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Riot ends Pacers - Pistons game


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Shocking Riot Ends Pacers-Pistons Game

 

54 minutes ago

 

By LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer

 

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Players and fans exchanged punches in the stands as an NBA game turned so ugly a police investigation was necessary. Indiana's Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson charged into the stands and fought with fans in the final minute of their game against the Detroit Pistons (news) on Friday night, and the brawl forced an early end to the Pacers' 97-82 win.

 

 

"I felt like I was fighting for my life out there," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "I'm sorry the game had to end this way."

 

 

Officials stopped the game with 45.9 seconds remaining after pushing and shoving between the teams spilled into the stands once fans got involved by throwing things at the players near the scorer's table.

 

 

About three hours following the startling finish, Auburn Hills police walked out of a television trailer with videotapes gathered from various media outlets.

 

 

Officers interviewed witnesses at the arena in suburban Detroit, and planned to talk to the players involved in the melee.

 

 

"We'll put it all together, take it to the Oakland County Prosecutors Office and have them review it and they'll decide if there are any charges," Auburn Hills Deputy Chief Jim Mynsberge said. "I hope we can do it before Thanksgiving."

 

 

Mynsberge added: "At this time, we don't have any indication of major injuries."

 

 

That's probably the only fortunate fact.

 

 

"There's no place in the game for what went on with this incident," said Joe Dumars, the Pistons' president of basketball operations. "It was just an ugly scene."

 

 

Detroit's Larry Brown, who started coaching in 1972 after his playing career ended, said it was the ugliest thing he had seen as a coach or player.

 

 

After several minutes of players fighting with fans in the stands, a chair, beer, ice and popcorn were thrown at the Pacers as they made their way to the locker room in one of the scariest brawls in an NBA game.

 

 

It all started when Detroit's Ben Wallace went in for a layup and was fouled hard by Artest from behind, and escalated when Artest stormed into the stands after being hit by a full cup.

 

 

After being fouled, Wallace wheeled around and pushed Artest in the face. The benches emptied and punches were thrown.

 

 

As the players continued shoving each other near center court and coaches tried to restore order, Artest sprawled out on his back on the scorer's table, looking relaxed.

 

 

Just when it appeared tempers had died down, Artest was struck by a cup thrown from the stands and jumped up and charged into the stands, throwing punches as he climbed over seats.

 

 

"He was on top of me, pummeling me," fan Mike Ryan of Clarkston said. "He asked me, `Did you do it? I said, `No, man. No!'"

 

 

Jackson joined Artest in the melee and threw punches at fans, who punched back at them.

 

Security personnel and ushers tried to break it up. Former Pistons player Rick Mahorn, who was seated courtside as a Detroit radio analyst, tried to stop the brawl in the stands. Detroit's Rasheed Wallace and Indiana's David Harrison were also in or near the stands trying to break up the fights.

 

Later, a man in a Pistons jersey approached Artest on the court, shouting at him. Artest punched him in the face, knocking him to the floor. Teammate Jermaine O'Neal stepped in and punched another man who joined the scrum.

 

"The NBA is withholding comment until it can review the incident," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said.

 

Players from both teams left the arena without comment.

 

Quentin Richardson of the Phoenix Suns (news) watched the brawl on television.

 

"I have never seen a fight like that in a game since I was in high school," he said. "Man, there are going to be some lawsuits. You don't think some of those fans aren't going to want some NBA money?"

 

Police prevented reporters from crossing the loading dock to get to Indiana's locker room or the area where the Pacers' bus was located.

 

"I'm just embarrassed for our league and disappointed for our young people to see that," Brown said.

 

Artest has been involved in some bizarre situations, but his latest antics topped them all.

 

Earlier this month, he was benched for two games for asking Carlisle for time off because of a busy schedule that included promoting a soon-to-be released rap album.

 

Artest also destroyed television monitors at Madison Square Garden two years ago and missed the team flight to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals at Detroit last season.

 

Before the contest was stopped, Artest had quite a game and the Pacers were dominating the defending NBA champions in their first meeting since the Eastern Conference finals.

 

Artest scored 17 of his 24 points in the first quarter and the Pacers led by 20 in the second. Detroit used a 9-0 outburst early in the fourth quarter to close within 82-77, but couldn't get closer.

 

Indiana's next game is Saturday night at home against Orlando, while Detroit hosts Charlotte on Sunday.

 

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That's pretty messed up.

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Ok... so I just saw the highlight... wow

 

1) The fight between the players, whatever. Send them to the showers, quick.

 

2) Artest getting hit by a full cup... WHATEVER! How many times does this happen in WWF (WWE) or any other performance! It happens! Deal with it! You never see a wrestler who gets hit by a coke crawl up into the stands and jack one of the spectators. This guy's a fucking thug and should be dealt with like a fucking thug. The NBA is better than that.

 

3) Nailing those two Detriot fans at the end. Well, I can't say it was smart of them to get in front of Artest knowing that he just jumped into the stands and clobbered a bunch of people. But Jermain and Ron should get suspended from the league for the year at least.

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But Jermain and Ron should get suspended from the league for the year at least.

 

I'd have to disagree. Yes the players are role models and yes they should show restraint, but you gotta remember these people aren't superheroes, they're men just like you and I. I don't know how many fist fights you've been in, but your adrenilin can make you lose all sorts of self control, no matter who you are. And if I'm in a situation where I'm defending myself, and I get hit in the head with an object, I'd have to say I'll be damned if I don't react in some way as Artest did. With Stephen Jackson, Jermain O'Neal, Fred Jones, and the other who joined, they're trying to defend their teamates and I would have done the same thing. Suspended, definately. A year, I don't think so. How about arresting the fans confronting Artest on the court? It was an ugly situation, but the players aren't the ones that should take the all the blame.

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Some people say the reason theyre makin an example out of em is cause it was foolish of the NBA to not see this kinda thing comin, the way players have been acting out and like MLB said, not really gettin penalized.

 

Rumor is Artest is puttin out a rap album, this mighta helped that, in the way of "street cred" (read: marketing), might just be a rumor.

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Rumor is Artest is puttin out a rap album, this mighta helped that, in the way of "street cred" (read: marketing), might just be a rumor.

 

He's promoting an RnB album under his label, he ain't making a rap album. I think Artest has been punished for his past behavior and the incident, all at once. The NBA doesn't like him, David Stern doesn't like him, so bye bye, one year no pay. This guy has some sort of mental disability, so lets make it better by painting him the worst athlete in professional sports, cuttin him off financially for a year, and still alowing beer to be sold to Detroit fans who have no problem hurdling them if they don't like the way a game is going. Hey, it's business right?

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cuttin him off financially for a year

 

Yes. How will we cope with a measly $3 million (not including advertising). How about we have a whip round.

 

 

and still alowing beer to be sold to Detroit fans who have no problem hurdling them if they don't like the way a game is going

 

I'm all for punishing the fans as well. But I don't care how the fans act, its no excuse for what happened.

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I just think they're being unfair with Artest and singling him out, when Stephen Jackson did the same thing without being provoked and only got suspended 25 games. It's like, let's quickly get rid of the "trouble maker" and everyting will be back to normal. This ain't about punishment, its about an image. The NBA doesn't want Artest to represent them, so he's done for the year.

 

Also, the NBA and society expects these guys to act with the highest level of self control and to think rationally. You gotta remember, these guys aren't from the country clubs, or not even middle America. Many of these guys are from rough neighborhoods (i.e. Artest - Queensbridge) and react differently than us when confronted. Though out of context, I don't many people who wouldn't go an clock somebody if they threw a beer at you at your job. I can't say I wouldn't react the same as Artest. Going foward, I do believe he deserved punishment, but I feel he was punished for being Ron Artest more than for fighting with a fan.

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Cant argue with that, when compared to the other sentences, it seems like theyre makin an example out of him, and for that, id say (without knowin much bout the guy) its more than just his actions; the NBA feels they need to come down hard on someone, like the FCC with Janet's tit. Aint nothin shittier than being made an example of, so you gotta watch out for that.

Im not gonna argue with clocking a guy who throws shit at me while im working, no matter where you come from, but if i work for the NBA, im gonna try to have my finger on the pulse of this organization, and i wouldnt be surprised if i - even amongst other guys - knew i wasnt liked, then went buck wild in a fight, and they wanted to string me up for it, you know?

 

check Chief's link to the video to hear Barkely's take on it, 's pretty fair.

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You do make a convincing argument Duad. As for the singling out, I don't know much about basketball or this Artest guy. But there did seem to be some more hefty fines handed down other than just this guy.

 

I need to find the article but the man responsible for being the judge and the jury did say his decision was affected by Artest's previous history and the bans were largely based on whether the player went into the crowd.

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As far as I'm concerned, he was at work. And while at work he has to behave in a manner becoming of the NBA. If you were working at Burdines and some schmuck stepped to you at work and hit you and you punched him, they'd fire your ass on the spot regardless. Perhaps that's not fair to you, but that's life. He's lucky he got 1 year vacation.

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You're right, it is totally about an image.

 

Put yourself in the shoes of one of the top execs of the NBA. You have a reputation to uphold. This is not hockey, this isn't football. Although contact is unavoidable, unnecessary contact in the NBA is avoidable and not permitted in during the game.

 

It's the same with any company you own. You have a reputation to uphold to your customers. If one of your employees was eating shit and fighting with customers, albeit in self defense, you'd do what you had to do to maintain the image of the company while dealing with your employee's issues according to policy. Is the policy always fair? No. When is it ever fair? The policy is totally subjective even if the company says it's not. A trouble maker employee is usually let go for the stupidest reasons after acting like an ass for a while, it happens everywhere.

 

Artest could've gotten expelled from the NBA permanently. Obviously that does no good for anybody, fans would've been pissed, it would've put a negative stigma on the administration. So they gave him a year off, soon that year will pass, people will get over it, he'll come back, hopefully he'll behave and not kick someone's ass again and no big deal.

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Your right Chief, it is policy, and he did deserve punishment. So why does Stephen Jackson, who ran into the stands unprovoked and throws bigger punches than Artest, get only 25-30 games? So does this mean if Michael Jordan were still playing and he was to do it, he may only get 10 games? Yes Artest has the reputation of a trouble maker, but until he was hit with the cup he showed plenty restraint after Ben Wallace shoved him in the neck after a pussy foul. He's a man just like you and me, and theres a point where you can't take shit anymore. I think Artest should have been penalized for the situation that night. If he truly deserved a year suspension, then so did Stephen Jackson.

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