Dissapointed Fan

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Wow, I wasn't planning on posting tonight but I want to get my opinion out before the media has a field day with this indident. If you haven't heard, the Pistons/Pacers game ended with a crazy brawl. Ron Artest fouled Ben Wallace hard, but nothing out of the ordinary for two rival teams. Ben Wallace overreacted and pushed Artest with a lot of unecesary force. To Ron's credit, he tried to let it slide and slipped out of the evelvating action on the court. Rasheed Wallce, Rip, Lindsey and some other staff on both teams tried to defuse the situation while Pacers Stephen Jackson and Jamal Tinsley continued to instigate. Meanwhile, as Artest layed out on the scorers table, some dumb ass drunk punk threw a beer on him. From there, all hell broke lose. That beer sent Artest into a frenzy and he launced into the stands after the idiot who threw it, with Stephen Jackson closely in tail. Some of the crowd tried to restrain Artest but Jackson got through the crowed and fired punches at anyone close. Somehow Rasheed Wallace and Rick Mahorn were able to get the Pacers out of the crowd and security got things under control in that spot but at this point, fights were breaking out every where. Beer and popcorn was flying all over the place and things were just out of control. It was just ugly, and as a REAL fan I am ashamed at the conduct of the people at the Palace. They disrespected the game, the Pistons, and the entire city of Detroit. The people of Detroit are usually pretty proud of the city. Anyone I know from Detroit works hard to improve the image of the city and it's surrounding area. This unfortunate and brainless incident puts a huge dent in the cities image. I'm embarrassed by it.

Ben Wallace made a huge error in judgment and his actions set off domino effect. However, the way I see it, Stephen Jackson kept the fire going and his behavior above all others was despicable. He brutally attacked any fan who was near him. Setting off a chain reaction of unreasonable behavior through out the crowd. Everyone involved in this incident should be punished severely. Stephen Jackson should be charged with assault and suspended from the NBA for 5 games or more. Ron Artest has had enough controversy but deserves a long suspension as well. Ben Wallace might deserve the harshest penalty. Probably a 5 game suspension or more. He has a whole lot of apologies to make and I'm sure in retrospect he's disgusted by his behavior. I know I am. Until today's misjudgment Ben was an ideal sports role model. He'll have to work hard to restore that image and the image of his team and city.

As a fan, I will always stand by my team but let me make this clear. No true fan of the game and of the Detroit Pistons would ever throw anything at any player. I love to hate the Pacers. It makes the game fun, but it is just that, a game. Every team needs a rival, and every fan should respect that rival. It's match ups like the Pistons and Pacers that make watching Basketball worthwhile. The people in the crowd who thought it was appropriate to behave like hoodlums DO NOT DESERVE to call themselves fans. They do not deserve to represent my team in anyway. If any of you who participated in the event stumble across this posting I want to tell you that you are despicable!!!

If you haven't seen it, click here to see the crazy events at the Pistons vs. Pacers game.


I agree. I am disgusted by the fact that any fan would disrespect any player in that way, not just because it is an attack on a player, but because it is a poor represenation of the Pistons and the Metro Detroit area. I do not however think Artest and Jackson attacking a mob of fans is an appropriate retaliation for having a beer thrown at Artest. I was seriously afraid that someone was going to be killed, or a child crushed in that mob. I've been to several Piston games, in Detroit and other areas, and I am always trying to get as close to the players as I can. But after watching this incident, I sure don't want to be close to the court now.

I saw this brawl and I was suprised, but not too much. I know that Ben Wallace is bitter about not getting the Defensive Player of the Year award last year and he and the PIstons feel he deserves it. This doesn't justify his reaction but it probably was a factor in his retaliation. If Ben hadn't continued to go after Artest, it would have simply been a technical foul. He was causing problems when he tried to chase Ron Artest down to fight him.

Ron Artest has had a lifelong history of anger management problems. This year he took 2 days off because he was tired from promoting his new rap album, some might say this man is an idiot. He was doing alright and showing good restraint, but that beer hitting him set him off. Still, that's no excuse to go into the stands, that only escalated everything.

In your video clip the announcer says "now Rasheed Wallace enters the stands", as if 'Sheed was doing something bad when he was breaking up the fight. That irritated me.

Overall I don't know if Ben should get as much punishment as you say, he didn't assault a fan he went after an opponent and that's happened quite a few times before in the league. It was the fan who threw the beer and Ron Artest/Stephen Jackson who made it worse by bringing the crowd into it.

That's just my opinion.

Under ordinary circumstances I agree, Ben's punishement would be something standard like a one game suspension. However, I think the league will be harsh with Ben for setting off the chain reaction. I know none of this was his intension, I love Ben but he'll be the easiest to punish. The NBA will have a hard time deciding what to do with Artest, Jackson, and Oneal. Whatever thier fate be it a 10 game plus suspension or not much at all, will turn into a huge media debate. If the Pacers players get very little punishement people will be up in arms but the players union will be happy. If the NBA comes down hard, and I believe they should, the players union will flip out and cause a major distraction for the rest of the season. I'd also assume a harsh punsishment most certainly would result in a lockout for next season. That would be terrible for the league, the players and fans like us who would never beahve like the few morons last night.

Nevertheless, if this is somehow handled well by the NBA, this whole incident should be great for ratings. The NBA will have quite a double header on Christmas. Kobe vs Shaq, and Pistons vs Pacers. Who's gonna get the better ratings?

"Artest never made an attempt for the ball," Pistons coach Larry Brown said. "They were up 15 points with 45 seconds left. I don't think that's something you expect. Ben didn't throw a punch. He pushed him."
Artest should have got a flagrant and Ben should have gotten suspended 1 game for the altercation if that's where it ended---it'll be interesting to see what happens.