time bomb, I think a player who has recently lost someone of such great importance should take more than two games off, before returning to a physically combative sport. Emotions run high, and Ben Wallace has shown that when a player plays with high emotion, they do not respond to situations correctly. I could not imagine the state I would be in after losing someone like my brother, and I know I would take a great deal of time off work for his mourning. Not just two games. Ben Wallaces emotional state aside, Ron Artest DID NOT retaliate for the assault. DID DAVID STERN EVEN CONSIDER THIS? Probably not, after all, this IS Ron Artest.

Back to Strike Four. Every sane human being has a breaking point. If I walked up to a complete stranger and began heckling them, then followed them around and heckled them more and more, eventually they are going to snap, especially if I went so far as to throw a beer at them. Everyone snaps. I can almost guarantee that at some point in his life, David Stern has lost control of his emotions and regretted the actions that followed. Last time I checked David Stern was human, and so is Ron Artest. People make mistakes.

It is my opinion that once THE FAN crossed the line between the Players and the Fans, it was only fair that Artest could cross the line as well.


Plain and simple. Once that beer was thrown, Artest was a man who was afraid of other items following. He feared for his life, because it would only be a matter of moments before something else would come flying at him. 19,000 fans were not going to stop after one beer, if he got away with it. In fact, the fans DID NOT STOP with one beer. They didnt stop with ten. They didnt stop with twenty. Soda. Popcorn. CHAIRS. Yet, I dont see David Stern saying those people did anything wrong. So, hell punish the NBA Players for their actions, but fans are allowed to do anything they want? Heck, fans are allowed to walk right out onto the floor and accost a player, yet THE PLAYER is going to get the suspension. Never mind the fans who had NO BUSINESS TRESPASSING on the floor, or their fists raised up as they walk towards a player. Apparently, David Stern feels THOSE ACTIONS are fine, and nothing needs to be done about it. Ron should have stood there and allowed those fans to attack him. After all, hes an NBA Player and they cant touch someone coming at them with their fists raised.

Did David Stern consider this?
No, because it was Ron Artest.

What if it was Kobe? Would he be out for the whole season? Nope. Because then the Lakers ticket sales would suffer, and no one would want to watch a Lakers game, and no one would televise it. None of the affiliates would care about paying to show a Kobe-less Lakers team. Kobe would get a slap on the wrist and be told to, go out and sell out some more games, kid

But this is Ron Artest. The Indiana Pacers arent centered around Ron Artest (although Im glad hes been made a large part of their marketing campaign). Theyd never suspend a superstar. But, this is Ron Artest. Who is only a superstar to us here in Indiana. To us, hes leader. To us, hes a player who has matured and shown he wants to shed his bad boy image. Hes calmed down his playing, hes avoided confrontation, and even when he attempts to STOP A FIGHT, the league suspends him for trying to be a peacemaker. Ron Artest cant win with David Stern!

Ron Artest was NO LONGER an NBA Player once that beer hit him. He was an individual who was in fear of his life. He was an individual who has just been assaulted by another person. His job had nothing to do with his decision to retaliate for the actions taken against him.

I have a hard time believing that David Stern is the biggest Pacifist on the planet, and that he would not have reacted in a similar manner had he been in the same situation. Every human being, no matter what they occupation is, has a breaking point. Ben Wallace didnt hit it, so some drunk fan thought it would be funny to try himself.

Its absurd that David Stern can place so much blame on the Indiana Pacers Players, and not make a single comment about the 19,000 fans pouring drinks on them, screaming at them, throwing chairs and food at them. No, the Pacers are supposed to turn their cheeks and allow this type of behavior to continue without incident? Id love for David Stern to spend fifteen minute going through what the Pacers did. Let some drunk fans take some swings at him; let his walk around while being pelted with food, drink, and chairs. I doubt he would have the time to come out of his office, where he lives a perfect life and never losses his temper.

Do I think Ron Artest did anything wrong? Yes.
Do I think Jermaine ONeal did anything wrong? Yes.
Do I think Stephen Jackson did anything wrong? Yes.
Do I think they were all JUSTIFIED in their actions? Yes.
Do I think they were fairly punished? NO.

Perhaps David Stern could consider this:
Ben Wallace was suspended for ONLY SIX games, lets add another TEN onto that, and tell the fans of Detroit: You screwed yourselves, and your team, and now you, and you alone, have brought these additional ten games onto Ben Wallace. He can be upset with. The Piston organization can be upset with you. The other fans can be upset with you. But, the fact is: You fans in Detroit acted unforgivably. You do not have the right to accost players coming into your arena. Therefore, Ben Wallaces additional penalty in on OUR BACKS! Enjoy the time without him, because its your fault. Ive heard no plans to file charges against any of those fans throwing things at the Pacers, so how else can we punish those who DESERVE to be punished? Punish the team that they support so much. Their friends who thought it was so cool that they threw a punch at Fred Jones, will be a little more upset when Ben Wallace it our for ten more games.

Also, last time I checked, when someone in the NBA put their hand around someones neck, THEY were suspended for the rest of the season. But, apparently, Ben Wallace can attack someone in a way that Latrell Sprewell cannot. Ironic. 68 games for chocking a couple of years ago, 6 games in 2004.

Do I hate Detroit now? No. Im still a Red Wings fan, and Ive read a few various posts where Pistons fans have been pleading that they are not all like those drunk fools. I respect that. I respect those people, who can say, other fans made a mistake, but some of us would not have done that I have gained a GREAT DEAL of respect for Larry Brown after his comments and actions on that night. The things he said and the way he handled the situation, shows why he is such a good coach.

Where does the blame get placed?
On the fans who pelted Pacers Players as they were attempting to leave the court?
On Jermaine ONeal for his punch to a fan who was trespassing on the floor?
On Ron Artest who punched a trespassing fan who came at him with his fists raised?
On Security for allowing fans to trespass onto the floor?
On the Pacers for going into the stands to protect their teammate?
On Stephen Jackson for punching someone who threw a drink in Ron Artests face?
On Ron Artest for losing his temper after EVERYTHING that happened to him?
On the Drunk Fan who threw the beer?
On Ben Wallace for throwing the towel?
On Ben Wallace for not leaving the floor after he was ejected?
On Ron Artest for sitting on the scorers table to avoid any further conflict?
On Ben Wallace for putting his hands around Artests neck and face?
On Ron Artest for making a medium foul on Ben Wallace?
On the Referees for not calling Ben Wallaces hard foul on Ron Artest?
Or maybe, just maybe, we could blame it on the fact that the Indiana Pacers walked into The Palace of Auburn Hills, into the home court of the World Champions, and they DOMINATED the game. And maybe the fans just couldnt handle that.

All in all, David Stern and his team DID NOT consider all angles when they made their ruling. The purpose of this petition is to show those in the National Basketball Association, that there IS a line when a player become a person, and that person has the right to defend himself. The Detroit Fans crossed the line first.

Its sad that Vernon Maxwell can attack a fan who DID NOT provoke a fight with flying objects, and only receive a ten game suspension, while Artest was RETALIATING and drew 73+ games That sounds fair.

David Stern said: "One of our boundaries, that have always been immutable, is the boundary that separate the fans from the court. Players cannot lose control and move into the stands." Boundaries that separate FANS from the court? Was that boundary NOT crossed when a beer was thrown through that boundary? Because while that beer was flying, I didnt see a boundary present. Apparently, its a One-Way boundary, One-Way against Ron Artest.

FREE RON ARTEST! I honestly believe David Stern and the NBA have singled him out for his previous behavior, and they did not take into account his attempts at a nonviolent confrontation. Instead, they arbitrarily went after him. I do believe Ron Artest made a mistake by entering the stands, but David Stern has to realize that the FANS cannot simply stand back and do whatever they wish to players. Its been seen a thousand times on tape that there were no police officers around to reprimand those who were throwing objects. Was Ron Artest right to take it upon himself? No. But, this author would have done the exact same thing, and I feel many others would have too. Punishment is accepted; however in this case, the punishment was too severe. TOO SEVERE! People get the point. People understand. You dont need to turn Ron Artest into an example. And we wont turn him into a martyr. Deal? Reduce Ron Artests suspension. Thats what we are asking for.

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  • 20 February 20161000. Ian Calhoun
    Stern u need to realize it doesnt matter how much $$$$ a player makes and that he's an athlete. Fans dont have the right to do what they want to players. They r human just like everyone else and u wouldnt want me to throw a cup at u weather @ a game or on
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Paulette BookerBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
David Stern


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