Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Artest, Union Should Taqke Punishment Like Men

Someone asked me today if I had written anything on my blog about the Ron Artest suspension as a result of the Pacers-Pistons brawl this past weekend. My response was, "everything that can be said about it, is being said." With that out of the way I do have one thing to say...I would like (just one time) for a player or the players union to stand up and say, "nope, we're not appealing the suspension because (insert player name here) got exactly what he deserved."

Today the players union filed the official appeal of Artest's suspension. Saying the penalty is excessive & that a suspension of about 35 games would have been more appropriate for Artest, Union Director Billy Hunter asked for an arbitrator to reduce the suspensions. My opinion is that Ron Artest should stop acting like a baby boy and accept his punishment like a man.

Let's face it, this is not about Artest wanting to play in the NBA...remember earlier this season he was benched by his coach because he asked for a couple weeks off to go promote his new rap CD. This is 100% about the $5 million he is going to lose as a result of the suspension. If he can get it reduced by 1/2, he stands to gain $2.5 million of his salary back. The proof this is all about the money is in Artest's actions. In his first public appearance since the brawl, Artest appeared on NBC's "Today" show wearing a shirt and hat with the logo of his CD label. In the interview he said "I don't think it was fair -- that many games. I respect David Stern's decisions, but I don't think I should have been out for the whole season." Of course he also went on to mention his new CD no less than three times. The only thing he should be repeating right now is his apology to the guy he attacked. ESPN has reviewed the tapes and come up with an angle of footage that clearly shows who in the crowd threw the cup that hit Artest as he lay on the scorers table. Guess what? It wasn't the guy Artest went after. In fact, Artest ran right by the guy who threw the cup and hit some guy who did absolutely nothing.

One of Artest's arguements was that the action that continued after he went into the stands was purely self defense. that very well may be, but none of it would have been necessarry had Artest not jumped into the stands to begin with which was, coincidentally, a cowardly move. Why was it cowardly? Well just moments prior Ben Wallace, an NBA thug in his own right who is a big, nasty, SOB, practically decapitated Artest with a shove to the face & neck and Artest backed down. then, after being hit with this cup goes after a guy 1/2 his size in the crowd. Talk about picking your fights.

Seventy three game suspension including his $5 million salary for a repeat offender who is constantly getting in trouble in the NBA...I got no trouble whatsoever with that. Next time it should be for life.