Scott Tibbs
blog post
November 21st, 2004

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Thoughts on the Pacers/Pistons brawl

The NBA is coming down hard on three Indiana Pacers players who fought with fans in a now-infamous game with Detroit. This is justifiable, because players simply cannot go into the stands to fight with fans. Even though they were physically provoked, part of those multi-million dollar contracts is an expectation that you will hold yourself to a higher standard than others would.

That said, the NBA is going to have to address the actions of the Pistons fans. The fan who threw the first beverage cup at Ron Artest should get a lifetime ban from all NBA games. The fan who threw a chair at Pacers players should also get a lifetime ban from NBA games. Other fans who dumped their beverages and popcorn on Pacers players should be banned from NBA games for this season and the next two after that.

The actions of Pacers players who fought with fans were inexcusable and merit a stiff punishment. But is the NBA willing to make it clear that there will be no tolerance for "fans"/thugs who throw things at or physically provoke NBA players? Is the NBA willing to ban "fans"/thugs who have no business at NBA games?

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Update: WOW.

From, the NBA is reportedly going to hand out the following punishments for Friday night's brawl:

  • Ron Artest -- 30 Games
  • Stephen Jackson -- 20 Games
  • Jermaine O'Neal -- 20 Games
  • Ben Wallace -- 5 Games
This is HUGE. O'Neal, Jackson and Artest are Indiana's three best players. Indiana is deep and can win without those three, but this is going to hurt. Jonathan Bender and Austin Croshere will have to step up, as will Jeff Foster.