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November 21, 2004

Comments

First off that ad promoting Ben Wallace was probably there long before this incident occured. Think about it. Also there is nothing wrong with "Have you dunked on anyone today". A much worse phrase would be "Have you taunted anyone today" or something to that effect.

Secondly this was a horrible event for the NBA and I'm sure they want to talk about it as little as possible. They handed out the suspensions and fines today and there is really nothing else that can said right now. It's time to let the games get the attention again and not the fights.

And thirdly shouldn't we call the fans that threw stuff at the players cowardly. They threw stuff from the saftey of the bleachers where you wouldn't be able to tell exactly who threw it. I bet if that dude that threw the initial drink was face to face with Artest he wouldn't do or say a anything.

Rod,

Thanks for the comments...all good stuff.

I fully expect that the Ben Wallace ad has been running for weeks. I think it's ironic that the ad promotes a confrontational approach that doesn't measure success by what you accomplish but by what you throw down on someone else.

I, too, assume that (prior to Stern's press conference) the NBA wanted to talk about it as little as possible. That is still inexusable. When the entire country is talking about one thing related to the NBA and you visit their site and there isn't a single link to the story anywhere, that is a failure to own up to the bad behavior of players you promote incessantly.

Regarding the fans, I agree completely. Unlike the case in Oakland with baseball, however, I believe the horrible fans in Detroit were provoked by the typical taunting and intimidation of the players. There would be no stories about the fans at that game if the fight hadn't happened on the floor. I still hope they are punished severely, or perhaps banned from the arena.

Lastly, both incidents reveal how absurd it is that it became accepted that a paying fan has earned the right to "heckle" as much as he likes, as long as he doesn't do anything physical. I think there is a line a fan can cross verbally and see no reason that vulgar or racist comments should be tolerated.

The fans were not taunted to the point where they should have started physically assaulting players. In my opinion Artest did not do or say anything to the fans directly to warrant throwing stuff, he was just laying on the scorers table.

The way I see it Artest fouled Wallace. Wallace didn't like it and shoved Artest. He preceeded to try and fight width Artest but players and coaches held the two apart. That could have been the end of the story right there. Kick Wallace out of the game, finish the game, and levy fines and suspensions the next day. But no the fans felt they had the right to physically assault another human being. Anywhere else in society these actions would probably end with the assaulter being taken to jail. But in this situation it seems like it's Artest faught for being assaulted.

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