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More thoughts on the Pacers/Pistons brawl
Update to my earlier post:
I think the penalties reported by TheIndyChannel.com are too harsh, but those weren't the final penalties. According to the New York Times, Ron Artest was suspoended for the rest of the season. The penalties for other players are as follows:
Vernon Maxwell got 10 games for a similar incident nine years ago, so why 25 for O'Neal and 30 for Jackson, much less the entire season for Artest? When Dennis Rodman was with the Chicago Bulls during their second three-peat (1996, 1997, 1998) and to some extent during his previous two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, it was said that the referees were harder on him because of who he was. Rodman would get called for things that others would not get called on, or the call would be harsher, because of Rodman's reputation.
I think the same thing is happening to Artest. Because he has been known as a "bad boy", the league tends to crack down on Artest a little bit harder than do other fans. I think it would be more appropriate to suspend Artest for 15 games and suspend O'Neal and Jackson for 10 games each. I also think that the punishments should be staggered so that a couple games for each player are served in the playoffs.
As I posted earlier, the NBA is going to have to take some serious actions against Detroit fans. If you haven't yet seen the video of Pacers walking out, it was scary. Detroit thugs/"fans" were dumping popcorn and drinks all over Indiana players, who were trying to shield themselves.
The NBA is coming down harder on Pacers players than is necessary, but do they have the guts to come down on the "fans"/thugs who were assaulting players? Do they have the backbone to ban these "fans"/thugs from NBA games? A sports columnist suggested that the next time Indiana plays in Detroit, the teams should play in an empty arena. That would be an appropriate punishment for the Pistons organization and will show the fans in Detroit that violence will not be tolerated, but the NBA is needs to institute lifetime bans on some of the fans involved in the fight.
TheIndyChannel.com had a poll on the brawl. Well, of course people in Indianapolis are going to side with their team; it was a stupid poll. Look for an upcoming column on the Pacers/Pistons brawl, which I submitted to HoosierReview.com on Saturday.