Saturday, November 20, 2004
After this latest in a long series of Ron Artest inspired fiascoes, the Commisioner, David Stern, needs to get some balls and boot Artest from the league permenantly. While I generally detest the NHL's Gary Bettman, I will give him credit for handling the Todd Bertuzzi situation the way he did. And remember that Bertuzzi was a much better citizen that Artest. Artest has been a constant black eye for the league for years, frequently suspended, any number of on and off court incidents. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix is right on point when he asks if the NBA is gonna wait till Artests antics get someone maimed or killed. After last nights near riot in Auburn Hills, does anyone really believe this is not a real possility. He is, at this point, also a real danger to himself. He is amazingly lucky that the blow delivered by Ben Wallace was an open handed shove and not a closed fisted blow. As it was, the shove moved Artest about fifteen feet. Wallace is one of the leagues gentlest men, but also it's hardest body. If Artest is stupid enough to pick a fight with Wallace, he should be thrown out of the league for his own protection.
The Pacer's Germaine O'Neil should also get a season ending suspention without pay, for not only going into the stands and trading punches with fans, but for sucker punching a fan at floor level.
Kid Rock and Chris Chelios are two guys who have seen there share of unruly fans and brawls. When they leave their courtside seats shaking there heads in amazement, you know it must have been an amazing scene.