I usually have very, very little interest in the NBA. I find watching basketball to be boring – every 3.5 seconds, there’s a game stop for some reason… I think it would be better if they removed the foul system and allowed full contact. Although that would make it an ice-less version of hockey, I guess. Anyway, I do wonder if fouling a fan impacts your foul count.
So the NBA got its act together and suspended the four plays in the recent player/fan brawl, the main instigator for the rest of the season. [Incidentally, I did hear that Artest was asking to have a couple of months off to promote his CD, the day before he got into the brawl – now he’ll not only have free time but even non-fans will now know his name, so he might be smarter than people gave him credit for!] Having seen the replays a few dozen times now, I’m thinkin’ that the NBA is being pretty fair about the whole thing. And then, of course, ya had to have a contrary opinion, courtesy of ESPN: “they were emotional!” and “how would you react if someone threw stuff at you?”
Hey, ESPN? Screw you.
These NBA players are supposed to be professionals. Same goes for the fuckwit that beat up fans in MLB. Doesn’t seem to happen in the NFL (thanks to a moat around the field), the NHL (yay for glass enclosed rinks), MLS (soccer players run too fast) and NASCAR (w00t for stock cars), but the same rules should apply to any league. This debacle reminded me of when Rodman kicked a photographer during a game or when another NBA player head butted their coach… these acts are criminal.
How can I say that? It’s easy. If I had a problem at work with a boss, co-worker, or customer, what would happen if I head butt, punch, or kick one of them? a) I get fired, b) I get arrested, or c) both. I had a customer once slam something at me at a fast food counter… could I have hit him with a tray, can later call it self defense? Um, no. I could however call the cops and banish him from my counter.
I saw the tapes. The brawl on the court – the one between the players – was the normal shit that has become pretty common in most sports these days. Then I saw Arstet laying on a bench. A cup hit him. He got up and charged the stands, swinging at any body within reach. Un-fuckin-acceptable.
I’m sorry, all those that think that these the punishments are too stiff are simply wrong. These guys punched their customers and for that there has to be swift and large punishments. If not, does that mean that you can expect to be roughed up by players at any sporting event? Should you start wearing pads to the games? Maybe just a cup, or something…
And do I think the fans should be excused? Hell no. They are dipshits in their own right, and things could have been worse. A number of venues still sell plastic bottles, that could hurt someone pretty bad… they could throw batteries or cameras or god knows what… instead it was cups and popcorn. More of an insult than an injury.
The worst part about it for Pacers fans is the fact that they are now down three players… that can’t be good for their season.